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Caernarfon resumes winning ways with Pipalong victory

© Photo Healy Racing

A drop back to a mile worked the oracle for Caernarfon as she registered her first win since her two-year-old days in the Weatherbys ePassport Pipalong Stakes at Pontefract.

The daughter of Cityscape brought the curtain down on Mick Channon’s training career in style when claiming the Montrose Fillies’ Stakes as a juvenile and since then has been one of the leading lights for his son Jack in the early days of his time as the West Ilsley Stables licence holder.

Fourth in the 1000 Guineas and third in the Oaks at three, she has spent the majority of the last 18 months campaigning over 10 or 12 furlongs and in useful company.

However, she was dropped back to both a mile and Listed level for her visit to West Yorkshire, where her class came to the fore as she made a welcome return to form in the hands of Tom Marquand.

Sent off 14-1, she came through to lead with a furlong to run and kept on gamely in the closing stages when challenged by Ralph Beckett’s Royal Ascot scorer and 5-4 favourite Doha.

Channon said: “We’re all delighted and it has been a long time between drinks in terms of her winning, but she has run a lot of creditable races over the last few years and it is good to get her head in front.

“I feel like we messed up as a team and we kept looking at her Oaks run and thinking that was her personal best and because of that thinking she wanted a mile and a half.

“On the face of it, it didn’t look like she ran well in the Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock (last time) but if you watch it again, she almost hits the front two furlongs out and David Probert (jockey) said the petrol gauge then just went empty.

“Coming into today we thought this was the right call to drop back to a mile and her work had been electric the last couple of weeks – I was pretty confident she would get the job done.

“She has been running over longer and we knew she would get the trip well, but it is just nice to see her show her class again and hopefully this is the first step back on the road to bigger and better things.”

On future assignments, Channon added: “I still think if there is an easy mile and a quarter race then I wouldn’t be against it, but a stiff mile is right up her alley and there is a lot of nice races at the back end of summer and into autumn that we can target.

“Hopefully she can step back up into Group company and go on to compete at the top level again.”