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Haydock: Inisherin takes Sandy Lane Stakes for Tom Eaves as Vandeek vanquished

Inisherin caused a stir at Haydock, defeating hot favourite Vandeek; Kerdos produced an impressive display to land the Temple Stakes at the same venue

Inisherin heads for home
Image: Inisherin heads for home

Vandeek lost his unbeaten record as Inisherin ran out an impressive winner of the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.

Sent off the 8/11 favourite, Vandeek won each of his four juvenile starts, including Group One glory in both the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes.

However, he was clearly toiling approaching the closing stages of the six-furlong heat with Inisherin, who finished unplaced in the 2000 Guineas last time, well in control for Tom Eaves.

After racing prominently, the 9/2 shot had plenty in reserve to run out a three-and-three-quarter-length victor over 40-1 shot Orne, with Vandeek the third-placed horse.

Inisherin does not hold an entry in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, although he can be supplemented for the race at a cost of £46,000, with Coral making him the 4/1 favourite for that contest.

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Eaves said: "I was always in my comfort zone. He's a very good horse and obviously that makes my life easy.

"He's run really well in the Guineas, that was a solid run, and you always think dropping back to sprinting will he be quick enough, but Kevin was always very confident he was.

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"He's only had four starts so we're only just getting to know him and he's only finding his feet. He's got plenty of speed and there will be plenty of options.

"It's great to be involved with these good horses, I'm very thankful."

Amy Ryan, daughter of trainer Kevin, said: "He's got a great mind on him and that opens up so many more options.

"He'd have to be supplemented for the Commonwealth Cup, but I haven't spoken to anyone yet so I don't know what the plan is. We just need to get him home and make sure he's OK and see how he comes out of the race.

"We've always thought loads of him but he's just so laid back. We could have started him off over seven earlier in the year and he ran a blinder in the Guineas, but he's just got so much natural speed and having gone and done that today, he's got options.

"It's nice to have another good sprinter coming through because we've obviously had the likes of Brando, Glass Sippers and Hello Youmzain and you miss them when they retire.

"Physically I thought he stood out today and he's got such a fantastic attitude."

Ed Crisford, who trains Vandeek jointly with his father, Simon, expects plenty of improvement.

"It looked like he was a bit fresh early on. He travelled super in the race but he just got tired in the last furlong in the ground," he said.

"All these horses had already run, the winner had run well in the Guineas so was super-fit but on that ground, James (Doyle) just felt the last furlong was a long way home.

"But, we've got him out now, we'll keep going with the plan, see how he is and as long as he's OK, we'll head for Ascot.

"It was a shame he's been beaten obviously, but these things happen and we'll keep on pointing towards Ascot and I'm sure he'll come on a hell of a lot for the race today.

"It's testing, sticky ground and even if you've gone on it before, it was his first run of the year and James didn't want to give him a very hard race."

Kerdos lunges to Temple Stakes success

Kerdos swooped late to create a minor surprise in the Betfred Temple Stakes at Haydock.

Much of the attention in the five-furlong Group Two was focused on Australian challenger Asfoora, who was sent off the 4/1 joint-favourite on her British bow, but it was Clive Cox's charge who prevailed.

Last year's Nunthorpe hero Live In The Dream blazed an early trail on his seasonal bow and he looked like fending off all challengers as he entered the final furlong still in the lead.

However, Richard Kingscote was just hitting top gear on 12-1 shot Kerdos and he edged half a length ahead at the line, with Seven Questions grabbing third and Asfoora having to settle for fourth.

Major bookamkers cut Kerdos to 10/1 from 20s for the King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Kerdos gets home at Chester
Image: Kerdos gets home at Chester

Kingscote said: "We thought he'd improved from last year and we also thought he was better than he'd shown this year.

"I got a nice lead into it, through the first furlong I wanted a bit of cover but once I did he dropped his head nicely.

"There's still things we can work with on him, but he's a nice horse going forward. He's the type of horse Clive does really well with."

Part-owner Alan Spence said: "It's the third time we've won this race as we won with his sire, Profitable and also with Priceless so we've had three Temple Stakes winners, all with Clive which takes a bit of doing.

"The faster they are, the better Clive likes them!

"We were a bit worried about the ground today but they haven't used the straight course and it's not as heavy, if anything it's only soft.

"It looked like he took a bit of getting going today but I think that is because the other one (Live In The Dream) goes so fast, but once he was settled we were there.

"Royal Ascot is the plan, it was before today."

Nellie Leylax secures decisive Silver Bowl verdict

Nellie Leylax was cheered home by his enthusiastic bunch of local owners to win the £100,000 Betfred Silver Bowl at Haydock.

Given a positive ride by Pierre-Louis Jamin, who was partnering him to a fifth win from just seven rides, the Tom Dascombe-trained gelding never looked like getting beaten.

Jamin took two lengths out of the field well over two furlongs from home and put the race to bed a long way out to win as the 9/2 joint-favourite.

Involvement burst out of the pack to claim second but was beaten by a length and a half.

Owned by Millennial Racing and named after syndicate member Scott Burkert's gran Nellie Leyland (his sire his Calyx), syndicate manager and Tom Dascombe's assistant Arthur Owen indicated the Britannia at Royal Ascot would be next, if the ground is soft enough.

Jamin said: "The only time I've been beaten on him was when the ground wasn't soft enough for him.

"He's been a great horse for the owners, the first horse they ever bought and he was impressive today, it was perfect conditions for him though. There might be more to come, definitely on softer ground.

"Tom's been great to me for the past couple of years, we had a good winner at Chester and it's nice to get another big one."

Ed Walker has his string in rude health and his English Oak booked his spot at Royal Ascot with a very straightforward success in the Betfred Hattrick Heaven New Boston Handicap.

Second at Newmarket first time out, he had no trouble winning as the 8-11 favourite under Oisin Murphy, who confirmed the Buckingham Palace Stakes would be his likely target.

Murphy said: "The unknown was the ground but he's by Wootton Bassett. He's clearly a horse with a high level of ability and I don't think I had to get too serious with him today.

"I'm delighted for his owner (David Ward) who has had good horses in the past like Starman and this guy is going the right way.

"He'd be a good ride in something like the Buckingham Palace, Ed mentioned this morning he hoped he could win and that would set him up for the race."

The former champion jockey was also successful aboard Hugo Palmer's Nariko (11-2) in the Betfred Double Delight Edge Green Handicap.

An expensive breeze-up purchase in April 2023, she may finally be about to deliver on that promise.

"She cost 600,000 guineas at the breeze and that looked a stacked little race, but Hugo hasn't had her long and thought the ground would be in her favour today," said Murphy.

"She relaxed very well and if she continues to do that, hopefully she'll progress."

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