An emotional Dean Ivory gained his first Group-race success when Tropics landed the John Guest Bengough Stakes at Ascot under Robert Winston.
The five-year-old won a Listed contest at Newmarket on his penultimate start but had questions to answer after a below-par showing as favourite in the Ayr Gold Cup.
Winston bided his time in the Group Three contest, tracking the pacesetting Heeraat up the far rail before switching inside to deliver his challenge with two furlongs to go, and Tropics (9-1) stuck on well to grind out a three-and-a-half-length success from Music Master. Hoof It ran on for third, a further length and three-quarters back.
The winner, also owned by Ivory, was bought at the Newmarket sales for just �2,500 and has proved a money-spinner for the Radlett handler, repaying that fee several times over with this his sixth victory in 13 starts.
After potting the near �40,000 first prize, Ivory, his voice cracking, said: “This is my first Group winner. It means so much to me. He was running in my grandfather’s colours and I hope the horse stays with me for a very long time.
“He’s a real character at home but I didn’t expect too much today. He came back frustrated from Ayr and he might have been a bit flat. He was quiet in his stable for a few days, but he started to come back and give us the right signs in the last week or so and today he was better than I’ve ever seen him.
“He did it so willingly. He didn’t run angry, but he ran with a whoosh and he will be better next year. I don’t want to over-do him and he will be knocked off now. The Diamond Jubilee back here would be in my mind.”
Jockey Fergus Sweeney was delighted with the Henry Candy-trained runner-up Music Master, who had been running over further.
Sweeney said: “I was worried about the ground, but he coped with it well. He saw the race out and galloped all the way to the line. He’s run a hell of a race.”Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines