First Eleven returns to winning ways in Ascot feature

Sat 8 Sep 2018

First Eleven got his career back on track with a clear-cut win in the £100,000 Lavazza Stakes at Ascot.

Being a half-brother to Kingman, the Frankel colt has always been held in high regard and improved rapidly in the spring, winning a Newbury handicap by five lengths.

Sent off well-fancied for the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot, the three-year-old managed to find all manner of trouble close home and was a fast-finishing third.

Trainer John Gosden then stepped him up in class for the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket, possibly with one eye on the St Leger, but he was never travelling that day.

Given plenty of time to get over that and back in handicap company, the 5-2 joint-favourite was always travelling sweetly for Robert Havlin and moved smoothly past his market rival Ghostwatch to win going away by two lengths.

Gosden’s son and assistant, Thady, said: “He was very unlucky at Royal Ascot as he got in a bit of a tricky position there and he couldn’t get out when he needed to.

“He ran very well today and has beaten a good horse in Ghostwatch, so we couldn’t be happier. He really tries his heart out. He has bounced back to form there.

“I think the hope is that he can go on to be a black-type horse and race again at Group-race level.”

Gosden was also on the mark with the unbeaten Shambolic (11-4) in the Royal Foresters British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

David Elsworth’s Ripp Orf (7-1) once again proved his liking for seven furlongs at Ascot when winning the Cunard Handicap in the hands of title-chasing apprentice Jason Watson.

Having won the Victoria Cup in May, the four-year-old then finished third in the Gigaset International to Burnt Sugar but proved he had far from finished improving just yet.

He benefited from an ice-cool ride from Watson and claimed Cape Byron late on to win by half a length.

Watson then doubled up on the impressive Simply Breathless (6-1) for Clive Cox in the Ritz Club EBF “Breeders Series” Fillies’ Handicap.

Amandine had shot clear with over a furlong to run, but Watson delayed his challenge before unleashing her late and she showed a devastating turn of foot to win by three-quarters of a length.

Turjomaan (16-1) was a debut winner of the Italian Tourist Board British EBF Novice Stakes for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni, and the latter doubled up on Fille De Reve (9-2 joint-favourite) in the Fever-Tree Handicap.

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