Exceptional Art strikes gold at Haydock

Exceptional Art, highly-tried when unplaced in Group One company in France last season, enjoyed the heavy ground to win the Betfred "The Bonus King" Handicap at Haydock today.

Exceptional Art, highly-tried when unplaced in Group One company in France last season, enjoyed the heavy ground to win the Betfred "The Bonus King" Handicap at Haydock today.

Having only the fourth race of his career and running for the first time in handicap company, the 12-1 shot made smooth progress on the far side to lead half a furlong out.

Peter Chapple-Hyam's charge, ridden by Alan Munro, strode away to score by a length and three-quarters from Leahurst with the always prominent Quanah Parker a length away in third.

"He had a flat spot three out because he probably wants a mile. That's probably what got him beat at Doncaster last time and it was fast ground. He's a nice horse and progressive," said Munro.

Little had gone right for Festoso (16-1) since she finished third in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes as a youngster but she bounced back to strike in the Betfredcasino Cecil Frail Stakes.

Steve Drowne brought the Harry Dunlop-trained four-year-old to collar Pusey Street Lady for a length-and-a-quarter verdict with the staying-on Never Lose third, a further three and a quarter lengths away.

"It's lovely to have her back to form. She put me on the map, she's a lovely filly. It's a real shame she's had troubles but she's over them now," said Dunlop.

"I think the important thing is dropping back to her original trip of six furlongs. We'll probably stick to Group Three fillies' races over six. It was nice to give her a confidence-boosting run."

Alan Berry's stable star Look Busy came out on top in a thrilling finish to the betfred.com Temple Stakes.

The Danetime filly was one of the last out of the stalls in the five-furlong contest and appeared to be struggling to go the early gallop under Slade O'Hara.

However, as the testing conditions began to tell on the pacesetters, the 15-2 chance finished strongly down the outside of runners and was a neck ahead of favourite Borderlescott passing the post.

Berry said: "She's so game and tough - I wish I had a few more like her.

"Apart from when I ran her on the wrong ground at Nottingham, she's been consistent all her life and she's a credit to the yard.

"It was nice for Slade as he rides her a lot at home. She's not the most straight forward so it was great to have some continuity and he was entitled to ride her. Hopefully he'll ride his claim out soon.

"It's nice to get a good winner at Haydock. The plan was to come here because it's local and then go back to Ireland for a race she won last year.

"She won't go to Royal Ascot but I'd love to go for the Nunthorpe at York. I know it's tilting at stars but it would be great."

O'Hara said: "I thought I'd take my time with her and she prefers to run that way, so I didn't see the need to change tactics.

"I did think they might get away but she's quickened up well on that ground and kept going. I thought I was going to get collared right on the line."

Borderlescott's trainer Robin Bastiman added: "He's run his race but the heavy, dead ground probably did for him.

"He'll have his day again though and it's the King Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot next. I'm obviously pleased for Alan."

Desert Creek justified 5-4 favouritism as he dug deep for victory in the Betfred Silver Bowl.

Louis-Philippe Beuzelin made full use of his 5lb claim as he sent Sir Michael Stoute's charge on two furlongs out to take over from long-time leader Isabella Grey.

Desert Creek looked set for an easy success until Set The Trend emerged down the outside to make a battle of it, but Stoute's runner held on by one and a quarter lengths.

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