San Siro: Gran Premio del Jockey Club Italiano (Group 2) 1m4f | 3yo+ | turf
Connections of Raymond Tusk lavished praise on the handsome colt and jockey Jamie Spencer after the pair provided them with another Italian highlight in the Group 2 Gran Premio del Jockey Club Italiano at San Siro racecourse in Milan on Sunday.
A late-maturing three-year-old, Raymond Tusk is trained by Richard Hannon and part-owned by Middleham Park Racing, who combined to win the race two years ago with Ventura Storm.
The contest, one of Italian racing’s premier events and happy hunting ground for British raiders, has since lost its Group 1 status, but it still offered first-place prize-money of £103,539 that will surely soothe the blow.
RAYMOND TUSK lands the G2 Gran Premio del Jockey Club in Milan
— World Horse Racing (@WHR) October 21, 2018
Sixth in the St Leger last month, the son of High Chaparral has always been well regarded by Hannon and was given a handy ride by Spencer.
He tried to force the issue up the centre of the track as German raiders Walsingham and Night Music – the mount of Oisin Murphy – gave chase. But they could not reel in the game winner, who only made his debut in April.
“The ground on the inside isn’t as good as on the outer, so we decided to come a bit wide and were determined to use our stamina,” said Tim Palin, a Middleham Park director.
“I think those tactics and that ride have helped him win. I was thinking they might come and swamp him, but I know he’s tough and would keep going and stay every yard of the mile and a half. I think stamina, a great horse and great ride won the day.”
Raymond Tusk’s stablemate Oh This Is Us and the Andrew Balding-trained Here Comes When, last year’s Sussex Stakes winner, did not enjoy the same fortune when finishing down the field in the Group 2 Premio Vittorio di Capua won by Anda Muchacho.
Leroy Leroy, another trained by Hannon and who also sports the distinctive light blue and orange silks of Middleham Park, was sixth of seven under Spencer in the Group 2 Gran Criterium won by Mission Boy.
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