Babe comes of age

Bahamian Babe showed bags of toe and a battling attitude to maintain her unbeaten record in the Langleys Solicitors EBF Marygate Stakes at York.

Sent off at 6-1, the mount of Hayley Turner was always to the fore in the five-furlong dash and took the lead outright at around the distance marker.

She was strongly pressed by Langs Lash and the fast-finishing Aspen Darlin close home, but stuck her neck out to see off the former by half a length.

The winner earned quotes of 8-1 and 12s for the Queen Mary from Coral and Stan James respectively.

Georgina Bell, wife of winning trainer Michael, said: "Hopefully we can get our hats on and head to Royal Ascot now.

"The Super Sprint had been mentioned but Michael said if she won we'd go to the Queen Mary.

"Hayley gave her a beautiful ride."

Turner added: "I rode her last time at Thirsk and it was slow ground that day and she hung through the closing stages.

"But better ground helped her and she didn't hang at all."

Joe Fanning produced a textbook frontrunning ride to secure the Reland Jorvik Stakes on Mark Johnston's Luberon.

The 6-1 chance soon took up his favoured position at the head of affairs and set just a fair pace until Fanning poached a couple of lengths when kicking for home at the two-furlong pole.

Although Pevensey burst from the chasing pack and made eyecatching late headway to get within half a length at the line, Luberon passed the post to win with a little in hand.

"He's obviously better on grass than he is on the all-weather, which has helped him a bit I'm sure," said Johnston.

"He doesn't want to run too often and is best fresh, so I may look to Royal Ascot now."

Chelsea playmaker Claudio Pizarro was on hand to cheer home Raymi Coya, who defied a 223-day absence in the Michael Seely Memorial Fillies' Stakes.

The Marco Botti-trained 15-2 chance is owned by Pizarro, who sported a big smile after watching Kerrin McEvoy deliver his charge with a well-timed run to deny Musical Bar by a head.

Pizarro said: "She is the first horse I bought here but I have a few more now.

"She is just a lovely filly and this is great. It's only the second time I've been to the races to watch her run.

"We need to discuss where we go next but she has done well to win as she is only a little filly and had a few problems.

"She lost a lot of weight and was not 100% fit."

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