Premio Loco Steams Home in Celebration
1 Premio Loco 20/1
Rank outsider Premio Loco showed great tenacity in winning the Group 2 Betfair Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
Experience counted over youth in Goodwood's Betfair Celebration Mile as Premio Loco added the eighth Group race of his invaluable contribution to trainer Chris Wall and owner Bernard Westley.
Outranking each of his rivals by more than three years and soundly beaten on his two most recent starts, admittedly once by Frankel at Royal Ascot, the chestnut was disregarded in the betting at 20-1.
But that was not taking into account his tenacity, as after losing his lead to Thistle Bird and 7-4 favourite Aljamaaheer at the furlong marker, he was galvanised along the far rail by George Baker to cross the line a neck and a head in front of the other two.
Wall said: "I was worried about the ground, but I thought the best of it was against the far rail, so George was under strict instructions to stick to the rail like a limpet.
"We don't normally make the running with him, but I thought it might suit him in a race like this and we could let him pick up in his own time.
"I suppose the Joel Stakes at Newmarket would be the next possible race, but he's had a long season and it wouldn't be the end of the world if this was his last run of the year. He's a wonderful old boy."
Roger Varian is prepared to forgive Aljamaaheer his narrow defeat in the race.
The Dubawi colt, a Listed winner at Newmarket earlier in the season and third in the Jersey at Royal Ascot, went off the 7-4 favourite for the Group Two event after looking very unlucky when narrowly beaten at the Glorious meeting.
Varian had been nervous about too much rain falling in Sussex but his charge was right in the shake-up and finished just a neck and a head behind Premio Loco and Thistle Bird.
"The ground went against him as he just cannot produce his turn of foot on soft ground," he said.
"His cause wasn't helped, too, by running a little fresh in the early stages and he has probably done well to finish so close."
There was better news later in the day at Windsor, with the progressive Cameron Highland making all the running to take the Listed totepool August Stakes by four and a half lengths.
Speaking to www.varianstable.com, the trainer said: "I thought the ground may have gone against him when we had all that rain but he is an improving horse who seems to be enjoying his racing.
"He's going to be a lovely four-year-old so he will probably only have one more run this season."
Betfair Celebration Mile
CHARLTON PLEASED WITH THISTLE BIRD
Roger Charlton's Thistle Bird stepped up markedly on her previous Listed wins to finish just a neck behind Chris Wall's admirable Premio Loco in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
"Thistle Bird took her place in the line-up for the Celebration Mile after a considerable amount of debate about the ground being possibly too soft," Charlton told his website.
"Most of the runners were looking for faster ground but in the end there was only one non-runner.
"Thistle Bird ran a marvellous race to be beaten by George Baker on Premio Loco in the final 100 yards. She has improved with every race so far this season and I hope to find her an opportunity to win a Group race by the end of the year.
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