Light Refrain - on target at Nottingham
Light Refrain - on target at Nottingham

Nottingham Saturday review: Light Refrain

Refrain strikes for The Queen

Light Refrain secured the biggest success of her career after carrying the colours of The Queen to glory in the British Stallion Studs EBF Kilvington Stakes at Nottingham.

Having filled the runner-up spot in a Listed contest at York on her final start at two in October, the homebred daughter of Frankel made a triumphant return at the same level in the six furlong feature.

Anchored close to the rear of the field early on by Shane Kelly, the William Haggas-trained three year old worked her way stylishly past a number of her rivals ahead of mounting her challenge inside the final quarter of a mile.

Finding plenty when called on her for maximum effort the 4-1 chance maintained her gallop all the way to the line to defeat favourite Last Empire by a length and a quarter.

Haggas said: “She is a nice filly. Her mother (Light Music) liked the soft ground and she likes the ground as well but that was very good.

“I didn’t like the draw in stall 12 but funnily enough it turned out okay as last night you needed to be in the low numbers here. She has done that well though. She picked up nicely and I thought she finished off well and pulled up a bit in front. Shane thought he got there too soon but she has it done well.

“She has been working with the horse that won at Ascot yesterday, Aldaary, so we were a bit more confident after that. Hopefully she will have a good season.”

With Light Refrain holding no immediate entries the Newmarket handler said he will consult her famous owner before making future plans.

Haggas added: “I don’t know what we do next I’ll have to talk to the owner breeder who will be absolutely ecstatically proud of her. When you breed horses like this and own them, like The Queen has done with this one, you are delighted.”

Big plans for Power

Mick Appleby hopes meetings like Royal Ascot and the Qatar Goodwood Festival can be considered for Boundless Power in 12 months’ time following his victory in the Join Racing TV Now Handicap.

Having finished second on his stable debut at Chelmsford City the son of Slade Power went one better under Paul Hanagan in the five furlong contest, which was the opening Jockey Club Grassroots Sprint Series Qualifier, after getting the better of The Daley Express by two lengths.

The Langham handler said of the 3-1 winner: “We learnt plenty about him at Chelmsford. He should have won but Oisin (Murphy) said when he hit the front he just pulled himself up.

“He fluffed the start today but that has probably played into his hands today. He had run well on this sort of ground in Ireland but I think he is pretty versatile.

“We will just creep him up the weights but I could see him going well in a big handicap arriving late on the scene. I could see him being a Wokingham or Stewards’ Cup type horse next year.”

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York next for impressive Shift

Charlie Hills believes there are plenty of big days ahead of Dark Shift (4-7 Favourite) who resumed his progression with a length and a quarter victory on his return to action in the Bet At Novice Stakes.

Hills, speaking away from the track, said: “The ground was heavy at Salisbury the last day as well and though he copes with it but I would like to see him on better ground in the future.

“Physically he has done well and has probably developed best of the two year olds that have turned three. He is from a good family that is quite slow maturing so he should get better.

“He was a bit keen at Salisbury and he didn’t give himself much of a chance on that ground but the way he settled today you couldn’t rule out going seven furlongs with him in time.

“There is a very valuable three year old six furlong handicap at York just before Royal Ascot and we will look at something like that I imagine.”

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Stamina test suits Cochise

Cochise (100/30 favourite) demonstrated that stamina is very much his forte after making light work of testing conditions to ground out victory by a length and a quarter in the Handicap, which doubled up as a Jockey Club Grassroots Flat Stayers Series Qualifier.

Thomas Greatrex, winning rider said of the Roger Charlton-trained winner: “He has come on a lot for that run at Chelmsford City. He really loved the ground as it was like that when he won at Bath last season. He is a strong stayer over a mile and three quarters.”

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