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Libranno (green cap): fends off four late challenges to score at Newmarket

  PICTURE: David Cramphorn  

Libranno secures second Criterion Stakes victory

Report: Newmarket, Saturday

John Sunley Memorial Criterion Stakes (Group 3) 7f, 3yo+

LIBRANNO secured back-to-back victories in the Criterion Stakes under a masterful front-running ride from Richard Hughes on Saturday.

The Richard Hannon-trained four-year-old set the pace up front and held off the late challenges of Edinburgh Knight, Majestic Myles and Bannock.

Hoof It failed to pick up under Frankie Dettori and could finish only fourth.

The success gave Hannon and Hughes a double on the day following City Image's earlier win in the Listed Empress Stakes.

As he did last year, Libranno made all the running for Hughes as his main market rivals watched on from the rear. Hoof It, sent off the 6-4 favourite, was quite keen for Dettori while Edinburgh Knight tracked the pace on the far side.

Hughes sent Libranno for home with two furlongs to run but he had plenty of challengers. Hoof It began to make ground from behind while Majestic Myles and Bannock looked serious threats as they thundered down the stands rail.

Edinburgh Knight also quickened up well to dispute the lead but Libranno, the 100-30 second-favourite, showed a game attitude and he would not be denied under a strong ride from Hughes.

Assistant trainer Richard Hannon junior said: "Libranno seems to love it here and he could come back for the July Cup like last year."

Also on Saturday:

Polygon - Newmarket - 30.06.2012

Polygon: stays on too strongly for favourite Dandino in Fred Archer Stakes

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)  

Betfair Supports The Animal Health Trust Fred Archer Stakes (Listed) 1m4f, 4yo+

THE John Gosden-trained Polygon caused a 33-1 upset at Newmarket on Saturday when she kept on gamely to deny odds-on favourite Dandino under a strong ride from William Buick.

The four-year-old, who was providing her trainer and jockey with a double on the card after Michelangelo took the opener, kept on in dogged fashion to see off the strong challenge of 4-7 favourite Dandino.

Polygon, wearing blinkers for the first time, took over from long-time leader Zafarana with three furlongs to run. Dandino, who was still going well under Hayley Turner, launched his challenge up the leader's inside but he could never quite get on terms.

Berling and Barbican also attempted to challenge but they were left behind by the front pair and it was Polygon who pulled out more close home.

Gosden said: "The blinkers have made the difference and I wouldn't rule out the Yorkshire Oaks."

City Image - Newmarket - 30.06.2012

City Image: stays on strongly to win the Empress Stakes at Newmarket

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)  

ACD Projects Supporting The Animal Health Trust Empress Stakes (Listed) 6f, 2yo, fillies

CITY IMAGE provided champion trainer Richard Hannon with more two-year-old success when she stayed on strongly to score at Newmarket on Saturday.

The winner of a Windsor maiden on her debut, the daughter of Elusive City had to be bustled along by Richard Hughes in the early stages but she found her stride coming out of the dip before motoring clear of the hanging Sandreamer in second.

Baileys Jubilee and Sandreamer held sway on the stands rail while Tipping Over led the main group down the centre of the track as the runners quickened up with two furlongs to run.

Sandreamer, also a winner on her debut, moved into the lead under Martin Harley but she could not repel the challenge of City Image, who went on to win comfortably by a length and a quarter at 3-1.

She was introduced into William Hill's 1,000 Guineas betting at 25-1 and assistant trainer Richard Hannon jnr said: "She never works flashy at home but she did that well. I expect she will come back for the Cherry Hinton Stakes at the July meeting."

 

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