Bev­er­ley Bul­let star has plenty of op­tions still open

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - RACING - RAC­ING COR­RE­SPON­DENT Email:­ Twit­ter: @Opin­ionYP Tom Rich­mond

TOM QUEALLY’S horse­man­ship won the day as the pop­u­lar Take Cover rolled back the years to win the pres­ti­gious totescoop6 Bev­er­ley Bul­let.

Though noth­ing in rac­ing will ever sur­pass the rider’s as­so­ci­a­tion with the leg­endary Frankel, this was cer­tainly one of the more sat­is­fy­ing vic­to­ries of his ca­reer.

De­spite not rid­ing for Bawtry trainer David Grif­fiths pre­vi­ously, he be­calmed the quirky – and frac­tious – 10-year-old in the packed pad­dock at Bev­er­ley.

He then learned all about the vet­eran geld­ing’s idio­syn­cra­sies as the horse was led to the five­fur­long start on the West­wood by the trainer’s wife So­phie.

Then, af­ter be­ing loaded into the start­ing stalls last, he whipped off the horse’s blind­fold as the gates opened and seized prime po­si­tion on the run­ning rail.

From there, Take Cover’s speed – Queally later said he had never rid­den such a fast horse – was suf­fi­cient to hold off Paul Mid­g­ley’s Desert Law, who briefly chal­lenged.

Yet the jockey kept suf­fi­cient in re­serve as his charge pulled away from even­tual run­ner-up Fi­nal Ven­ture and The Wagon Wheel, who was fin­ish­ing fastest of all un­der Cam Hardie.

Not only did this vic­tory atone for Take Cover’s dis­ap­point­ment at York – he fin­ished last in the Group One Nun­thorpe Stakes af­ter be­com­ing frac­tious in the stalls while a ri­val played up – but this Listed suc­cess took the horse’s ca­reer earn­ings past the £570,000 mark.

Now the win­ner of 12 out of 39 races, it more than jus­ti­fied the de­ci­sion of owner An­drew Hol­lis, of the Mans­field-based Nor­croft Park Stud, to run the horse af­ter his trainer har­boured se­ri­ous doubts.

Not only was Grif­fiths wor­ried about the stiff up­hill fin­ish on wa­tered ground that was not as fast as en­vis­aged ear­lier in the week, but he had had to book a new jockey af­ter reg­u­lar rider David Al­lan was com­mit­ted to race at Chester for his boss, Tim Easterby.

“In the morn­ing, we weren’t go­ing to run him,” Grif­fiths told The York­shire Post. “I put it all to An­drew and told him to make a de­ci­sion. I said: ‘you make it this time’. He did and it turned out great.

“It was the first time that Tom had sat on the horse and the first time that he’d rid­den for us. He did it spot on. He said af­ter­wards that TC was the fastest horse that he’d rid­den. Frankel was fast but he was a miler – Take Cover is a pure sprinter.

“He said he couldn’t be­lieve how fast he was trav­el­ling and how the horse kept go­ing to the line. He was pulling away at the end. Af­ter Frankel, any­thing is a climb­down but Tom showed his ex­pe­ri­ence and horse­man­ship. I’m pleased he was avail­able; he doesn’t get the rides he de­serves.”

It is a mea­sure of Take Cover’s pop­u­lar­ity that fans were tak­ing pho­to­graphs as he was led off the horse box af­ter ar­riv­ing at Bev­er­ley for the East York­shire track’s fea­ture race of the year.

There were even race­go­ers at the start ask­ing about the horse and hop­ing that their equine fa- vourite would not take off sud­denly if Queally moved a mus­cle in the sad­dle – or try and break free from the stalls.

As Grif­fiths said, every­thing has to be per­fect for his sta­ble star to be seen at his best from the ground – the quicker the bet­ter – to the load­ing process at the start.

Though Take Cover holds an en­try in next Sun­day’s Group Two Fly­ing Five Stakes at the Cur­ragh, he is un­likely to make the trip to Ire­land be­cause of the fore­cast soft ground. Sta­ble­mate Duke Of Firenze is more than likely to rep­re­sent a yard now on the 18-win­ner mark for the cam­paign, one short of its best.

As for Take Cover, op­tions in- clude a sprint at Don­caster’s St Leger meet­ing later this month. There is also ev­ery pos­si­bil­ity that this durable and enig­matic sprinter will re­main in train­ing next year as an 11-year-old af­ter this win­ning de­but at Bev­er­ley that fur­ther en­hanced the bur­geon­ing rep­u­ta­tion of the Bul­let.

“The odds of us get­ting suit­able ground at this time of year are di­min­ish­ing by the day,” added Grif­fiths, a for­mer jockey and rid­ing in­struc­tor. “All be­ing well, he will stay in train­ing next year. An­drew and I have spo­ken about it. How­ever, this was his sec­ond win of the sum­mer, he’s as good as ever and he takes his races well. There’s no rea­son not to.”

Frankel was fast but he was a miler – Take Cover is a pure sprinter. Trainer David Grif­fiths on his sta­ble star.


BURST­ING CLEAR: Take Cover and Tom Queally head for glory in the Bev­er­ley Bul­let.

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