Racing: Elhamri super bargain for Kirk

Royal Ascot form and Richard Hannon's influence were the key to yesterday's most valuable prize, but not in the way expected. Gilded, winner of the Queen Mary Stakes, started 11-4 favourite to give the East Everleigh trainer his seventh victory in the Super Sprint here, but the 9-1 shot Elhamri, who took the less prestigious Windsor Castle Stakes, was the winner. Neatly, the colt's trainer, Sylvester Kirk, is Hannon's former assistant and now son-in-law.

Elhamri, a son of Noverre, made just about every yard of the five-furlong dash, blazing his trail down the centre of the course. His nearest pursuer for the latter stages was We'll Confer, who harried him throughout the final furlong. After Elhamri asserted under Declan McDonogh and went a length clear, We'll Confer was pipped for second place by Ishi Adiva.

It was a most meritorious performance by the winner, who defied top spot of 9st 4lb and set a weight-carrying record for the race in the process. "He's very tough," said McDonogh, "and I thought he was beaten twice inside the furlong pole when the other horse came at him, but he still battled back."

The Super Sprint, run for the 16th time, was designed by equine auction houses to give the bargain-basement end of the bloodstock market the chance of a jackpot payday. Runners are weighted according to their prices at the sales.

As a 28,000-guinea yearling, Elhamri, a white-faced bay like his sire, was not the dearest horse in the field but his exploits at the Royal meeting added the impost that took him to the top of the handicap.

With his best form on firm ground, the downpour that softened underfoot conditions before racing was another source of concern to Kirk, based in Upper Lambourn. "With that penalty, I thought they'd come and do him," he said, "but he found another gear. I had actually been worried about the ground and had considered pulling him out, but, as Declan says, he is tough, and very genuine."

Several previous winners of the race - such as Paris House, Risky, Lyric Fantasy and Superstar Leo - subsequently proved themselves very smart performers, and Elhamri will be given his chance in Group company next time out. "He could go for the Molecomb Stakes or the Prix Morny," added Kirk.

Yesterday's £77,908 first prize brought Elhamri's earnings for his owner, Norman Ormiston, to more than £113,000, making him a bargain by any standards. But don't forget Ishi Adiva, one of the cheapest buys in the field at 10,000 guineas. The Ishiguru filly, who earned £29,000, did her small Lambourn yard, that of rookie trainer Tom Dascombe, proud as she came within one place of providing the Super Sprint's second successive 100-1 winner. We'll Confer (20-1) was followed in by El Bosque (33-1), Ingleby Image (12-1) and Gilded, who will now have a rest before reverting to six furlongs.

Another fast-ground specialist seemingly impervious to the wet was Fayr Jag, who bounced back from a poor showing in the July Cup the previous week to take the afternoon's Group Three feature, the Hackwood Stakes. The veteran Tim Easterby-trained sprinter, winner of the Golden Jubilee handicap at Royal Ascot two years ago, drifted in the market to 16-1, but the negative vibes were no guide as he pounced to win by a neck in a bunch finish.

"I did think our chance had gone when the rain arrived," said the winning rider, David Allan, "but perhaps he is changing his preference as he gets older."

At Newmarket, the improving filly Quenched earned a tilt at the Park Hill Stakes with a last-gasp victory in the Aphrodite Stakes. Through the last furlong John Gosden's charge was trapped in a pocket on the rails, with the trailblazing Cresta Gold not stopping in front. But her rider, Robert Havlin, sat and waited, and when the gap opened, his mount had the class and acceleration to go through it and score by a cosy half-length.

Pictavia finished a close third in the colours of Godolphin, whose racing manager, Simon Crisford, reported the blues' star performer Electrocutionist in top form for his next assignment, the King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. "He's sharper than he was when he was beaten at Royal Ascot," he said. "But he'll have to put up a career best if he's to win."

The élite action is in Europe today, when the Geoff Wragg-trained Derby runner-up Dragon Dancer drops in distance and class as he tries to win his first race in the Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffite, and 15 colts line up for the last of the European Derbys, the German version at Hamburg.


Best shortshot: White Deer (Redcar 2.20) from a yard firing in juveniles, should come on for his debut run over a furlong shorter.

Best longshot: Saabiq (Redcar 3.50) previously highly tried, shaped well when dropped in distance and to handicap company last time.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power