Harry Three looks another exciting sprinter for Clive Cox to go to war with judged on his runaway success in the Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap at York.
The Adaay colt won his first two starts at Kempton last season, but came up short in his hat-trick bid at Southwell early in the new year.
Following successive placed efforts at Newmarket in the spring, Harry Three returned to the Rowley Mile to open his account for the new campaign last month and had the assistance of Ryan Moore in the £100,000 feature on the Knavesmire.
Always travelling strongly, the three-year-old was delivered with his challenge towards the stands rail and powered home to score by just under three lengths, with Lucky Man pipping Devaste to the runner-up spot.
Cox said of his 15-2 winner: “He’s moved through the three-year-old division so pleasingly and to win a big one at Newmarket last time and follow up here was marvellous. Ryan said very nice things about him, too.
“I’ve not really got any plans in mind. It’s been a work in progress to this point and he’s guiding us into a higher choice of races from here.
“He’s doing it with a bit of confidence and mentally and physically he’s maturing all the time, so I’m delighted.”
Harry Three carries the colours of Clive Cox Racing Ltd. Explaining the ownership, Cox added: “He’s owned by the trainer actually!
“He’s a half-brother to Diligent Harry and unfortunately he was injured and couldn’t go to the sales as a youngster, hence the reason he’s in those colours. It’s a very rewarding situation.
“It’s inevitable he’ll be sold at some point, but he’s been a work in progress and I’m just very pleased that we’ve got him to look forward to.”
The Grant Tuer-trained Lion Tower could be set for a swift return to action at Royal Ascot on Wednesday after making it third time lucky at York this season in the JCB Handicap.
Placed twice last month, the 7-2 chance stuck on grimly in the hands of Sam James to beat Young Fire by half a length, prompting Betfair to trim his Royal Hunt Cup odds to 16-1 from 25s.
Tuer said: “You couldn’t say he didn’t deserve to win, having finished second and third at York. It’s great to see him get his head in front for some very loyal owners who have been with me from the start and this is their first York winner, so they’re thrilled.
“He had a great season last year, winning four times, and has been running well this year. He’s a nice Saturday handicapper.
“The Hunt Cup is a possibility. We’ll see how he is in the morning and I’ll have a chat to the guys, but I would think it’s a possibility he’ll run.”
Alice Stevens was celebrating with victory aboard Zeelandia in the Queen Mother’s Cup Handicap.
Recording her eighth career winner, with six of those having come over jumps, Stevens never panicked on the Ian Williams-trained 33-1 chance, as Brodie Hampson threatened to make all with Throne Hall.
The positive tactics so nearly worked, too, but Stevens and Zealandia reeled her in, scoring by three-quarters of a length.
“I’ve had a few winners pointing, but that’s my eighth winner on the track and to do it at York on a day like this is very special,” said Stevens, whose efforts were rewarded by the traditional prize of winning her weight in champagne.
“When I gave him a squeeze he picked up and I was only hands and heels at the end.”