Delighted South Yorkshire trainer David Griffiths was “chuffed to bits” after brilliant sprinter Take Cover won the Listed totescoop6 Beverley Bullet on Saturday.
The popular 10-year-old made all the running in Beverley’s big race of the season to delight a huge crowd as the 3-1 favourite for the £50,000 dash. Jockey Tom Queally was keen to enter the stalls as late as possible, but once the gates ripped open his willing partner scorched into an early lead. Runner-up Final Venture flew home late on, but Griffiths' speedball responded gamely to win by a length.
The Wagon Wheel was outpaced for much of the five-furlong journey but made up a lot of late ground to finish third, another head away from the winner.
Take Cover earned connections a cool £22,280 and, in doing so, banished memories of having finished last in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last Friday. The gelded son of Singspiel has now won 12 times from 39 starts but was, surprisingly, having his first outing at Beverley in a decorated career.
Griffiths, who is based in Bawtry, near Doncaster, said: “I said to Andrew Hollis (of owners Norcroft Park Stud) that I didn’t think we should run because of the rain they had on Friday night, so this is all down to him! I thought good ground and a stiff five furlongs might find him out, so I’m absolutely chuffed to bits. He was in (the stalls) too long at York so we waited and waited with him to go into the stalls and it worked out really well.
"He’s in the Flying Five at the Curragh next Sunday but we came here because the ground in Ireland looks soft at the minute. We haven’t got a Group Two penalty this year and there are a lot of Listed races and Group Threes for him later in the season. There’s a race at Doncaster and there’s a Group Three at Newbury, and then there’s the Mercury Stakes, which he won two years ago, back at Dundalk. To keep coming back like that, he’s unbelievable. Tom said, ‘I don’t think I’ve ridden anything as quick’.”
Trainer Paul Midgley was proud of runner-up of Final Venture, but was quick to salute the resilience of Take Cover. The North Yorkshire trainer said: “For a 10-year-old to still keep doing what he’s doing, I take my hat off to him. I don’t think there’s a lot between the first two, but Take Cover got a better start than we did. That was probably the difference between winning and losing.”