HELLO Youmzain inflicted a shock defeat on red-hot favourite Calyx in the Group 2 Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.
On the back of what was a brilliant return to action at Ascot at the beginning of the month, the John Gosden-trained Calyx was unsurprisingly all the rage for the six-furlong contest against three rivals.
Sent off the 2/13 favourite, Robert Havlin – deputising for Frankie Dettori, who was in Ireland to ride Too Darn Hot – appeared to have matters in control after initially getting a bump on leaving the stalls.
The previously unbeaten Khalid Abdullah-owned three-year-old loomed large two furlongs out, as Royal Intervention gave way, but did drift to his left when asked a question and it quickly became apparent he had a fight on his hands.
In contrast Kevin Ryan’s Hello Youmzain strode on relentlessly and in the end won going away, by three and quarters lengths.
Adam Ryan, assistant to his father, said: “At the end of the day, we can’t be afraid of one horse. It would be too soon to write (Calyx) off – but we’re just delighted with ours.
“We had to try the Greenham, to see if he stayed – you only get one crack at these classics. It was pretty clear he didn’t (stay), so this was the next logical step.
“He’s won two Group 2s now – all he’s going to do is keep improving. He’s been like that since day one – the more racing he gets, the more he’s going to mature. We hope there’s plenty to come.
“He’s still learning the game. He’s in that (Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot) – it’s the logical step.
“Let’s enjoy today, we’ll have a chat with the owners and everyone involved.
“We’re lucky to have an owner like Mr Jaber Abdullah, and I’m delighted for (jockey) Kevin (Stott) as well, he puts a lot of hard work in. For a young lad to get on a nice horse, that’s important as well.”