Sharestan claims photo verdict
By Will Hayler, Sandown. Last Updated: 29/05/14 8:34pm
Sharestan (right) just prevails in the climax to the Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
Sharestan denied Sheikhzayedroad by the narrowest of margins in a head-bobbing finish to the Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
The race was undoubtedly weakened by the withdrawls of Hillstar and Remote, the latter's trainer John Gosden walking the course after the first race before taking the decision to further delay the comeback of last year's Hampton Court Stakes winner.
However, it did at least throw up an exciting conclusion as Sharestan narrowly held off Sheikhzayedroad's late challenge as early pacesetter Top Notch Tonto dropped away.
It was nearly a perfectly-judged ride by Martin Lane on the runner-up who managed to get his mount some cover in the home straight and bought him between the pair a furlong out to give him a bit of the rough and tumble he seems to relish.
But although his nostrils were in front both before and after the line, the photograph confirmed that by the matter of a mere pixel, 5/6 favourite Sharestan had scored under Kieren Fallon - a result that was understandably met with surprise by a number of the Sandown crowd and even attracted a smattering of boos from disappointed punters.
Bin Suroor said: "He has improved, last year he always carried some condition but his last three pieces of work have been much better than what he did last year. He was tricky horse in the past but we gelded him and he looks different, more athletic. In the past he was always carrying condition.
"The key has been the ground as he loves soft ground.
"A mile and a quarter was all right here but a mile and a half will be better for him and the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot is his target. We'll go from there."
The trainer added that his Classic hopes Ihtimal and True Story were both on course for their respective targets at Epsom next week in the Investec Oaks and Derby.
"Ihtimal worked well under Kieren this week, she's brilliant and she's ready to go," he said. "True Story is going to work tomorrow. I need to forget what happened at York - I believe he is much better than that."