Battling Blaine Lands Gimcrack Stakes at York
1 Blaine 6/1
Blaine, a winner over the course and distance on his only previous start, gave trainer Kevin Ryan a second win in this Group Two contest, following Amadeus Wolf in 2005.
Blaine and eventual second Heavy Metal were in the firing line throughout (along with Euxton Hall) and those held-up off the early pace struggled to land a blow in the six furlong contest.
Lewisham was always struggling after missing the break but Morawij travelled strongly in midfield as did Pearl Acclaim who was tracked throughout by Odooj.
When those in front gradually increased the steady tempo, the chasing pack found that they couldn't close the gap and, as Euxton Hall dropped away, it was left to Blaine and Heavy Metal to fight out the finish.
Despite having just a maiden win at the track to his name, the son of Avonbridge edged out his more experienced rival by a head under Philip Makin with a length back to Cay Verde in third.
Makin said: "He's got a talent and that's only his second run. I was very pleased with him.
"He travelled great and picked up great in the end."
The juvenile (a half-brother to the same yard's Bogart) is owned by Matt and Lauren Morgan who are in their first venture with Ryan and were joined in the winner's enclosure by former England cricketer Dominic Cork.
Mark Johnston said of the runner-up Heavy Metal: "Joe (Fanning) said he came there to win it, but he just couldn't get past the winner. Our horse likes top of the ground and it maybe just wasn't quite fast enough for him. It certainly wasn't as fast as it was at Goodwood.
"It was still a good performance. He's in the Middle Park Stakes, but the ground might be against him by then, so we'll see."
Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2)
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