Salisbury's Bibury Cup goes to Desert Icon - by a neck
A day eagerly anticipated by many in the Salisbury calendar is Bibury Cup Day – a race that has been run at the Netherhampton track since 1899.
Desert Icon justified favouritism in the feature race of the day, £22,500 Whitsbury Manor Stud Bibury Cup Handicap Stakes for Newmarket trainer William Haggas and in form jockey Ryan Moore.
A special mention has to go to Eve Johnson Houghton’s Kiefer [at right in Sue Ford's photo above] who was closing on the winner in the finish - to be pipped at the post by a neck.
The sunny afternoon card opened with an impressive five length win from Adam Kirby, onboard the Clive Cox trained debutant Positive in the 7-furlong maiden. As quoted by the Racing Post: ‘...the colt looks well above average ability and could be pattern class’.
Positive is half-sister to smart miler Zonderland, who is also trained by Cox and won the Sovereign Stakes, Salisbury’s richest race back in 2016 – certainly one to keep an eye on.
There was a brief moment of uncertainty in the Inspire Foundation Veteran’s Handicap as the stewards called a photo finish, however it was trainer Charlie Wallis and jockey Joshua Bryan who were victorious with Zac Brown who stayed on strongly to beat favourite Harry Hurricane (trained by George Baker and ridden by Josephine Gordon) by a head.
Mick Channon’s Milltown Star was a convincing winner of the 6-furlong Hunt Forest Group & John Deere Auction Stakes under Franny Norton.
Marcus Tregoning’s Power Of Darkness was slowest out of the stalls in the 1-mile Molson Coors Handicap, but made headway two furlongs out in the hands of Andrea Atzeni and kept on well to take the race title for the second year running. Power of Darkness is now three from three at Salisbury and the next stop for the four-year-old is the Totesport Mile at Glorious Goodwood.
Elsewhere on the card, Rod Millman’s previous course and distance winner Master Grey was successful at odds of 9-2 under Kieran O’Neill in the longest race of the day - the 1 mile 6-furlong H S Lester Memorial Handicap.
The card was closed with Gifts of Gold’s comfortable win in the Radcliffe & Co 60th Anniversary British EBF Maiden Stakes under Thomas Greatrex for Saeed bin Suroor, giving Godolphin, 2018 top owners at the course, their first Salisbury win of the season.
Salisbury races next on Saturday, 13 July for their Ladies’ Evening with post-racing entertainment provided by the We Love Little Mix tribute band. Gates open 3pm. Tickets available at their website.