Gabrial bowls 'em over
Jamie Spencer has it in the bag on Gabrial (right)
Gabrial could be heading to Royal Ascot after a most impressive display to win the valuable Betfred Silver Bowl at Haydock as owner Dr Marwan Koukash landed a treble on the card.
Jamie Spencer anchored the Richard Fahey inmate in last until the home turn, but once he had taken the handbrake off, the 9-2 chance showed a brilliant turn of foot.
As he was making his sweeping move to the front, he hung violently to his left, but it did not influence the result as he pulled right away to score by a length and three-quarters from Lucky Henry.
The owner's first victory came when David Simcock's Montaser stayed on dourly to claim a late victory in the Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap. The mile-and-a-half contest was won by subsequent Royal Ascot winner Brown Panther 12 months ago and this looked another strong renewal.
Turning for home it appeared there could be a shock result as outsider Rainbow Gold stretched clear, but 9-2 shot Montaser soon went in pursuit. It took a while for Jim Crowley's mount to bridge the gap, but he eventually reeled in the leader and was a neck to the good passing the post.
Simcock said: "He's a lovely type of horse who stays very well. The ground was just too soft for him at Chester last time - Frankie (Dettori) said that as soon as he got off. Although he hits the ground quite hard, he prefers it fast, so conditions suited today.
"I'm not sure Royal Ascot would be the place to take him. I'd say we'll probably give that a miss and perhaps look at something at Newmarket's July meeting."
The owner's hat-trick was completed as the Fahey-trained Tamareen (11-1) won the Betfred Goals Galore Handicap under champion jockey Paul Hanagan, who said: "Richard's horses are in great form and are so consistent year on year. This horse bounced off the ground and we got a nice lead."
L'Ami Louis justified 7-2 favouritism in division one of the Betfred 'The Bonus King' Handicap for Henry Candy.
Part-owner Alex Frost said: "I'm chuffed to bits. Things went wrong at Ascot last year, but we think he has a lot of ability."