PLEDGE OF HONOUR won at Yarmouth today under Charlie Bennett bringing smiles to the trainer and staff after the yard had been through a lean spell.
The Shamardal gelding was one of just five runners in the 10 furlong 0-75 handicap and he went off third favourite at 9/2.
Held up in rear, the six-year-old made steady headway from five furlongs out, was pushed along and chased the leader three furlongs out. He took it up at the two furlong pole, was ridden over a furlong out and kept on nicely to win by a length from Alpha King.
Interestingly, Pledge turned the tables on rival and today’s favourite, Hotspur Harry in no uncertain terms compared with their meeting at Windsor earlier in the month. The quicker ground (officially Good to Firm) definitely helped the horse to secure his second career win and his first since Newbury back in September 2020. He’s well handicapped on his best form and hopefully, the horse can go on from here.
Clearly getting back on the winning trail was a relief to all connected with Harper Lodge Farm stables. The yard is in a state of transition with many of the good stalwarts of the yard, such as Lancelot Du Lac, Eirene, Tropics and Librisa Breeze having been retired. Many stables go through cycles and at present the yard is lacking the firepower which it had when the aforementioned horses were at their peak.
Of the current older horses, Yimou and Dancinginthewoods are sprinters who could have more to offer while there are some nicely bred two-year-olds by the likes of Frankel, Kodiac, Cracksman and Tamayuz. The yard has never rushed its youngsters but it is hoped the younger guard can start to fill the gaps left behind by the retirement of the old brigade.