Pallasator blows Dynamite away

Pallasator emerged a worthy winner of a tactical renewal of the Group Three BetVictor Henry II Stakes at Sandown yesterday.

Pallasator blows Dynamite away

The Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite was sent off the 4-7 favourite on his first run since finishing second in the Melbourne Cup last November and he was sharply away under Ryan Moore.

However, Moore took an early pull, allowing Burmese to stride to the front and he continued to set a steady pace at the head of affairs until the race kicked up a gear on the turn for home.

Max Dynamite soon had Burmese beaten as he pushed to the front, but Oisín Murphy had tracked Moore throughout the two-mile heat and switched Pallasator to the outside inside the final furlong.

Despite shouldering a 4lbs penalty for his Doncaster Cup win last season, Pallasator found plenty in the closing stages and eventually ran out a ready two-and-a-quarter-length winner for trainer Mark Prescott.

Suegioo finished with purpose from the back of the four-runner field to snatch second from Max Dynamite.

Pallasator is not the most straightforward of rides and Prescott was full of praise for Murphy’s efforts in what was the seven-year-old’s Royal Ascot prep run.

Prescott said: “The plan was to sit last as he’s not a slow stayer and he quickened up well. It was one of those rare days when the plan worked.

“He will run in the Ascot Gold Cup now as that is what he was bought for.

“I thought Oisín rode him very well as he’s not everybody’s ride. I was happy with the way he cantered down — he made it look as easy as possible.”

Time Test came from last to first to make a winning seasonal bow in the Group Three BetVictor Brigadier Gerard Stakes.

Roger Charlton’s charge was rerouted from last Sunday’s Tattersalls Gold Cup after the Curragh ground turned testing and despite enduring the lengthy return journey to Ireland, Time Test nevertheless showed his best in this 10-furlong heat.

Time Test (3-1) was also saddled with a 5lbs penalty having won a Group Two heat at Newmarket last September, but he shrugged off those negatives to outbattle Western Hymn.

Ryan Moore was happy to settle at the back of the field as 5-4 favourite Intilaaq set the early pace and it was the market leader who was still in front as they turned for home.

However, Scottish served it up to Intilaaq and he folded tamely, leaving the Godolphin runner in front before Western Hymn swiftly picked up the challenge.

Western Hymn looked set to repeat his win of last year approaching the final furlong only for Moore to launch a late swoop down the outside aboard Time Test.

The pair battled it out in the dying strides, but Time Test proved a neck too good with Scottish back in third.

Charlton felt the trip had brought out the best in Time Test.

He said: “He didn’t take the easy route, but I think a mile and quarter is what brings out the best in him.

“It’s not impossible to think he might stay a bit further.”

Charlton is now keen to tackle the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he admits A Shin Hikari could put up stiff opposition following his 10-length victory in the Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly on Tuesday.

He said: “The disappointing thing was seeing how wonderful the Japanese horse was the other day, otherwise you would fancy yourself in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

“We will talk to Lord Grimthorpe (racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah) as they also have New Bay, but that’s what I’d be angling for as he looked good at Ascot last year.”

Zonderland bounced back from his 2000 Guineas defeat with a clear-cut victory in the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown.

Clive Cox’s charge had finished a creditable sixth, beaten less than six lengths, behind Galileo Gold at Newmarket but punters preferred the claims of Sir Michael Stoute’s Doncaster maiden winner Forge, who was sent off the 11-8 favourite.

That allowed Zonderland to start at odds of 11-4 in the hands of Adam Kirby and after sitting on the heels of early leader Cymric, Zonderland looked a likely winner as soon as his rider gave him the signal to push on.

Forge tried to mount a challenge on the outside but Zonderland was far too good as he triumphed by two and a quarter lengths, with Atlantic Sun pipping Forge for second.

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