Bless Him back to his best at Ascot

Former Royal meeting winner on an upward curve again

  • Friday 06 September
  • News

Bless Him showed he retains plenty of ability despite twice battling colic after gaining victory at the scene his greatest success in the Lexicon Bracknell Handicap at Ascot.

Given a textbook last-to-first ride by Jamie Spencer, the 2017 Britannia Stakes winner followed up his victory at Yarmouth when obliging by a half a length in the feature mile prize.

Winning trainer David Simcock said: “He nearly died twice in his life, last year and as a two-year-old.

“It’s testament to the horse, as he looks fantastic and is in great order. He has always been very talented, even when he won the Britannia. It’s nice to have him back where he once was.

“We would look at that race on Champions Day (Balmoral Handicap) if it came up on decent ground.”

Oisin Murphy enjoyed a winner on his 24th birthday, with the John Gosden-trained Enemy making a winning debut in the Charbonnel Et Walker British EBF Maiden Stakes to earn a 33-1 quote for next’s year’s Derby with BetVictor and RaceBets.

Murphy said of the 100-30 winner: “John was pleased with him at home and he was ready to start off. He learnt as the race progressed. I didn’t actually hit him at all in the end.

“He seems to have a nice future and that was a great starting point. He was travelling sweetly and I thought he would win the whole way.”

After being forced to rule stable star Advertise out of the Betfair Sprint Cup hours earlier, trainer Martyn Meade was given a timely boost as Ebury made his first start on turf a winning one when obliging by three-quarters of a length in the Chapel Down Classified Stakes.

Meade’s son and assistant, Freddie, said of the 15-2 winner: “We always thought a lot of him and he ran a blinder first time out. For whatever reason the next couple of starts it didn’t happen.

“He is a bit immature and just needed to grow up mentally and physically. I think we will reap the rewards now.

“It was a big shame (ruling Advertise out). Everyone’s heads were down this morning, but this is a nice little pick up.”

A breathing operation appeared to work wonders for the Richard Hannon-trained Riviera Nights (13-2) after he got his career back on track with a length-and-a-half success in the Garden For All Seasons Handicap.

Hannon said: “He had his wind done and that has done the trick. He is a very talented horse and he will improve for that as he had 90 days off. It is nice to get him back and see him win well.”

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