Brunch bags Pomfret prize at Pontefract

Brunch finished with a flourish to claim top honours in the Sky Bet Go-Racing-In-Yorkshire Summer Festival Pomfret Stakes at Pontefract.

A field of six runners went to post for the Listed feature in West Yorkshire, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Regal Reality – not beaten far when third behind superstar mare Enable in the Coral-Eclipse two years ago – the even-money favourite to make the most of a drop in class.

The Michael Dods-trained Brunch was next in the betting at 7-4, having filled the runner-up spot in the Lincoln earlier in the campaign and finished seventh on his most recent appearance in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.

With the first two in the market held up for late runs, the front-running Azano still had a couple of lengths in hand rounding the home turn before being strongly challenged by stablemate Rhoscolyn.

Just when it looked like David O’Meara might saddle a one-two, William Buick – whose treble at Ascot on Saturday including winning the King George on Adayar – conjured a late rattle out of Brunch and he was good value for the winning margin of three-quarters of a length.

Regal Reality briefly threatened alongside Brunch, but his effort petered out and he passed the post in fourth.

Dods said of the winner: “He’s been unlucky this season. He was second in the Lincoln, second at York and then he was boxed in at Royal Ascot in the Hunt Cup, otherwise he might have finished second or third.

“He came here today and to be fair to Pontefract, they’ve done a tremendous job with the ground. It’s fast, summer ground, but it’s safe and he let himself down on it.

“He got a terrific ride from William Buick and we couldn’t be more delighted for the owners and everyone in the yard.”

The scene at Pontefract on Sunday
The scene at Pontefract on Sunday (Tim Goode/PA)

Brunch could be set for another step up in class on his next start, with the Group Three Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury on August 12 viewed as a suitable target.

“There’s a possibility we might send him to Salisbury. We have pencilled in that race, anyway,” Dods added.

“He’s a tremendous horse who tries hard. It’s great to win a Listed race with him and I think he’s quite capable of going on from this and winning again.”

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