Bubble bursts Garrus challenge to win Abernant

A gutsy effort by Double Or Bubble saw her land the Group 3 Connaught Axxess Flooring Abernant Stakes at Newmarket on Wednesday.

The five-year-old was settled towards the rear of the eight-strong field, sitting off the strong early fractions set by Last Crusade, before coming through to challenge under Jack Mitchell, at the two furlong pole.

The stands side run soon had the favourite Ebro River in trouble and, while his challenge petered out, Ryan Moore found a way through on Garrus, hitting the front at one stage, before Double Or Bubble to rallied again in the dying strides.

Officially a short-head winner, the daughter of Exceed And Excel was a 7-2 chance, as was Jumby in third, with Run To Freedom fourth.

Afterwards, trainer Chris Wall revealed he'd been taking things the old-fashioned way during the winter: "We've had a winter off and been old school! We turned the horses out, brought them back after Christmas and away we went."

Double Or Bubble was Wall's first runner since October and his move looked to have been just the ticket: "This mare has done very well for us and has matured well again. She's five now, but she's strengthened well from where we were with her last year.

"We kept her in training with the idea of winning a Group race, so we've achieved that.

"She goes well fresh and we can now take our time with her and plot where we go now. We might bash heads with some of the better ones and see where we stand.

"I didn't put her in the Duke of York as I didn't think York was quite her cup of tea, so we'll see what other options we have."

Wall's travelling head lad Oleg Sheyhets is originally from Ukraine but has been in Britain for 20 years.

The 38-year-old's mother arrived in the country recently and was on course at Newmarket.

He said: "It's very sad to see what is going on there. I'm sad for the people and the families over there.

"I managed to get my mum over here - she's been here for nearly two weeks now. It's nice to see her here with me, but seeing the state she's in is pretty devastating.

"Every time the news is on, the tears come out and it's a constant battle. It's really bad for the people that have been there and seen the devastation. It's surreal."

Of Double Or Bubble, he said: "She's definitely a good filly and to start the year with a Group winner is pretty special."

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