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Article 3rd May 2024 Newmarket

By Ben Cox

Veteran Outbox produced the biggest shock on day one of the QIPCO Guineas Festival, leading from start to finish to claim the William Hill Jockey Club Stakes at odds of 50-1.   

Having won all three of his races in his debut season in 2018, the Archie Watson-trained nine-year-old was not back in the winner’s enclosure until March 2021 and went into today’s Group 2 feature race the outsider of the field of six after a 229-day absence from the track.

However, jockey Hollie Doyle sent him to the front from the moment the stalls opened in the 1m 4f contest – the third time Outbox had run in the race - and the pair never looked back, with Harry Charlton’s Time Lock (11-8f) two and a half lengths behind in second and Naqeeb (8-1) a further one and a quarter lengths back in fourth for William Haggas.

Davina Vigors, owners’ liaison for owners Hambleton Racing, said: “Each of our syndicates has 12 shares and this horse has been a real star for us as he also won out in Doha (in the local Group One H H The Amir Trophy in 2022).

“We weren’t really expecting this today but the rain has probably helped us a bit and horses have been winning from the front today.

“Our biggest win came in the Group One Champions Sprint at Ascot with Glen Shiel (in 2020) but today is a great day too.”

One of the dozen syndicate members, Denis O’Driscoll, added: “That was not really expected although I did have a bit of a bet because he kept going out in the betting, from 20s out to 50s!

“We are delighted. He was lashing out and everything beforehand which showed he was well and I thought ‘maybe we have a chance’. He’s a nine-year-old so maybe at 50-something my running might get quicker!”

The colours of owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum were in the winner’s enclosure for the second time when Boiling Point (11-8 Favourite) came home the three-quarter length winner of the seven-furlong William Hill King Charles II Stakes under James Doyle.

Winning trainer Roger Varian said: “He nearly won a Group Three here at the end of last year (when the short-head runner-up in the Tattersalls Stakes).

“He has got away with it today, but he will be better on Good to Firm ground. He has looked like he needed every yard of it today.

“I need to speak his owner Sheikh Obaid but he has had two quick runs now and I would quite like to put him away and wait for the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. The stiff seven furlongs there should suit him and I thought all through the winter that it could be the race for him.

“After that, we can decide whether we step him up to a mile. In my opinion, it looks like he would stay a mile.”

Sheikh Obaid went to enjoy a treble on the day when the concluding William Hill Extra Places Races Handicap went the way of Volterra (7-4 fav).


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