Sergeant Cecil goes one better

Last updated at 16:44 18 May 2007

Sergeant Cecil went one better than last year to win the Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup at York.

Rod Millman's popular stayer became the oldest horse at the age of eight to

take the Group Two contest over a mile and three-quarters.

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Sergeant Cecil

Leading just over a furlong out in the hands of Jimmy Fortune, the 100-30

favourite battled on well to hold the persistent challenge of Geordieland by

three-quarters of a length, with Bulwark two lengths back in third.

Orcadian and Kasthari cut out the early running, with Sergeant Cecil held up at

the rear of the field.

The former was still two lengths up as they turned for home but the race was

soon on in earnest.

Geordieland, who was going ominously well, kicked on over two furlongs out but

Sergeant Cecil was making ground towards the stand's rail and came with an

irresistible late effort.

He stuck his neck out in the closing stages to register his fourth course win.

Sergeant Cecil is 5-1 with VC Bet for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, with

Geordieland quoted at 12-1.

"That was excellent. All credit must go to Rod and team for the way they've

brought this horse on through the years," Fortune told Channel 4 Racing.

"I rode him as a handicapper a couple of years ago and he's improved two stone

since then."

"We're very lucky to have him," added Millman.

"The team at home do a great job on him and they were confident that he's

better than ever this year - it takes a bit of winning this race under a


"He's just the same as he always was at home but he probably goes up the

gallop a bit quicker these days.

"He's in the Ascot Gold Cup then we'll be back here for the Lonsdale Cup.

"After that, we possibly may go to Ireland for the Irish St Leger.

"We would like to take him abroad for some of the Cup races at the end of the

season, places like Japan and Hong Kong."

Trainer Jamie Osborne was satisfied with Geordieland's performance but said:

"Tom (Queally) had underestimated how many gears he had turning in and may have

just got there a bit too soon.

"If he (Sergeant Cecil) followed us through, it might have been different.

"But he's run a very sound race and we'll go for the Ascot Gold Cup."

Mark Perrett, husband and assistant to Bulwark's trainer Amanda Perrett, said:

"We're thrilled and he's run a real good race.

"It was a proper-run race and he's gone really well."

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