Declan Carroll nominated a major autumn target for Swiftly Done after he continued his progression with a last-gasp victory in the Betfred Seaton Delaval Handicap at Newcastle.
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On a day when only four of the seven events were completed before the meeting was abandoned due to torrential rain, a liking for testing conditions was a necessity.
Prince Of Sorrento looked like making his long journey from Epsom worthwhile when striking the front well over two furlongs out and once he saw off the challenge of Memory Cloth the race looked in safe keeping, but Danny Tudhope had not given up on Swiftly Done (6-1).
He was gaining with every stride yet the post looked like coming in time for the 3-1 favourite and they crossed the line together.
It was somewhat of a surprise when Swiftly Done was called the winner by a nose.
“I didn’t think we’d got it,” said Driffield-based Carroll.
“It was very close and I thought we were beaten because the other day we had one similar and I was convinced we’d won but we’d lost.
“He’ll be trained for the Cambridgeshire now. He’s won that off 90. He goes on soft, he certainly wouldn’t want it firm.”
Pokfulham gave Tudhope a double in the Betfred “Bonus King Bingo” Handicap, which was the last event to be run on the curtailed card.
A winner over course and distance back in May, Jim Goldie’s six-year-old was a sitting duck for Rock Relief all the way up the straight and when Chris Grant’s charge took over just inside the final furlong, the race looked over.
But to his credit, Pokfulham battled back and while they crossed the line together the 6-1 chance was called the winner by a nose.
Goldie’s son, George, said: “He seems to like a battle these days yet it can take us 10 minutes to get him out on the course.
“The handicapper will have another go at him and he handles heavy, so we’ll just wait and see.”
New Pearl may have only had four races in his short career but he now has the unwanted record of being a beaten odds-on favourite twice, with Jubilee Games (4-1) the latest to take advantage.
An impressive winner on his Newmarket debut, New Pearl was then sent off at 1-6 at Pontefract but was turned over there before being outclassed at Royal Ascot.
He faced only two rivals in the Betfred “The Bonus King” Novice Stakes and everything appeared to be going to plan two furlongs before Robert Winston asked for an effort, only for the colt to weaken rapidly.
Richard Fahey’s Jubilee Games stuck to his task gamely under Lee Topliss and ran out a four length winner.
New Pearl, the 1-2 favourite, was 22 lengths clear of newcomer Titus Titan with Somethingboutmary withdrawn at the start.
Topliss said of the winner: “He went through the ground and we just took it steady.
“I thought Rob’s horse had it won but he got tired in the ground. When I gave my lad a flick he picked up well but he’s still a bit of a boy with a lot to learn.”
Winston said of New Pearl: “I know the reason why he stopped so quickly but I need to talk to the trainer.”
New Pearl’s trainer David Brown reported his horse would be checked over by the vet.
Fahey doubled up with what looked a smart debutant – not to mention an appropriately named one in the conditions – as Unsinkable took the Betfred Mobile Sports Median Auction Maiden Stakes.
Tony Hamilton sat motionless on the 5-4 favourite until a furlong out and after a quick shake of the reins the race was over, while fellow newcomer Vegas Belle made a nice introduction in second without posing a serious threat.
Fahey’s assistant Robin O’Ryan said: “He did it well, he’s a big baby.
“We were desperate to get a run into him and we weren’t worried about the ground as he’s by Verglas.”