Supporters of apprentice Louis Steward were rewarded for the second time in a major handicap after he guided Bronze Angel home at 14-1 in the Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket on Saturday.
Last month, Steward had struck at 20-1 on Mutual Regard in the Ebor, but will now no longer have the asset of his 5lb claim as this was the 50th success of the 19-year-old’s career.
It was just as notable an achievement for his Marcus Tregoning-trained mount, who was joining just half a dozen other dual winners of the fiendishly competitive nine-furlong heat as he was also the answer to the 2012 renewal.
Steward is apprenticed with Michael Bell, and earned gratitude from Tregoning for fulfilling his part of the bargain by staying calm and pushing Bronze Angel two and a quarter lengths clear of dead-heating pair Niceofyoutotellme and Velox.
Tregoning said: “Louis has excelled again. He is very calm – that’s the trick, it is the same with someone like William Buick or Martin Dwyer – they have ice-cool nerve and the pressure is on in these big races.
“We fancied him like mad, we’ve made no secret of that, and we conveyed that to him – but he’s ridden him really well.”
The rise and rise of Tiggy Wiggy reached its zenith at HQ when the redoubtable filly secured a first Group One in the Connolly’s Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes.
Remarkably, Richard Hannon’s inmate (6-4 favourite) made her debut on the opening day of the Flat season, registering the first of what are now six wins.
This latest triumph was again achieved in her typically aggressive style from the front as she moved 2-1 up in an evolving rivalry with Anthem Alexander.
The pair had first met at Royal Ascot when the Irish filly justified warm market support in the Queen Mary Stakes, but Tiggy Wiggy had subsequently turned the Super Sprint into a procession and earned her revenge when taking first spot in the Lowther Stakes.
Richard Hughes always seemed to have the race under control, and guided his mount three-quarters of a length clear of Anthem Alexander.
Should connections decide to supplement her for the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp this coming Sunday, it would be a superhuman stretch for the champion jockey to make the scheduled weight of 8st 2lb.
Hannon said: “Getting a mile next year (for the 1000 Guineas) is probably going to be a problem, but we’ll worry about next year then.
“The new race at Royal Ascot [three-year-old sprint] gives her an option next year, which she didn’t have before.”
Andrew Balding’s Elm Park relished every yard of the mile trip to claim the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and could now run in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
The phrase “horses for courses” could have been coined for Spinatrix at Ripon as the popular mare brought up her fourth win at the North Yorkshire track in the Ripon Cathedral City Of The Dales Handicap. Michael Dods’ mare has run a total of 11 times at Ripon, finishing second five times and third on the other two occasions she has run there.
The six-year-old has been second in the last two renewals of the Great St Wilfrid Handicap, and this year she went on to Pontefract for a Listed race the day after losing out to Out Do on the Saturday and was narrowly beaten there, too.
Dods said: “She deserved that. We decided to miss the Ayr Gold Cup as the ground wouldn’t have been in her favour and I’m glad we did – it was nearly too quick for her today.
“She’s just a superstar. She’s in good form now and as long as she’s fine she’ll go to Newmarket for a Listed race.”
Yesterday, Ol’ Man River enhanced his Classic prospects with an authoritative victory in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at the Curragh. Aidan O’Brien has an embarrassment of riches for 2015, including Ol’ Man River, who was duly cut to 8-1 joint-favourite, from 14-1, with Ladbrokes for the Investec Derby and to 10-1 (from 16s) for the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
A e2.85million buy as a yearling, the Montjeu colt stepped up to Group Two company with the minimum of fuss, four weeks after a successful debut over the course and distance.
The 1-2 favourite coasted to the front under Joseph O’Brien and was not extended to win easily by two and three-quarter lengths from Clonard Street, who ran a good race in his own right. The victory made it a treble on the card for the trainer and jockey after Qualify and The Great War, while it was the 14th time O’Brien has saddled the winner of the Beresford, equalling the late Vincent O’Brien’s tally.