• Racing/
  • Van Percy Scores At Goodwood

bet365 Summer Handicap 1m 6f

  • (3yo+, 1m 6f, Class 2, 14 runners)
  • Winner £49,800 2nd £14,912 3rd £7,456 4th £3,728 5th £1,864 6th £936
  • Going: Good to Firm
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 2m 58.50s
  • Off time: 15:42:08
  • Last Updated: July 29 2014, 16:51 BST

The Andrew Balding-trained Van Percy got the better of a thrilling duel with Havana Cooler to land the bet365 Summer Stakes.

Van Percy just gets the better of Havana Cooler in a thrilling finish.
Van Percy just gets the better of Havana Cooler in a thrilling finish.

Havana Cooler was the 5/2 favourite to complete a double for jockey Adam Kirby and he moved towards the front end a furlong out, but David Probert had the move covered aboard 8/1 shot Van Percy.

The two pulled clear to ensure it was a straight shoot-out in the closing stages and although Havana Cooler gave everything he had, Van Percy ultimately proved a neck too strong.

Noble Silk was a little over two lengths back in third.

There was drama in the middle of the race as White Nile appeared to lose his footing and dumped jockey Paul Hanagan on the turf.

The horse galloped loose before eventually being caught, while Hanagan eventually got to his feet but was holding his arm as he climbed into the ambulance. He was taken away from the course, reportedly heading home to Newmarket rather than hospital.

Probert said: "He's turned over a new leaf since he had the hood on. He's settling really well in his races and he's grown up a lot since last year.

"It was quite tricky today as he was drawn wide, but I managed to jump fairly well and get a position. He settled really down the hill and it all fell into his hands."

Balding said: "The intention is for him to go down to Australia. Whether he's done enough to get into a Melbourne Cup yet, I doubt it, but he'll have a couple of options to run out there before that and see if we can get him qualified.

"It would be nice to think we could get him qualified for the Melbourne Cup now he's settling better and is committed in a finish.

"He's tough, he's not very big, but he's all heart, and I thought David did a terrific job.

"With a penalty he's probably now going to get in the Ebor now, that should just get him in the race, so that will more than likely be the target."

Havana Cooler remains on target for the Ebor despite having his colours lowered.

"It's disappointing he didn't win but he has run another good race. He also goes into the Ebor without a penalty," said trainer Luca Cumani's son and assistant, Matt.

The winner is now 14/1 from 25/1 for the Betfred Ebor with Sky Bet.

"He battled well to the line and on quick ground looks an obvious player," said spokesman Michael Shinners. "We kept Havana Cooler at 10/1 and although he finished second, he lost nothing in defeat. Luca Cumani has a good record in the race and I'd say he still holds a massive chance."