Lexington Knight Charges To Victory
WINNER 42 OF 2021: LEXINGTON KNIGHT, trained by Richard Hannon and ridden by Liam Browne (-7): 'The M&C Saatchi Merlin Maiden Stakes' over 1m at Windsor.
Lexington Knight, a 3 year old colt, by Night Of Thunder, came into yesterday's race with form figures, over 7f of: 2,3,3,2,2, which you could well describe as "consistent!" Two of those second places were by a nose (to our own Lightening Company) and a short head, so last night's win was well deserved.
Drawn on the outer in 14, Liam had to try and get him in without needing to chase him along to get there. With his long stride he managed to settle in behind the leaders, not getting too distracted by one of them taking a wide route around the bend. He was nudged along from 3f out to kick on, as the two horses in front at that stage tried to continue their efforts to stay there. Having to switch right over 1f out, he was ridden to challenge and that long galloping stride saw him get past and lead in the final 50yds, winning by 1/2 a length.
Watch the full race replay here: https://www.attheraces.com/racecard/Windsor/28-June-2021/2000
See the official photos here: https://www.francescaaltoft.co.uk/royal-windsor-28th-june-2021?lightbox=dataItem-kqi5bl0v4
In his post race interview with Matt Chapman (who called it "a crafty ride") on Sky Sports Racing, Liam said: "He's a lovely ride and very relaxed. I thought they were going quick up front and I knew that he would stay galloping. He really stuck his neck out at the 1 pole and I kind of knew he would get there. It's great to ride a first winner for the boss."
Timeform rewarded him with a rating of 89 for the race (a joint career best) and say: "Was unsurprisingly suited by 1f longer trip and, well ridden by 7 lb claimer, ran at least as well as previously to shed maiden tag; handy, sent in pursuit of leading pair and headway from 2f out, switched over 1f out, stayed on to lead near line; he's been consistent so far, but probably won't have many secrets from the assessor when heading into handicaps."
Syndicate manager Tim says: "Congratulations to his owners on a thrilling and well deserved victory. The rains came, which suited him, as he has the ability to go through soft ground. It was an excellent ride from Liam and the horse showed great tenacity to gallop to the line, having to be pulled around horses in the final furlong too. We send our grateful thanks to Liam for his judgement and well done on his first winner for Richard. The step up to a mile helped and a step up in trip again, looks like an opportunity too. Not a bad day at the office for #TeamMPR with a 1,2,3,4 from 5 runners."