Approve Lands Norfolk Spoils
1 Approve 16/1
Approve made amends for defeat in Epsom’s Investec Woodcote Stakes when running out the ready winner of today’s Norfolk Stakes at 16/1.
The winner is based in the Newmarket stable of William Haggas and was ridden by Eddie Ahern, who carried the colours of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing (HTR) whose Bahram Syndicate owns the colt. Ahern won the race six years ago on Blue Dakota.
Asked about the Epsom defeat, Haggas said: “It was down to trainer’s instructions. He was drawn on the outside so I told Eddie to drop him in - I didn’t want to race wide without other horses - and dropping in probably cost him the race. Although we weren’t in the first three, I wasn’t disappointed.”
Harry Herbert, managing director of HTR, concurred with that view, saying: “He was unlucky at Epsom, but it wasn’t the trainer’s fault or anyone’s fault. The gaps didn’t appear because they didn’t go fast enough early on.”
Haggas added: “We all like to have Royal Ascot runners, but I was cursing myself this morning because I felt we should have run in the Windsor Castle Stakes, but it worked out fine.”
Ahern said of today’s race: “I was drawn two and he was nearly the first one out. I didn’t mind if we had to make the running because he had shown he got the trip at Epsom. I wouldn’t want to go any further than six furlongs on him.”
Asked about plans for the colt, Haggas said: “A large glass of champagne is the first plan,” while Herbert said: “We’ll put our heads together. There are 20 members in the syndicate and this is what you aim to achieve when you put syndicates together.”
HANNON CONSIDERING OPTIONS FOR RUNNER-UP-
The fine form of the Richard Hannon stable at Royal Ascot 2010 continued on day three, with the trainer saddling both the second Reckless Reward and the fifth Zebedee in the opening Group Two Norfolk Stakes.
Richard Hannon junior, assistant trainer to his father, said: “Reckless Reward ran a super race. He is in the Doncaster Sales race at York and Ryan (Moore) said he would have no problem at all in that sort of race.
“He will probably go over six furlongs next time. There is a chance he could go for the July Stakes at Newmarket but we will definitely have a look at sales races for him as they are so valuable. The Gimcrack at York could also be a possibility.
“Zeberdee also ran well and looks like he will also be suited by a step up to six furlongs, which surprised us.”
Back in third was Excel Bolt, who ploughed a lone furrow up the stands’ side from his number one stall.
His trainer Bryan Smart explained: “Tom (Eaves) walked the track before racing and felt that the ground was dead in the middle and that while it wasn’t as fast as on the far side, it was still pretty fast on the stands’ side so he decided to stay there. Otherwise he would have been out on the wing. It was a good decision by Tom and that is why he is stable jockey. He did say it would have been nice to have something to race with.
“Excel Bolt is a small horse but there is a lot more to come and I think we have got a proper horse on our hands. He only cost £5,000 and we are now at standing at Royal Ascot, which is fantastic.
“He will have a month off and then we will decide where he goes next.”
Dane O’Neill, rider of the 11/4 favourite Dinkum Diamond who could only finish sixth, said: “I was tracking Eddie (Ahern) and was happy with where I was, but he just didn’t pick up.”
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