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Castle Harbour wins again

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Castle Harbour won on his handicap debut at York

Castle Harbour, the Bermudian-owned thoroughbred, made it two wins out of two with a comfortable victory at the Conundrum HR Consulting Stakes at York yesterday.

Lining up off the back of a maiden debut victory at Newmarket last month, Castle Harbour was the 9/2 favourite for a fiercely competitive 20-runner handicap.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, a three-times champion jockey, Castle Harbour made a slow start, settling at the rear before making smooth headway on the far side of the track.

Unraced as a juvenile, Castle Harbour was about ten lengths off the pace before Dettori asked for a response, with the market leader moving to the front heading inside the final furlong.

He was then given a “hands and heels” ride to beat Chief Whip by 1½ lengths. Castle Harbour could now be set for the Jersey Stakes, a group three race, at Ascot Racecourse next month.

“I’d have no problem pointing him towards the Jersey [Royal Ascot],” John Gosden, Castle Harbour’s trainer, said.

“I don’t think it would be the right thing to try and qualify him for the handicaps.”

Dettori had earlier tasted success aboard Magical Memory in the Duke of York Stakes before guiding the Gosden-trained So Mi Dar to victory in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes.

Harry Herbert, the racing manager of Highclere — the racing syndicate in Berkshire that oversees the Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing operation — said he was thrilled with the manner of Castle Harbour’s successive triumph.

“When Frankie asked him to improve the response was immediate, so good in fact that Frankie loomed up without moving a muscle while all around him were asking their horses for maximum effort,” Herbert said.

“When he did press the button Castle Harbour quickened away from his field in style and put the race to bed in a matter of strides, winning comfortably by one-and-a-half lengths.”

Castle Harbour, who was taken out of last month’s Doncaster’s Lincoln Meeting because of the testing ground, is part of BTR’s second syndicate, the Pink Sands account, along with Sir George Somers.