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  • Rain Delights In Joel

Nayef Joel Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 2) 1m

  • (3yo+, 1m, Class 1, 7 runners)
  • Winner £51,039 2nd £19,350 3rd £9,684 4th £4,824 5th £2,421 6th £1,215
  • Going: Good to Firm, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 1m 37.20s
  • Off time: 14:41:57
  • Last Updated: September 27 2013, 16:09 BST

Soft Falling Rain was an impressive winner of the Nayef Joel Stakes at Newmarket.

Soft Falling Rain: Clearing away from his rivals at Newmarket
Soft Falling Rain: Clearing away from his rivals at Newmarket

Mike de Kock had anticipated his four-year-old to have come on for his reappearance at Newbury and his followers were not disappointed as he justified 13/8 favouritism in the Group Two contest.

Penitent and Glory Awaits were split across the track with both attempting to force the pace, but they served only to set the race up for an impressive winner.

Always travelling comfortably, Paul Hanagan asked the colt to take closer order as they passed the three furlong pole and he quickened readily once hitting the front.

Montiridge appeared to be going as well as the leader but the three-year-old could not bridge the gap with his much more experienced rival and Richard Hannon's inmate had to settle for second, with Premio Loco running on for third.

A delighted Hanagan said: "I was very impressed. The difference today was the ground - at Newbury it was very tacky and he changed his legs so many times, but he loved that ground today.

"He's a good horse. He's been everywhere."

De Kock said: "I'm very proud. We knew he'd improve a lot after his last run.

"He's a very, very capable horse. You'd like to believe he's a Group One horse and I think he showed that today.

"He's a big, free-striding horse and was very well ridden. Paul did nothing wrong last time, the horse just got a little tired.

"We're going to have a go at the mile on Champions Day (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, October 19), that is the dream.

"Today was a really nice day with Sheikh Hamdan (Al Maktoum, owner) sponsoring (the card) and I won the race before with Eagle Mountain (2008).

"I don't know if he'll go back to Dubai, that will be up to Sheikh Hamdan."

Asked whether the trainer would fancy a crack at next year's Dubai World Cup, the trainer said: "I like a crack at anything. If they're good enough, we'll have a go."

Montiridge put a below-par effort at Haydock behind to finish second and Richard Hannon Jnr said: "We're very pleased. He ran a super race, back to his best. Hopefully, we will have a look at some of the races at the Dubai Carnival for him."

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