Blythe Knight earns a tilt at Group races

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The Independent Online

Blythe Knight yesterday once again showed that the unique Epsom undulations hold no perils for him when gaining back-to-back victories in the Diomed Stakes.

Giving away three years and more to his seven rivals, John Quinn's eight-year-old got the better of a driving finish with Alexandros under Graham Gibbons. But he then had to survive a stewards' inquiry, having been found to lean on that rival inside the final furlong.

The head-on film of the race showed that for just a single stride Alexandros and Kerrin McEvoy collided with the running rail, while Gibbons had his stick in the wrong, that is to say right, hand.

The Malton trainer was quick to point out that Blythe Knight's hurdling days are over and said: "He loves it round here and that signals the end of his jumping. He ran in the Champion Hurdle in soft ground and was wanting for stamina.

"I would much rather look at more Group prizes for him. Ascot wouldn't be the place to go, but there are some opportunities in Ireland as well as in France.

"Graham said it was lovely ground, on the easy side of good. He came there nicely and it was a very good performance for an eight-year-old. When you look back at his form it was a monumental effort in trying to give 17lb to Smokey Oakey in the Lincoln."

Gibbons was, however, hit with a two-day ban (23-24 June) for careless riding.