Matchbook Yorkshire Cup
Group 2, York 15:10
£120,000 added,
4yo plus,
1m 5f 188y, Class 1   
Friday 14th May 2021


1 Spanish Mission 11/2
2 Santiago 9/4
3 Sir Ron Priestley 6/5F
5 ran Distances: 2¾l, 1l, 9½l
Time: 2m 59.56s (slow by 2.66s)

6/5 favourite Sir Ron Priestley took over at the head of affairs with two furlongs to run but he was soon in trouble as Spanish Mission made his move under William Buick.

The winner quickly went past his rival and it was left to Santiago to try and wrestle the prize from him.

It was never on the cards as the five-year-old stayed on strongly to score by two-and-three-quarter lengths.

Buick said: "It was a great performance. He won the Doncaster Cup last year in great style and it was similar conditions today. He doesn't have many blips in his career and they've only been when the ground's bad or he's been unfortunate.

"He travelled smoothly today and over this trip he has that turn of foot, that tactical pace which is great to have in a stayer.

The jockey started his career with winning trainer Andrew Balding and he added: "The Balding family have been a huge part of my life and I'm glad to say they still are. I love riding for Andrew and he helps me out and supports me."

Trainers Quotes

Balding’s wife, Anna Lisa, said: “We’re absolutely delighted, it’s wonderful for the owners and Andy, who looks after him, they couldn’t go to Saudi so it’s great they’re here today. Ascot’s obviously the plan, the Gold Cup.

“William was very impressed with him, what a lovely horse to have on the yard. He’s in great form (after Saudi), he loves it, he loves to get some air miles I’d say! Dubai just didn’t work, it was the second time he’d run a bad race in Dubai. He’s got some pace too, hasn’t he? We’re just so pleased.”

Mark Johnston said of Sir Ron Priestley: “He went to the front like he was cantering and had them all at it, and for whatever reason didn’t get home. We know he’s won over a mile and six (furlongs) before, so we know he stays – he stayed the trip as a three-year-old, never mind now.

“Why he should fail to get home today, I don’t know. There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with him, but we’ll see. Nayef Road (finished last of five) was also a bit out of character. For all it was maybe a bit sharp for him, it was still out of character to be under pressure so quickly.

“Maybe they’ve gone an awful lot faster than we all thought. It will be interesting to see how the time comes out.”

Matchbook Yorkshire Cup (Group 2)
(British Champions Series)
£120,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 5f 188y, Class 1
5 ran
Going: Good

1 (2)     Spanish Mission 5 9-4 Andrew Balding William Buick 11/2
2 (3)
Santiago 4 9-1 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 9/4
3 (4) 1 Sir Ron Priestley 5 9-4 Mark Johnston Franny Norton 6/5F
4 (5)
Wells Farhh Go 6 9-1 Tim Easterby David Allan 33/1
5 (1)
1 Nayef Road 5 9-1 Mark Johnston Ben Curtis 13/2