Esentepe (2) holds off Nayarra to land Nell Gwyn Stakes on WednesdayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Esentepe fends off Nell Gwyn rivals from front
Report: Newmarket, Thursday
Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes (Group 3) 7f, 3yo, fillies
ESENTEPE lowered the colours of some better-fancied rivals when she made most of the running to score for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Pat Dobbs.
The 28-1 winner disputed the lead with Excelette for most of the contest but she moved clear inside the final two furlongs before she held off the strong challenge of Nayarra close to the finish.
Lily's Angel shaped well in third, ahead of the running-on trio Lady Gorgeous, Starscope and Sunday Times.
Pimpernel, sent off the 3-1 favourite, was always towards the rear and failed to pick up for Frankie Dettori.
Richard Hannon jnr said the winner is unlikely to run in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, even though her owners Middleham Park Racing sounded enthusiastic about the possibility of her turning up.
Hannon jnr said: "She's burst a few bubbles and it's not a surprise. She was first from her last run and she's kept improving from last year.
"She's not in the 1,000 Guineas but we've entered her for the Musidora and we'll she how she comes out of this race first."
Esentepe, who claimed third on her seasonal reappearance on April 7, was quickly into her stride as market principals Pimpernel and Regal Realm were settled towards the rear.
Once-raced debut winner Starscope was tracking the field on the inside rail for William Buick as Russelliana moved nicely in midfield for Ryan Moore.
Once Excelette weakened, Esentepe took up the running but she look sure to be swallowed up as Russeliana, Regal Realm and Starscope began to move forwards.
But the leader showed a determined attitude and she kept on relentlessly asNayarra stayed on strongly inside the final furlong.
Esentepe had more than enough in reserve to hold the runner-up as Lily's Angel stayed on well to grab third.
Starscope shaped best of all in fourth after she made good late headway inside the closing stages.