Esentepe Springs Surprise in Nell Gwyn
1 Esentepe 28/1
There was a shock result in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket as 28-1 shot Esentepe claimed top honours for Richard Hannon and Pat Dobbs.
Given the three-year-old had won just once from 10 previous racecourse starts and finished third in a Kempton conditions race on her seasonal return, her starting price was no real surprise.
Dobbs took up a prominent position in the early stages of the seven-furlong contest and found himself in front when the pacesetting Excelette weakened quickly, and Esentepe soon took a couple of lengths out of the field and kept up the gallop to take Group Three honours.
Another outsider, Nayarra, stayed on well to finish a neck second, with Lily's Angel, who like the winner is owned by Middleham Park Racing, a further half-length away in third.
Assistant trainer Richard Hannon junior said: "She was fit from her last run and has improved through the year. I don't think there was anything flukey about that. She's not in the Guineas. I did put her in the Musidora Stakes, but we're going to have to wait and see.
"I'm not sure what we'll do with her because although I thought she'd run well, I didn't think she'd win."
While Esentepe may not be 1000 Guineas-bound, her four-time winning stablemate Best Terms could well be.
She will test her credentials in Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Stakes, better known as the Fred Darling, at Newbury.
"She's in great form. I'm not sure we'd want too much rain at Newbury but she's working like she'll get the trip," he added.
"She's not grown enormously but she still looks like a quality filly."
ESENTEPE JOINS WACHMAN
Nell Gwyn winner Esentepe topped the sale at Tattersalls on Thursday and will join David Wachman.
The Oratorio filly was bought for 22,000 guineas by Middleham Park Racing and made 220,000 guineas. Trained by Richard Hannon to win two of her 14 starts, she was bought by Blandford Bloodstock's Tom Goff for an overseas partnership.
"It was very nearly my last bid. I think she is a lovely filly as both a broodmare and a racing prospect and I think she might have made more if she had been offered in December," said Goff.
"She will have a short holiday and will go into training with David Wachman and will then go to stud."
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