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.

BETS OF THE DAY

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
books
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Insight Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k – North London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...

SQL Developer - Permanent - London - Up to £50k

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum 23 days holiday plus Pension scheme: Clearwater Peop...

Primary Teacher EYFS, KS1 and KS2

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn