York Ebor day review: Ghostwatch earns Sky Bet Ebor place

Ghostwatch (right) wins the Sky Bet Melrose
Ghostwatch (right) wins the Sky Bet Melrose

A round-up of the rest of the action from York on Sky Bet Ebor day as Ghostwatch guaranteed his place in next year's big race with victory in the Melrose for Charlie Appleby.

Ghostwatch earns Ebor place

The well-bred Ghostwatch earned an automatic entry into next year's £1million Sky Bet Ebor with a convincing success in the Sky Bet Melrose Handicap.

Ridden by William Buick and trained by Charlie Appleby - who won the Melrose last year with Secret Advisor - 10/1 chance Ghostwatch was never too far off the pace set by Mekong and his turn of foot proved decisive with a couple of furlongs to run.

Supernova, who was slowly away, sprouted wings late on and flew home for second under Jamie Spencer but he was half a length down at the line, with St Leger entry Proschema third at 20/1 and 11/2 favourite Mekong having to settle for third.

Buick said: "He hasn't really done a lot wrong. He's just lugged in behind a couple of times and stuff like that, probably that was through greenness. He really concentrated today.

"From where we were I was always going to have to commit some way out. He was there to be shot at, but he stuck at it well. He showed today he's a strong stayer and that's his forte. He's one to look forward to for next year."

Of next year's Ebor being a possible target, Buick said: "I'm sure it will. Those staying races are very important now with incentives and bonuses like the one Stradivarius won yesterday. He's got a fair way to go to be that class, of course. There are plenty of options open for him."


Expert makes no mistake

Expert Eye saw off admirable veteran Gordon Lord Byron to rediscover the winning trail in the Sky Bet City of York Stakes.

The one-time Classic contender Expert Eye bounced back from a disappointing run in the 2000 Guineas to win the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and was last seen chasing home Lightning Spear in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Back in distance and class for this seven-furlong Group Three, Sir Michael Stoute's colt was the 11/10 favourite under Frankie Dettori and was always travelling strongly in midfield.

Expert Eye wins at York under Frankie Dettori
Expert Eye wins at York under Frankie Dettori

Dettori made his move approaching the final two furlongs, switching Expert Eye to the far side of the track.

He quickened up smartly to grab the lead, before Tom Hogan's three-times Group One winner Gordon Lord Byron lunged at him late.

But try as he might, the popular 10-year-old - winner of this race in 2012 - could never quite get on terms and Expert Eye was always doing enough to hold him at bay by a length and a quarter.

Stoute said: "He's very nice and relaxed. The stalls' situation has been resolved. He goes in better than ever now and he's very relaxed when he's in there. He seems in a good frame of mind.

"We just need to eke out a little more improvement. He's not too far off Group One (class) now. I'd be looking at France for the next step - the Moulin or the Foret. He'll get a mile. I'm not worried.

"We were considering whether to go to Goodwood today or not, but then they thought they might get a lot of rain this morning. Then we made our decision and the forecast changed again, he doesn't want bad ground."

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "He's on a learning curve still, but he's in a much better place. He's more comfortable in himself. He's more mature, which is great, so it gives us hope for the future."

Hogan said of Gordon Lord Byron: "He's a tremendous horse and he might have won had Billy (Lee) not lost an iron briefly. We knew he would come on for his run at the Curragh. My main regret is that he isn't in the Sprint Cup and the entries have closed for France (Prix de la Foret), too.

"Anywhere where he can get a fast pace, we'll go. Hopefully we'll be back here next year, too."


Lord steps up to the plate

Lord Glitters landed a first Group-race success with a battling performance in the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes at York.

A strong-finishing third in the Group One Sussex Stakes on his previous start, David O'Meara's five-year-old was not inconvenienced by the step up to nine furlongs as he saw off the challenge of Mustashry.

Chief Ironside made the running well into the straight, where the field panned out across the course.

Lord Glitters had a little ground to make up, but gamely stuck to his task to hold Mustashry, winner of this race last year, by half a length under Danny Tudhope.

Chief Ironside stuck on for third place, two and a half lengths away.

"He was grand for the first couple of furlongs, then it looked like they steadied up and he got a bit keen, but he saw it out well," said O'Meara.

"There was a small concern about going up a little bit in trip whether firstly he'd settle and secondly would he stay, but he did it well and he was well on top at the end. He's a very good horse. He's been unlucky not to have won a Group One in this country."

He added: "The Woodbine Mile next month is on his agenda and then after that we'll see. He's gone well at Ascot, so you'd like to think the QEII in the middle of October would suit him well."

York fun for Foxes boss

Well Done Fox (13/2) booked his place in the Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster when landing a narrow success in the Julia Graves Roses Stakes.

The Richard Hannon-trained youngster battled on well to hold 50/1 outsider Deia Glory by half a length. The 2/1 favourite, Sabre, was three-quarters of a length away in third.

"That was a good effort. It was his second Listed win and he did that under a penalty," said Alistair Donald, representing owners King Power Racing, of Leicester City Football Club.

"He's a tough customer and we'll probably go to the Flying Childers. He's got scope to make a nice horse next year, too."

The owners, who also struck with Beat The Bank in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood, enjoyed a quick double when Pivoine (6/1), trained by Andrew Balding, took the Sky Bet Handicap in the hands of leading apprentice Jason Watson.

He made up for a luckless effort at Glorious Goodwood to turn the form around with Alfarris by beating him into second place by two and a half lengths.

"He's in the Cambridgeshire, which could be a possible plan. We'll see how he is in the morning," said Balding's wife, Anna Lisa. "Jason is having a terrific time and he gave him a brilliant ride."

Eeh Bah Gum (7/1) sent Yorkshire punters home happy by winning for the fifth time this season in the Sky Bet Apprentice Handicap.

Tim Easterby's three-year-old sprinter made all over the flying five and came home a length and a half clear of Fool For You in the hands of Jamie Gormley.

"He's fast and firm ground is everything for him. It's great," said Easterby.


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