Sri Putra scoops York Stakes with late run
Saturday 28 July 2012
York Stakes result and replay:
1 Sri Putra (N Callan) 12-1
2 Afsare (K Fallon) 9-4 Fav
3 Side Glance (J Fortune) 6-1
By Geoffrey Riddle
Sri Putra booked his ticket for an international campaign in the autumn with a victory in a dramatic Sky Bet York Stakes on Saturday.
Neil Callan came with a late run to deny Kieren Fallon and Afsare, who had caused significant interference in the final two furlongs. Side Glance, ridden by Jimmy Fortune, was third.
Sri Putra, a six-year-old entire, will now be put away until later in the season in a bid to register his maiden Group One success after 28 career starts.
“I’d be keen on keeping him relatively fresh for an international campaign during the autumn,” Roger Varian, the trainer, told Racing UK. “Where that will take us I'm not quite sure.
"We've got a lot of options around this trip.
"I think he’d make a great stallion. He’s the best looking horse you could ever wish to see and his confirmation is almost perfect.”
A leisurely pace was set by Martin Lane on Sri Putra’s stablemate, Pekan Star, and very little changed until the field swung into the straight.
Sri Putra, who was sporting a hood, was anchored at the rear of the pack by Callan, with Jetaway, bidding to follow up Twice Over’s victory for Sir Henry Cecil last year, in last place.
Tom Queally kicked Jetaway home with a turbo-boost of a run down the near-side rail, while Sri Putra and Afsare came down the centre of the Knavesmire.
Fallon had his whip in the wrong hand, however, and when Afsare began to come under pressure he wandered to the near side rail. It checked Ransom Note, who in turn squeezed up Jetaway to end any chance of the five-year-old stealing the £100,000 race.
Fallon immediately switched his crop but as Afsare began to come under further pressure from the Irishman he wandered back across the track to the far side to compromise any hope of denying Sri Putra’s irresistible charge.
“We had Pekan Star make the running so no-one else could dictate it for them,” Varian added. “I wasn't sure we were going quick enough but Sri Putra relaxed and some of the others were a bit keen, so it worked out for us."
It was the fourth run of the season for the winner, who kicked off this year with a victory at Kempton before running below par in Italy. He was then fifth to So You Think in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot before finishing 19 lengths adrift of Nathaniel in the Coral Eclipse, in which he was placed in the past two seasons.
“To be fair to the horse, the two poor races he has run were in Italy and the Eclipse,” Varian said. “I was probably at fault for his run in Italy, which was days after the race at Kempton. It might have been a bit hard on him. We ran in the Eclipse but the going was too soft for him.
"He's a grand servant and deserved to win a race like this.
"Until he won this year he'd gone two years without winning, although he'd run some great races, but it all came together today so we're very pleased.
"I can understand why he was a big price, but if you look through his form he has beaten most of these.”
Callan, was delighted with the effect that the hood had on his mount: "He's quite a classy animal, he's always had to mix it with the best.
"He loves this fast ground and really rattles off it. When things go right he's a very good horse.
"Roger has experimented with the hood with a lot of horses this season and it's really benefited them."
Fallon's riding was deemed to be accidental and the stewards took no further action.