Tiber Flow bounces back to claim John of Gaunt Stakes honours

The William Haggas-trained Tiber Flow put an unfortunate fall at York behind him when landing the Group 3 John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.

TIBER FLOW (right, blue cap) winning the John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Park in Newton-le-Willows, England.
TIBER FLOW (right, blue cap) winning the John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Park in Newton-le-Willows, England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

William Haggas' five-year-old suffered a nasty incident when clipping heels in the Duke of York Stakes, but he showed no signs of that mishap affecting him when blitzing past his rivals to take the Group 3 John of Gaunt Stakes in fine style under Tom Marquand.

The pace was a fierce one with Quinault setting off at the head of affairs, but he soon began to falter, and the race set up for the closers. Plenty were in with a chance with a couple of furlongs to run but it would be Tiber Flow who would quicken up the best from the rear of the field to score by a length in the hands of Tom Marquand.

Sirona (12/1) ran on well down towards the inside to grab the silver medal, with Pogo back in third.

"Obviously when we got him back home after York, he looked fine, but you just never know how a fall is going to have affected them," said Marquand of the 6/1 winner.

"He's a hardy little battler, everyone was happy with him, hence him being here today, but it was a bit of a fact-finding mission because as well as he looked at home you just don't know.

"He hadn't run over seven furlongs for a little while, so I took him back from a horrible draw and in fact, the race worked out beautifully. They went quick but coming up the middle made it easier for me rather than having to swing out wide.

"He seemed to really enjoy that and it's fantastic to see him back to his best. To be fair, I just wondered if having been tried at a higher level he just found things a bit easier today, it was maybe that more than the trip – also going around a bend gave him something else to think about.

"He was strong through the line and seven furlongs is well within his stamina range.

"Before today the Chipchase at Newcastle was a possible option but whether that changes now he has seen seven out so well, I don't know. Plans can change very fast."

Beautifully bred Queen Of The Pride gains Group honours for Gosden and Murphy

Earlier on the card Oisin Murphy continued his excellent run of form by steering the regally bred Queen Of The Pride to victory in the mile-and-a-quarter Betfred Nifty 50 Lester Piggott Fillies' Stakes.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained four-year-old sports the same colours worn by her sire Roaring Lion and dam Simple Verse, both of whom were victorious at the top-level and Queen Of The Pride perhaps too looks destined for a crack at Group 1 company in the future following her hard-fought Group 3 success.

Runner-up at Goodwood on just her third career outing last month, Queen Of The Pride showed the benefit of the experience she gained there when fending off the Ralph Beckett-trained Lady Boba to score by a short head.

"Both her parents were Group One winners, so she means a lot to us," said Murphy.

"She's obviously been slow to come to hand, but she's been looked after and now we are reaping the rewards.

"She was definitely more straightforward today. It's only her fourth run after all. Rab said he thought she'd go very well today in a race with more pace on and nicer ground, less hard work.

"She was really easy to ride, and I love the way she finished and galloped out."

On future plans for the filly, he added: "I think she'll get further, but whether she needs to go further than a mile and a half I don't know yet.

"When I was pulling up, I was thinking of the Prix de Royallieu, the mile and six race on Arc weekend might be for her but I'm sure John, Thady and Sheikh Fahad can think about that."

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