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  • 16:15 Sovereign Stakes 1m

  • (group 3) £60,000 added 3yo+ 9 ran
  • Winner £34,062 2nd £12,912 3rd £6,462 4th £3,222
  • Going: Good to Firm, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 1m 41.82s
  • Off time: 16:17:15

Sea Lord Edges Sovereign Thriller

Last Updated: 12/08/10 5:26pm

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Sea Lord - edged thriller.

Sea Lord - edged thriller.

Kieren Fallon and Sea Lord proved to be a faultless combination in the Sovereign Stakes as they held Poet's Voice by a nose in a pulsating finish to Salisbury's feature race of the season.

With a sparkling treble on Wednesday's card, Fallon is riding as well as he has since his comeback last year and he extracted the very best out of the Mark Johnston-trained Sea Lord (7-2), a horse for whom nothing seems too much to ask.

The front-running three-year-old has made incredible progress up the handicap ladder and two weeks ago Johnston saddled him to land the valuable totesport Mile at Goodwood, despite already knowing he had the ability to contest races like this Group Three.

Fallon soon made the lead his own but was crowded at the two-furlong marker with the likes of Fair Trade, Dream Eater and Hearts Of Fire readying to make their challenges.

Sea Lord refused to let any of them pass and it was up to Ted Durcan to make a final late attempt to catch him by surprise on the outside aboard Poet's Voice but they could not quite get there.

"Ted was coming at me fast - he knew to go wide because of what Mark Johnston's horses are like in a battle," said Fallon.

"He has done well in handicaps and carried a lot of weight at Goodwood. He's tough and genuine.

"You have to wind him up, but riding horses like that make you feel good."

Reflecting on his recent run, Fallon added: "I had a couple of days off to freshen up. You need it.

"It's been a good season and Luca Cumani's horses are in great form. It's York next week and I'm also going to America to ride Summit Surge in the Arlington Million."

Deirdre Johnston, the trainer's wife, added: "He's just so tough and a fantastic horse - he has won six out of his last seven and the only time he was beaten was at Royal Ascot when he had a bad draw.

"We knew he was a Group horse before Goodwood but we went for a handicap there for the prize money. He has quite a few entries abroad so we'll have to sit down and take a look."

Fallon had earlier been the difference between victory and defeat for Cumani's Aktia (11-2), who was the first under pressure but obliged by the bare minimum in the European Breeders' Fund Fillies' Handicap.

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