Yorks Dante meeting got underway with two Group Races in the form of the Duke of York Clipper Logisitics Stakes over 6 furlongs and the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes over a mile and 2 furlongs.
Godolphin's Lightning Moon, unraced as a two year old and unbeaten as a three year old was sent off favourite for the first of these having been well backed, but the pace set by Mithmir under Paul Hanagan proved too much for a number of these and he was under pressure some way down before weakening into midfield in the final furlong.
A blanket finish was a bit of an understatement with the front six finishing in a heap, but it was the strong late finish down the stands side from Glass Office and Jim Crowley that stole it literally in the shadow of the post. At a very generous 40/1he shattered some lofty reputations and aspirations in the process.
David Simcock told the Racing Post "Glass office was entitled to improve for his first run in 16 months at Newmarket"
"Glass Office went to Dubai last year and hurt himself wuite badly when strcuk into leaving the stalls. He was never going to be ready first time and it was just a question of getting him back on the track and getting the freshness out of him"
The second Group race on the card was the Tattersalls Musidora, a trial that has proved to be one of the best Oaks trials over the years with horses such as Reams of Verse winning it.
On this occasion there was not to be an 11 length winner but the front two could be very big players at Epsom in June.
Star of Seville is a big filly who has only had the three career starts, last time winning a Newbury maiden. She was sent off the 4/6 favourite for this and was given a positive ride from Dettori.
As soon as the gates were sent back she was bounced out infront and in this small field she had a relatively easy time of it. Ryan Moore on Together Forever happy to sit in behind her in the early stages. Two furlongs out Dettori gave his filly the office and she went two lengths clear, "pouring it on" was the call from the commentator, but her inexperience started to show and Moore was now getting to work. Slowly but surely the gap was narrowed but as Together Forever got to the leader, Star of Seville, with her head slightly to one side found a bit more to hold her market rival at bay by a head. John Gosden was seen to mouth on Channel 4 Racing "that was close" just after the line and indeed it was.
It was a valiant effort from the second giving 4lb to a race fit adversary and it could prove to be a different result at Espom, however the winner is a big filly who didn't have as much racing at two as the second horse and there must be more improvement to come.
After the race John Gosden said "she is still learning and is a bit inexperienced. What we wanted was an even pace. We didn't want a fiddle, fiddle, fiddle sprint nor did Ryan Moore. I think she was getting very lonely in front. I don't think she will have any problem with a mile and a half or Epsom" (quote from Racing Post mobile)
With these two group races on the card you would have expected the main talking points to have come from these. But they were proceeded by the 888sport Stakes. The opening handicap over 1 mile 2 furlongs was a fiercely competitive race on paper with 18 runners going to post and it produced a crackjack finish.
The fireworks came courtesy of the four year old Mahsoob having just his third run in public and only his second race on turf having won at Kempton on the AW on his debut.
He is a stocky horse and was quite free in the early stages as Hanagan settled him towards the rear of the field.
As expected there was a number of horses in with chances as they queued up to challenge Master of Finance who was boxing on in front. One by one the challenges fell by the wayside, still Mahsoob had a mountain to climb, with more infront than behind with a furlong and a half to run. The penny dropped when Hanagan "got serious" and he shot up the stand side making up around 5 lengths in under a furlong to win a shade comfortably.
He took an absolute age to pull up and is entered in such races as the Eclipse. Although he probably won't go up much for winning this by half a length he is undoubtedly a class above this grade.