Spark Plug (right) heads to Cambridgeshire victory
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
By Nick Pulford 4:16PM 24 SEP 2016
Report: Newmarket, Saturday
Betfred Cambridgeshire (Heritage Handicap) 1m1f, 3yo+
SPARK PLUG stormed up the stands rail to take the Betfred Cambridgeshire at 12-1 for trainer Brian Meehan and jockey Jimmy Fortune.
The five-year-old scored by a clear-cut two and a quarter lengths from Carry On Deryck, a 20-1 shot. Very Talented (11-1) was a length and a half further back in third, with last year’s winner Third Time Lucky (14-1) fourth, Zhui Feng (33-1) fifth and Celestial Path (20-1) sixth.
Banksea, the 9-1 favourite, was a disappointing 19th. Treasury Notes (10-1), who was vying for favouritism right up to the off was 13th.
The first two came from the high numbers, drawn 28 and 35 respectively, with Very Talented coming from stall eight, Third Time Lucky from 13 and Zhui Feng from two.
The 31 runners split into two roughly equal groups, led by Bravo Zolo towards the stands rail and Ode To Evening on the far side.
At halfway the farside group appeared to have the advantage but going into the final furlong it was clear the winner was going to come on the stands side.
Once Spark Plug hit the front there was no stopping him and he powered clear for a decisive victory.
Meehan said: “It has been a tough, tough, year and this old horse means a lot. He has been around the yard for quite some time, and we knew he was up to this. It was his first time over this nine-furlong trip.
“Jimmy rides most of the horses for us and as done for years. We have had an association for years. This old horse fell in the Hunt Cup last season and Jimmy was out for a long time.
“So it means a lot to everybody, the team at home, everybody. He’s a quirky horse. The owner, Lew Day is a great supporter.”