Believe In Love gave Roger Varian another black type success, when scooting clear to win the William Hill Bronte Cup Fillies’ Stakes (Group 3) (William Hill US) at York Racecourse on Saturday 22nd May 2022. Under jockey Ray Dawson, the pair travelled comfortably towards the rear of the sextet, with the Joseph O’Brien- trained mare Mighty Blue taking the field along at an even gallop. Sea Slyph was settled immediately at the rear, upon breaking from the stalls, with Urban Artist, 2nd in the race last year, taking close order behind Mighty Blue, last year’s 4th. Glenartney and Silence Please followed the leading pair, and for the majority of the race, indeed until entering the home straight, there was not much of a change in the order.
Off the home turn, the field began to come towards the near side of the track, standard for York, as the runners fanned out across the track looking for better ground to begin their challenges. The leader Mighty Blue came under pressure as Urban Artist and Silence Please began to mount their challenges, whilst Believe In Love began to make smooth headway from towards the rear. This made 5 fillies and mares spread across the track 2 furlongs out, and at this point the only horse left wanting for pace was the Alan King-trained Sea Sylph, but entering the final 1 ½ furlongs Believe In Love began to track towards the near side, inconveniencing her nearest challenger, Glenartney, but when she found the rail, the five-year-old daughter of Make Believe and Topka found plenty for Ray Dawson’s urgings, with the pair scoring by 1 ¼ lengths for owner Mr Koji Maeda. Urban Artist rallied under P. J. McDonald’s drive, to claim a respectable 2nd place, with the hampered Glenartney in 3rd.
No sooner had the race finished, and the winner been called by the on-course team, then the claxon sounded of a stewards’ inquiry, into the interference caused by Believe In Love’s drifting towards the near side rail. After a lengthy delay, connections and punters were delighted when the placings were unaltered, some 15 minutes later.
After racing, it was confirmed that jockey Ray Dawson had picked up an 8-day ban for careless riding, a shame, as the rider has been enjoying a good spell of form lately.
Round up of the rest of the action
Bradsell turned a competitive Novice Conditions race into a procession after scooting clear under jockey P.J McDonald to score by 9 lengths in emphatic style.
The two-year-old son of Tasleet was sent off the 9/4F for the Phoebe Johnson Celebration EBF Restricted Novice Stakes, and made very easy work of the opposition, in a manner that left trainer Archie Watson in somewhat slight disbelief.
“It was very impressive”, he was quoted by the Racing Post. “Two-year-olds don’t win like that”.
“He had done everything right at home and his work on the gallops had been very good so I was hopeful he could win”.
He was entered at a general 8/1 for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot next month, and can also be found at 16/1 at Betfair and PaddyPower at the time of this article.
The veteran eight-year-old Escobar got his head in front again after a long hiatus in the opening contest, the William Hill “Play Responsibly” Handicap, for trainer David O’Meara and jockey Jason Watson.
Having not been to the watering hole since the Balmoral Handicap on British Champions Day (19th October 2019) at Ascot, he ran on extremely well at the end of the seven furlong cavalry charge, to steal the victory from under the nose of Oo De Lally and jockey Harry Davies, coming home a neck ahead of the pair.
Truly Aclaimed held on from the fast-finishing Fiftyshadesaresdev to take the William Hill Bet Boost handicap under 17-year-old apprentice jockey Harry Davies, who made amends for just being denied a victory in the previous race, for trainer and owner J J Quinn. Harry’s mount cruised into the lead and kicked for home 2 furlongs out, prevailing in the close finish under his rider’s urges.
It was the first leg in a double for the jockey, who scored aboard the Richard Fahey-trained Maywake in the concluding race, the Reg Bond Always and Forever Handicap over 7 furlongs, staying on gamely from Tamaska and Mykonos St John, in another typically competitive York handicap.
Illusionist and Barry McHugh came from the clouds to take the William Hill Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap over 5 furlongs, at a massive price of 33-1. Despite winning at the course last season, the trainer Grant Tuer’s charge was left wanting for pace early on, before staying on extremely strongly, and having to negotiate a wall of horses, to nail Sunday Sovereign. The runner-up, who had burst through the field 1 furlong out to claim the race, was left disappointed to be denied by the fast-finishing five-year-old son of Hot Streak.
Another close finish was seen in the Yorkshire Regiment Handicap over 1 mile, as Exminster rallied back to down the 15-8 favourite Golden Voice and win under P. J. McDonald. The 3-year-old son of Ribchester was originally headed by the runner-up with just over a furlong to run, however he gamely battled back to take the race for trainer Edward Bethell and owner Clarendon Thoroughbred Racing.
Article and Photos JTW Equine Images