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ABBA star cheers on shock 20-1 winner at Goodwood as Lavender’s Blue edges out Benbatl in thrilling photo finish

, ABBA star cheers on shock 20-1 winner at Goodwood as Lavender’s Blue edges out Benbatl in thrilling photo finish

BLUE was the colour in the Celebration Mile as trainer Amanda Perrett toasted a 20-1 shock win.

Her Lavender’s Blue edged out globetrotting star Benbatl in a photo finish as his jockey Oisin Murphy cursed his luck.

Lavender’s Blue got the better of Benbatl (far side) late on

The pair badly missed the break which likely cost them victory in the Group 2, to leave winning rider Rob Hornby all smiles.

It was a career high for the 26-year-old who returned from six months out earlier this season after shoulder surgery.

In a messy race plenty would have preferred another go, including Richard Hannon’s Chindit in fourth who found more traffic than a Friday on the M25 .

But Hornby and Lavender’s Blue, the only mare in the field, found the fast lane when it mattered to fly past Benbatl on the outside.

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Owned and bred by Abba star Benny Andersson, connections of the winner admitted they had hoped just to finish in the top three.

Hornby smiled: “The plan before was just to try and follow Benbatl and run into contention as late as we could and grab a place!

“It’s taken a while to get one over Oisin, but in all seriousness I’m just delighted. Things have been going great recently, I hope it can continue into the back end of the year.

“To be riding horses like this at the big Saturday meetings is so important.

“Fair play to Amanda and her team. They’d said she’d been in ripping form and she deserved it, she’s been consistent all year.”

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For champion jockey Murphy, the day wasn’t all doom and gloom as he rode Mise En Scene to a taking win in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes for his bosses Qatar Racing.

James Ferguson’s filly should head to the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket next with the 1000 Guineas the long-term aim.

Ferguson, in just his second year training, said: “I’m made up. She’s the best I’ve had to date and that’s my biggest win yet. The Fillies’ Mile is the obvious race for her now.”


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