Jockey Andrea Atzeni rides 407-1 treble as Emaraaty Ana upsets hot favourite Starman in Sprint Cup at Haydock
TOP jockey Andrea Atzeni was the hat-trick hero at Haydock as his Emaraaty Ana caused a Betfair Sprint Cup upset.
The Italian was in irresistible form on Saturday, booting home a stunning 407-1 treble capped by a nail-biting victory in the £275,000 feature.
It was a welcome return to the big time for Atzeni, 30, who rode Group 1 winners for fun earlier in his career.
His last success at the top level in the UK came back in May 2019 aboard the ill-fated Defoe in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.
Football-mad Atzeni had hit the post on Emaraaty Ana when attempting to end his Group 1 drought just 15 days ago, as the pair finished second to Winter Power in the Nunthorpe.
But he found the back of the net this time – albeit after an anxious wait.
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Kevin Ryan’s speedster travelled powerfully into the lead just over a furlong from home and he looked to have the race sewn up.
Hot even-money favourite Starman flashed home late under Tom Marquand to force a dramatic photo-finish, but Emaraaty Ana (11-1) held on to win by a short-head.
Atzeni grinned: “He is a horse that everyone has kept faith in throughout his career and he was fantastic today.
“I can’t tell you how much it means to me to win another Group 1. Things had gone a bit quiet for me.
“It’s hard to get on good horses but I’ve ridden some lovely horses today.
“He ran a great race in the Nunthorpe and he had been in flying form at home, so we were confident of a big run.
“He picked up smartly for me and dug in when Starman came to him. It’s a great result.
“With this and Italy winning the Euros, it’s not been too bad a summer!”
Earlier in the day, Atzeni had steered home the Ryan-trained Triple Time (3-1) to win the Ascendant Stakes before bagging the Superior Mile on 15-2 shot Artistic Rifles.
Yorkshire trainer Ryan is planning a trip to the Group 2 Royal Lodge at Newmarket with the promising Triple Time – while Emaraaty Ana will be jetting off to the US.
He said: “The Breeders’ Cup Sprint looks a good race for Emaraaty Ana. He’s a top-class horse and we are over the moon.
“I’ve always had the utmost faith in him and Andrea was brilliant on him."
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