Golden not for passing at Newmarket
Golden Pass gave a game front-running performance to take Listed honours in the Ric And Mary Hambro Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket
The Hugo Palmer-trained four-year-old battled on bravely for James Doyle to hold the persistent challenge of Free Wind by three-quarters of a length. Abstinence was a length away in third place.
Victory provided handsome compensation for the 2-1 favourite following a head defeat in a similar contest at Pontefract four weeks ago.
“She was beautifully ridden. She has been an immature filly who has been very delicate,” said Palmer.
“Every time we have run her she would fall in a heap and have to have 10 days in a field, that is why it has endlessly been six weeks or six months between races.
“Today was the first day where one race had made her stronger for the next. We will just have to see if today makes her stronger for the next race.
“She goes on most ground and is unbelievably genuine, as you can see. She wasn’t doing a tap in front and was almost willing for them to take her on through the last few furlongs.
“She just got collared late home at Pontefract and she didn’t have the chance to fight back, but she had all the time in the world today to fight back and she got back.”
Golden Pass could step up to Group Two company for the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood on July 31.
“The Lillie Langtry is two weeks away today which she is entered in. It is an obvious target and we have the next 12 days before we have to make a decision. We are going to have to see which way we go,” the Newmarket handler added.
“I’m sure she will get the extra two furlongs there and who knows, she could be a Cup horse next season. That is if she stays in training, as she is owned by an owner/breeder (Dr Ali Ridha) who is accumulating a beautiful broodmare band.”
There was a popular winner elsewhere on the card, as Accidental Agent recorded his first victory since the 2018 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Eve Johnson Houghton’s stable stalwart finished with a flourish to land the Fine Watch Handicap.
Johnson Houghton said of the 12-1 winner: “It’s brought a tear to everybody’s eye in the whole of the yard. I’m made up for him.
“I didn’t think they were going fast enough, but Georgia (Dobie) gave him a brilliant ride. I told her to ride him with a smile on her face and enjoy riding a horse like him and it has translated into the reins.
“I thought he would be competitive, but I thought he might need another to come down a little bit more to be in the right place.
“It is just great to see him win again.”