Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes
|Group 2, Haydock Park 15:25
6f, Class 1
|Saturday 26th May 2018|
1 Sands Of Mali 100/30
2 Invincible Army 5/2F
3 Emblazoned 8/1
8 ran Distances: nse, 2¼l, ½l
Time: 1m 9.53s (fast by 0.67s)
Sands Of Mali edges out favourite Invincible Army in a photo
Sands Of Mali, winner of last year’s Gimcrack Stakes, showed he had come on for his victory at Chantilly on his reappearance with an admirable display in a strong Group Two heat, to boost his claims for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
The Richard Fahey-trained colt went straight to the front from the stalls under jockey Paul Hanagan and travelled well throughout – but he was strongly challenged by Invincible Army at the business end.
The pair were virtually inseparable at the line, but after a tense wait, Sands Of Mali (100-30) got the verdict by a nose. Emblazoned was two and a quarter lengths away in third.
Fahey said: “He’s a very fast horse, we’d love to get a lead with him but nothing was quick enough today. Ascot and the Commonwealth Cup was always the plan and that is the obvious race.
“It’s a mystery what happened to him in the Middle Park last year, he came back from it fine, then he just failed to stay a mile at the Breeders’ Cup.
“He looked like he was going to win comfortably today, but Paul said he pricked his ears. I’d have settled for a dead-heat, I must admit.”
He added: “It took Paul ages to pull him up, I wouldn’t mind trying him over further eventually as he doesn’t look like a sprinter.
“He’s a typical breezer in that last year he had two speeds, he’s much more relaxed this year.”
Hanagan admitted: “I didn’t know which way it had gone on the bob. He’s so tough and genuine.”
RaceBets gave Fahey’s charge a 10-1 from 16-1 quote for the Commonwealth Cup on June 22.
Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes (Group 2)
£90,000 added, 3yo only, 6f, Class 1
Going: Good (Good to Soft in places in back straight)
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(6)||Sands Of Mali (FR) 10/3||P Hanagan
|R A Fahey||3|
|2nd||(7)||nse||Invincible Army (IRE) 5/2f||James Doyle
|3rd||(4)||2¼||Emblazoned (IRE) 8/1||L Dettori
|J H M Gosden||3|
|4th||(8)||½||James Garfield (IRE) 7/2||S De Sousa
|5th||(1)||5||Actress (IRE) 28/1||W M Lordan
|A P O'Brien||3|
|6th||(2)||hd||Heartache 6/1||M Harley
|C G Cox||3|
|7th||(3)||hd||Unfortunately (IRE) 16/1||P J McDonald
|K R Burke||3|
|8th||(5)||82||Barraquero (IRE) 14/1||Tom Marquand
|B J Meehan||3|