The old boy Sphinx ran his usual excellent race to win the John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap over 1m 7f at Ayr yesterday under another great ride by the champion jockey, Paul Hanagan.
The conditions were described as heavy and that was music to our ears as he relishes as good test of stamina in the mud. Having won the race 2 years ago and finishing 3rd last year, we were confident of another big performance from the 13 y/o. He opened up at 2/1 and 5/2 in places and was very well supported in the market, finishing up the 5/4 fav.
Having set out at a modest gallop, Paul held him up 2nd last for the most part. At the 6f mark, Graham Gibbons , who was on the Mick Easterby trained Pertemps Networks injected a bit of pace into the race. Paul kept Sphinx handy and he looked to be travelling supremely well at this stage.
Turning for home, with 4f left, Paul began to lengthen the stride on Sphinx and easily made up the ground to join and pass the leaders. Keeping him up to his work , Paul went onto win by 3 lengths and have a double on the day to cement his position as champion jockey elect.
This was another great training performance by Edwin Tuer and we are delighted that he gave us our 6th winner of our short existence.
We had a great morning at Alan Swinbanks yesterday, watching our very exciting prospects Mitchell’s Way and The Ferick work, they both look fantastic and we look forward to some good days out with them. Thanks again to Alan and all the team for their hospitality.