David O’Meara’s Get Shirty landed his second big handicap of the season when careering away with the bet365 Old Newton Cup at Haydock.
Just 18 days ago the six-year-old French import won the Copper Horse Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Upped 6lb in the handicap to a mark of 105, many felt he had too much to do at the weights and he was sent off a 10-1 chance.
He showed his improvement has not yet levelled out though, as on entering the final furlong he quickly went two lengths clear and was not to be caught, beating Enfranchise by a length and a half.
William Haggas’ red-hot favourite Gaassee was dropped right out at the rear by Cieren Fallon and while he made up plenty of late ground, he ultimately had too much to do and finished third.
“He’s a tough horse and he’s had a wonderful season – he’s only been beaten once at Ripon when it turned into a bit of a sprint over two miles,” said O’Meara.
“The horse that beat him (Rajinsky) ran well in the Chester Cup, so there was no shame in being beaten there and apart from that, all he’s done is turn up and keep doing it.
“He’s been brilliant. He was there a long time and if you spoke to Danny (Tudhope) he’d probably say he was there too long, but he’s just so tough. He had very good form in France and just lost his way a bit. I gave him a few runs last year and it just didn’t kick in at all.
“He trains well and is out in the field a lot and sometimes it’s nothing in particular that you do, horses just come back into themselves because they do and there’s no real science to it. The Ebor would be a great race for him and then we’ll see where we end up after that. It would be an amazing race to win!”
Haggas and Fallon had better luck earlier on the card in the bet365 Handicap with Nathanael Greene.
First-time cheekpieces clearly worked the oracle on the 6-1 shot, who beat Giavellotto by half a length.
Maureen Haggas, wife and assistant trainer to husband William, said: “He did well and he’s learning. He enjoyed the ground and the trip and I think cheekpieces just finished the job off.
“It’s a nice race to win and William will find something for him but he’s getting better with the step up in trip, so let’s hope he keeps going forward and he might be one we can keep next year. It’s nice to have a winner for Isa (Salman Al Khalifa, owner) as he puts a lot into the game.”
Zero Carbon (9-1) could head to Goodwood after he chalked up his third win on the bounce in the Best Odds Guaranteed At bet365.com Handicap.
Trainer Richard Hughes said: “He’s a decent horse and has done nothing wrong so far. We had a few injuries at two and then in the spring he got shins, which is unusual for a three-year-old. He’s got over all of that and now he is a happy horse.
“We still don’t know what his best trip is, he is a horse with a lot of pace and it would be good if he gets a mile but I don’t know. I had him in at £100,000 three-year-old race at Newmarket but I opted for a bit of cut in the ground.
“I’d say we’re more than likely to go to Goodwood, the owners are keen to go there and so am I!”
Tacarib Bay (11-2) landed the Price Promise At bet365 Handicap, while Ramazan (13-2) lifted the bet365 Nursery Handicap.