Star shines at Lingfield
Emerald Star struck a blow for Germany by winning the Group Three Follow Scoop6 At totepoolliveinfo.com Chartwell Fillies' Stakes at Lingfield.
Trained by Peter Schiergen and ridden by Daniele Porcu, the three-year-old daughter of Mount Nelson showed plenty of tenacity to keep Veiled Intrigue at bay by a length.
Schiergen said: "This was a real test for a three-year-old up against four-year-olds. She stayed on very well and she did it very easily. When I have good horses I will send them over to England. I like racing here."
Porcu said: "She travelled very well. She's only small but she has a big heart. I thought she had a chance but I didn't expect her to win. This is only my second ride in England."
Richard Hannon has his juveniles in fine form and Wild Tobacco became the yard's 10th two-year-old to win this term when landing the opening Betfred Monumental Scoop6/British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.
The son of More Than Ready, owned by Rockliffe Stud and making his debut in the five-furlong event, clearly knew his job in a race few got into.
Quickly out of the stalls under Sean Levey, the 3-1 shot made the most of his rail draw and, despite being challenged by King Crimson, he was easily on top with a quarter of a mile to go and went on to record a length-and-a-half victory, looking good value for more.
Levey said: "You would not think he was an early-season type. This is the first time I've sat on him and he showed a lot of speed. I bounced him out and got a breather into him, but I always knew we'd pick up again and knew we'd beat the runner-up when he came to us.
"He's a horse who should progress and is perfectly capable of jumping and travelling. I was very impressed with him."
Soviet Rock bounced back in the mile-and-a-quarter Weatherbys "My Stable" Handicap to continue the good form of the Andrew Balding yard.
The four-year-old scored twice early last season before he got jarred up in the King George V Handicap at Ascot and his form tailed off, but he produced a pleasing return on his seasonal debut at Epsom two weeks ago.
The easier ground was also to his liking and punters obviously took note, sending him off the 7-4 favourite under David Probert. He did not disappoint, staying on well to fend off Blue Surf to record a half-length victory.
Balding said: "He needed the run at Epsom on his seasonal debut. He was better for that sharpener and he's a really tough horse, as you saw. We were worried the ground was too quick but he did it well.
"He may go to Epsom for a mile-and-a-quarter handicap on Investec Oaks day. He's got plenty of options but the ground will determine where he goes."
Trainer Brendan Powell may be down on numbers, but considers Dark Emerald (14-1) as "the best in the yard".
Richard Kingscote's mount showed fantastic battling qualities to prove the point when winning the Betfred Life Changing Scoop6 Today Handicap by a length and three-quarters from Whipper Snapper.
Powell said: "I probably mucked him up last year. We had him gelded and he probably didn't recover enough. He's the best in the yard and I thought he was a Triumph Hurdle horse, so we ran him over hurdles and he didn't stay.
"He will stay at a mile now and won't be going over hurdles again. The owners like a day out at Ascot, so we will look at one of the handicaps there."
Trainer Lee Carter was relieved after Born To Surprise (4-1) and jockey Amir Quinn repelled the sustained challenge of Great Expectations to snare the seven-furlong totepool.com Handicap in a photo-finish.
Carter said: "We've had three beaten in photos in the last few days and have had five seconds in 12 days, and I thought we'd been pipped again.
"He's a nice horse and I've always liked him. He's taken a while to learn how to switch off - he was a very keen horse."
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