Pogo leaves Charlie Hills jumping with joy after John Of Gaunt victory

Pogo had to show his grit and determination on Saturday, as he came out on top in a thrilling four-way finish in the Betfred John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock.

Pogo put on a superb showing on Saturday to defy odds of 25-1 to win the John Of Gaunt at Haydock.

Ridden by Kieran Shoemark, the six-year-old took a storming lead early on and did well to command the race throughout.

Laneqash and last year's winner Kinross both challenged Pogo with a late burst, with the Frankie Dettori-ridden Sunray Major also joining in late on to add to the drama.

But despite the mounting pressure from all angles, the Charlie Hills-owned Pogo refused to be beaten, and held on by a nose to clinch the victory.

Hills expressed his delight after the win, "That was fantastic and I thought Kieran gave him a peach of a ride. He used his initiative, got him to the front and controlled it from there really.

"He obviously has some very good form and I thought he ran some good races abroad over trips that probably weren't ideal for him - seven furlongs suits him best.

"He really deserved to win a race like that and we might look to take him to France later in the year for races like the Prix Daniel Wildenstein and the Prix de la Foret.

"I was thinking we'd come here today and then look at the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket, but he'll have a penalty in that now so we'll see."

Shoemark added a sixth victory to his CV at Haydock, with four of those coming when aboard Pogo.

"He's very straightforward and quick from the gates, albeit he was probably a stride slower than usual today," said Shoemark.

"He's quick into his stride and I thought we got it very easy round the bend and I was able to ask him up the gears under no pressure. It was a game performance and that's what he is - he does try.

"They came to me a furlong down and I thought they were going to go past me, but they never seemed to get any closer and he stuck his neck out.

"He's a very likeable horse who has run some huge races. He's been third in a Group One and placed in Group Twos and he's a dual Listed winner, so it's a bit of a relief and a feather in his cap to get a Group-race success."

READ MORE: Frankie Dettori's greatest Epsom rides in the Derby and Oaks - Enable, Snowfall, Authorized

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