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Last Updated: 17/08/13 9:21pm
Gregorian: Ran out a cosy winner
Gregorian (3/1) lowered the colours of Soft Falling Rain to win the Betfred Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.
The Group Two appeared to revolve around the Mike de Kock trained Soft Falling Rain who hadn't been seen since winning on the Dubai World Cup undercard at Meydan in March.
However the South African handler had warned that his four year old would come on for the run and that this seven furlong contest was a springboard to targets in the autumn but that didn't prevent punters from making him the 9/4 favourite.
Soft Falling Rain settled well enough at the head of affairs in a tactical contest in which the pace really only quickened as they passed the three-furlong pole.
Robert Havlin always had Gregorian well placed and the four year old - who had shown career best form this season having finished a close third in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot - quickened well against the stands' side rail to take up the running inside the final furlong.
The market leader tried to come back at him but finished a length and a half adrift at the line with Tawhid back in third.
Havlin said: "We didn't go a great gallop early on, but he quickened up well, this lad. He's had a few near-misses at the top level so the ability has always been there.
"My lad showed a good turn of foot at the end and that's what's won him the race. He raced a little bit freely and maybe didn't quite see out a mile but today everything has gone in his favour. He's quite a heavy-topped horse and I think good to soft ground is ideal for him."
De Kock said of the vanquished Soft Falling Rain: "He's been beaten by a Group One horse. He's been off the track for 140 days so I have to be chuffed with him. Looking at that, he wants a mile and I'll have to discuss plans with the owner."