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Article 1st June 2024 Epsom Downs

Apprentice jockey Joe Leavy enjoyed a perfect first ride at Epsom Downs when Dream Composer (6-1) got up on the line for a half-length victory in the Aston Martin ‘Dash’ Heritage Handicap over five furlongs.

Trained by James Evans, the six-year-old on of Dream Ahead was perfectly positioned in the five-furlong event by Leavy, coming with his challenge inside the final furlong to reel in Looking For Lynda.

James Evans said: “We bought him very inexpensively from France three years ago - he’d run as a two-year-old there - and he’s won for us every year. He keeps stepping up, and obviously this is the icing on the cake, winning one like this. He’s won some good races at Grade One tracks; we just felt he was handicapped quite well today, and the cut in the ground helps him. He’s pretty good at going up and down dale, because he’s won at Goodwood and places like that.

“I got a phone call from these owners about four years ago and we had a few horses for them that we did ok with. They sent us to the sales and we bought a few; three of them have won 25 races between them. It just clicked; they are a great bunch, we’ve done well for them and long may it continue.

“We were going along as we found it; he’s got an entry in the Wokingham and if a penalty gets him into it and there’s cut in the ground, he likes Ascot and has run well there, so that’s a possible. But we’ll enjoy today and see where it takes us.” 

Joe Leavy said: “It’s amazing, honestly absolutely amazing. For it to be in the Dash as well – I don’t think there’s a race in England like it! It was fast, it was furious, but it really suited my lad. He’s a bit lazy early doors, but he stays very well. Once he had his daylight, he came home well. Coming into the half pole I thought I would take a lot of beating, I thought I had Rossa beaten. I know the horse as well, which is probably a help. Every time I ride him, we get better as a pair, so to come to Epsom and win a Dash is just huge.”

On making the weight for today (8st 2lb) he said: “I thought he had a great chance, so I was very determined on doing it. I wouldn’t go lower, but it was doable for me. For it to all come off and for James and the team, it’s massive, it really is.”

Robert Cowell, trainer of runner-up Democracy Dilemma, said: "What a fantastic run. This horse has just kept on improving and he's done nothing wrong the whole year. These are exciting times for Fitri and Jim Hay, and there are plenty of good sprints on the agenda. We know that Chester suits, and York is a good flat track. He just needs a flat, sharp track. He's just genuine and honest and he's a yard favourite.

"I've no idea what Clarendon House was doing (he was left in stalls). He's never done that before."

Rossa Ryan, rider of Democracy Dilemma, added: "I thought we had it sewn up, but he'd probably been a bit keen early and just didn't quite get home. I'd imagine around Chester or at York he'd be dynamite."


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