Certain Lad takes Group Three honours in Strensall Stakes
Certain Lad finished with a flourish to provide Hollie Doyle with another big-race victory in the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes at York.
The record-breaking rider opened her Group-race account aboard Dame Malliot in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July and doubled her tally with Extra Elusive in last month’s Rose of Lancaster at Haydock.
Having chased home Extra Elusive on Merseyside a fortnight ago, the Mick Channon-trained Certain Lad was a 10-1 shot for his latest assignment and came home strongly in the last of the nine furlongs to claim the Group Three prize by half a length from Epic Hero.
Lord Glitters, winner of the race in 2018 and the 100-30 favourite to regain his crown, finished third.
Doyle said: “He gave me a great ride. We went a nice gallop today and the further I was going the better.
“He hit a bit of a flat spot, but once I got daylight he was tough. He’s a well-travelled horse, to say the least.
“Mr Channon has done a great job with this horse. He can be quite highly strung, but today the lid was fully on.”
Channon was not present, but said via telephone: “He deserved that as he’s been knocking on the door of late. I’m delighted to see him get his head in front again.
Any track and any ground - it doesn't make any difference to him
“He’s been on the go a while, having been to Dubai earlier in the year, but he’s so tough.
“Any track and any ground – it doesn’t make any difference to him.”
Joint-trainer Ed Crisford was delighted with the performance of the runner-up Epic Hero, who had been off the track since winning at Meydan in February.
Crisford said: “He ran a really nice race. He was treading water in the last furlong, but he settled well and picked up nicely.
“He was in front a long time. He’s a nice horse and hopefully he can progress from there.”
There was a sad postscript to the race, after it was confirmed the William Haggas-trained Miss O Connor had suffered a fatal injury.
The five-year-old mare had led under Tom Marquand, but faltered two out before being pulled up and quickly dismounted.