Vafortino’s Victoria Cup for ecstatic Philippart De Foy
Vafortino (16/1) and Benoit De La Sayette provided Kevin Philippart De Foy with a spectacular Ascot double as they held off Accidental Agent to claim the tote Victoria Cup.
The Belgian trainer – based in Newmarket – enjoyed one of his biggest days in racing as the four-year-old gelding took the £51,000 feature seven-furlong handicap, adding to his victory earlier in the day with Juan De Montalban.
Both the first and second came down the stands side in the 27-runner cavalry charge, with Vafortino moving clear before Accidental Agent charged home late to go down by just half a length at the line under Georgia Dobie.
The victory provided apprentice rider Benoit De La Sayette – who was banned for six months last year after testing positive for cocaine – with a first success at Ascot on his first ride at the track.
River Nymph stayed on well to take third under John Fahy, with the well-backed Fresh fourth for Danny Tudhope, who rode Juan De Montalban to success, and James Fanshawe.
Speaking after the race, a delighted De La Sayette said: “He travelled beautifully into the race. I managed to slot him in, get a lead through the race and when I slowly went through the gears he took the lead and kept his nose in front up till the line.
“It can be anyone’s race depending where the pace comes from so luckily the pace was on the stands rail and I had someone to battle with to the line.
“To win the Lincoln was something else and to do the same of thing today is amazing. I can’t think of anything better.”
Noble Style earns Norfolk quotes
Kingman colt Noble Style (6/4f) made a winning racecourse debut and earned Royal Ascot quotes in the process after landing the Jemima Howden Novice Stakes for Charlie Appleby and James Doyle.
The duo combined for 2000 Guineas glory last weekend with Coroebus and will be hoping this is another Group contender after an impressive first run, quickening smartly to pull clear of Amo Racing’s Walbank and Redemption Time for Clive Cox.
The two-year-old was arguably value for more than the one-and-three-quarter length winning margin at the finish, having ran around under pressure in the closing stages.
That performance earned quotes of 6/1 for the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, behind just The Antarctic from Aidan O’Brien’s red-hot Ballydoyle stable.
In the British EBF Fillies’ Handicap, Saeed bin Suroor’s Soft Whisper (6/1) clung on from Spirit Of The Bay under a nice ride from Pat Cosgrave.
The race was run at a steady pace and looked to suit front-runners, with Cosgrave kicking away and had enough left in the tank to hold off Spirit Of the Bay and William Cox.
Bin Suroor also trained the third with Stunning Beauty filling the frame under Hayley Turner.