Winter wonderful on the Knavesmire for Easterby

Winter Power looks like she is going to have a say in some major sprints this season given the way the three-year-old bolted up in the British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes at York.

Tim Easterby’s filly looked progressive at the end of last season when winning the Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket, yet even with that Group Three penalty her rivals did not see which way she went.

She burst out of the stalls and held a big early advantage after three furlongs, when Silvestre de Sousa began to look around to see where the others were.

It soon became apparent that nothing could live with the King Power Racing-owned filly and when Acklam Express began backpedaling – eventually finishing tailed off – the 5-1 winner had the race in the bag.

She came home three lengths clear of Atalis Bay with another five back to Dexter Belle.

“She’s just a natural. She’s always been able to gallop, it just took us a while to get it together, but she’s so relaxed now,” said Easterby.

“She’s a good size – she’s grown and done well. She was quite backward in her coat until about two weeks ago and she’s blossomed.

“She’s goes on firm ground and goes on soft ground – she’s just a pro. You get good horses like that once in a while.

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“She hasn’t had a lot of galloping, but she doesn’t blow. Pipalong was the same – they don’t blow those good horses.

“She’s as good as we’ve had for a long time, I’d have thought.

“She definitely goes for the King’s Stand – that has been the plan all along.”

Winter Power was cut to 10-1 from 20s for the King’s Stand by Betfair.

Copper Knight (left) wins for the fifth time at York
Copper Knight (left) wins for the fifth time at York (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Easterby had earlier won with Copper Knight (11-2 joint-favourite), who took the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap at York for a second time to gain a fifth success on the Knavesmire.

Rated as high as 106 at his peak, he was well-backed at Chester last week to take advantage of a much-reduced rating of 85 but could only finish third to Jabbarockie.

In front a long way out, first James Sullivan’s mount had to see off the attentions of Jawwaal on entering the final furlong and then Mulzim made good ground from the rear to chase him home, at a distance of half a length.

Easterby said: “He’s a star, last year he just lost his way a bit.

“He ran great first time out (second at Newmarket), but went up a fair bit and that snookered him.

“He got himself re-handicapped really and he ran well at Chester last week.

“He likes it here. We might look at the Dash at Epsom.”

He added: “When he first came he was a bit stressy and took a bit of settling down, but he’s just one of those horses that is easier to train now.”

Kynren (left) was a narrow winner at York
Kynren (left) was a narrow winner at York (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Another Chester third went a couple of places better in the Matchbook Betting Podcast Hambleton Handicap, with the David Barron-trained Kynren coming out on top in a thrilling finish.

Ridden by Connor Beasley, 17-2 chance was strongly pressed by 7-2 favourite Brunch in the closing stages, but clung on by a neck.

“I got a little bit checked two and a half furlongs down, but once I got him back in a rhythm he went to the line all the way,” said the winning jockey.

“He’s a model of consistency and ran a mighty race last week at Chester. Coming back to a lovely track like York with a bit of ease in the ground just played to his strengths.

“I followed the fancied ones through and it worked out well.”

Lusail made a winning debut for Richard Hannon in the Constant Security Maiden Stakes.

The Al Shaqab Racing-owned colt was a largely unconsidered 28-1 shot in the hands of Andrea Atzeni, but displayed a willing attitude to get the better of Mattice by three-quarters of a length, with 5-2 favourite Albahr best of the rest in third.

Hannon, whose chief hope Secret Strength (4-1) finished fourth, said: “The winner is a nice colt and will improve massively for that.

“He’s only galloped twice and is not there in his coat yet. We’ll take things quietly, but if he’s good enough to go to Ascot he’ll go.

“I can’t work out the fourth horse – I’m certain there’s a good horse in there somewhere. He’s not finishing his races and I don’t know why.”

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