Longines International Stakes
Heritage Handicap,
Ascot 15:15
£150,000 added,
3yo plus, 7f, Class 2
Saturday 26th July 2014

1 Heavy Metal 33/1
2 Dont Bother Me 16/1
3 Watchable 10/1
4 Heaven's Guest 20/1
29 ran Distances: 1l, nk, shd
TIME 1m 25.93s (slow by 0.33s)

Mark Johnston wins the International Handicap for a second straight season with a 33/1 shot, this year with Heavy Metal under Joe Fanning!

Heavy Metal
© Racehorse Photos
Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal bounced back to his very best at Ascot this afternoon when running out the length winner of the Longines International Handicap.

The 33/1 outsider was a smart performer as a juvenile but dropped like a stone in the handicap during his three-year-old campaign and took advantage of this to land one of the most competitive handicaps of the season.

Jockey Joe Fanning, who won the race last year for trainer Mark Johnston on 33/1 shot Galician, was sitting confidently two furlongs from home and his mount quickly hit the front as the leaders came back to him and the only concern the jockey had was if he had gone too soon.

"It was a nice simple race in the end as all the runners headed up the middle so there was no reason to worry about the draw," said Fanning.

"He was very good as a two-year-old and won the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood but completely lost the plot as a three-year-old and we wondered whether he would ever come back.

"He won at Brighton earlier on in the season but it was his victory at Haydock that gave me real hope that he would be able to come back to something near his best.

"I couldn't believe how well we were going two out and I've probably hit the front too soon. I wondered if anything was going to come and collar us but he's galloped all the way to the line.

"If he does run next week at Goodwood, I wouldn't be worried about the extra furlong as he's equally at home over a mile.

"He's certainly found his form this year."

Dont Bother Me
© Racehorse Photos

Dont Bother Me
Dont Bother Me failed by a length to pull off a long-term plan by trainer Marco Botti when finishing second to Heavy Metal.

"We'd planned to come for this race for a long time and you just need luck in these races," said Botti. "He's tough and tries his best but he was given a high rating when he came over from Ireland - if he had been rated a bit less then he would have won.

"It was a big run and we'll see what the handicapper does - we may have to go for Listed races next. He has enough speed to drop back to six furlongs but I thought they just went a fraction too quick when we tried him over that at Royal Ascot."

Dont Bother Me failed by a length to pull off a long-term plan by trainer Marco Botti to land the Longines International Handicap when finishing second to Heavy Metal.

"We'd planned to come for this race for a long time and you just need luck in these races," said Botti. "He's tough and tries his best but he was given a high rating when he came over from Ireland - if he had been rated a bit less then he would have won.

"It was a big run and we'll see what the handicapper does - we may have to go for Listed races next. He has enough speed to drop back to six furlongs but I thought they just went a fraction too quick when we tried him over that at Royal Ascot."

Longines International Stakes Heritage Handicap
£150,000 added, 3yo plus, 7f, Class 2
29 ran
Going: Good

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