Caspian rolls back the years

Tom Marquand ended an up-and-down week in the best possible fashion when winning the Betfair Free Bet Streak Gosforth Park Cup on his old friend Caspian Prince.

The 22-year-old was dealt just about the first real blow of his hugely promising career on Monday when it was revealed he would be replaced on the Derby favourite English King by Frankie Dettori.

Since then, however, Marquand has barely stopped riding winners – and the confidence flowing through his veins was clearly transmitted to the veteran sprinter, now with Mick Appleby.

An 11-year-old, Caspian Prince (28-1) has been around the block a bit – and having been rated 118 at his peak, was running at Newcastle off a still lofty 98.

But after taking up the running with a furlong to run, he saw off Venturous by a length and a quarter.

“I never thought I’d get the chance to win on him,” said Marquand.

“I used to ride him on Tony Carroll’s gallops when I was still at school.

“That’s the first time I’ve ridden him in a race. He was a great horse for Tony – he won the Dash at Epsom with him, and he was the first good horse I sat on.

“That was when I was about 14 or 15, so it’s great to get a win on him. He’s an old warrior. Obviously he’s been with a few different trainers, but Mick is good at getting the best out of these horses.”

Marquand then quickly doubled up in the Group Three Betfair Exchange Hoppings Stakes on William Haggas’ Nkosikazi (9-4).

Allowed an easy lead, she saw off the challenge of the favourite Virgin Snow, a daughter of Snow Fairy.

“It was tactical in our favour, because I was worried if we’d get taken on for the lead, but I knew she’d stay,” said Marquand.

Reflecting on this topsy-turvy week in which he picked up the Derby ride on Andrew Balding’s Khalifa Sat, he said: “I’ve found a Derby ride on a horse who knows how to win.

“I rode him in the Cocked Hat, and he showed a great attitude that day and handles an awkward track.”

Glen Shiel relished getting back on the all-weather for Hollie Doyle and Archie Watson in the Betfair Racing Only Bettor Handicap.

He chased home the classy Mubakker on his previous start at Gosforth Park, before running a creditable race at Royal Ascot over seven furlongs.

Glen Shiel has raced over as far as 10 furlongs with credit for Watson since his move from France, and Doyle believes it is the all-weather surface which is more important to him than six furlongs.

“He bumped into a nice horse when he was here last time – and he didn’t disappoint at Ascot to be fair,” she said.

“He just gives you a different feel on the all-weather to the turf, he pings off it. I think he just loves it here.

“I got off him at Ascot and said he felt like a different horse – he felt like a miler, he felt one-paced and slow – but on this surface he lights up.”

The Charlie Hills-trained Tilsit had made a pleasing debut when just touched off at this course not long after the resumption, and made no mistake in the Win Bigger On Betfair Exchange Novice Median Auction Stakes.

While what he beat could be questioned, there can be no quibbling with a 19-length winning margin for the 4-11 favourite, who was yet another success for Ben Curtis.

“I was quite easy on him on his debut, so I wanted him to have a race today,” said the in-form jockey.

“The race was over when I hit the front two out, but he would have learned nothing if I just let him coast home, so I made sure I rode him out.

“I’m not sure what he beat, but he’s a nice progressive horse going forwards.”

Owner John Dance had endured a frustrating run of placed horses since June 1 but finally got off the mark at Newmarket on Friday – and just like London busses, his second winner quickly followed.

The newcomer Toussarok was sent off 5-4 favourite to give Mark Johnston yet another winning juvenile – and the half-brother to Andre Fabre’s Troupbeau, losing favourite in the French 1000 Guineas, beat previous winner Inhaler by an eased down three-quarters of a length.

Source : Sky Sports