PORTMAN SO CLOSE TO FAMOUS DOUBLE

Portman So Close To Famous Double
Portman So Close To Famous Double
Sporting Life

A bold attempt at a double featuring an unconsidered 50/1 debutant and his mother was denied when Pasaka Boy took the first division of the maiden at Salisbury only for Shesha Bear to be narrowly beaten in the mile-and-a-half handicap later on the card.

But owners Graham Wickens and Jon Homan and trainer Jonny Portman enjoyed one of the biggest thrills of their lives as Pasaka Boy set up the possibility of the feat with a deserved neck triumph in the Dougland Maiden Auction Stakes.

Despite his starting price, the son of 2000 Guineas winner Haafhd was not unfancied after showing promise on Portman’s gallops at Compton and got the better of the gambled-on Hipster by a neck under Lee Newman.

Portman said: “He’s a very professional horse, quite straightforward and I thought the track and the ground would suit him. I was just embarrassed by the price, although happily the owners had something on and they’ve also won a £10,000 yearling bonus.”

Co-owner Wickens said: “Shesha Bear is very special and won on three consecutive starts at Epsom last summer, then just missed out on a fourth. She’s a real delight, and has become like a part of the family.”

That affection for Shesha Bear, making her return to racing after foaling Pasaka Boy, was further demonstrated when she came in to be unsaddled after running Achalas to a length in the Castlepoint Shopping Park A3060 Bournemouth Handicap.

The seven-year-old was closing all the way to the line under Newman, but found her gritty rival just too tough to overhaul.

Royston Ffrench proved the rider to follow as he notched a double through Cruck Realta and Princess Caetani.

Cruck Realta took the second division of the Dougland Maiden Stakes in the silks of Stan James founder Steve Fisher and his wife, Anne.

The winner, who was having her second race in the space of three days, could continue to earn her corn with a run in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot next week.

Fisher said: “We bred her and she’s the fourth foal of the mare. The first won three races, the second broke a leg and the third fractured its pelvis.

“We were worried that it might have come too soon after her run at Doncaster, but we were getting weight and had to go.”

Trainer Mick Channon’s son and assistant, Michael, said: “The Chesham is a possibility. We’ll put her in and see how she is, and see what the owners want to do.”

Ffrench was tactically astute on 9/4 chance Princess Caetani as the David Simcock-trained three-year-old trumped odds-on Traveller’s Tales in the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing EBF Margadale Fillies’ Handicap.

He produced the winner down the centre of the course and the combination came home unchallenged by seven lengths, with the only other runner, Miss Aix, some 11 lengths further back.

Simcock said: “I’m not sure we’ll be going a mile and a half quite yet, but we will be before the end of the season.”

Rarely do you see a horse leave David O’Meara’s yard for another one but that was the case with Cool Rhythm, who scored on his debut for Ralph Beckett when beating Juvenal three-quarters of a length in the Custom Security Services Of Verwood Maiden Stakes.

Beckett said: “We keep hearing about David O’Meara winning races with other people’s horses but this has been the other way around.

“David did a good job with this horse, but he’s matured a good deal from three to four.”

Trainer David Evans and jockey Matthew Cosham were also in double form as they connected with Kingswinford in the Emprise Services Claiming Stakes and Temuco in the castlepointshopping.com Handicap.

Kingswinford was following his 2010 success in the same race as he thwarted the hat-trick bid of George Benjamin, while Temuco had half a length to spare over Rocky Reef.

View the original article over at Sporting Life

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