Craig Staples only had the one ride for the day but he made the most of it by landing Twelve Rounds a winner.
The handsome chestnut was making his debut in the Westspeed Plate (1000m) and had to be dug up early by Staples.
“He just wanted to run after that but he will learn to settle with more experience,” Staples said after the first race where his charge held off Glitterbell and Victorious who were both impressive behind the winner.
The win was a change of fortune for trainer Chris Gangemi. “We were running seconds and thirds at Ascot so it it is good to start Belmont in this fashion.” The trainer said.
The stable was not frightened to support the youngster on the strength of his good trial win, (April 18), going into his race debut.
Gangemi said his youngster has had trouble with shin soreness twice in the past but should run again in a fortnight.
“He is very green but will only improve.”
Runner-up Glitterbell, a winner over 1200m last start, is telling connections she prefers that distance to the 1000m. She was clearly doing her best work at the finish as was Victorious Lad, last on the turn but third past the post.
Ryan Hill, who rode Victorious Lad, later won on Andi’s Boy, for trainer Elva Van Merwyk, just holding off Saxy Grace who was flooding home like a tsunami.
Running to the final 200m mark of the Mitavite Bio John Handicap (2000m) the race looked over as Andi’s Boy had shot clear and looked as if he was heades for a comfortable victory. However in the final 100m he started to ‘paddle.’
Still, he would have been unlucky to lose and his third victory in 37 starts was overdue after 224 days ‘between drinks. He has had eight seconds and six thirds.
by John Elsegood