Storting strikes in Cliff Stud Thirsk Hunt Cup

Tony Hamilton was seen to great effect as he guided 18/1 shot Storting to victory in the feature Cliff Stud Thirsk Hunt Cup this afternoon, Saturday, May 1.

The historic mile handicap offered record prize money of £50,000, making it the most valuable race ever held at Thirsk.

Trained by Mick Channon, Storting travelled strongly in midfield of the 15 runners and made smooth headway to challenge On A Session with two furlongs remaining.

Storting led approaching the final furlong, but the eye was drawn to 9/4 favourite Nugget who was building up a head of steam down the centre of the course.

Nugget closed on Storting all the way to the line but ultimately ran out of track. The winning margin was a neck, with Astro King finishing strongly to take third, a further half-length behind.

Storting has been lightly raced over the last 18 months and was dropping in trip today after finishing sixth in a 10-furlong handicap at Newbury on April 18.

Channon said: “We felt Storting had a good chance from his draw [stall 7] and I thought Tony rode a great race.

“He is a homebred for Jon and Julia Aisbitt. Unfortunately, he has had quite a few problems, but we have got him through it all and it is lovely to win a nice prize like this.

“The drop back to a mile looked to play to his strengths. In fairness, he is a pretty talented horse with a nice pedigree and hopefully he can kick on from here.”

Hamilton said: “We jumped away and I thought they were going to go a gallop in front, but they slowed it down on the bend.

“I had a nice position to manoeuvre out once we turned in and, from two furlongs down, I always felt I was going to hold on.

“I think the fact I was able to get a nice pitch from my draw was a help because I was able to dictate from where I was in the straight. They were coming late, but I had already gone.

“Mick in fairness fancied Storting when we spoke before the race. He felt he could win and, fair play, he was right.”

Storting denies Nugget in Cliff Stud Thirsk Hunt Cup
Storting denies Nugget in Cliff Stud Thirsk Hunt Cup

Photographs by Hannah Ali

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