York review: Invincible Army wins Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes

Invincible Army pulls clear of his York rivals
Invincible Army pulls clear of his York rivals

Invincible Army turned the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes into a procession - we round up the rest of the action from the Knavesmire on Wednesday.

Invincible can't be touched

Invincible Army ran out an emphatic winner of the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes.

The James Tate-trained four-year-old had appeared much improved when making an impressive start to his campaign in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster in late March and he was a 7/2 joint-favourite stepping up to Group Two level on the Knavesmire.

PJ McDonald rode a patient race for much of the six-furlong contest as the speedy El Astronaute adopted his customary pace-setting role.

As his challenge petered out racing inside the final furlong, Invincible Army was just getting going and he powered home late on to score by an impressive two and a quarter lengths.

Major Jumbo (8/1) was best of the rest in second, with the other joint-favourite, Yafta, finishing third.

Sky Bet was suitably impressed with Invincible Army, making him 8/1 from 14/1 for the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.

Tate said: "That's a local win. I was born in Harrogate and grew up in Tadcaster, you can't get more local than that!

"It's fantastic, he just seems to be different this year, he's even posing for photographs and is calm before the race. He really seems to know what he's here for.

"I'd still be concerned if the ground ever came up really rattling, summer fast ground, but as long as it is safe, which it certainly was today, it's fine. It's the first day of the year here and they've done a nice job. If it was softer that would be even more in our favour."

Paddy Power was suitably impressed with Invincible Army, making him the 7-2 favourite from 8-1 for the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.

Tate added: "You have to think of Group Ones only from here on in. He gets six furlongs well, so we've only got the Diamond Jubilee, the Sprint Cup and the Champions Sprint, which will be the three main targets.

"We always thought he'd get to the top one day. His dam (Rajeem), who (owner) Saeed Manana raced, didn't win her Group One until she was four and neither did Invincible Spirit (sire), so we always hoped this would be his year and that was part of the reason we put him away so quickly last season.

"I did hope he might do something like that, but as trainers, even when it is going well, you are disappointed more than you are not. That's our biggest win. We nearly won a French Classic last year with Hey Gaman, though."

First lives up to billing in Jorvik

First Eleven was installed as the early favourite for the Ebor in August after a gritty victory in the Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Jorvik Handicap at York.

Unlucky at Royal Ascot last season, First Eleven was sent off at 5/1 for a race in which the winner was guaranteed a place in the first ever £1 million Ebor.

His success saw Sky Bet make him their 10/1 market leader(from 14s) and while John Gosden indicated it was a likely target, a return to Ascot is also on the cards.

First Eleven beat Fujaira Prince by a neck in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

"It would be lovely if we could have him right for the Ebor, but I don't know about the next two furlongs," said Gosden.

"I asked Frankie and he said 'if you like', which didn't really inspire me with confidence.

"That was good today, he kept fighting. He was headed, but he came back and I see no reason not to run him once at Royal Ascot and then target the Ebor as they need to be 105 to get in - you can't get in off the high 90s anymore.

"When they put on money like the Ebor, you should turn up and make a race of it."

Owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe added: "The Ebor has to be the target, but his dam did win a French Guineas, so another two furlongs is not absolutely guaranteed. He found plenty there and was very courageous."

Andrea Atzeni, the rider of the second, was suspended for two days for using his whip in the incorrect place.


From outta Space!

The well-backed Space Blues weaved his way to an ultimately impressive victory in the Conundrum Rowing For Christian Hobbs Gym Handicap.

James Doyle had to sit tight and wait for a run but he finally brought the 5/2 favourite with a withering late run towards the stands' side to win going away from Reeves, with Fastman third, I Am A Dreamer fourth and Karnavaal back in fifth.

Doyle said: "I thought I was in trouble as I couldn't see too many gaps appearing, I covered every part of the track I think.

"Once he found a bit of space, he quickened up well. He's quite speedy, maybe I got it wrong with him after I won on him on his debut over a mile and half a furlong on deep ground, I thought he'd stay a bit further.

"Dropping back to seven has definitely suited him today."


Minute storms to sprint success

The Keith Dalgleish-trained Soldier's Minute turned the Infinity Tyres Handicap into a procession.

Sent off at 20/1 under Joe Fanning, the race was over as a contest with half a furlong to run when the four-year-old burst clear of the pack.

Wentworth Falls gave chase, but he was three lengths down crossing the line.

Fanning said: "He travelled well and when I asked him to pick up, he picked up well.

"It didn't matter where I was drawn with him, it was very straightforward.

"He looked good a couple of runs back, but disappointed last time when things went against him as he was drawn out wide."


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