Sri Putra (nearside) gets up to beat Afsare in the Group 2 York StakesPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Sri Putra edges out Afsare in York Stakes
Report: York, Saturday
Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2) 1m2½f, 3yo+
SRI PUTRA made the most of the drop from Group 1 company to land the Sky Bet York Stakes on Saturday, holding on gamely to deny 9-4 favourite Afsare.
The 12-1 winner landed a Listed race at Kempton in May and then finished sixth in a Group 1 in Italy. Fifth in the Prince of Wales's at Royal Ascot, he was well beaten in the Coral-Eclipse last time, but bounced back in style under Neil Callan.
"He's quite a classy animal," said the rider. "He's always mixed it with the best and he ran with credit when fifth at Royal Ascot. In the Eclipse the ground was just too soft.
"He loves fast ground and really rattled off it today. When he's on song he's a class animal. It's great to win - brilliant!"
Sri Putra, trained by Roger Varian for HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah, was settled towards the rear of the field - reduced to nine following the defections of Hunter's Light and Planteur - as stablemate Pekan Star took on pacemaking duties.
Afsare emerged as a leading contender, but was worn down by Sri Putra with Side Glance in third.