Abel Handy battles bravely to Cornwallis success for Declan Carroll

Fri 13 Oct 2017

By Racinguk.com staff

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Abel Handy knuckled down admirably to claim victory in the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes.

Declan Carroll's Yorkshire raider won two of his first three starts before finding the reopposing Sound Of Silence just half a length too strong in a Listed contest at York in late August.

Sound And Silence was the 5-2 favourite to confirm his superiority, with Abel Handy a 9-2 chance in the hands of James Doyle.

The victory was a real boost for Carroll's team after the sudden and tragic loss of star juvenile Santry, who suffered a fatal injury during a routine piece of work in August, a loss that devastated the trainer and all of his team.

"This helps a lot, Santry had a big future, we miss him a lot," Carroll said.

"It's been tough on everyone and we are still grieving over it but our owners have been great, they've all stuck with us so we'll keep going."

Abel Handy might not be considered in the same league as Santry, but he's an improving sprinter who his trainer hopes could be even better next year.

Carroll added: "He was very brave. I wouldn't say we believed that we could turn the York form around with Sound And Silence but we were hopeful as he is improving with every run and we were very pleased with him coming into this. He's definitely stepped up a bit today.

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"I see him more of a three-year-old than a two-year-old to be honest. He won't run again this season, we'll put him away.

"I would like to think he's a Commonwealth Cup horse but we'll see how he comes on over the winter and we'll look for something small to begin with. That's the way I like to do it, give the horse confidence and see how we go.

"He's handled that ground fine but he probably wants a bit more juice."

Abel Handy is a best-pricd 25-1 for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next year.

Charlie Appleby's Sound And Silence made much of the running and bagged the rail racing inside the final furlong, but Abel Handy eventually wore him down and got up to score by a neck.

Doyle said: "He had to be very tough. We had a good ding-dong (battle) with Sound And Silence from the two-furlong pole and he toughed it out really well.

"You can't take anything away from this fellow. He's a bonny little horse and Declan seems to have done a fantastic job with him."

Appleby said: “He was bit free early on and was probably beaten by the penalty, having beaten the winner already, admittedly under a penalty there as well.

“He has come to the end of the season and he’s been ultra-consistent. We will put him away now and next season we will keep him sprinting, as he seems to be good at it. He is not top draw, but he is a fun horse to have around.”

Last month’s Ripon maiden winner Mokaatil (8-1) was a further half-length back in third, having stayed on nicely inside the final furlong under champion jockey Jim Crowley.

Trainer Owen Burrows said: “He is not the quickest out of the gates, but then he can get on the bit, so it is not something we’ve tried, smacking him out of the gates. I was just chuffed to bits at what he found off the bridle today. He got a little bit lost coming into The Dip and the first two have got first run on him, and he’s been beaten half a length.

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