Newbury: racegoers witnessed the equine Brexit finish sixth
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Jack Haynes 6:15PM 23 JUN 2016
THERE was no luck for Brexit just hours before the polls close in the EU referendum with Pat Phelan’s two-year-old namesake finishing sixth in the novice auction fillies’ stakes at Newbury.
While Brexit, in political terms, drifted early in the day, the equine equivalent was the subject of some support prior to the off – with the withdrawal of favourite Urban Fox further shortening her price.
Fast away from the stalls, Brexit travelled with zest early on and appeared to be building momentum when closing on the leaders with two furlongs to run.
However, the daughter of Bahamian Bounty, who was tracked by Cautious Choice thoroughout the race, faded out of contention inside the closing stages though kept on gallantly to take sixth.
The race was won by 25-1 shot Funky Footsteps, trained by Eve Johnson Houghton and partnered by Charlie Bishop.
Phelan said: “The owner is a very astute businessman and saw this as a publicity opportunity and I was in charge of preparing her. We got a lot right, but not all of it.
“She was a bit keen and then saw a lot of daylight as they migrated to the far side and she was left alone. She saw a lot of daylight and weakened on that ground.
“She is what she is and we’ll look at nurseries now.”
Owner Tony Smith, who along with Phelan mapped out a plan to run the topically-named filly on this day, will be hoping for some better fortune in the referendum verdict in the coming hours.
Phelan, who did not vote, added: “The boss [Smith] and his wife did, but I had enough on my plate looking after her and getting her ready.”
Whether the performance of the equine Brexit will replicate the campaign’s political fate will become clear in the early hours.