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Ascot

  • 17:00 Britannia Stakes 1m

  • (Heritage Handicap) (Str) £120,000 added 3yo 30 ran
  • Winner £74,700 2nd £22,368 3rd £11,184 4th £5,592
  • Going: Good to Firm, Good in Places on Round Course
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 1m 38.04s
  • Off time: 17:09:31

Royal Ascot: Born In Bombay wins Britannia Stakes cavalry charge

Last Updated: 19/06/14 9:44pm

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David Probert celebrates as Born In Bombay wins the Britannia

David Probert celebrates as Born In Bombay wins the Britannia

Born In Bombay belied his lack of experience with a game success in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot.

The 14/1 shot, trained by Andrew Balding and ridden by David Probert, came to the front inside the final two furlongs and put his head down to deny the late challenges of Bow Creek and Hors De Combat.

With 30 runners, the field was always likely to split into two groups and so it proved with Mark Johnston's Crowdmania leading the larger stands side group for the first five furlongs.

But Probert was never far off the pace on the eventual winner, who was only having the fourth run of his career, and he nudged him into the lead just before the two-furlong pole.

A host of challengers tried to take the lead from him but he fought off Almargo - another Johnston runner - and found plenty on the run to the line to deny the 25/1 runner-up Bow Creek with Hors De Combat, who he had been beaten by last time out at Newmarket, a length back in third.

The first five home came from the stands side group with favourite Bilimbi fourth ahead of Zarwaan, who got going too late.

American Hope fared best of the 10 or so runners who stayed on the far side, but sixth was all he could manage.

The winner was Probert's first at the Royal meeting and he was predictably delighted, saying: "It's unbelievable, what dreams are made of. From such a young age I dreamed of riding here, never mind winning.

"I was at Andrew's when William (Buick) won the Wokingham on Dark Missile. Over the years I've been lucky enough to ride some really nice horses at Royal Ascot.

"He has improved quickly, he was a bit keen the last day at Newmarket. We were drawn stands side so my main aim was to get him settled. He jumped so well and was a bit keen but I was just trying to hold on in the hope he'd finish off."

Balding added: "He'd always worked well prior to the last month. If you'd asked me two months ago if he'd be winning this off 87 I'd have said he'd have a hell of a chance but then he probably just started going through the motions at home.

"We said you need a Group horse to win a handicap here and he just might be. I'm so pleased for George (Strawbridge, owner), too, he's had horses with us a long time.

Balding added: "I'll have a chat with Mr Strawbridge and I imagine there will be plenty of phone calls from Hong Kong and places like that wanting this horse."

It took top weight and a gallant effort by Born In Bombay to prevent Bow Creek from winning the ultra-competitive handicap.

Carrying 9st 7lb, Bow Creek fought all the way to the line and Deirdre Johnston, whose husband, Mark, trains the runner-up, said: "He was courageous in defeat. He was giving 17lb to the winner and ran a fantastic race to be beaten only half a length.

"We weren't sure whether to stay at ten furlongs or drop back to a mile, but either is probably okay, so now we'll see what the handicapper does before making further plans."

Hors De Combat had narrowly beaten Born In Bombay on his previous start, but had to carry an additional 2lb this time. Giving 9lb to the winner he also ran a fine race, and trainer James Fanshawe said: "He ran really well and we're very pleased with him. He's an improving horse.

"Hopefully he will carry on getting stronger, but this was the first plan and we'll think about a second when we get home."

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