Henry II Stakes
|Group 3, Sandown 19:05
2m 78y, Class 1
|Thursday 26th May 2016|
1 Pallasator 11/2
2 Suegioo 10/1
3 Max Dynamite 4/7F
NR: Frosty Berry
4 ran Distances: 2¼l, 1½l, 4l
TIME 3m 43.12s (slow by 10.62s)
Pallasator lands the Group 3 Henry II Stakes under Oisin Murphy
Slowly away out of the stalls as usual, he settled well, despite the dawdling gallop set by Burmese and Max Dynamite.
Turning for home, William Buick tried to extend from the front aboard Burmese, but Max Dynamite was upsides all the way and seemingly ready to pounce.
Max Dynamite, the 4/7 favourite, hit the front over a furlong out, but failed to put the race to bed, and Pallasator steadily cut him down from behind to score by two and a quarter lengths, with Suegioo making late gains to snatch second in the final strides.
Pallasator's pre-race antics have been the cause of much frustration and entertainment in the past, but the seven-year-old was on his very best behaviour here, as he booked his place in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next month.
"There was a very disappointed photographer who had sprinted down to get the photo of the inevitable antics as he cantered down, but he jumped off fine and Oisin looked a fine horseman," the winning trainer told Racing UK.
"It won't go as smoothly at Ascot. It will be a horror show of some sort. But the clerk of the course here, Mr Cooper, was very helpful, and this horse has behaved so badly so many times before, that they tend to allow me to do whatever needs to be done in order to avoid a delay to racing.
"I spoke to Oisin this morning and said 'Before I ask you how I want you to ride him, I want you to tell me what you think' and he said 'I was thinking of leading, because there doesn't appear to be any other pace in the race'. But my thought has always been to do whatever the opposite is of what the enemy might expect you to do, and it was gratifying to see it work out."
Sky Bet cut Pallasator from 33/1 to 8/1 to win the Gold Cup in their ante-post betting. Order Of St George heads the market at 2/1.
Prescott added: "He will run in the Ascot Gold Cup now as that is what he was bought for.
"I think today was about firm enough for him. Ascot would be a worry (in terms of ground).
"He has to have everything done for him, but if he goes and wins Group races, he can everything he wants."
Henry II Stakes (Group 3)
£65,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 78y, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm, Good in places
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(2)||Pallasator 11/2||Oisin Murphy
|Sir Mark Prescott||7|
|2nd||(4)||2¼||Suegioo (FR) 10/1||P Hanagan
|R A Fahey||7|
|3rd||(1)||1½||Max Dynamite (FR) 4/7f||R L Moore
|W P Mullins||6|
|4th||(3)||4||Burmese 9/2||W Buick
|M P Tregoning||4|
|NR||(5)||Frosty Berry 33/1||S A Gray
|E De Giles||7|