Siblings on a roll as Austrian School lands Queen’s Cup

Austrian School, a half brother to dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll, was an impressive winner ?of the £100,000 Queen’s Cup at ?sun-kissed Musselburgh.

Agrotera ridden by Gerald Mosse lead the field home to win The Racing TV Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes Race run at Kempton Park Racecourse. Pic: Julian Herbert/PA
Agrotera ridden by Gerald Mosse lead the field home to win The Racing TV Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes Race run at Kempton Park Racecourse. Pic: Julian Herbert/PA

Sent off a popular 4-1 joint-favourite, he was driven home six lengths clear of Ulster by leading course jockey Joe Fanning.

Winning trainer Mark Johnston, who saddled four runners in the 1m 4f handicap, said: “Last year he kept going up and up and up in the weights for not even winning races but we always knew he was a really good horse.

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“His owner Jim Walker is originally from Renfrewshire so it’s nice for him to win a big race while he was over from Hong Kong.

“It will depend what the handicapper does to him as races such as the Yorkshire Cup or Ebor could be on the agenda.”

Saaheq landed a gamble when scorching home for Hollie Doyle in the £50,000 Scottish Sprint Cup.

Giving trainer Mick Appleby his third win in the 5f dash, he comfortably overhauled 
long-time leader Final Venture by three quarters of a length after being backed from 8-1 into 11-2 clear favourite.

“We knew if he handled the quicker ground he’d go close and he gave me the perfect push-button ride,” said a beaming Doyle .

“After pinging the lids I was always where I wanted to be and he really quickened when I asked him.”

Meanwhile, Ed Walker can now start dreaming of trying to claim a second Royal Ascot victory with Agrotera following her winning return to action in the Racing TV Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at Kempton.

The daughter of Mastercraftsman provided the Lambourn handler with his first winner at the Royal meeting in last year’s Sandringham Stakes, and could return for the Duke of Cambridge Stakes after landing a first Listed success.

Always travelling well under Gerald Mosse, who was on board for the first time, the Bjorn Nielsen-owned filly picked up well when sent on in the closing stage of the mile contest, before proving a length too strong for Preening.

Walker said: “That was really important and that was the victory we wanted. She just didn’t hit the same levels of her Ascot form in the second half of last season. I think it knocked her mentally.

“She has been hard work and is not easy to train. Fair play to the guys at home. Everyone has played their part. That feels good. She is a very well-bred filly with a huge engine and we’ve thought she is a hell of a lot better than a Listed filly.”

A tilt at the Group Two prize at the Royal meeting could hinge on Walker being allowed to use the now-retired Dannios to continue in his role as being a companion for Agrotera in the preliminaries.

Walker added of the 7-2 joint-favourite: “If her brain will let us I would love her to go back to Ascot for the Duke of Cambridge. Whether we go one more time between now and Ascot, I don’t know. The Duke of Cambridge was always my dream. Apart from Derby day there are not many races that are higher pressure and stressful for a horse.”