Paul Midgley’s propensity to train sprint handicap winners, received further endorsement, as Tanasoq came late to land the Investec Corporate Banking “Dash” Handicap at Epsom.
A field of 20 horses assembled for this five-furlong straight cavalry charge.
From the off, Caspian Prince, the three-time winner, broke well and was chased by Just That Lord and Harry Hurricane.
Caspian Prince still led Just That Lord at halfway, but on the rails, they were joined by Harry Hurricane.
The long-time leader began to fade and Just That Lord and Harry Hurricane went on.
However, Harry Hurricane veered off the rail, allowing Tanasoq and Jimmy Sullivan to burst through on the stands rails and storm two lengths clear of the late-finishing Pettochside, Just That Lord and Blue De Vega.
Midgley captured the ‘Dash’ in 2015 with Desert Law and was delighted to register another victory in the contest.
Midgley, based in Westow, North Yorkshire, said: “Everybody drifted off the stands’ side rail and we probably had too good a run if that makes sense!
“From a long way down, you could see he was going to win as he was always just doing enough – he’s a nice horse.
“I’m not sure how good he could be at this stage as he just does what he has to do in his races – he’s really professional and has a good engine.
“We have lots of sprinters and lucky enough we have a few good ones now and everybody who has sprinters wants to win the ‘Dash so it is a race we target.
“Everybody wants to be here and I never thought we would be winning this race again, so it’s great.
“It’s a great team effort and I’m delighted for everyone. I’m not allowed to sit on him too many times and that’s probably why he’s winning!”
Sullivan explained that everything had gone entirely to plan during the race.
“The race went every well for me,” said the jockey.
“When I got to the rail, no one else was going for it so I took the opportunity. The horse travelled very well and came back on the bridle after I got my position. He quickened well when I asked him and won well.
“The plan was to get cover early on and then try manoeuvre my way around them. I couldn’t believe it really when I got the gap up the rail – it was fairly easy.
“He looks like a smart horse – you need one to win this. Potentially he could progress beyond handicaps into Group company. Paul (Midgley – trainer) does well with this type of horse so there’s no reason why not.
“He did everything I asked for today – I’m delighted to get another winner on a day like this (Sullivan won the Investec Diomed Stakes last year on the Ruth Carr-trained Sovereign Debt).”
Pettochside, who has previously won and been placed at Epsom over six furlongs, ran a great race to finish second over a furlong shorter in the Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ Handicap under jockey Hollie Doyle.
The John Bridger-trained nine-year-old was a length and three-quarters behind the race winner Tanasoq, and half a length ahead of the third-placed Just That Lord.
“To be honest he was flat out through the first quarter of the race,” said Doyle of the son of Refuse To Bend. “He only started to pick up in the last couple of furlongs. I managed to angle over to the rail, and then he was running for me but I had nowhere to go.
“Once I had some space he has run on well, he gave me a great ride.”
Just That Lord, locally-trained by Michael Attwater, was prominent throughout and jockey John Egan, who put a pound overweight, said: “He’s run an absolute cracker, but the draw beat me.”
Caspian Prince, who has won three out of the last four renewals of the Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ Handicap could manage only 13th this year.
Trained in Langham, Rutland, by Mick Appleby, the nine-year-old has been a faithful servant to connections amassing over £600,000 in prize money.
Appleby commented: “The ground just didn’t dry up enough for him really.
“He got squeezed out a bit but the ground just wasn’t quick enough.
“He seems alright afterwards, and he has run alright considering and might have finished a lot closer if he hadn’t been squeezed up.
“He is one of them that as soon as he gets stopped he gives up. It has all got to go his way in front.
“If the ground is quicker at Mussleburgh next Saturday, we will be going there.”
Adam Kirby “He is a beautiful horse and he still has all of his ability, but for me the ground was a small bit on the easy side, and I don’t think it is in his favour.
“I think that when he gets the top of the ground he gets away from them and kills horses off with his speed.
“Unfortunately today that didn’t really happen.
“He lives to fight another day and I look forward to next time.”