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Ottoman Fleet scuttles rivals in G3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes repeat


Ottoman Fleet enhanced his excellent strike-rate at Newmarket as he captured the G3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes for a second successive year on Wednesday, 17 April.

The Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old swooped from the rear to take the 10-furlong contest 12 months earlier but raced closer to the pace this time and disputed third behind Regal Reality and Hi Royal.

Ottoman Fleet cruised up entering the final quarter-mile and bounded clear after hitting the front over a furlong from home. Astro King and Hi Royal stayed on in the closing stages but Ottoman Fleet was always in command, passing the line a length in front to claim a fourth Newmarket win from five course appearances.

Charlie Appleby said: “We thought there was going to be more pace on. Ottoman Fleet has been a very consistent horse. Unfortunately, his last race at Meydan was a bit disappointing, but he has always run well here. Kieren Fallon rides Ottoman Fleet at home and said he felt as well as ever, so we came here confident.

“Now that Ottoman Fleet has a G3 penalty, it makes him harder to place in the UK. We have a team out in America at the moment, so it is a possibility that he will join them.”

William Buick said: “Ottoman Fleet is ultra consistent and always runs in good races. He came from last when he won this race last year, whereas today there was not much pace on and he jumped so well that I ended up in the position I was in and had to bide my time. He thinks he has done enough when he hits the front, but he is very talented. It is nice to have a horse like him who you can set your clock by.”