Up 23lb and he bolts in - Mr Wagyu defies the handicapper once again
Remarkably progressive sprinter Mr Wagyu took another huge step forward with a decisive victory in the Unibet Stewards' Sprint Handicap.
The 16-1 shot scored his fifth success of the season in the £50,000 consolation race for the Stewards' Cup, coming comfortably clear to prevail by two and three-quarter lengths under Jason Hart.
That came off a BHA rating of 91, which was no less than 23lb higher than when his winning run started at Hamilton in June.
"We thought he had enough on and his best form is on better ground but he's terribly versatile," said trainer John Quinn, who has won a string of big prizes with Liberty Beach, Keep Busy, Highfield Princess and Safe Voyage in the last couple of months.
"This year he's found form he's never found before. The lads and lases at home have done a great job with him. He doesn't take much or any training at all, he just loves to race."
Hart added: "It's incredible how much this horse has improved this year. I don't know what they've done with him but whatever they've done it's worked!"
Prince Alex made a perfect start for Michael Bell by landing the £100,000 Summer Handicap.
Amo Racing's four-year-old had won five races in a row in 2020 but switched yards after failing to score in three races this season.
However, jockey Rossa Ryan felt it was a change in the weather that made all the difference.
After taking the 1m6f event by a neck, he said: "I was a very happy man this morning, seeing all the rain coming. He's just been crying out for it. It's soft, going on the verge of heavy but I can't complain.
"He loves a good uphill finish. He only ever does enough, as soon as I put him in front he was waiting for horses the whole time. I'd like to think he'll progress from that."
Prince Alex was cut to 14-1 (from 25-1) for the Sky Bet Ebor by Betfair but Bell's son and assistant Nick said: "He's only won by a short-head so I don't know if he'll go up enough to get in the Ebor and he's quite ground dependent. We'll go where the weather takes us and I'm sure he'll get better with age.
"We haven't had the horse long so the credit must go to Ralph [Beckett] and the team at Kimpton for preparing him. It shows what a good constitution the horse has to be able to move stable early on in the week and perform as he did today.
"He relished the soft ground and stayed really well. He's been very laid-back and seems like a nice addition to the yard."
Sweet for William
Biding his time paid off for William Carver as he rode the 50th winner of his career on Oo De Lally for his boss Andrew Balding in the £30,000 7f handicap and had his 5lb claim reduced to 3lb.
"He's got a lovely attitude," the apprentice said after scoring his second win on the three-year-old, asserting late on.
"He was going so well for me. You don't want to rush him along, you just let him find his feet and he comes good.
"He was travelling so well it was tempting to go for him earlier than I did as I didn't know what he'd find on the ground – I think I went for him soon enough and he finished pretty tired. I'm so pleased to get a nice big winner on my home track."
Balding's wife Anna Lisa had been hopeful for the 10-1 shot's chance and said: "He'd been in really good form and the ground was going to suit. We were hopeful having Will on board claiming. That was always going to help. Will's been at Kingsclere a long time and is hugely popular."
Balding sealed his place as top trainer at the meeting when Imperial Fighter took the two-year-old maiden under Oisin Murphy.
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