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Listed Investec Surrey Stakes & Investec Zebra Handicap - all the news & quotes

Press Release 31st May 2019 Epsom Downs

By Racenews

James Doyle rode the Godolphin-owned Space Blues to victory in the seven-furlong Listed Investec Surrey Stakes for trainer Charlie Appleby. The three-year-old Dubawi colt, sent off the well-backed 6/5 favourite, held off Urban Icon by a neck. It was the second win of Investec Ladies' Day for the jockey and trainer, who also took the opening Investec Woodcote Stakes with Pinatubo, giving them a 3.4/1 double.
Doyle said: "That was good - I am really pleased, and he's taken a couple of steps forward. He won nicely at York [on May 15] and the drop back in trip seems to have helped. He's a pretty nifty horse. There are a few potential targets at Royal Ascot, so we'll have a look."
Appleby said: "James was very pleased with him today. He said they've not gone as quickly as he thought they might do, but they've gone for the line very hard. Two smart horses.
"I did pose the question, is he a Jersey [Stakes, 7f, G3, Royal Ascot, June 19] horse? He wouldn't look out of place in the line-up there. What he does is travel for fun, which is why I always thought the track would suit him. We all know you've got to be able to travel here and get down that hill. It was one of those nice races to watch where I wasn't too concerned about it.
"At this present time I am thinking about the Jersey at Royal Ascot. I don't think we will be stepping him up in trip so the seven furlongs of the Jersey [the distance of today's race] is probably the most logical think to do at the moment. He's a fun horse to have around - he travels and he's got a gear change, which is nice to see."
QIPCO 2,000 Guineas eighth, Urban Icon, managed to improve the placing to second in the seven-furlong Listed Investec Surrey Stakes, a neck behind 6/5 favourite Space Blues.
Richard Hannon, who trains the 7/2 chance, ridden by Tom Marquand, commented: "All I can do at the moment is be second and we have bumped into another good horse.
"Urban Icon ran a super race.
"I thought he ran like a miler which is very encouraging. I might well put him back up in trip. I think races like the Prix Jean Prat or the Jersey Stakes will do for him next time.
"We came here to see if he was a very good horse, he has proved that, and he is going to be a very good horse next year. We have a lot to look forward to.
"It is a shame to be second as he deserves to win one.
"I don't think the track played any part, it was the same for all of them, I don't think there are any excuses. He has run a good solid race and tried hard."
Marquand added: "It is a bit annoying finishing second and we know he is a nice horse from what he has done at home. He has got a big one in him."
Franny Norton, who rode the third placed Marie's Diamond, who is trained by Mark Johnston, said: "He ran OK. He just lacked a little bit of pace when they came to me. He came back for a second strike but the race was all over."
5.15pm Investec Surrey Stakes (Listed)
1 Space Blues (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 3-9-00 James Doyle 6/5 fav
2 Urban Icon (Michael Pescod) Richard Hannon 3-9-00 Tom Marquand 7/2
3 Marie's Diamond (Middleham Park Racing) Mark Johnston 3-9-00 Franny Norton 14/1
Time: 1m 22.74s
Distances: nk, 1½
Tote Win: £2.00        Places: £1.30, £1.90           Exacta: £5.60
The last race on day one of the Investec Derby Festival was a local affair, a photo finish fought out between horses trained by Epsom-based Jim Boyle and Simon Dow, the race going to the Dow-trained Corazon Espinado (7/1) by a short-head from Hateya.
A delighted Dow said: "Corazon Espinado is very tough, he has a big heart and he loves it around here. He has kind of arrived here just right for today, we gave him an easy winter as he had a busy three-year-old season and two ordinary runs earlier when my horses weren't quite right. He hinted at a return to form last time at Windsor over a mile.
"We were in the mile and the seven furlongs here and we felt the seven furlongs was right - we were lucky as we got a great draw.
"He did it the hard way, but he really dug in and fought.
"It is always great to win here and Jim Boyle is a great friend and we both, well we are all working really hard to make sure this place continues and there is a development of Epsom as a training centre. To beat your mate on the line in a big race on Oaks day... well thank god I won!
"Corazon Espinado is quite well handicapped today, last year I thought he'd be a real nice horse and he slightly disappointed us. But he has returned today off a lower mark so let's just see what comes. I am not pretending he is going to be a Group horse, but he should pay his way.
"It is a family that develops as they get older, he is one to keep on the right side of. Seven furlongs and a mile is easy for him, he can look like he is on fumes and he is never going to win his races by far, but he loves to lock horns.
"We won on Derby day in 1995 and 2003, and have had some winners on Oaks day - it is very special, any winner at your local track is important and to get a winner on the big day is special. The horse has only got to walk 100 yards and he is back in his box!"
A storming finish gained the Jim Boyle-trained Hateya silver medal rather than the desired gold, with the 9/2 chance going down by a short-head to the 7/1 winner Corazon Espinado, who is also trained in Epsom by Simon Dow.
A lachrymose Boyle commented: "You build yourself up to these days. I am absolutely gutted but absolutely thrilled. It was a huge run. I am delighted Simon [Dow] has won, if any one was to beat me... I am absolutely thrilled it is Simon.
"There is a silver lining to the cloud. But that is the only silver lining."
Andrea Atzeni, jockey of the four-year-old, added: "She ran good. I think she is ready to step up to a mile.
"She was never really travelling but she came home well."
5.50pm Investec Zebra Handicap
1 Corazon Espinado (Robert Moss) Simon Dow 4-8-13 Tom Marquand 7/1
2 Hateya (Inside Track Racing Club) Jim Boyle 4-9-11 Andrea Atzeni 9/2
3 Love Dreams (Crone Stud Farms Ltd) Mark Johnston 5-9-12 Franny Norton 7/1
Time: 1m 22.14s
Distances: sh, ½
Tote Win: £7.80       Places: £2.40, £2.00, £2.40           Exacta: £33.70



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