Connecticut collects for Luca Cumani

Luca Cumani is looking forward to seeing Connecticut test his powers at a higher level later this summer following an impressive return to action in the totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes yesterday.

Connecticut collects for Luca Cumani

The son of New Approach struck three times during an excellent campaign in 2014 and ran a fine race in defeat when third in the Melrose Stakes at York in August.

He disappointed at Newmarket in October, however, and despite having been off the track since, he was the 4-7 favourite for his seasonal bow in the Listed feature in West Yorkshire.

With Gatewood’s withdrawal making his task far more straightforward, Connecticut raced with plenty of enthusiasm in the hands of Adam Kirby and travelled into the home straight still full of running.

Once asked to put the race to bed, Luca Cumani’s four-year-old swiftly settled matters and passed the post with 16 lengths in hand without being extended.

Nancy From Nairobi came through to grab second from the pacesetting Only Orsenfoolsies, with Red Galileo last of the quartet. Cumani said: “He was very impressive. I certainly didn’t expect him to win by 16 lengths, so I’m very happy.

“It was a very good performance for his comeback and I think we’ll be looking at a Group race for him next. I haven’t really thought about where he’ll go as yet.

“He just took a while to come to himself this year. We were happy with him in the early spring, but he lost a bit of condition and we’ve just taken our time with him.”

See And Be Seen saw out the marathon two-and-a-quarter-mile distance best to land the toteexacta Pontefract Cup.

A 5-1 shot following a decent placed effort on the Lingfield all-weather recently, Sylvester Kirk’s stayer came through to beat Riptide by four and a half lengths under Silvestre de Sousa.

The James Bethell-trained Chiringuita made an impressive start to her career in the Bet toteplacepot/British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

A 7-1 shot in the hands of PJ McDonald, the American-bred filly showed off a smart change of gear to score by two and three-quarter lengths from Sunnua, with hot favourite Dawaa back in third.

“She’s a very nice filly and we’ve always thought quite a lot of her at home,” said Bethell. You never quite know until you get them to the track, but she’d been pleasing us and I hoped she’d run well.

“Hopefully she can go onto better things and I think we’ll probably try and get some black type and go for a Listed race with her next time.

“She is quite big and gangly, so I don’t think we’ll be in any great rush.”

There was turn-up in the totepool Sponsoring Every UK Race Today Maiden Auction Stakes as outsider of three Europa finished strongly to land the spoils. Odds-on favourite Faith Matters was the first beaten her turf debut and experienced market rival Spring Dixie looked likely to prevail when striking clear from the home turn.

Richard Kingscote kept kicking aboard Ed Dunlop’s Europa, though, and the 12-1 shot responded well to get up by a length and three-quarters.

Graham Lee, who steered Trip To Paris to Gold Cup glory at Royal Ascot on Thursday, was also among the winners as he booted 9-1 shot Liberty Red home in front.

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