Archi strikes in Summer Mile

Globetrotting trainer Mike de Kock added a win in Britain to his international haul as Archipenko claimed the Group Two Plymouth Gin Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot.

Globetrotting trainer Mike de Kock added a win in Britain to his international haul as Archipenko claimed the Group Two Plymouth Gin Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot.

The South African has a trophy cabinet adorned with worldwide accolades, with Archipenko having last been seen rocketing to victory in the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup at Sha Tin.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien until the end of last summer, the four-year-old was then switched to De Kock and has not looked back.

Kevin Shea kept the 11-1 chance close to the pace and his mount ran on strongly, having led two furlongs out, to hold 50-1 outsider Barshiba by three-quarters of a length.

Last year’s winner Cesare, who was returned the 6-4 favourite, finished a neck third.

De Kock said: “I’ve not run too many horses in England and to be honest, I’ve not had that many to run.

“It’s nice to win with a horse like this and there are so many people to thank and the hospitality has been unbelievable – everyone has bent over backwards for us.

“I owe Archipenko a lot and he’s a fantastic horse. I’m lucky and privileged to get a horse like him.

“I wanted to run him in a quiet Group Two and avoid all of the big guns, but this turned into one of the hottest Group Twos around.

“We’ll reassess plans now. He has been left in the Sussex Stakes but we are thinking of taking him to Chicago for the Arlington Million.”

Godolphin’s multiple Group One winner Ramonti never landed a blow on his belated seasonal bow and finished fifth of the seven runners.

Mel Smith proved his latest juvenile is no joker as The Cheka slammed his rivals by upwards of 10 lengths on his debut in the Euro Earthworks Novice Stakes.

The comedian has had a long association with trainer Eve Johnson Houghton and her father Fulke, and he now appears to have a smart type on his hands after the 8-1 chance bolted up under Richard Quinn.

Smith said: “I am delighted. It is early days and you just hope a horse like this stays OK.”

Johnson Houghton, sending out her first winner for 49 days, added: “I knew he was a nice horse but I didn’t expect that.

“He is in the Tattersalls Million but we will probably go to the Dewhurst.”

Members of the Royal Ascot Racing Club were left ecstatic after Jamie Spencer’s labours aboard Metaphoric bore fruit in the two-mile Emirates Melbourne Cup Closes 4th August Heritage Handicap.

The dual-purpose performer was never travelling particularly sweetly but Spencer kept niggling away at the 10-1 chance and was rewarded with a length-and-three-quarter success.

Racing manager Harry Herbert said: “He ran so well when third in the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot and this is an improved effort.

“It is fantastic for the Racing Club and the members who are here to cheer him on.

“We will look for a similar event or perhaps try him at Listed class.”

Spencer earlier executed one his copybook hold-up rides aboard Sylvester Kirk’s Talking Hands (4-1) to capture the Kelly Group Nursery Handicap.

Kirk said: “We were a bit disappointed with his last win at Wolverhampton when he won a short head, but he had to make all there so we dropped him in and it has worked out well.”

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