Gabrial: has the Doncaster Mile in safekeeping under Kieren FallonPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Wayward Gabrial does enough to land Mile
Report: Doncaster, Saturday
bet365 Doncaster Mile Stakes (Listed) 1m (round), 4yo+
THE enigmatic Gabrial overcame trouble in running and some wayward antics to run out a convincing winner of the Doncaster Mile for Richard Fahey and Kieren Fallon.
Trapped on the rail with just over a furlong to run, Fallon managed to weave his way to the outside only for his partner to drift violently to the right once hitting the front.
The manoeuvre made no difference to the result, with Gabrial well on top from runner-up Don't Call Me at the line. The winner, who finished third to Frankel in last season's Sussex Stakes, retuned at 10-3.
It's not the first time Marwan Koukash's four-year-old has hung badly in his races, as he did a similar thing when successful in the Silver Bowl at Haydock Last May.
It was that win that pursued connections to run in both the St James's Palace Stakes and Sussex Stakes last year and he looks on-course for a return to Group level after this performance, his first as a gelding.
"His whole demeanour and attitude have improved since we had him gelded at the end on last season," said Fahey. "He's classy and has been a very talented horse and he showed it again there."
Looking to the future, the winning trainer added: "We'll look to step back-up to ten furlongs next time, with the Group 3 Huxley Stakes at Chester the plan."
Highland Knight attempted to make all under Liam Keniry but proved a sitting duck as first Don't Call Me, and then Gabrial, shot past the pace-setter, who faded to finish fifth of the six runners.
Chandlery, off the course with a fractured pelvis since winning the 2011 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, was a major disappointment in last place. The same can be said for fourth home Sovereign Debt, who has been the subject of some favourable recent gallop reports.
Penitent, winner of the race last year, used the mile contest as springboard to Group 2 success and, if channelling his energy in the right direction, Gabrial looks the sort to follow suit.