Rajinksy registers surprise Listed success for Harry Davies

Harry Davies notched up the first Listed success of his career as Rajinsky pulled off a shock to down Trueshan in Nottingham’s Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes.

Winner of the Cesarewitch Trial last season in the hands of Davies, Hugo Palmer’s seven-year-old made every yard in the testing rain-softened ground at Colwick Park and showed great resilience to pull out extra when pressed by Alan King’s star stayer inside the final three furlongs – knuckling down to hold off Trueshan by half a length at the line.

Although well held in Group One company at ParisLongchamp on his final outing of 2022, his victory at odds of 16-1 now puts him in the frame for some big assignments this term.

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“We thought he would be fit enough today,” said the winning jockey.

“The competition was probably the best he’s ever faced really and he’s just improving as he gets older.

“Last year we learnt an awful lot about him and it is a very exciting year ahead.

“I know the horse will always get further and will always hit the line strong – he will never let you down and he will always try hard. When Trueshan came to me, he never let me down.

“I’m just so thankful to Hugo and the owners for keeping me on the horse.”

Rajinsky and Harry Davies (orange) coming home to win the Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham racecourse
Rajinsky and Harry Davies (orange) coming home to win the Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham racecourse (Joe Giddens/PA)

Palmer may now have to reassess Rajinsky’s targets, saying: “Plan A was to go for the Chester Cup. I thought if he could run between six to eight lengths behind Trueshan and have a blow, that would put him spot on for Chester, but I might have to re-think that plan now.

“He was entered in the Chester Cup this week and the weights come out next week, in which time he will be re-assessed.

“I think it is a bit of a leap of faith to say that was the best version of Trueshan, but he is still a dual Group One winner and that is a hell of a scalp for our horse to take.

“Like Trueshan, he is a ground-dependent horse and we need to find ground where there is cut in it. I can’t believe there is a huge amount of improvement in him at the age of seven, but he will still be very entertaining for us.

“We took him to France for a Group One last year but that came at the end of a long season and he probably left his effort on the Rowley Mile in the Cesarewitch Trial.

“I think there could be a lot of options for him back in France and it is definitely something we will keep an eye on.”

Brian Ellison’s Tashkhan plugged on gamely to take third spot, but there was no trainer happier than Nicky Henderson after Buzz returned from a 508-day injury absence.

The nine-year-old finished last of the five runners, beaten just shy of 27 lengths, but the Seven Barrows handler could not hide his delight about seeing the popular dual-purpose performer back on track.

He said: “We ummed and ahhed a bit this morning about whether to even run him because when it went heavy this morning, I got nervous. He got tired in it, of course he has, but if he’s all right in the morning, on we go.

Trainer Nicky Henderson speaks to jockey Rossa Ryan before the Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham racecourse
Trainer Nicky Henderson speaks to jockey Rossa Ryan before the Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham racecourse (Joe Giddens/PA)

“He enjoyed himself and Rossa (Ryan) said he came onto the bridle turning into the straight following Trueshan and I thought ‘oh good’ but not surprisingly he got tired.

“We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve got him back on a racecourse. We decided we weren’t going to hurdle him this time around and we would stick to the Flat which takes the pressure off a little bit, but if he’s all right in the morning we will be very happy.

“It was lovely to see him back, he’s enjoyed himself and Rossa was great – he’s looked after him. He had a nice time.”

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