Trainer Berry a happy man as Eastern Festival ends on a real High note
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Genial John Berry was full of praise for Bath and Great Yarmouth racecourses yesterday after his filly Hope Is High landed the Bath Staying Final worth £20,000 on the final day of the Eastern Festival.
Newmarket trainer Berry had targeted the race, which should have been run at the weekend but was re-scheduled due to ground issues at Bath.
'I'm so grateful Bath allowed it to be re-scheduled and delighted it came to Yarmouth. It's always great to have a runner at the Festival and even better to have a winner,' said Berry.
The 9/4 favourite was given a terrific ride by Silvestre de Sousa, holding on at the end of the 14-furlong trip from Innoko and Eben Dubai.Half a n hour later, another £20,000 prize, for the Dan Hague Handicap, also over 14 furlongs, went to Micky Quinn's Great Hall under a sparkling ride from Fran Berry. Having won his last two races, Great Hall had to defy 10st when delivered late to triumph at 11/1.
'If he had been trained by Godolphin he would have been favourite. He's in cracking form. It's my first winner here since the track was re-layed,' said Quinn.
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It was easy for odds-on Gabr who took the opener under Jim Crowley for Sir Michael Stoute. Having been runner-up in his two previous starts, Gabr won cosily at 4/9 in a maiden full of future winners.
Favourite backers continued to flourish when Beauty Filly, under Ryan Moore, made a winning debut for William Haggas in the Ken Lindsay Memorial Fillies' event. Returned at 6/4, she won by a length from Flying Sparkle and fast-finishing Left Alone.
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Jamie Spencer produced a late dash on another 6/4 favourite, So Sleek, in the fillies' handicap to keep the punters happy, the Luca Cumani-trained runner getting home from Sea Tide.
Spencer tried for a repeat last-gasp win in the Intu Chapelfield Handicap, but was pipped by a nose by James Doyle on 3/1 chance Mazyoun for Hugo Palmer. Bookmakers had some relief when 7/1 Fighting Irish led all the way under Stevie Donoghue to score for trainer Harry Dunlop in the Parkdean Resorts Nursery. The finale, the Bombardier Beer Handicap, went to 6/4 favourite Big Tour under Pat Cosgrave for Saeed Bin Suroor, following up a recent Windsor success.