PROBLEMA Tic yesterday stormed to a famous victory in the £25,000 Aviva City of Perth Gold Cup under a power-packed ride by Tom Scudamore.
Trained by David Pipe, the Somerset raider jumped into a narrow lead at the third last before staying on strongly on the run-in to beat Buck Mulligan by three and a quarter lengths.
Problema Tic is owned by Largs couple Sean and Jo Tracey, who were on hand to acclaim the success in front of a bumper crowd at Scone Palace Park.
Sean Tracey said: “There is nothing better than getting a winner in Scotland. David has brought the horse up in terrific shape and Tom gave him a great ride. We love having runners and winners at Perth as they really look after you.”
Scudamore said: “It’s an excellent prize for the time of year and full marks to Perth putting it on. This horse took me to the front three out and he stuck on really bravely all the way to the line. He took an early tumble in the Scottish National so it’s great to see him win something decent.” Lucinda Russell’s Momkinzain followed up his recent course and distance success in the novices’ handicap hurdle under Craig Nichol, who is yet another promising young rider from Hawick.
Nichol said: “It has taken a wee while for the penny to drop with this horse but he’s gradually getting the hang of things. He goes on this ground and he’ll probably be back here for more of the same through the summer.”
Elsewhere over the weekend, trainer Todd Pletcher insisted the easy victory of Palace Malice in the Belmont Stakes came as no surprise to him – despite the colt starting at nearly 14-1.
The son of Curlin finished only 12th in the Kentucky Derby behind Orb but turned that form on its head with the Derby winner back in third on this occasion. Oxbow, the winner of the Preakness Stakes, was three-and-a-quarter lengths away in second.
Pletcher had five runners in the final leg of the Triple Crown, and was just glad to bag another win in the Grade One he last won with the filly, Rags To Riches, in 2007.
“It’s huge,” said Pletcher. “We always felt he had a big win in him. He just needed to put it all together. I kept saying I know there’s a big [race] there. I kept waiting for it to materialize in the afternoon.
“He got close a couple of times but didn’t quite get it done. [The Belmont] pretty much went in the early part the way we anticipated it would in terms of where we were positioned.
“Mike was able to get him in a nice comfortable rhythm and travel along, pretty quickly, considering the distance, but he looked like he was in a good comfortable rhythm and that was the main focus.”
At Haydock on Saturday, the emergence of Germany as a European racing power was again advertised when Amarillo just held off Pastoral Player in the Timeform Jury Stakes.
And it was nearly a very profitable day for trainer Peter Schiergen and jockey Andrasch Starke as Nymphea was just touched off in the Pinnacle Stakes earlier on the card.
“I was not sure if we had won, but after just being beaten with Nymphea in the race before, I was hoping we had,” said Schiergen. “We came here as there are no races in Germany for him, so we decided to come here. Anything from 1400 to 1600 metres [seven furlongs to a mile] is fine for him. He had never won a Group race before, but was unlucky in Germany last year and we know he is a Group horse.”
David Simcock’s Moment In Time continued her improvement to win the Pinnacle and now has lofty overseas targets. Simcock said: “She likes this ground and we might go to America. The Grade Twos and Grade Ones over there are easier. She will carry a Group Three penalty in Group Threes, so we might look at America.”
The Northumberland Plate is on the agenda for Marco Botti’s De Rigueur (11-2) after a stylish display in the BetVictor Royal Ascot No Lose Hughes Stakes.
Jeremy Noseda’s Nocturn set himself up for a possible crack at the Wokingham after winning the Betfair Supporting The Animal Health Care Handicap at Newmarket.
And Trading Leather booked his place in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with a sound success against older opposition in the TRM Silver Stakes at the Curragh yesterday.