Havana hits Sandown beat
Last Updated: 05/07/14 5:38pm
Havana Beat ridden by David Probert (right) wins the Coral Marathon in a photo finish from Repeater.
A review of the rest of the action from Sandown, where Havana Beat came out on top in a pulsating renewal of the Coral Marathon.
In a race reduced to just four runners, Repeater was very slow to leave the stalls but eventually did so as Domination and Fran Berry went straight to the front.
The Royal Ascot winner took them along and Berry injected a bit of pace with half a mile to run, all the while tracked by David Probert on the eventual winner, who had last been seen in the Gold Cup, where he was eighth.
The latter was still moving powerfully two furlongs out but Repeater had crept into it as Moore went for a dream gap on the far rail.
It was a terrific tussle from there, with Havana Beat just having the call from Repeater by a head with Domination a close third.
Balding said: "I'm very pleased for the owners, who have a lot of horses with me and have to take the rough with the smooth.
"He'll probably go to the Ebor next."
Sir Michael Stoute may strike while the iron is hot with Royal Seal after her commanding victory in the opener at Sandown.
With a Yarmouth maiden win from just four previous runs, the Cheveley Park Stud-bred filly (13/2) looked open to plenty more improvement as she quickened two lengths clear of the staying-on Mutawathea in the Gary Tuck Memorial Handicap.
"She's a progressive filly, but she has taken time to get it together," said Stoute.
"She's in a very valuable race over six furlongs at Newmarket next Friday (Betfred Mobile Heritage Handicap). We'll see how she comes out of this, but she could well go."
Velox (11/2) made up for a luckless run at Epsom with a dominant display in the Coral Challenge.
The pace up front was relentless, set by Ifwecan and St Moritz, with young Cam Hardie content to sit in the middle of the pack.
To his credit Ifwecan showed a great attitude and was still in front entering the final furlong, but the gaps opened up for Luca Cumani's four-year-old.
He burst clear to win by three lengths from Ifwecan, with Gabrial's Kaka staying on from the rear for third.
It was a 20th win of the season for 5lb claimer Hardie.
"I was a bit lucky as I had to wait for the gaps to appear, but I knew I had a lot of horse under me," said Hardie.
"He quickened up nicely and he's won this like a very good horse.
"I'm very lucky, I've got a very good agent and a good family behind me and I'm with a very good stable at the Hannons."
Matt Cumani, assistant to his father, said: "We've thought there was a big race in this horse for a while and it's fantastic to see him do it. I thought the jockey gave him a fantastic ride."
Hardie added: "Its my first ride for the stable so I'd like to thank Mr Cumani. He was unlucky last time at Epsom. He kept on galloping. "Hopefully I can keep on going."