• Racing/
  • Gospel Takes The Yorkshire Cup

Sky Bet Yorkshire Cup (British Champions Series) (Group 2) 1m 6f

  • (4yo+, 1m 6f, Class 1, 12 runners)
  • Winner £79,394 2nd £30,100 3rd £15,064 4th £7,504 5th £3,766 6th £1,890
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 0.36s
  • Off time: 14:47:30
  • Last Updated: May 16 2014, 16:08 BST

Gospel Choir continued his upward ascendancy when holding off Tac De Boistron to win the Sky Bet Yorkshire Cup.

Gospel Choir and Ryan Moor repel the late challenge of grey Tac De Boistron
Gospel Choir and Ryan Moor repel the late challenge of grey Tac De Boistron

The lightly-raced five-year-old has had his problems in seasons past, but built upon a promising reappearance to win the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on 2000 Guineas day.

He had his stamina for the mile and three-quarters of this trip to prove, but did so in emphatic fashion, gutsily repelling the late charge of Tac De Boistron, with Tiger Cliff a meritorious third returned to the track at which he won the Ebor last season.

Glen's Diamond set the early pace but was never given as easy a time in front as when successful in this Group Two event 12 months ago and turning for home, there was little more than half a dozen lengths covering all 12 runners.

However, Moore brought his mount through to challenge towards the stands' side of the group and he stayed on to justify the support that saw him sent off 7/2 favourite.

Winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute, completing a quickfire double after the success of Arab Spring in the previous contest, said: "The [good] ground is the key to him. He's a versatile horse as he showed when finishing fourth in the Earl of Sefton first time out this season.

"He's a very admirable, competitive horse, he sticks his neck out and doesn't like to get beaten. Ryan had doubts about the trip and he gave him a very good ride.

"That was a very good horse he's beaten, albeit he was getting 4lb from him. What's very important to him is the ground, he doesn't want bad ground."

As for a future target, Stoute commented: "I'd think the Hardwicke would be favourite."

Moore added that despite victory he didn't "really feel that he got the mile and six", which will surely only encourage Stoute to go back in trip for the Hardwicke.

With the market-leader prevailing, backers of any losers with Sky Bet will have their stakes refunded as free bets (up to £25) by 7pm this evening.

"It was a thrilling renewal of a really popular race and as sponsors you have to be happy with that," said Sky Bet's Michael Shinners.

"Punters got it right in making Sir Michael Stoute's Gospel Choir favourite and were duly rewarded, but those who backed anything else in the race will have their bets refunded as per our terms and conditions.

"As for the runner-up, he goes to Ascot with every chance providing the ground isn't too quick and we cut him to 6/1 from 7/1 for the Gold Cup."

Tac De Boistron's trainer Marco Botti confirmed the Gold Cup to be on the agenda, saying: "I think the drying ground and the drop in trip were not ideal, but we have to be very, very happy.

"The Gold Cup is the priority, but we would want cut in the ground, ideally.

"There is also the Irish St Leger later in the season and then back to France for the Cadran and the Royal-Oak."

Royal Ascot is also on the mind of Alan King, who said of Tiger Cliff: "That rules out handicaps! He's in the Gold Cup, but that will be very much ground dependent."