Absolutely fabulous double for David Probert

David Probert, in yellow, wins on Absolutely So. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty
David Probert, in yellow, wins on Absolutely So. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty
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Absolutely So stuck on determined fashion to lift the Group Three spoils in the Betway John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock.

The Andrew Balding-trained seven-year-old, third in this race in 2015, revelled in the rain-softened conditions to go two places better.

That Is The Spirit set the pace but he was the only one to stick to the far side when the field hit the straight.

Jallota led the near-side group, but he could never go clear under his 3lb penalty. Though he kept on going, Charlie Hill’s charge was unable to hold Absolutely So (6-1), who got the verdict by half a length to give David Probert a double after his earlier success on Handsome Dude.

Jallota was second with So Beloved only a neck away in third.

Probert said: “He’s such a tough character, he doesn’t know how to run a bad race.

“The ground probably helped him and he knuckled down well. He’s had his issues and it’s a good training performance.”

Balding has now missed his three biggest winners of the season having been absent at Chester when Montaly claimed the Chester Cup and Blond Me won the Middleton Stakes at York.

His wife, Anna Lisa, said: “David really did give him a lovely ride and I’m so pleased for the owners, the Smith family, they’ve been very patient as he’s not been that straightforward with a few niggles.

“It’s brilliant seeing him win a nice race, it’s just reward for them.

“Even though he’s now six he’s shown he’s as good as ever.”

Bateel struck for French trainer Francis-Henri Graffard with a smooth success in the Betway Pinnacle Stakes.

Richard Kingscote showed patience in the saddle as he had to wait for a gap to appear in the straight, as it was apparent the four-year-old filly was going well.

Henry de Bromhead’s Irish raider Island Remede took the field along with Dubka and Ajman Princess on her heels, and Bateel pounced when the leader began to fade.

Leading inside the final furlong the former David Simcock-trained 2-1 favourite justified strong market support to win by a length and a half from Dubka. Ajman Princess was third.

Johnnie Peter-Hoblyn, racing manager for Bateel’s owners, Al Asayl Bloodstock, said: “We’ve been waiting for this ground for a long time.

“We moved her to France from David Simcock for soft ground and ironically we end up at Haydock.

“We’re beginning to see the best of her and there’s more to come.”