High Summer once more at Newmarket

Summerghand swooped late to register a 16-1 surprise in the Listed Close Brothers Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket.

David O’Meara’s popular seven-year-old was beaten just a neck in the six-furlong heat in 2020, but he righted the record with a clear-cut defeat of 2-1 favourite Tabdeed.

Summerghand landed the Group Three Abernant Stakes on the Rowley Mile course back in April but after finishing a fair fourth in the Duke of York Stakes the following month, he had struggled to make an impact in three subsequent starts.

Summerghand was settled towards the rear by Martin Harley as Royal Crusade set the early pace and still had plenty to do as Khaadem went for home two furlongs out.

However, Summerghand found plenty for pressure in the final furlong, assuming control with half a furlong to run and shooting clear to win by two and a half lengths from Tabdeed, who was staying on all the way to the line.

Adaay To Remember was a further head back in third.

Harley said: “This is more of his grade these days. He ran in the July Cup and when they quicken away, he gets a bit disheartened.

“Today they went quick and when he started to pass one or two tiring horses, he really got his momentum up and finished strong.

“I was a bit worried about the ground as it was kicking up out there, but as the pace was so strong early and a few horses started coming back to him, he really came into his own during the last furlong and a half.

“He is a tough horse and in Listed and Group Threes he is very competitive, but when he goes in Group Twos and Group Ones he is taking on a different sort of horse. He is a proper tough horse.

“David has done a fantastic job keeping the horse fresh and sweet. He was a winner on the Rowley Mile winning that Group Three in April.

“Fair play to David and I’m thankful for the ride. David rang me up and said ‘do whatever you think is right’. I didn’t want to drop him out today and I said ‘let’s keep him in midfield’ and the rest is history.”

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