Michael Bell’s new recruit Prince Alex just got the better of Urban Artist to win the £100,000 Summer Handicap at Goodwood.
Trained to win five times last year by Ralph Beckett, he was moved to Bell’s Newmarket stable by owners Amo Racing after his defeat at HQ last time out.
That came on good ground, though, and he clearly much prefers to get his toe in so the rain which hit Goodwood before racing was very welcome.
Ridden by the owner’s retained jockey Rossa Ryan, who elected to stay towards the middle of the course while champion jockey Oisin Murphy directed Hughie Morrison’s Urban Artist towards the far rail, there was only a neck between them at the line. Future Investment finished third.
“We have not had the horse long, credit has got to go to Ralph and the team at Kimpton for preparing him,” said Bell’s son and assistant, Nick.
“It shows what a good constitution the horse has to be able to move stable early on in the week and then come and perform like he did today. He seemed to really relish that soft ground and stays very well.
“He’s been very laid back, hasn’t missed an oat in the feed bin, seems a very pleasant horse to have around the place and a nice addition to the yard.
“He has only won a short head today, so I don’t think he is going to go up enough to get in the Ebor and he is quite ground dependent. I’d say we’ll go wherever the weather takes us, but I believe this has been the plan for a while. It is nice for the horse’s sake that he got this head in front.
“I am sure he is a horse that is going to get better with age.”
Ryan, enjoying his second winner at this year’s meeting, said: “I was very happy this morning when I saw all the rain coming. Prince Alex has been crying out for it really.
“He ran a good race considering a lot of things went wrong for me the last day at Newmarket, but I knew that if I could get him to relax then he would always come home for me.
“My only worry was that he only does enough, he’s not a straightforward push-button job.
“He half rallied again in the last half-furlong when he spotted the other horse. I always thought I had everyone covered.
“He’s a lovely horse and, after the year he had last year, he’s back on track.”