Trainer Ruth Carr enjoyed her biggest win as a trainer with 8/1 chance Sovereign Debt, runner-up for the last two years in the same race when trained by Dandy Nicholls who retired earlier this year, in the £150,000 the Sunbets All-Weather Mile Championships at Lingfield Park today.
The eight-year-old grey, owned by Lady O’Reilly & Partners, swept through in the final furlong to catch the clear leader, 12/1 shot Salateen who finished third, and then held off 14/1 challenger Nimr by a neck. The winning time was 1m 35.90s.
Carr, who has also had two winners at Newcastle today, said: “Sovereign Debt deserved this victory; obviously I did not train him until this year but it is fantastic for our yard.
“He definitely got his own back today. He likes a bit of cut underfoot so that will determine where we go next but we will hopefully find another opportunity in a few weeks.
“James (Sullivan) has been riding for us since he came out of his apprenticeship and I feel like we have come through the ranks together. It was very special for him to ride this winner today.
“I have not had the horse very long, probably about two months, so I am not sure how much of the credit I can take, but we got him qualified and we got him here racing on the day.
“Sovereign Debt has been runner-up twice before in this race and plenty of other good races. He is eight years old but is not getting any worse with age. He is genuine and tries.
“We were delighted to be sent a horse of his calibre. We have looked after him and taken special care of him. He gets turned out every day with the others. He was jumping about this week and I was thinking ‘that’s great, he is well but please don’t hurt yourself because it is the big day on Friday’.
“It is a really important win for us. It will hopefully raise our profile and is a good boost for the staff in the yard. It is everybody’s effort from the person who mucks out, the riders, the box drivers and everyone that helps.
“We have had a double at Newcastle as well so it is a great day for us. We have had a treble before but nothing of this calibre. It is a team effort everybody in the yard (Stillington in North Yorkshire) does their bit. It is not just me, it is everybody, from grandma in the office and my husband mending water troughs. Everything that goes on builds up to days like this.
“I was over the moon to get him to train – to have a chance with a horse like him. It is sad for Dandy but someone had to train him and it may as well have been me. The horse knows the score, he has been all over the world. I just got him from Dandy – the one that mattered. I am over the moon. He is so consistent – I wasn’t very calm watching the race!”
Winning jockey James Sullivan, also celebrating his biggest winner, commented: “Sovereign Debt is a very good horse. I wanted to sit prominent on him today and I was right where I wanted to be.
“It got a little tight turning into the home straight but, in fairness to the horse, he put his head down and went through with it the whole way to the line.
“I have watched him plenty down the years. We are very lucky that Ms Carr got to train him. She has done a very good job with him and the team have done a great job as well.”
ALL-WEATHER RETURN SHOWS DIVIDENDS
A return to the all-weather in the Sunbets All-Weather Mile Championships Race certainly suited Nimr after a poor run at Doncaster on April 1 where he was 20th in the Betway Spring Mile.
The Al Shaqab-owned four-year-old bounced back to form recording a neck second to Salateen and pleased connections.
Trainer Richard Fahey wasn’t in attendance but Craig Hoggart, travelling head lad to the trainer, said: “We would have to be delighted with that. He ran at Doncaster on April 1, and just didn’t handle the grass but back on the All-Weather he has shown his true form again.
“He probably didn’t handle the track that well Paul [Hannagan, jockey] said. When he wanted to be going forward, he ended up going backward.”
Jockey Paul Hanagan added: “He has bounced straight back from that Doncaster run. He didn’t really handle the downward bend – he was hanging a bit but he has run a fantastic race.”
3.40pm £150,000 Sunbets All-Weather Mile Championships, 1m
1 SOVEREIGN DEBT (IRE) 8 9-05 Lady O’Reilly & Partners Ruth Carr James Sullivan 8/1
2 NIMR 4 9-05 Al Shaqab Racing Richard Fahey Paul Hanagan 14/1
3 SALATEEN 5 9-05 Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah David O’Meara Ryan Moore 12/1
Time: 1m 35.9s
Distances: Nk, 1
Tote Win £8.80 Places: £2.30; £4.50; £2.20 Exacta: £132.80
Breeder: Yeomanstown Stud
Breeding: gr g Dark Angel (IRE) – Kelsey Rose (Most Welcome)
Ennaadd aims for the turf
The trainer of fourth-placed and 6/5 favourite Ennaadd, Roger Varian, said: ”I’m not too disappointed with the way he ran. He won at Lingfield as a three-year old in a maiden but he’s a great big horse and he didn’t travel down the hill and pick up like we thought he would. We’ll run him on turf now and see how we go.”
Andrea Atzeni added: “He travelled well, but the pace was a little bit slow for him. Lingfield probably isn’t his track either.
”He’s a big heavy horse and he’ll come on for the run, he would have preferred a stronger gallop.”