Ponty throws down sprint marker for next term

North Yorkshire-based trainer Tim Easterby is enjoying another fine season and sent out his 81st winner of the term when his Ponty Acclaim sprang something of a surprise in proving too quick for her rivals in the Group 3 Jaguar XJ Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot, writes Elliot Slater.

The two-year-old filly has proved a tremendously shrewd purchase for connections who handed over just 5,000 guineas for the daughter of Acclamation at last Augustís Doncaster yearling sales, and even before winning the prestigious Ascot contest had shown herself capable of useful form, winning on her racecourse bow at Ripon in April, again at Thirsk in June, before running with credit in big sales races at York and Newbury in mid-summer. An impressive three-and-three-quarter-length scorer from Kool Henry in a Ripon conditions race in August, Ponty Acclaim ran her only poor race when appearing unsuited by the soft ground in the listed Harry Roseberry Trophy at Ayr a couple of weeks ago.

That Ayr effort was almost certainly the reason behind Easterbyís filly being sent off a virtually unconsidered 20/1 shot in the horse racing betting at Ascot, but there was absolutely no fluke about the victory as Ted Durcanís mount raced prominently in the centre of the track throughout the five-furlong dash before staying on strongly inside the distance to beat Miss Lahar and Caledonia Lady. Even people following the Breeders Cup betting will have been impressed.

Durcan was fulsome in his praise of Ponty Acclaim pointing out that she is 100% genuine and gives her all every time she sets foot on the track. He added that he expects her to strength up considerably for next season, so it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the northern sprinter could continue in the ascendancy in group class sprints in 2012.

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