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Kerdos lands third Temple Stakes for Clive Cox

Alan Spence and Clive Cox are hard to beat in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock – even if you are a Nunthorpe Stakes winner.

The owner and trainer, who teamed up to land this 5f dash with Profitable in 2016 and Priceless the following year, scored their third success on Saturday as Kerdos caught Live In The Dream in the final 110 yards for a half-length success under Richard Kingscote.

The winner had finished only fifth in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket but his jockey said: "He's better than he'd shown so far this year. He's a nice horse going forward. He's the sort of horse Clive does supremely well with." 

He is now as low as 10-1 (from 50) for the King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot with Paddy Power, and Spence, who is joint-owner John Connolly, said: "We were a bit worried about the ground today but it's not heavy on the straight course, if anything it's soft – and it's not as soft as soft could be."

Adam West was delighted with the reappearing Live In The Dream and said: "I couldn't have asked for better. He missed the break by half a beat today, I think that was because the horse next to him was playing up, and he's done everything I wanted to see today.

"He's having a nice blow and he's going to be a superstar this year. We go to the Coral Charge, we don't go to Ascot because it's too stiff for him. He's performed well at Sandown, it's our home track and he can get some confidence there before he heads into bigger things."

Nellie good

Few were left in any doubt about how exciting it is to win a £100,000 race at your local course, such was the cheering from the Millennial Racing syndicate as Nellie Leylax made all under Pierre-Louis Jamin in the Betfred Silver Bowl.

Scott Burkert, from nearby Kirkby, was among those celebrating the victory of a three-year-old that he and his family got involved with because they know trainer Tom Dascombe's assistant Arthur Owen.

Nellie Leylax was winning for the fifth time and Burkert said: "It's absolutely unbelievable, just incredible. The back story is magical.

"We got involved for a bit of a laugh, a bit of fun with the family. But bang! He's won £110,000 in a year. You can't write it. Arthur is a good mate of ours and thank God he got us involved."

There is a poignancy in the naming of the gelding, who was a €20,000 yearling, as Burkert said: "Our nan's name was Nellie Leyland. She passed away many years ago, but the family just love racing and we always said if we ever had the chance of having a horse we'd tried to call it after her – as a laugh – we never thought anything of it.

"When we got involved with Arthur there was an opportunity to put a name forward and, with it being a Calyx horse, we called it Nellie Leylax."

Her name will be featuring in even better company soon as Owen said of the gelding: "He's going to be nearing the 100 mark now and we may have to go to stakes races.

"He could potentially go for the Britannia but it is whether that would suit his running style, he's a front-runner. He wants soft ground, that's his favoured conditions, and everything fell right today."

Simply Divine

Progressive middle-distance stayer Divine Comedy gained her fifth win from her last nine starts when landing the £50,000 2m handicap by a decisive five and a half lengths under Kaiya Fraser.

Trainer Harry Eustace said: "I hadn't thought beyond today because two miles on this ground is a very different kettle of fish to two miles at Kempton, but she loved the ground and the trip. 

"The Ascot Stakes came to mind. Black type will come into it at some point and the handicapper will have his say. Something like the Doncaster Cup could be a race for her down the line."

 
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