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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?