Samarinda landed a hat-trick after surviving a lengthy stewards’ inquiry to claim the EBF Paul Kelleway Memorial Classified Stakes at Lingfield.
The mile event, named after the former jockey and trainer, resulted in a thrilling battle between Pam Sly’s charge and the 15-8 favourite Montpellier.
Micky Fenton punched the 8-1 winner into the lead swinging for home but had to fend off the strong challenge of the market leader, who pressed him all the way to the line.
A head separated the pair at the post, but Sly had to wait for the officials to satisfy themselves Samarinda had not improved his placing by drifting right in the final furlong, before collecting the trophy from Kelleway’s daughter, Gay.
Sly said: “He is amazing. He keeps going up in the handicap and will be difficult to place soon, but he likes the all-weather and has won on it five times now.
“We bought him from Ed Dunlop to go hurdling but he didn’t stay and we have kept him to a mile since.”
May Day Queen had connections scratching their heads when putting in two disappointing efforts but she showed her true colours in the EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
After running well in a Group event in Naas in June, the daughter of Danetime was a no-show on her next two starts, including when down the field in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.
But dropped in class, the Richard Hannon-trained 7-2 chance forged clear under Steve Drowne over a furlong out and held on by a diminishing half-length from Fashion Rocks.
Hannon’s son and assistant Richard junior said: “She ran well at Naas but her last two runs shocked us.
“She is a scopey filly and is a nice prospect for next year; she will get better as she gets older.”
Neville Callaghan’s Expensive Art proved a good deal for punters with her three-and-a-half-length victory in the Rydon Group Handicap.
The filly was well supported in the preliminaries and after being popped the question by William Buick rounding the final turn, the 11-4 favourite shot clear for a comprehensive success.
Callaghan said: “This has been a long wait, but she is quite a nice filly. She likes fast ground, but with the weather the way it is we had to come here.”
Buick picked up a total of four days in bans yesterday and was handed another two-day holiday (August 3 and 5), this time for careless riding at the three-furlong pole and again on the final bend.
Elegant Hawk appreciated every yard of the nine-furlong trip to break her duck at the second time of asking as the 2-1 favourite in the Bellway Median Auction Maiden Stakes.
Trainer William Knight said: “She is still on the weak side and is still maturing. We will have to see what the handicapper does with her now.”
Barry Hills’ Gib (13-2) routed the field to collect by five lengths in the Real Thing Live At lingfieldpark.co.uk Handicap, while the first-time visored Mister Completely (14-1) took the two-mile Ray Quinn & Ben Mills Live at lingfieldpark.co.uk Handicap.