FOR the second time in the last four years, Carluke-based racing trainer Keith Dalgleish has landed a runners-up finish in a race at Royal Ascot.
The Belstane Racing Stables handler’s horse Tommy Docc, a 33/1 outsider ridden by Phillip Makin, finished just half a length behind 5/2 favourite Aloft – piloted by Ryan Moore – in Friday’s 5.35pm Queen’s Vase race.
Keith (32) told Gazette Sport: “I’m delighted that the horse ran well. It has progressed this year and getting second place at Royal Ascot is a massive achievement.
“I take a great deal of satisfaction out of the result, but it would have been a lot nicer if the horse had actually won.
“It was great for my horses’ owners to have a day out at Royal Ascot. They got a real buzz out of the experience and seeing a horse run well was a massive bonus.”
Tommy Docc’s second place finish at Royal Ascot matched the performance of Belstane-trained Stonefield Flyer from exactly four years earlier, when finishing runner-up to favourite Frederick Engels in the prestigious Windsor Castle Stakes.
A similar race result for a Belstane animal at Royal Ascot in 2015 has done much to emphasise Keith’s desire to continue his yard’s progression up the British horse racing tree.
“We just want to keep improving the standard of races that our horses enter and make higher amounts of prize money,” he said.
“The quality of the horses we have has slightly improved this year and I’m in the position now where I can more regularly send horses to the better tracks like Sandown or York.”