Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

No Buts, It's Iff

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

No Buts, It's Iff

Article excerpt

Byline: Naomi Matthew

All good things come to an end and a truly memorable week on the Knavesmire closed with a thumping victory for ante-post punters in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot at York on Saturday.

Some concerns over ground conditions apart, the historic meeting will be remembered as a major success on its temporary sojourn to Yorkshire with its Berkshire home undergoing substantial redevelopment.

And the stunning victory of Iffraaj in what is always one of the biggest betting heats of the five days was a fitting conclusion.

The Michael Jarvis-trained colt cost the bookmaking industry something in the region of pounds 1m in ante-post bets, having been available at 9-1 when the book on the big handicap opened but who was down to 9-4 favourite at the off.

He did not let his supporters down and was ridden with great confidence by Philip Robinson, who tracked the front-running Royal Storm before sending the market leader to the front two furlongs from home.

Beckermet (16-1) emerged from the pack as a serious challenger but Iffraaj was always holding too many guns and drew clear to score impressively by two lengths, with Peter Paul Rubens the same distance back in third. Talbot Avenue (50-1) was fourth.

The victory went some way to erasing the memory of Rakti's defeat in the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday for Jarvis.

He said: "I thought Rakti and this horse were my best chances.

"Rakti ran very well, he was beaten by a very good horse and things didn't go our way.

"But everything has gone right today.

"Iffraaj could be better than a handicapper but it's nice to get this one under your belt first. I like progression."

Cape Of Good Hope capped a fine week for overseas raiders as he struck for Hong Kong in the Golden Jubilee Stakes.

Mick Kinane brought the 6-1 shot home to edge out Galeota in a time that took 0.24 seconds off the course record.

The seven-year-old extended his already-substantial lead in the Global Sprint Challenge by winning the second of two British legs in the six-race series. …

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