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Epsom Downs

  • 14:00 Investec Woodcote Stakes 6f

  • (Listed) £50,000 added 2yo 6 ran
  • Winner £28,355 2nd £10,750 3rd £5,380 4th £2,680
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
  • Winning time: 1m 13.55s
  • Off time: 14:01:01

Legendary Lunch wins thrilling Woodcote Stakes

By Graham Clark, Press Association Sport.   Last Updated: 03/06/16 6:23pm

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Legendary Lunch is clear of his field at Epsom

Legendary Lunch is clear of his field at Epsom

Legendary Lunch held off the late surge of Danielsflyer to claim victory in the Investec Woodcote Stakes at Epsom.

A winner on his Windsor debut before being turned over at long odds-on at the same venue next time, Legendary Lunch was a 5-2 joint-favourite for the opener on Oaks day.

The chestnut colt was keen early on, but was given a nice lead into the straight and moved up to challenge for the lead with two furlongs to run.

Richard Hannon's charge looked set to win decisively after taking a couple of lengths out of the field, but the David Barron-trained Danielsflyer finished with a wet sail and there was just a nose between them at the line.

Sea Of Snow was third, with the other joint-favourite, Tibr, a shade disappointing in fifth.

Hannon said: "I don't know what happened at Windsor [where he was beaten on his last start on May 16, having made a winning debut at the same track on April 25], but it was a big disappointment. He looked great, but we scoped him afterwards and he just wasn't quite right.

"We gave him a piece of work on Tuesday; Tom Marquand rode him and he said that he worked far better than he ever had done. We scoped and he was good to go, so we thought we'd come here.

"Pat's given him a lovely ride. By his own admission he thinks he might have got there a bit too soon, but I thought he did it perfectly.

"We'll think about Royal Ascot - either the Norfolk Stakes or the Coventry Stakes, or the Railway Stakes [at the Curragh], or the July Stakes [at Newmarket]. We're in no rush with him, but he is a two-year-old and he's pretty quick."

Jockey Pat Dobbs was a relieved man, saying: "I actually went a furlong too soon.

"It didn't feel like they went that quick early on to me as he's got loads of speed. He was travelling well but was in front a long way out. His head was down on the line though and that's where it counts.

"I wasn't really sure [if I had won] because the second was like four or five horses away from me. I knew it was close.We decided to drop him in today and that made a difference.

"I kicked soon because it didn't feel like they went quick - particularly down the hill as I was on their heels a little bit. He's a good two-year-old and hopefully he'll go on to show us just how good he is.

"The last two times he's just been up the front a bit soon and it happened again today.

"I don't see why he can't go on to run well at Royal Ascot. He's decent and has a nice turn of foot.

"The ground out there is not too bad. It is on the slow side but not bad."

Phillip Makin came agonisingly close to taking the spoils aboard Danielsflyer.

"I would have had my life on it that I had got up," he said.

"He adjusted quite well to coming down the hill and the camber. I gave him a slap down the shoulder at the top of the hill and he was there straightaway.

"He picked up really well. I thought there was no rush as I was sure I had plenty of horse under me to get the victory but that is just the way it goes. I have won a six-furlong handicap here a few years ago after the Derby and was really unlucky not to get another winner there."

Trainer Hugo Palmer has happy with the run of fourth-placed Hyperfocus who, after dictating the lead throughout most of the race, got run out of the contest late on.

Palmer remarked: "I think he will be seen to much better effect on better ground but I was really happy with the way he ran. There is no hiding place here, it is Epsom for goodness sake and it is a massive race at a big meeting. He has run a massive race only being beaten around three lengths so he has run very well.

"I think you sometimes look to be well drawn but I think with hindsight it would have been nicer to have been drawn wider and then being able to slot in. I think it would have been nice to ride him for a turn of foot but I cannot knock what he is done and I am extremely happy with him."

As for the future, Palmer was keeping his options open for the two-year-old. He said: "I think we will probably give Ascot a miss and might to look to win a novice before maybe looking at a race like the July Stakes or the Richmond at Glorious Goodwood."

When asked about his Investec Oaks hopeful Architecture, the Newmarket trainer was full of praise for the daughter of Zoffany.

"Architecture is very well," he replied. "I am really happy with her and it is the biggest stage of them all running in the Oaks.

"I don't think the ground will be an issue as she has won twice on it before. James Doyle said the ground is a bit better than soft but not much better. There is not a lot of good out there but she worked here on soft ground the other day and worked well on it."

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