Tote Win: £4.80 Tote Place: £1.80,2.10,2.60
Straight Forecast: £19.88 Exacta: £26.70 Trifecta: £162.50 Swingers: 1&2:7.20 2&3:9.40 1&3:9.00
Jackpot: £19,013.02 carried forward to York, 4th Sep
Placepot: £77.00, Pool: £146255.73, 1386.06 winning tickets
Quadpot: £11.10, Pool: £7313.66, 483.32 winning tickets
A pulsating finish which saw DREAM AHEAD prevail by a nose from Bated Breath, with a head back to Hoof It. But that is just the beginning of the story however. David Simcock's star had run deplorably in the Prix Maurice de Gheest when last seen, but was always travelling well here and moved through to dispute the lead with two furlongs to run. However he started to edge to his left but then swerved markedly to his right, although stopping short of cannoning into Bated Breath. After straightening up, he then hung left and in the process took the ground of eventual third Hoof It. In the final 100 yards he once again came close with Bated Breath, and with both jockeys using their whips in the wrong hands, the pair bumped just before the line. The contact was relatively minor, and it was impossible to tell who was the main culprit, and the stewards decided that the result should stand. William Buick, with tongue in cheek, explained that the victory was down to the horse's big head, however it is a big heart that won him the race. He had to fight all the way to the line, looking up against it as Bated Breath moved level, but his determination was evident. From here he is likely to head for the Prix de la Foret next, with the return to seven furlongs not likely to be an issue. However it should be remembered that he had a very hard race here and his previous French flop is also fresh in the memory. Runner-up Bated Breath ran a career best, getting closer to the winner than when the pair had clashed in the July Cup, but in some sense he arguably threw this race away. Always near the pace, he came with a winning run on the outer, not once but twice, but seemed to shy away when asked to win the race. This is not a trait that has been clearly evident in the past, so one might wonder whether he was slightly intimidated by the winner hanging near to him. He started to hang himself late in the day, and but for that may even have been awarded the race by the stewards. He has more pace than the winner, and the Abbaye may be a future target rather than a trip to Ascot. Third, and arguably the most unlucky, was Hoof It. Bouncing back from a below-par Nunthorpe effort, Mick Easterby's bull of a horse was prominent and travelled very powerfully throughout. He was about to make his challenge between runners when Dream Ahead hung into his ground, and then when switched he was duly carried further left by the same horse. He finished his race well, but could never quite recover his momentum fully. Many will wonder whether the stewards could have handed him the race, but UK rules would have given the race to the runner-up if anything. Had Bated Breath not been involved, then there may have been a different result, and indeed if this race was in France then there is little doubt that the third would have been awarded the contest. He takes his racing well, has shown he can shoulder welter burdens before, so a trip to Ayr for the Gold Cup is an obvious next port of call; he'll take some beating if heading there. Fourth home, and putting in a career best effort, was Genki. He got a good tow into the race from a strong pace and was doing all of his best work late on. He is probably just a shade below the very top level of UK sprinters, but his proximity certainly doesn't let the form down. Fifth, and running on late was Elzaam. He has been fitted with headgear in the past, and it would be no surprise to see some return after this effort. He couldn't (or wouldn't) go the early pace, and found himself stretched at halfway, but once extricated from some traffic problems, he then stayed on strongly in the final furlong. A seventh furlong and a drop in class wouldn't go amiss either it should be said. Society Rock missed the break slightly but travelled well in midfield. He seemed to lack the turn of foot of the main protagonists but ran with credit and is now an established horse at this level.