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Lights On waltzes to Pipalong Stakes success

Ryan Moore headed for the rail on Lights On and waltzed clear to win the Weatherbys Bloodstock Pro Pipalong Stakes at Pontefract in splendid fashion.

Sir Michael Stoute’s filly had been in good form this season, winning at Nottingham and Ascot, and had excuses when eighth in the Kensington Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out.

Drawn wide on that occasion, Moore could never get into the position he wanted – but in this much smaller field he was able to manoeuvre his mount into exactly where he needed to be.

However, his task was made much easier than it might have been when four of the six runners shunned the near side rail, which is heavily favoured when the ground rides soft.

Sent off a 3-1 chance, the Siyouni filly had the race almost won by the turn into the straight when the jockeys who had decided to take the normal racing route, including David Egan on the favourite Waliyak, realised they were way of the pace.

As the stagger evened itself out, Lights On was a long way clear and she came home in splendid isolation, beating Agincourt, the only other runner to take the same route as the winner, by 10 lengths.

It was a fifth win in the race for Cheveley Park Stud, after Chorist (2004), Red Bloom (2005), Exhort (2019) and Romola last year.

Lights On ridden by jockey Ryan Moore stuck tight to the rail
Lights On ridden by jockey Ryan Moore stuck tight to the rail (Nigel French/PA)

Managing director Chris Richardson said: “Ascot just didn’t work out, she was drawn too wide and Ryan looked after her.

“Ryan gave her a lovely ride today and she was really impressive. She’s continuing to improve and that’s three wins on the trot in this race.

“I think we’ll look at the Valiant Stakes at Ascot next. She goes well at Ascot and a Group Three is the next logical step.

“I think she would have won on any ground today, but she clearly handles soft with the Pivotal and Siyouni coming through.”