Clochette victory hints at more to come

Clochette will be given the chance to step up in class after the John Guest Racing British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes was landed a little more cosily than the neck winning margin would suggest at Ascot.

Andrea Atzeni made all on the No Nay Never filly, trained by Andrew Balding, who found plenty when challenged by Aunt Violet who had chased her home when the pair were second and third to Lady Alara on their respective debuts.

Of the 8-13 favourite, Balding said: “She is a lovely filly and a really good, physical type who should only improve.

“She was a bit unlucky last time at Newbury, but made no mistake today. It was probably not her ideal style of running, as she would like something to aim at, but the rider was keen to keep it uncomplicated. I would like to think there was more in reserve.”

He added: “I think she would be up to stakes class at some stage. She has a Lowther entry, but I think we will probably want to go further.”

Blewbury trainer Eve Johnson Houghton admitted she did not know what the form of the Interex Group British EBF Croker Bulteel Maiden Stakes was worth, but plenty of winners of this race have gone on to better things.

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That also seems likely to be the case for the Charles Bishop-ridden Buccabay, who came readily clear of his nine rivals in the six-furlong contest to score by a length and three-quarters at 7-1 from Bailey Gate.

Both showed plenty of improvement from when they met on their Newbury debut in a novice won easily by Seductive Power, a race in which plenty went wrong for the Saxon Warrior colt.

Johnson Houghton said: “I’m thrilled with him. Who knows what the form is, but we have always liked him. He just needs a bit of educating.

“I was a bit worried he was going to be a bit weak, because he was so up-behind in the parade ring. He has literally grown in the last week and I think he will need a bit of time for his front come up to his back.

“At Newbury he got mullered coming out of the stalls, got mullered here, there and everywhere, but it taught him. It didn’t bother him because he has a great mind on him, and we will look at sales races with him.”

Kevin Phillipart de Foy has eclipsed his best season total and netted a 32nd winner of the campaign when Juan De Montalban (9-4) strode clear under Jack Mitchell to take the mile-and-a-half John Guest Racing Handicap by two and a half lengths from The Whipmaster.

After finishing down the field in the Copper Horse at the Royal meeting, the Newmarket handler dropped the four-year-old back down to the trip he won over at the same track in May.

“He hit the line strongly and went to plan,” said De Foy. “We know he stays a mile and a half well and that was a career-best.

“Hopefully, he will do a bit better later in the year when there is a little bit of juice in the ground. On pedigree and physique, he looks like he will stay a mile and six, but every time we ask him, he didn’t really get the trip.

“He has some nice targets in November and we can work back from that. We might take him abroad at some point.”

Juan De Montalban was subsequently cut to 14-1 from 20s for the Ebor by Paddy Power.

George Baker will take his time with Awesome Dancer, who came from last to first under Pat Cosgrave to annex the mile and a half Slingsby Gin Handicap at odds of 28-1.

“He is just a big, raw baby. The front part is there and the back part needs to catch up. He is the only Highland Reel I’ve got and it is kind of what I expected – a horse who would take lots of time, like his sire.

“Genuinely, when I got a mark of 75, I thought it was a bit high. I’m not going to overcook him this year. He has put that to bed rather well.

“To be doing this with a horse who is a work in progress, maybe I’ve been getting it wrong! He came with a relentless run. I’m delighted and confused – in a good way!”

Cosgrave completed a double when Cuban Breeze (13-2) took the Gary Maguire Octoberclub Empire Fighting Chance Fillies’ Handicap for the David Evans yard.

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