|Group 2, Sandown Park 14:55
1m 14y, Class 1
|Friday 22nd April 2016|
1 Toormore 7/2
2 Dutch Connection 5/1
3 Breton Rock 7/1
7 ran Distances: nk, 1½l, nk
TIME 1m 43.06s (slow by 3.26s)
The globe-trotting Toormore wins for trainer Richard Hannon
Toormore put up a tough performance as he got the better of Dutch Connection to lift the spoils at Sandown.
The two principals fought out a tremendous finish in the last two furlongs after Godolphin's Barchan, a stablemate of well-supported Belardo, had set a scorching pace.
Belardo sat last of the seven in the early stages as Barchan scorched around the bends, but he never really looked like pulling back the deficit and it was left to Toormore (7/2), trained by Richard Hannon in the same colours, to come out on top under William Buick.
Dutch Connection appeared to be going the better at the furlong-pole but he has yet to win at a mile and Toormore stuck his head out to get the verdict by a neck. Breton Rock was third with Belardo only fourth.
Buick said: "He's such a lovely horse and a real joy to ride.
"They went very quick, but this horse has won like that before and he's won being in front.
"It suited him to have something to aim at. He kind of looked like he was beaten a furlong and a half out, but he really battled back.
"He's a very high quality horse. He came close to winning the Lockinge last year and I presume that's the aim again this year.
"It's a very pleasing stepping-stone for him and he deserves to win a Group One."
Hannon said: "I'm delighted with him, but I thought he would need it. "We took him to Manton and he worked very well but we've come here giving away a 3lb penalty and he's done it very well.
"He's always been a class horse and he was champion two-year-old and a Group One winner.
"He's five years of age now and he had a long year last year and that will put him spot on for Newbury where the Lockinge is the next step. I think we'll stick to a mile.
"I thought they might be going too quick and I thought Belardo was giving us a lot of leeway and it was either a case of him finding us hard to peg back or get him in three strides.
"The second horse travelled up well, but showed the courage of a good horse."
Dutch Connection's trainer Charlie Hills said: "He's a good horse but I was little bit worried about the ground.
"He's a better horse on fast ground. That ground just found him out a bit."
He'll go for the Lockinge now, where he'd have a good chance."I just wanted to get him out. It was not ideal, but that run will have done no damage.
bet365 Mile (Group 2)
£95,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 14y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(7)||Toormore (IRE) 7/2||W Buick
|2nd||(1)||nk||Dutch Connection 5/1||Jim Crowley
|3rd||(6)||1½||Breton Rock (IRE) 7/1||J P Spencer
|D M Simcock||6|
|4th||(5)||nk||Belardo (IRE) 13/8f||James Doyle
|5th||(4)||2¼||Gabrial (IRE) 8/1||R L Moore
|R A Fahey||7|
|6th||(2)||3¾||Adaay (IRE) 13/2||P Hanagan
|W J Haggas||4|
|7th||(3)||13||Barchan (USA) 150/1||Andrea Atzeni