GBI RACING

Threading takes full advantage of stalls drama at York

Threading won well in the hands of William Buick at York (Simon Cooper/PA)

Threading ran out a wide-margin winner of an incident-packed Longines Irish Champions Weekend Fillies’ Stakes at York.

Mark Johnston’s filly won the Lowther on the Knavesmire last season, but in two appearances since she had run to nothing like that form.

Whether she had to do that on this occasion is up for debate, too, as two of her rivals were withdrawn at the start.

William Haggas’ Awesometank was not keen on going into the stalls and the delay she caused meant favourite Sheikha Reika got upset and was also withdrawn.

Threading returned to winning ways in style at York
Threading returned to winning ways in style at York (Simon Cooper/PA)

It was a nasty incident, but thankfully Roger Varian’s filly was reported to be none the worse.

That left Threading (7-2) with just three to beat and she did so in emphatic style under William Buick.

“I think her performance was impressive, she got down low and quickened up well,” said Buick.

“I know the race wasn’t a strong indication if she would get a fast-run mile, but she could do no more than that.”

Johnston indicated a Classic tilt could be on the agenda for the daughter of Exceed And Excel.

He said: “I’m relieved, really. We never wanted to blame the track for her two performances at Newmarket, but maybe we will have to watch those two races again now.

“The race fell apart at the start, but the second horse (Dance Diva) is highly rated and she (Threading) pulled well clear. She’s back, and William said she was very relaxed all the way.

“We definitely won’t be coming back to sprinting now. The Irish Guineas is the first one we’ll think about.”

Thundering Blue (right) is on course for Royal Ascot
Thundering Blue (right) is on course for Royal Ascot (Simon Cooper/PA)

David Menuisier’s Thundering Blue looked a cut above his rivals in the Equinity Technology Handicap.

Andrea Atzeni was keen to hold on to his mount as first Titus and then Banditry went for home, but the 3-1 favourite was not hard pressed to win.

“What a race, he’s an absolute superstar,” said Menuisier.

“We’ll see how high he can go. Ascot is on the agenda and I’d like to hope by the end of the year he’s up to better things.

“He’s a massive turn of foot, but it takes him a while to use it. He’s wintered very well and is a stronger horse this year. I’m thinking of the Duke of Edinburgh as he’s craving to go further.”

Yeah Baby Yeah gave Gay Kelleway a winner at York
Yeah Baby Yeah gave Gay Kelleway a winner at York (Simon Cooper/PA)

The first-time visor and the assistance of Silvestre de Sousa enabled Gay Kelleway’s Yeah Baby Yeah (11-1) to get back to winning ways for the first time since August 2016 in the British EBF Frank Whittle Partnership Fillies’ Handicap.

Kelleway said: “She’s a cracking mare. She’s been a bit frustrating, but she had the right weight and the right jockey.”

Koditime shone under Ryan Moore at York
Koditime shone under Ryan Moore at York (Simon Cooper/PA)

Clive Cox’s Koditime, highly tried since winning on his debut last season, defied top weight in the Yorkshire Equine Practice Handicap.

The 11-4 favourite was last seen running behind Havana Grey in the Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and was brought with a strong charge down the outside under Ryan Moore.

Moore said: “He’s a beautiful-looking horse and had good form as a two-year-old. Clive does well with all his horses, he said he’d run well and he did.”

Johnston dominated the final race of the three-day festival as Baghdad (11-4 favourite) under Buick narrowly denied stablemate Making Miracles and De Sousa in the 7IM Supports Cystic Fibrosis Care Stakes, the pair pulling a long way clear.