Dead-heat drama in York opener
Last Updated: 21/08/15 6:19pm
News from the rest of Friday's meeting at York as Libran and Memorial Day dead-heated in the opener.
Libran and Memorial Day slugged out a dead-heat in a captivating finish to the Sky Bet First Race Special Stakes at York.
It looked like Libran (9/1) might defy the steadier of 9st 13lb when taking a narrow lead under Ben Curtis after being prominent throughout the mile-and-a-half handicap.
However, Alan Swinbank's four-year-old was challenged hard and persistently by the Godolphin-owned Memorial Day (7/1), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and in the hands of James Doyle.
It was nip and tuck as the line approached, with the judge unable to separate the pair. Top Tug was two lengths away in third and Chancery, the 5/1 favourite, fourth.
This may have been Libran's British swansong as he is set to continue his career in Australia after this or one more race.
"He's going down to Australia and Chris Waller is going to train him. He might have one run here with me then away he goes," said Swinbank.
"If the ground had been faster he would definitely have won outright.
"He was very unlucky at Royal Ascot, but he does need fast ground and he will keep on improving."
Bin Suroor said of Memorial Day: "Physically he's doing very well and a mile and a half is the trip for him.
"He has a big heart and tried really hard. We will have to see how he comes back after the race. We will find a nice race for him, a handicap or a Listed race."
Curtis was handed a two-day ban for using whip above the permitted level (September 4 and 6).
Bookmakers Sky Bet said that they would refund as a free bet the stake on the losing half of the bet for punters who backed either of the winners as their first bet on the race.
Beautiful Morning went one step better than on her debut when running out the winner of the British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes.
Despite carrying her head high throughout the valuable seven-furlong contest, the 12/1 shot knuckled down when it mattered most in the hands of William Buick.
Racing close to the pace the Galileo filly, who is out of Date With Destiny, the only daughter of the talented George Washington, held off the persistent challenge of Very Talented by a length, to give winning trainer Luca Cumani a second straight success in the race.
Buick said: "That was smart, it looked a good maiden and rode like a good race.
"She over-raced a little in stages but did well, you'd be fairly pleased with her.
"Luca suggested the Fillies' Mile, but he also said she might just have one more run before being put away for next year.
"She's got a lot of pace, a mile later in the season will be as far as she wants."
Talk of a tilt at the Cambridgeshire has now entered the mind of trainer Cilve Cox following the facile success of My Dream Boat in the Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap.
Although having just the two horses in behind him turning for home in the mile contest the 33/1 winner benefitted from a patient ride to come with a late dash and score going away by two and a quarter lengths.
Cox said: "He did it really well. The ground was too lively for him the last couple of starts. He ran a blinder at Sandown and that gave us the confidence to keep going.
"I was worried about the draw but it actually helped us as we tucked in and they went hard up front. It worked out well.
"The Cambridgeshire is interesting. I don't think another furlong would be impossible. The most important thing for him is to be in a nice rhythm in a race and he's maturing."