El Astronaute reaches for the stars at York

Thu 17 May 2018

El Astronaute clung on for victory in the Betfred “Supports Jack Berry House” Handicap at York.

John Quinn’s sprinter had been placed on four of his five starts since last striking gold at Glorious Goodwood, most recently finishing third at Chester just a week ago.

Ridden by Jason Hart, the 15-2 shot flew out of the starting stalls on the Knavesmire and was soon leading on the far side of the track.

Dark Shot drew alongside entering the final furlong, while Major Jumbo and Carlton Frankie both threw down strong challenges nearer the stands side, but El Astronaute passed the post a neck to the good.

Quinn said: “He deserved that, he was beaten by the draw at Chester last week. I thought his chance of winning might have gone, as you don’t get many, but he’s very game.

“I didn’t put him in the Dash at Epsom this year as last season he gave them all a lead, but then hung down the camber.

“He’ll go to Musselburgh for the Scottish Sprint Cup (June 9).”

He added: “I thought at the start of the season that if there was a little bit of improvement in him, and it looks like there has been, then he might be one for the Abbaye.

“It might be pie in the sky, but once you get rated around 105 then you may as well have a crack at it as it is so hard to win handicaps off that sort of mark.”

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