Final joy for Callaghan

Simon Callaghan enjoyed the biggest success of his fledgling training career as Finalmente claimed a gallant victory in the Group Two Betfair Henry II Stakes at Sandown.

Simon Callaghan enjoyed the biggest success of his fledgling training career as Finalmente claimed a gallant victory in the Group Two Betfair Henry II Stakes at Sandown.

Since taking charge of Rathmoy Stables from his father Neville in February, Callaghan has had a good few months but hit new heights with the success of the 16-1 chance.

Frankie Dettori and Finalmente were always to the fore and after being briefly headed by Balkan Knight, they battled back to land the spoils by a head.

Callaghan’s assistant Billy Newnes said: “Simon will be gutted he wasn’t here but his flight from Yarmouth was cancelled due to the bad weather.

“He was fourth in the Gold Cup last year and he’ll now go straight back there.”

Coral cut the winner into 20-1 from 33s for the stayers’ showpiece.

Dame Judi Dench missed out on seeing another big success for her Lincoln winner Smokey Oakey as he sprang a 20-1 shock under Jimmy Quinn in the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes.

The Oscar-winning thespian was absent for the four-year-old’s success on Town Moor due to a Scottish holiday break, and then failed to make the journey to a drizzly Esher.

With his favoured soft conditions, Mark Tompkin’s charge stayed on best of all to deny Maraahel by a neck, with last year’s Cambridgeshire hero Pipedreamer finishing third as the 9-4 favourite.

Part-owner Bryan Agar said: “I should really be with Dame Judi as she is at the Theatre Royal watching Lord Of The Rings.

“He has got to have this soft ground but where we go next is really up to Mark.”

Champion Hurdle third Punjabi set himself up for a big summer target with victory as the 10-11 favourite in the Betfair SP Handicap.

Trainer Nicky Henderson has been keen to take advantage of his charge’s low rating on the level and under Eddie Ahern he eventually got himself together to collect for the second time within a week.

Assistant trainer Tom Symonds said: “We’ll put him on ice now and then go for the John Smith’s Cup at York in July.”

Icesolator defied a 5lb penalty and handled the testing ground best of all to run out a ready winner of the Betfair Betting As It Should be National Stakes.

Richard Hughes bagged the rail soon after the off and gradually drew clear from halfway aboard the 11-2 chance to provide trainer Richard Hannon with a remarkable eighth win in recent years in the five-furlong dash.

Hannon said: “I don’t know where he will go. I need to look at the conditions of the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot, but he might be good enough for the Norfolk.”

The trainer completed a double and helped Ryan Moore to his 50th winner of the season in the Listed Betfair Poker Heron Stakes.

Moore made just about every yard aboard Redolent (11-2) to comfortably confirm placings with Iguazu Falls from a recent clash at Doncaster.

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