Tiger Cliff takes spoils with tigerish finish

Late developer rewards former trainer's patience and perspicacity by claiming York's coveted prize

Where an individual race is concerned, the future for the winner is often as significant as the present. But for those closest to Tiger Cliff, the moment when he swooped late to win the £250,000 Ebor Handicap was very much the one to savour.

The late-developing four-year-old, who first appeared on a racetrack barely more than a year ago, had his career charted by Sir Henry Cecil and yesterday, in taking York's coveted and historic prize, did his late trainer's patience and perspicacity proud.

The gelding's rider, Tom Queally, judged his finish to perfection on the 5-1 shot, catching Genzy (11-1) by half a length in the final few strides, with Number Theory (16‑1) third. The field for Europe's richest handicap was reduced to 14, the smallest for more than 60 years, because of underfoot conditions made testing by overnight torrents, but the Warren Place team could not have been happier had they performed a rain dance themselves.

"This is a thickset horse who bends his knee, the sort who loves soft ground," Queally said. "Sir Henry had this in mind for the horse all along and although a competitive handicap like this is one of the hardest of the year to win, he's a tough willing horse. It's great when a plan comes together."

Tiger Cliff, a son of Tiger Hill, may take in another of the season's high-class marathons, the Cesarewitch, before transferring from Lady Cecil to Alan King to embark on a hurdles career.

Kevin Ryan took York's juvenile highlight, the Gimcrack Stakes, for the third time in eight years – after Blaine last year and Amadeus Wolf in 2005 – as the trailblazing 5-1 shot Astaire held on by two necks from the Irish raider Wilshire Boulevard and 11-4 favourite Parbold. "He had to do it the hard way from the front today," his rider Neil Callan said, "but he was travelling so well I was able to sit against him and hold him together. When I let him down two out he instantly took two lengths out of the field and though tiring towards the end he had enough in hand."

The son of Intense Focus will now bid to emulate Amadeus Wolf by winning the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. But however prestigious, these six-furlong races are in the modern era generally a guide to future sprinting, rather than Classic, talent. There were pointers to next year's Guineas yesterday, though, notably at the Curragh, where the Coventry Stakes winner War Command put behind him a subsequent odds-on defeat at the Co Kildare track two weeks ago.

The colt, an Aidan O'Brien stablemate of Wilshire Boulevard, had looked one of the most exciting juveniles of the season when he trounced Parbold by six lengths at Royal Ascot. Yesterday, relishing the step back up to seven furlongs, the son of War Front showed a high-class change of gear a furlong out as he cruised home by three lengths in the Futurity Stakes, a contest taken in recent years by such as Teofilo, New Approach and Cape Blanco.

"We gave him a break after Ascot, and it caught him out the last day," O'Brien said. "Obviously trainer error again, but he was a different horse today, more like the one we know he is." War Command, like the Ballydoyle stable's York International winner Declaration of War, runs for his breeder, Joseph Allen, and the Coolmore partners. He has been cut to 10-1 for the 2,000 Guineas and is likely to head next for Ireland's top two-year-old prize, the National Stakes.

Goodwood provided the stage for Amazing Maria to confirm her potential in the distaff division as she came home a comfortable winner of the Group 3 Prestige Stakes, and will have her first test in top company in the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket. "I think the ground was softer than ideal for her," her trainer Ed Dunlop said, "but we've always thought the world of her and at this stage she'd be my best two-year-old." The daughter of Mastercraftsman has been introduced into the betting for the 1,000 Guineas at 20-1.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Laser and Router Operative

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Laser and Router Operative is...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician - 1st Line

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They have been providing local ...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Executive / Trainee Managers

£6000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for smart, orga...

Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Sales / Customer Service Assistant

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones