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Article 20th April 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark

Charlie Hills described Garrus as a ‘smashing horse’ after the admirable grey secured the third Group Three success of his career when atoning for his near miss of 12 months ago in the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes at Newmarket today.   

After going down a short-head to Double Or Bubble in the six-furlong prize last year the gelded son of Acclamation, who finished eighth in the 1351 Turf Sprint at Riyadh in February, went one better on this occasion to complete a 239-1 double for rider Ryan Moore.

Despite the seven year old being the oldest runner in the field he showed he still retains plenty of ability when bursting through over on the far side late on before holding off Commanche Falls by a head much to the delight of the Lambourn handler.

Hills said: “He is a smashing horse and it is a pleasure to train him really. He has run some good races in big races. He is a good Group Three, Group Two horse.

“We keep making those big entries in Group Ones but I don’t know if we will get sucked into them. We will see.

“It probably helped him a bit (running in Saudi Arabia). It is great to win a race like this. We were beaten a short-head in this race last year so it is good to get him back.

“He (Creative Force) is a lovely horse, but Garrus picked up really good from the two pole to the line. He got to the front pretty quickly and he just hung on up the hill.”

Garrus holds an entry in the Group Two 1895 Duke Of York Clipper Stakes at York next month, however Hills hinted that he could be on his travels once again.

He added: “He is in at York, but he loves France so we will have a look at that as well. He has got good form in France.

“There are some nice races, but whether pitch him back in at the top level I’m not sure.

“He is a horse that any owner and trainer would dream to have.”

While an outing at York is not yet set in stone for Garrus it could be on the cards for 8-13 favourite Creative Force, who finished back in third, according to his trainer Charlie Appleby.

The Newmarket trainer said: “They went steady and it then turned into a little bit of a burn up and like William (Buick) jockey said they got racing on the far side of it unfortunately so he ended up having nothing to race with.

“Take nothing away from the winner as he has been knocking on the door for something like this as well.

“From our point of view they just got racing on the far side and they went steady and turned it into a burn up and got the jump on him. He was picking up on his own really.

“We will probably looks towards York. You know these sprinters - week in week out, the results keep changing.”



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