Liam Jones, one of last year's leading apprentices, took another step forward in his senior career at Newbury yesterday as he judged the day's richest contest, the Weatherbys Super Sprint, to perfection. Riding 20-1 shot Jargelle, he made every yard in the five-furlong dash, and even if he had only inches to spare at the line, inches were enough.
Jargelle, from William Haggas's Newmarket yard, held on by a short-head from the fast-finishing Infamous Angel, with Senor Mirasol a nose behind and the first nine home covered by barely two lengths. "She travelled really well in my hands right from the start," said Jones, "and I just sat still and held her together. Then when I asked her to pick up she did it really well, and stuck her head out when the others came at her."
The near-£80,000 first prize was the best win of Jones'scareer. "When you lose your apprentice claim it gets harder because you're riding against the big boys on level terms," said the 23-year-old Liverpudlian, "but when I've been given the opportunities like this one I've tried to grab them with both hands."
Haggas added his appreciation of Jones's qualities. "He has worked really hard," he said. "And Jargelle is not the easiest filly. He's done well with her."
The Super Sprint not only rewarded Jones's diligence but Haggas's perspicacity in the bargain basement. The race is for two-year-olds who cost 48,000 guineas – back-pocket change in the bloodstock world – or less at auction as yearlings. "At 28,000 guineas," said the trainer, "she was great value."
Intrepid Jack paid a compliment to his more talented stablemate Sakhee's Secret by winning the six-furlong Hackwood Stakes by two lengths. The six-year-old showed his appreciation of the drying conditions to land his first win for nearly two years and his first in Group company. "He needs a flat track and fast ground and he's pretty good when he gets things right," said trainer Hughie Morrison, "but Sakhee's Secret is more than special." Morrison had encouraging news of last season's champion sprinter, a disappointing last in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. "He had a virus, but he recovered very quickly," he said. "He's not quite ready yet, but very nearly."
Another who bounced back to something near her best was Henry Cecil's Passage Of Time, who started favourite for last year's Oaks and subsequently ran third in two Group One contests. After two dull efforts this term she showed class and determination to fend off the progressive Bankable by a neck in the 10-furlong Listed event.
Jargelle thwarted a seventh victory for Richard Hannon in the Newbury feature – Infamous Angel was one of his six runners, but Peter Bowen did maintain a fine sequence by taking the Summer Plate for the fourth time in six years, Snoopy Loopy making the journey from Haverfordwest to Market Rasen worthwhile.
At Newmarket, Dar Re Mi added to her paddock value by taking the 12-furlong Listed contest, one of three winners during the afternoon for John Gosden. The three-year-old, who carries the colours of Andrew Lloyd-Webber, is not only well-bred but well-named, being by Singspiel out of Darara.Reuse content