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    At Newbury, Sonny Liston displays cleverness
At Newbury, Sonny Liston displays cleverness
Sonny Liston. Source: sportsmax.tv

At Newbury, Sonny Liston displays cleverness

Following a decisive victory in the OCS Handicap at Newbury, Sonny Liston will try to improve on his second-place finish from the previous year in the Royal Hunt Cup.

When he finished second at Royal Ascot in 2023, Ralph Beckett's five-year-old colt finished ahead of only stablemate and fellow Chelsea Thoroughbreds owner Jimi Hendrix. Now that he has recovered well from a fast start to strike at 10-1, he will be going into the very tough handicap in excellent shape.

The Lawman gelding made his debut at Sandown in 2021, therefore this is remarkably the first time he has visited the winner's enclosure. Beckett was pleased to see his horse take the lead.

“I left the headgear off because I thought he would need it,” said Beckett. “We’re aiming for the Hunt Cup so he’ll go to the Hunt Cup (next). It was a bit of a surprise. I think they went a ridiculous gallop and he’s just come and picked up the pieces. That was extraordinary with the headgear left off and we will have to go to the Hunt Cup straight away now – he won his side last year, but Jimi Hendrix won the race. They need to go a headlong gallop for him, so he suits these kinds of races. In Group races, it tends to be a bit more tactical. It’s lovely to win a race with him and that’s his first since debut. We’re in the business of winning races. I’m really pleased and if he is winning it is a sign things are going well because we hadn’t cranked him up.”

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