01 May 2021

Illykato looks to have bright future following Goodwood victory

01 May 2021

Illykato stated her case for a campaign in Pattern races over a mile when proving she gets that trip with a last-gasp success in the Mansion Bet Best Odds Guaranteed Conqueror Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood – one of a number of close finishes at the West Sussex course.

The daughter of Sussex Stakes winner Toronado had not enjoyed the best of passages when out of the money on her seasonal return in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury.

Dropped into Listed company here, she picked up willingly for Edward Greatrex in the final furlong to pass three rivals and score by a nose from Agincourt.

As trainer Mick Channon’s son and assistant Jack pointed out, the 12-1 winner enjoyed a profitable juvenile season in 2020, while frustratingly narrowly missing out on picking up some black type.

He said: “She had a really good two-year-old campaign and was fourth in the Dick Poole (at Salisbury) when beaten just a nose for third.

“We felt she had missed out, and it was a bit of a non event on her comeback in the Fred Darling in which she was mullered about when starting to make her run.

“To be fair the Charlie Bishop he’s ridden her in a lot of work and said she would definitely get the mile.”

Future plans for Illykato are not set in stone and Channon added: “She was a very small filly against very big fillies today, but if she can keep settling she can keep progressing. With black type on the board we can plan accordingly, while keeping her under the radar.”

Master Milliner, the horse who beat meningitis, looks destined for better things following a silk-smooth comeback success in the Mansion Bet Beaten By A Head Handicap.

The well-supported 11-10 favourite contracted a disease that is not often associated with horses, but after pulling through has established himself as a stayer of considerable promise.

He took a while to master front-running Be My Sea, but when doing so pulled impressively clear to score by two and a half lengths in the hands of Cieren Fallon.

Emma Lavelle, a trainer more often associated with jumpers, harbours hopes that one day Master Milliner might make a hurdler.

She said: “I’m really pleased with him. He’s a stronger horse and travels much better than he did. Now he jumps off and doesn’t have to be urged to come into the bridle. He’s from a family that get better with age, and I hope the same will ring true with him.

“When he had meningitis it was a live or die situation, but we knew that if he did get through it he would probably return to normal, though the trauma of it means he’s actually a year behind the age he is.”

Joe Fanning made the five-hour drive from Middleham worthwhile when guiding Desert Safari to the gamest of triumphs in the Download The Mansion Bet App Handicap.

Providing Mark Johnston with an across-the-card double following Sir Ron Priestley’s Jockey Club Stakes triumph at Newmarket, the gelding fought back after being headed to beat Stone Of Destiny a head.

Fanning observed: “He’s a nice horse that I’ve always thought a bit about. And I think five is the ideal trip for him. He’s got plenty of speed, and I hope there’s more to come.”

The Tom Ward-trained Tintoretto scored by an identically narrow margin from King’s Knight in a tight finish to the Mansion Bet Proud To Sponsor British Racing Handicap.

Warn said of his 13-2 winner: “He’s a talented horse that’s been running well all winter, I said to the owners one day we would go for the blinkers but that it had to be in a decent handicap, which was today.”

The Mansion Bet 10 Get 20 Handicap went to the Andrew Balding-trained Nebulosa, who in a hood and under Oisin Murphy foiled Farsi Lane by a short head.

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