Ransom Note keeps Poet's Voice and Premio Loco at bay in Group 2PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Ransom Note makes all to land Joel Stakes
Report: Newmarket, Friday
Nayef Joel Stakes (Group 2) 1m, 3yo+
A FINE ride from the front by Michael Hills gave Ransom Note, an 11-2 tip from Pricewise, a comfortable victory over runner-up Premio Loco and third-placed Poet's Voice at odds of 4-1.
Hills made all on the four-year-old, slipping the field with under two furlongs to run, but in truth nothing ever looked like getting to him.
The victory was the biggest success yet for Charlie Hills since he took over from his father and was also a return to form for Ransom Note, who had rather lost his way since winning the Earl of Sefton Stakes here back in the spring.
"He just went missing for a while," said Michael Hills. "But he's come back. He feels well and is a good horse on his day."
The winning rider deserves plenty of credit for his performance. On a horse who was dropping back in trip, he had to judge the pace precisely,always keeping a bit up his sleeve so that when he asked the colt to quicken, it was decisive.
Both the second and third made their moves from some way back, soon finding they had a fair bit of ground to make up.
Although Poet's Voice came from last place, this was another below-par effort as he had a clear enough run to get to Ransom Note, but the change of pace that he showed to win the QEII Stakes last year was not in evidence and his effort rather petered out once he hit the rising ground.
Perhaps a step up in trip is now in order for the Group 1 winner, but his supporters' patience is running thin.