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‘I put the running shoes on’ – Hornby ditches car in city center before winner | Horse Racing News

Andrew Dietz

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Rob Hornby: had to run the final leg of his journey from Lambourn

Andrew Dietz

By Andrew Dietz

Sunday: Chester

Weekend traffic can ruin the best-laid plans and Rob Hornby was forced to take drastic action to get to the track in time to ride Frankness in the 7f novice stakes.

Hornby became gridlocked on the city center roads and decided to ditch his car and run the last mile and a half of his journey from Lambourn, arriving just in time to weigh out.

His efforts were rewarded when Jeff Smith’s filly, a daughter of Frankel from the family of the owner’s Group 1 winner Arabian Queen, won impressively on her second start.

Hornby said: “I thought I might be in a bit of bother getting here and was in contact with my valet, and it got to the point when he said I was going to have to ditch my car and run.

“Luckily I found a legal parking space, put the running shoes on and got here with four minutes to spare. I had a winner, which was great, and it was probably a good warm-up for me.”

The jockey, who picked up his Mercedes before riding in the last, added of Frankness: “She looked good, she’s got a beautiful pedigree and stayed very well. She used the experience she had from Newmarket to good effect and coped really well with the track.”

River sails in

Ebro River won for the first time since claiming Group 1 glory a year ago when making the most of a drop in grade in the Listed Queensferry Stakes.

The Hugo Palmer-trained three-year-old was much more tractable in first-time blinkers and asserted his class to score by a length and three-quarters.

Andrew Dietz

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Ebro River returns to the winner's enclosure after the Listed Queensferry Stakes

Ebro River returns to the winner’s enclosure after the Listed Queensferry Stakes

Andrew Dietz

Palmer’s assistant Colin Gorman said of the 5-2 winner: “He got his ground and we’re really happy that he hit the line going away. It was a confidence-booster in the blinkers and he’s got multiple Group entries and he’ll go back up in class.”

Ebro River was cut to 16-1 (from 25) for the Coolmore-sponsored Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York by Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook.

Gorman added: “He’s in a Group 3 in Ireland next weekend [Phoenix Sprint Stakes] and he might go there depending on the ground as he’s done that quite easily today. He’s in the Nunthorpe as well and we could have a go at it.”

Palmer was busy at home following the birth of his second child and he had even more to celebrate when Fools Rush In won the 7½f handicap under leading apprentice Harry Davies.

Supersub Curtis strikes

The card was littered with jockey changes as William Buick, Cieren Fallon (both unwell) and Kieran Shoemark (injured) missed their rides.

Ben Curtis benefited from Buick’s absence by taking over on Kiss N Cuddle, who won the 7f nursery for in-form trainer David Evans.

Curtis, who later doubled up on Ebro River, only just got his mount home from Have Secret, who was outpaced for most of the race before staying on strongly to go down by a head.

“The drawing [nine of nine] was the biggest worry but he broke sharply and traveled well on the front end and just idled a bit at the end,” Curtis said.

Results and analysis


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FIRST PUBLISHED 6:25PM, JUL 31 2022

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