Friday 2nd June
The Listed Nyetimber Surrey Stakes, staged over seven furlongs for three year olds, went the way of 3-1 chance Olivia Maralda in the colours of Amo Racing.
Partnered by Kevin Stott, who was enjoying a 51-1 double following the earlier success of Cadillac, the daughter of Kodiac led entering the final furlong and pulled clear to score by two and a half lengths from 7-4 Favourite Holguin.
Winning trainer Roger Varian said: “She ran well in the 1000 Guineas but she loves fast ground and seven is probably her trp.
“We thought they would go quick, but I don’t think they went very quick as there was a few keen in behind. We know she has got a good turn of foot and I quite like that slightly outer draw around this track as you get a clear run. I think bar the second race the winners have been coming from just off the pace.
“It was always the plan to give her a chance early and let her class come through. It was a race we looked at for her quite soon after the Guineas. She is very balanced and we always thought she would be comfortable on the track.
“I’d like to consider the Jersey (at Royal Ascot). Seven furlongs is her trip and hopefully you would get a fast pace there. If they get fast ground she could be a danger.”
Kevin Stott added: “We all agreed to kind of tuck her in a little bit; we knew we were going to go quick, and it was just to get her into a nice rhythm more than anything. I got her into a nice rhythm and, to be fair, all I had to do was push the button.
“She actually handled this track very well. She ran well in the Guineas; she just prefers quick ground, which she got today, and everything just went right. And when it all goes right, it just feels a lot nicer!
“I think seven furlongs is her ideal trip. It would have to be a very stiff six furlongs to drop her back, but we’ll go to Ascot now and the seven furlongs there will suit. I was very impressed with her today.”
The concluding Winners Wear Cavani Handicap over seven furlongs went the way of top-weight Spanish Star (12-1), who defied top-weight of 10st 2lb to produce a strong late run and score by half a length.
Philippa Chamings, wife and assistant trainer to Patrick Chamings, said: “He has been unbelievable. He goes on soft ground and quick ground. He is just incredible. We thought he was quite high in the handicap and to be honest he hasn’t run well round here before. He has run twice here before with no luck but we thought we would take the gamble and give it another go.
“He has got to be held up and come in the last half a furlong really. The longer you can hold on to him the better. Rhys (Clutterbuck) got the rail and he was just amazing. A lot of horses we have had have been their best at six, seven or eight.
“I think he is better over six furlongs when the ground is very soft but it was quick today and I was worried it was a bit too quick. I think we will probably look at something at Royal Ascot now.”
Rhys Clutterbuck, the winning jockey, said: “He’s a very funny horse and you have to deliver him late. He’s always won on soft ground but he ran a big race at Windsor last time out and today we just thought we’d drop him out and keep him covered up and come with a late run.
“I thought Hollie (Doyle) had got away from me but my horse just kept battling on. I didn’t think I’d catch her when I’d pressed the button but towards the line her horse started idling and I just kept on strong. It’s pretty incredible really (to ride a winner on Oaks Day). It’s nice to get the recognition.”
Hollie Doyle, jockey of the second placed Darkness (20-1), said: “He enjoyed the change of tactics and he’s got plenty of ability, it’s just getting it out of him. It was a decent enough run today, he just got tired close home.”
After a warm dry Ladies Day watering will take place at Epsom this evening as expected, with the hope of maintaining ‘Good To Firm’ ground on Derby Day tomorrow.
Clerk of the Course Andrew Cooper said: “I think it’s ridden as safe, fast ground this afternoon, and there’s no change to the plan. We’ll water the course apart from the last furlong of the downhill stretch and the first two furlongs of the five-furlong course, and we’ll move the rail out for the last mile.
“I’ve left it as ‘Good To Firm’ overnight and we’ll take stock again in the morning, but we won’t be able to do any more at that stage. I hope that would enable us to maintain it as generally good to firm, but without watering we’d probably be talking about firm in places tomorrow.”
He added: “The weather outlook is much the same, with a cooler night and possibly a bit of dew in the morning, and then less cloud first thing. Temperatures could get as high as 22 degrees.”