JUSt three weeks after his powerful sprinter Kingsgate Choice won him the biggest prize of his career, tyro trainer Ed de Giles had to re-write his own personal record books when the horse won him an even bigger pot in the £70,000 William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup at Musselburgh yesterday.
A thrilling race saw a field of 17 charge down the fast five furlongs at the East Lothian track. Nero Emperor and Stone of Folco made the running until Racy went ahead inside the final furlong under 7lb claimer Connor Beasley.
But Liam Keniry had followed de Giles’ instructions to the letter and brought Kingsgate Choice late and fast to win the £43,000 first prize by a head from Racy, with Barnet Fair and Long Awaited staying on for third and fourth.
Many punters had noted Kingsgate Choice winning £32,000 in the 32Red.com Sprint at York on 25 May, and he was backed from 9-1 to 6-1 joint favourite yesterday.
That York victory was key to yesterday’s win, according to de Giles: “He broke so well when winning at York that I said to Liam ‘get him out fast and get cover’ and he did exactly that.
De Giles drove the horsebox himself on the 650-mile round trip from Ledbury in Hertfordshire and quipped: “He’s fit because he has to lump me around when riding work.”
De Giles then nominated a massive prize as the winner’s next target: “We thought about putting him in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot but now we have to go Listed or Group race with him so why not the Nunthorpe at York.”
A crowd of nearly 4,000 had acclaimed the winning joint favourite and racecourse manager Bill Farnsworth was able to report that they would be going home more quickly as the traffic chaos which blighted the last meeting had disappeared, Scottish Power re-opening their Cockenzie bridge over the Esk.
Farnsworth said: “Now we need to get a long-term solution. It would cost more to demolish than to restore the main problem, the barriers, and it would be a great legacy for Scottish Power to leave.”
There was a terrific finish to the opener, the William Hill Download The App handicap over five furlongs, though favourite backers knew their fate early on as Lupin Pooter swerved from the stalls and blew his chance.
It looked as if Jedward, the 6-1 third favourite had made the winning break under Philip Makin, only for James Sullivan to drive The Nifty Fox into the lead less than 50 yards from the line. Trainer Tim Easterby’s veteran sprinter, making his 99th start, recorded the 10th win of his career by a head from Jedward, with Renfrewshire trainer Jim Goldie’s Midnight Dynamo in third.
Favourite backers got some of their money back in the next, the William Hill EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes in which Lexington Rose gave Royston Ffrench an armchair ride, winning as a well-backed 11-8 shot should. The two-year-old filly looks as if she is on the upgrade and is worthy of note.
The race after the Sprint Cup, the William Hill New I-Pad stakes, gave Tim Easterby a double with Clockmaker under Tom Eaves, while Scots-born trainer Mark Johnston won the William Hill In The App Store with favourite More Skies, ridden by Joe Fanning, beating Eric The Grey after Johnston’s other horse and the only other entrant, Dorfman, gave Adrian Nicholls a bad fall three furlongs out. Nicholls was taken away in an ambulance with a suspected broken collarbone.
In the race before the big one, James Sullivan brought up his double with a well-timed run on Capellanus, the 20-1 rank outsider of the seven-strong field.