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Elegant Man makes every yard for Easter Classic glory at Newcastle

Elegant Man put up an imperious display to make nearly every yard of the running in the BetUK All-Weather Easter Classic Middle Distance Handicap at Newcastle.

A son of the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup winner Arrogate, he is trained in Ireland by Adrian Murray.

There was plenty going against him, though, because as well as carrying top weight on just his fourth outing, he was drawn widest of all in stall 14.

David Egan, full of confidence having won the Lincoln in his new job for Amo Racing last week, was keen to get to the front and while he was briefly taken on by Blanchland, Elegant Man soon took command.

After the initial rush, Egan was able to control matters and having got a breather into his mount, visibly quickened the pace before the turn for home. While that caught a few rivals on the hop, he then asked for a further effort well over two furlongs from home and as Penzance and Hooking, owned by footballer Antoine Griezmann, closed in, he looked vulnerable for a few strides.

Elegant Man and David Egan clinched the feature at Newcastle
Image: Elegant Man and David Egan clinched the feature at Newcastle

It was to his credit that the 11/4 favourite saw out the trip strongly and won by a length and a half from Penzance, who ran a career-best himself.

Murray said: “That was brilliant, he’s a class horse. He came with a high reputation and from the first day we ran him in Dundalk, he was very exciting.

“From that wide draw, we had no option but to let him go on and it would have suited us to go on too, because he’ll stay further.

“He settled down pretty quick and I was very happy. I saw them getting a bit closer to him and then he kicked again and I said ‘we have it in the bag here. He’s still very unexposed and is improving all the time.”

Egan said: “It’s not the spring double but it’s close!

“It’s fantastic to get such a good start, Kia (Joorabchian, owner) will be over the moon. It’s all about keeping it going. These are really exciting times.

“He always breaks a little slowly and from a wide draw, with his inexperience, I didn’t want to have a mountain to climb with the way races have been unfolding on the round track.

“Races are being run at a sedate pace and I got a very easy lead. I had to commit him early enough, as I thought he might almost get outsprinted. I tried to make it a test up the straight and when they came to me, he picked up again.

“He’s a horse having his fourth start and he carried top-weight in a £200,000 handicap – and he’s won like that, he’s a very classy horse.”

Tudhope proves super-sub as Prydwen sails clear in Marathon

Benoit de la Sayette’s loss was Danny Tudhope’s gain as Prydwen ran out an easy winner of the BetUK All-Weather Championships Marathon Handicap.

With former champion apprentice De La Sayette stuck in traffic on his way north, George Scott turned to Tudhope for the six-year-old and few ride Gosforth Park better than the Scotsman.

Sent off a 10/1 chance, Tudhope settled just on the quarters of the pace-making Palace Boy, before he made his move shortly after turning into the straight.

Prydwen (left) en route to success at Newcastle
Image: Prydwen (left) en route to success at Newcastle

The race was over a furlong out as long as Prydwen saw out the trip and he ran right through the line. Duke Of Oxford made late gains to claim second, beaten three and a half lengths, with Spartan Army in third.

Tudhope said: “He gave me a lovely ride, I had a nice position early, he was happy where he was and he controlled the pace.

“I was always confident, I was always going well. I don’t know much about his form, it was a late call-up. George said the track might not play to his strengths, but he travelled sweetly and did it the hard way.”

Scott, who was at Lingfield, said: “It wasn’t poor Benoit’s fault at all, there was a crash right in front of him and he couldn’t help it, but we were delighted when Danny was available and took the ride.

“He’s an outstanding jockey and his decision at the start of the race to make up ground easily played a huge part in the way he was able to dictate the race.”

Fillies’ and Mares’

Cloud Cover was a very stylish winner of the BetMGM Fillies’ And Mares’ Championships Handicap at Newcastle.

Cloud Cover wins at Newcastle
Image: Cloud Cover wins at Newcastle

James Tate’s four-year-old was wearing a hood for the first time and given an ultra-confident ride by Clifford Lee – and that combination clearly suited her down to the ground.

Oisin Murphy set only a steady gallop on Just A Spark and as so often happens when the pace is slow, in front was the place to be.

With two furlongs to run, Lee looked as if he had absolutely nowhere to go but when Just A Spark quickened clear, the gaps began to open up. Cloud Cover suddenly arrived upsides on the bridle and Lee just used hands and heels to win by a length.

Lee said: “In the first half of the race, I was just trying to get her settled and I didn’t really get a gap, which has sort of done me a favour because I just held onto her a little bit more.”

Sky News
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