Geordieland takes narrow win at Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup

Geordieland finally came up with the goods for Jamie Osborne at the 11th time of asking in the Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup.

Osborne has endured a frustrating two years with the seven-year-old since he arrived from France, where he had five wins under his belt.

The grey has been set some stiff tasks against the likes of champion stayer Yeats but often flattered to deceive when cruising into contention in the closing stages, only to be outbattled in the dying strides.

Those efforts have seen him go close in the Gold Cup, Doncaster Cup, Goodwood Cup, and in this race last year when he lost out to Sergeant Cecil.

However, 12 months on and Shane Kelly produced a ride worthy of the highest praise as he steered the 13-2 chance through rivals approaching the furlong marker to draw upsides Royal And Regal in the shadow of the post.

Geordieland stuck his nose into clear air right on the line to claim a head verdict, with the pair pulling five lengths clear of Samuel.

Osborne said: "It is just fantastic. If for nothing else it's just great for the horse himself.

"He has been our highest-rated horse by some way without ever winning. Is it frustrating? Yes, it's very frustrating!

"We were going to buy him a bridesmaid's dress at the end of last year but we can put that on hold now.

"If ever a horse deserved to win a Group race like this it was him. He has beaten all bar one in some of the best Group races there have been over this trip, and I promise you this horse tries.

"We'll have another shot at Yeats at Royal Ascot now. He finished second in the Ascot Gold Cup last year so we want to go back and have another go, but with the way the horse travels through his races we might drop him back to a mile and a half in the second half of the year.

"He has been training much better this year, and depending on what happens at Ascot we might have a crack at something good later in the year over a mile and a half - and we did enter him in the Arc."

The race was also a notable success for Kelly, who returned from a 12-month ban - imposed for communicating information that was not publicly available for material reward, gift, favour or benefit in kind - at the beginning of the month.

"In my mind there is a certain type of rider who suits this horse, and Shane Kelly is one of those," added Osborne.

"I don't want to sound sentimental but I think Shane has been incredibly badly treated and history will tell us that if the reality of his ban and the reasons for it are out in the open, you would see how badly treated he was.

"I was keen to support him not just for that reason, but because he is a very good rider.

"I didn't want him on the horse for the sake of charity, I wanted him as I thought he would suit him."

Kelly said: "For a stayer he has a good kick and he has shown what a turn of foot he has.

"Even by the furlong pole I always felt I was going to get to the leader, and the leader is a good horse.

"I think that is eight winners now and to win a Group Two three weeks after coming back from the ban is fantastic.

"I just want to say how grateful I am to Jamie and the owner of this horse for putting me up.

"I really can't explain how grateful I am to everyone who has put me up this year. I am very, very lucky."

Trainer Michael Jarvis said of the runner-up: "He was on his own in front for a long time and I think he was just idling a bit.

"He seemed to handle the ground pretty well and has obviously run a very good race."

Royal And Regal's owner, Peter Savill, added: "He's in the Henry II at Sandown, but I'm not sure if he'll go there.

"He's also in the Gold Cup but he is a young horse and I'm not sure that is his race, the Irish Leger is probably his long-term target this year."

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