The famous silks of The Queen were carried to success at Nottingham on May 8th as Light Refrain landed the feature Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Kilvington Stakes. Her Majesty’s homebred daughter of Frankel was an impressive winner and clearly relished the rain-softened ground.
Elsewhere on the seven-race card there were doubles for jockeys Paul Hanagan and Danny Tudhope while the first qualifiers for the 2021 Jockey Club Grassroots Flat Series also took place. The Jockey Club Grassroots Flat Series culminates with finals day at Nottingham on September 29th.
We sent Graham Clark to review the action and speak to the winners on the day …
LIGHT REFRAIN CARRIES ROYAL SILKS TO SUCCESS IN FEATURE
Light Refrain secured the biggest success of her career after carrying the colours of The Queen to glory in the British Stallion Studs EBF Kilvington Stakes.
Having filled the runner-up spot in a Listed contest at York on her final start at two in October, the homebred daughter of Frankel made a triumphant return at the same level in the six furlong feature.
Anchored close to the rear of the field early on by Shane Kelly, the William Haggas-trained three year old worked her way stylishly past a number of her rivals ahead of mounting her challenge inside the final quarter of a mile.
Finding plenty when called on her for maximum effort the 4-1 chance maintained her gallop all the way to the line to defeat favourite Last Empire by a length and a quarter.
Haggas said: “She is a nice filly. Her mother (Light Music) liked the soft ground and she likes the ground as well but that was very good.
“I didn’t like the draw in stall 12 but funnily enough it turned out okay as last night you needed to be in the low numbers here.
“She has done that well though. She picked up nicely and I thought she finished off well and pulled up a bit in front. Shane thought he got there too soon but she has it done well.
“She has been working with the horse that won at Ascot yesterday, Aldaary, so we were a bit more confident after that. Hopefully she will have a good season.”
With Light Refrain holding no immediate entries the Newmarket handler claimed he will consult her famous owner before making future plans.
Haggas added: “I don’t know what we do next I’ll have to talk to the owner breeder who will be absolutely ecstatically proud of her. When you breed horses like this and own them, like The Queen has done with this one, you are delighted.”
HANAGAN DOUBLES UP
Former champion jockey Paul Hanagan walked away from the track with a double which was initiated by the two length victory secured by Boundless Power in the five-furlong Join Racing TV Now Handicap, which was also the first Jockey Club Grassroots Sprint Series Qualifier.
Mick Appleby, trainer, said of the 3-1 winner: “We learnt plenty about him at Chelmsford. He should have won but Oisin (Murphy) said when he hit the front he just pulled himself up.
“He fluffed the start today but that has probably played into his hands today. He had run well on this sort of ground in Ireland but I think he is pretty versatile.
“I could see him being a Wokingham or Stewards’ Cup type horse next year.”
The Richard Fahey-trained Seasett (9-2) completed Hanagan’s brace when finishing strongest of them all to run out a four and a half length winner of the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap.
TUDHOPE ALSO RECORDS DOUBLE
Danny Tudhope secured a double of his own aboard Vanity Affair, who completed a hat-trick for the year when landing the 10-furlong Watch On Racing TV Handicap, which was also a Jockey Club Grassroots Middle Distance Qualifier, by three and a half lengths on his turf debut.
Tudhope said of the Charlie Fellowes-trained 15-8 favourite: “It was his first time on turf but we thought he would like the ground as he is by Mayson who loved the mud.
“He is a grand horse that is progressing well and he is in great form. They went a good gallop and to be fair to him he ground it out and hit the line well.
“I think a mile and a quarter is his trip and Charlie said earlier it was probably the maximum he wants.”
YORK NEXT ON AGENDA FOR PROGRESSIVE DARK SHIFT
Dark Shift (4-7 Favourite) got the ball rolling for Tudhope when resuming his progression with a length and a quarter victory on his return to action in the opening Bet At racingtv.com Novice Stakes over six furlongs.
Charlie Hills, winning trainer, speaking away from the track, said: “Physically he has done well and has probably developed best of the two year olds that have turned three. He is from a good family that is quite slow maturing so he should get better.
“There is a very valuable three year old six furlong handicap at York just before Royal Ascot and we will look at something like that I imagine.”
LYCETT PLEASED TO BE BACK IN WINNER’S ENCLOSURE
The King’s Steed (3-1 Favourite) could be set for a quick re-appearance after ending trainer Shaun Lycett’s 219 day wait for a winner on the Flat after running out a facile eight and a half length winner of the concluding Follow @racingtv On Twitter Apprentice Handicap under Oisin McSweeney.
Lycett said: “Mine haven’t been quite right but they are just starting to come right now. When he won at Salisbury last year it was a better race than this. He loves soft ground on the turf.
“He loves being in front and is as tough as old boots and is hard to pass.
“Luckily I entered him this morning for Hamilton on Friday. We might go there now we will see how he comes out of this. I’m chuffed to bits