Ambivalent comes good
Saturday 4 August 2012
Ambivalent stepped up to the plate and delivered on her promise when landing the EBF Chalice Stakes at a sun-drenched Newbury.
Roger Varian's filly had only run four times and was one of the least experienced runners in the Listed contest, furthermore she was equipped with a hood.
However, following the example of Frankel's brother Noble Mission, who took the Group Two Gordon Stakes last week wearing the same headgear, Ambivalent (9-2) buckled down well under Andrea Atzeni to score by a length and a half from Set To Music.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to Abdullah Saeed Belhab, said: "The ground helped her as it was very heavy on her previous start at Newmarket, and she's just beginning to improve. The main thing is that she got the job done, and now has some black type."
As he prepares to move base to Whitcombe House in Lambourn in the autumn, Jonny Portman is enjoying a sparkling season and if there is a money-spinner amongst his string, two-year-old Pasaka Boy must rate highly in that category.
He did not go unbacked by connections when scoring at 50-1 on his Salisbury debut, while his run in the Chesham Stakes was pleasing to the trainer, and his annihilation of seven rivals in the Grundon Recycle Nursery brought a wide smile to owners Graham Wickens and John Homan.
Portman said of the Matthew Davies-ridden winner: "I knew he was very well and would have been disappointed if he hadn't at least gone close. I was praying we would get all the rain that's fallen, because his family love it." Portman could point his winner at the Washington Singer Stakes back at Newbury.
Rowe Park, a very smart sprinter when successful in Pattern company five years ago, turned back the clock to spring a surprise in the Bathwick Tyres Handicap. Saleem Golam's mount finished with a flourish to thwart Invincible Lad and Howyadoingnotsobad.
Trainer Linda Jewell said: "That's the first winner from our new yard at Hollingbourne in Kent. He's had niggling problems all his life, but is genuine and game. He won a Group Three in 2007, and has been a fine servant. My daughter and assistant Karen rides him out every day and has done a lot towards getting the horse back."
There was a sting in the tail for jockey Golam, however, as he was suspended for four days between August 19 and August 25 for over-use of the whip on the winner.