Al Saham stays strong

  • Last Updated: May 10 2014, 18:14 BST

Al Saham showed plenty of guts to land the Leo Bancroft Signature Haircare Handicap at Ascot.

Silvestre De Sousa riding Al Saham beats Hamelin
Silvestre De Sousa riding Al Saham beats Hamelin

Sporting the second colours of Godolphin, with Restraint Of Trade in the first string silks, Al Saham was sent off an 8-1 shot and Silvestre de Sousa settled in behind early.

Restraint Of Trade went off quickly and built up around an eight-length lead, with Glorious Protector setting out in pursuit.

However, the Godolphin first choice was reeled back in with half a mile to run, quickly dropping back to leave Al Saham to kick on turning for home.

De Sousa took full advantage to push on and while 9-4 favourite Hamelin tried to challenge, Al Saham proved too game and held on by half a length for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

The jockey said: "He was tough. He travelled well through the race, they went a nice gallop. When I asked him to quicken up, he did it nicely.

"It was a real test. He hasn't run in such a long time so the race will bring him on. I'm pleased for the horse."

Gatewood repelled the challenge of Pether's Moon to end a lengthy losing run in the Carey Group Buckhounds Stakes.

John Gosden's charge had not tasted victory since winning the Geelong Cup in Australia in October 2012, but was still sent off the 4-1 joint-favourite alongside Pether's Moon. 

Frankie Dettori was content to adopt waiting tactics aboard Gatewood in the early stages as Cap O'Rushes set the early gallop, but he started to wind up his mount with still around half a mile to run. He kicked on down the straight and Pether's Moon tried to hunt him down, but Dettori kept Gatewood up to his work to win by half a length.

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The winning rider said: "It's the first time I've rode him but John told me that he would run a big race. When he went to the start with his knee action, I knew he would love the ground and I didn't want to get there too soon.

"I waited as long as I dared then he gave me that length and won. I thought for a minute he (Pether's Moon) was going to beat me, but he stuck his neck out and ran to the line."

Tony Procter, travelling lad for Gosden, said: "The horses are in great form and this horse deserved this. We knew we had him as well as possible."

Amulet (15-2) made practically every yard to win the Sodexho Fillies' Handicap for trainer Eve Johnson Houghton.

Shane Kelly's mount proved popular before the off and that confidence was justified as Amulet thrived under a positive ride.

While 5-4 favourite Ribbons tried to challenge down the middle of the track with a couple of furlongs to run, Amulet kept finding a little extra to hold on by a neck. Irish raider Majestic Queen finished fast but had to settle for third, a further length and a quarter adrift.

Johnson Houghton said: "The horses are just starting to come to themselves - they've just been slightly below.

"She was disappointing last time. She sulked going in the stalls, she sulked coming out of the stalls. For some reason she just sulked and didn't show her running.

"She's tough, when she can just up the ante and up the ante, she's tough.

"We're in the Duke of Cambridgeshire at the Royal meeting and if the ground is OK - she needs some cut - then we might come back."