Tuesday 7 May

Titan Rock proves tough to beat in Vickers.Bet Thirsk Hunt Cup

Titan Rock proves tough to beat in Vickers.Bet Thirsk Hunt Cup

Titan Rock enjoyed a change of fortune in a first-time hood as he prevailed in a thrilling Vickers.Bet Thirsk Hunt Cup, centrepiece of Thirsk Hunt Cup Day.

John & Sean Quinn’s six-year-old had finished second three times since scoring at Wolverhampton 14 months ago, including just missing out in a photo finish at Ayr in September.

Lining up after a two-month break, Titan Rock raced in midfield under James Sullivan as Autumn Festival took the 14 runners along. The leader faced a host of challengers in the straight, with 2022 scorer Redarna and Titan Rock emerging as the chief threats over a furlong out.

Titan Rock led narrowly inside the final half-furlong and had enough in reserve to hold off Look Back Smiling, who produced a power-packed finish from last place. The winning margin was a head, with Autumn Smiling a length further back in third.

Sean Quinn said of the 12/1 winner: “The Thirsk Hunt Cup is a lovely race to win, very prestigious, and, being based in Yorkshire, it is a race you target. To win it is a great thrill and the owner [Ross Harmon] is Yorkshire based, so it will mean a lot.

“We freshened Titan Rock up after a couple of lesser efforts on the all-weather. He is a horse who has always had a big engine and, rather than throw him in a 0-85 run-of-the-mill race, we wanted to wait for a decent pot like this.

“He was a little slowly away, but Jimmy [Sullivan] had free rein to do what he wanted. They went a good, honest gallop and Jimmy was comfortable. Jimmy gave him a great ride, because he likes to come between horses and not get there too early.

“You could have thrown a blanket over them, so hopefully he won’t go up too much in the handicap. He ran very well at the Dante Meeting last year, and there is a mile handicap at the same meeting. Equally, if he needs a bit more time, there are some nice races after that.”

Titan Rock wins the Vickers.Bet Thirsk Hunt Cup (credit: Hannah Ali)

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