sport

Sir Gerry sets up Ascot tilt

Royal Ascot again beckons for Sir Gerry after the 2007 Gimcrack winner swooped late to claim the Bathwick Tyres Cathedral Stakes at Salisbury.

The John Best-trained five-year-old will back up in next Saturday's Golden Jubilee Stakes in a bid to improve on his third place finish in the six-furlong Group One dash two years ago.

And no one will be willing him on more than owner Gerry Galligan's 14-year-old son, Mark, who is clutching an ante-post betting voucher showing odds of 100-1.

Sir Gerry missed the majority of 2009 with a cracked hip but evidently still retains his ability and the 17-2 chance asserted in the final strides to see off the Richard Hannon pair of Elnawin and Angel's Pursuit by a neck and a nose.

Kildare-based Galligan said: "He won in Dubai at the start of the year and was very consistent out there - he was never out of the money in five runs.

"We then ran him back too quickly in Ireland and he deserved a break then.

"It is great to see him back and he'll head to Ascot on Saturday for the Golden Jubilee.

"We've had three runners at Ascot in the past and not been out of the frame so lets hope that continues!"

Present Alchemy is set for a promising four-year-old campaign judged on his two-length triumph in the five-furlong Picador Chevrolet Handicap.

The Beverley maiden winner was a touch unlucky at Sandown earlier in the month but that effort is a distant memory after the 3-1 joint favourite nipped clear inside the distance.

In-form trainer Hughie Morrison said: "That is out sixth winner since last Monday. Things are going well, as happens now and again, but I was ready to jump from the Severn Bridge three weeks ago!

"We thought five furlongs was going to be his trip but we might contemplate going six after that."

David Elsworth's one-time Derby hope Ouster returned to winning ways for the first time since his juvenile days in the Albert Samuel "City Bowl" Handicap.

The now four-year-old shed his maiden tag at the track in 2008 but has been beset by problems and was limited to just the one start last season.

However, with a couple of outings under his belt, the 9-2 chance hit the back of the net by turning the form around with 5-2 favourite Feathered Crown after their recent clash at Newmarket.

"I did have ambitions for this horse but he has had his problems," conceded Elsworth.

"His last race had brought him on and he was able to turn the form around."

Jimmy Fortune struck aboard Ouster and fired home the second leg of a near 49-1 double as Frances Stuart (8-1) led from pillar to post in the Betfair Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

Trainer Andrew Balding said: "I thought she was unlucky not to win at Wolverhampton last time. That was a pleasing performance and she should go on from here."

Major Conquest rewarded market support as the 3-1 chance struck in the Bridget Swire Memorial Maiden Stakes, while Moretta Blanche maintained her unbeaten record as the 13-8 favourite in the WaterAid Mildren Construction Fillies' Handicap.