House battles to Bahrain win
Raheen House battled his way to victory in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket.
Brian Meehan's charge was bidding to open his account for the campaign following three fine efforts in defeat, most recently finishing fourth in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Sofia's Rock gave a bold sight in front for much of the one-mile-five-furlong journey, but Jamie Spencer cut a confident figure in the saddle throughout aboard Raheen House and the 7-2 chance galloped all the way to the line to take the Group Three prize by a length.
Desert Skyline finished strongly to beat Sofia's Rock to the runner-up spot.
Atty Persse, the 11-4 favourite after winning the King George V Stakes at the Royal meeting, was bitterly disappointing.
Spencer said: "We went a good even gallop and we got racing quite a bit out. I was concerned four down, but I was hoping his stamina would kick in, which it did.
"Physically he's a horse who is going to improve as the year goes on. He was a bit unlucky at Ascot. I thought he should have been second. He was entitled to win today.
"He's a son of Sea The Stars out of a Germany family so he's going to improve and be an even better horse next year."
"He wanted that extra furlong. He has always been progressive and really deserved this especially after his last run at Ascot. I was really pleased with that, it was top drawer," he said.
"All the horses were wrong when he won at Goodwood. We thought we would give him a break after Ascot and come back for this. I am pleased for the boys back home as it is a big week with a lot of racing.
"I don't know that I want to be going back to a mile and a half and I would be quite happy to leave him for the St Leger. I imagine we will go straight there as that will suit the horse. That's the sensible place to go."
He added: "I think the trip is fine and that's the way he wants to be ridden. I think Jamie gave him a top-notch ride.
"He looked around him a little bit and Jamie said when he hit the front he was just pricking his ears.
"He possibly hit the front a bit soon and could have won it a little bit easier. I think he's a proper horse."
David Elsworth was pleased with Desert Skyline's effort in second and is eyeing the Ebor at York next month for the gelding.
He said: "I think it was a sound run. He didn't have a lot of luck at Ascot. He fell out the stalls and got in behind and it didn't work out for him.
"When he appears to be beaten he does keep finding. The winner was a good horse.
"Without getting carried away it was a very strong race and there was a fair bit of depth to it. I did put him in the Ebor and it always used to be a good race for three-year-olds. He is rated 100 and they might put him up a bit."
Mark Johnston felt long-time leader Sofia's Rock gave his all in third place.
"He ran a fantastic race. He was keen and this trip is the upper limit of him. His enthusiasm is almost his downfall as he is always on the cusp of doing too much," said the Middleham handler.
"The family get better with age and if he matures from three to four we have got a black type middle-distance horse on our hands."
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