sport

Kool winner for Hannon

Richard Hannon's Kool Kompany claimed the notable scalp of War Envoy to stretch his unbeaten record in the Alfred Nobel Rochestown Stakes.

War Envoy was all the rage for the Listed contest as the 8-15 favourite following his winning course and distance debut at the end of April and he travelled sweetly on the heels of the leaders for much of the six-furlong journey.

Kool Kompany (7-2) was stepping up in trip following successive wins over five furlongs at Leicester and Windsor and was a little keen at the head of affairs, but he stuck to his guns admirably.

Toscanini, a rare runner in the Godolphin silks for Mick Halford, proved the biggest threat to Pat Dobbs' mount, but Kool Kompany held on by a head.

War Envoy did not find much for pressure and was slightly disappointing in third.

It was another notable success in Ireland for the Middleham Park Racing syndicate, who struck in the National Stakes at the Curragh last year with champion two-year-old Toormore.

Middleham's racing manager Tim Palin said: "It was a bit of gamble going over to Ireland to take on an Aidan O'Brien horse (War Envoy) in his own backyard. We would have been happy with second, but we went over there thinking he would run a good race.

"He's actually done very well to win as he got a bit upset in the stalls, he jinked at the start of the race and was then too keen and didn't settle.

"The fact that he's still managed to win is very encouraging as I think he's better than he showed today - he could be a 5lb better horse when things go right for him.

"We try not to get too attached to horses, but we love him for his big white face. Some people would say he's ugly, but handsome is as handsome does.

"It's onwards and upwards from here and the automatic thought is the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. Obviously The Great War is there, but I think we've achieved as much as him and you could argue Kool Kompany deserves to be favourite.

"There is the Railway Stakes at the Curragh (June 28) and given that is a week or 10 days later than the Coventry and would just give him a bit more time to get over today, I would say that is at least as likely as going to Royal Ascot.

"Having said that, I haven't spoken to the owners yet and I'm sure some of them are thinking about getting their top hat and tails ready, so we'll see.

"Before today we didn't really think he could be a Group One horse, but maybe he's improved for going six furlongs more than we thought he would.

"The great thing is he should improve again for going seven furlongs. He'll definitely get seven furlongs this year and he's bred to be a miler."

RaceBets inserted Kool Kompany into the betting for the Coventry Stakes as a 7-1 chance, behind 100-30 favourite The Great War.

Spokesman Joseph Burke said: "Kool Kompany burst a bubble in no uncertain terms by taking the scalp of War Envoy and the very useful Toscanini. This race regularly throws up a decent juvenile with Dawn Approach taking it on the way to a Coventry Stakes win just two years ago."