Morando saunters to Cumberland Lodge success

Balding’s grey relished the mud

  • Saturday 05 October
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Morando gave Silvestre de Sousa a first victory since returning from injury as he ran out a cosy winner of the Property Raceday Targets £3M Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot.

The three-times champion jockey endured a spell on the sidelines following a fall at Chelmsford in August and after returning with a couple of unplaced rides in Berkshire on Friday, he was soon back in the winner’s enclosure.

Morando was sent off the 2-1 favourite for De Sousa and trainer Andrew Balding after winning a Group Three at Chester earlier in the year and finishing a narrow second at the same level last time.

The six-year-old never really looked like disappointing his supporters in this 12-furlong heat though, asserting his authority in the straight to run out a six-length winner over Sextant.

De Sousa said: “It is good to be back with a winner. This race is special and this horse won at Chester in the same ground conditions, and we got touched off last time by a three-year-old.

“He is tough and just loved the going. I spent my time off just working in the gym and changing nappies!

“It is a mental thing as much as a physical thing when you are injured – and fair play to Sir Peter O’Sullevan House and the people there, who have helped with the rehabilitation. They have great facilities there and I have had a lot of support from friends.

“They helped me come back very quickly. I would love to get 100 winners (this season) – there are only seven left now.

“Hopefully I will be retained by (owners) King Power next season. Things could have gone better this season, but I don’t think it has been too bad. We have a lot of horses to look forward to.

“Khun Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha is a gentleman and his father was a gentleman. I am so proud to work for such a nice family. Fair play, he has continued his father’s vision and I hope the family will continue to be successful.

“I am off to Hong Kong to ride in the winter, but obviously I am flexible with King Power and will be available when they need me. We still have a lot of two-year-olds to come out before the end of the season.”

Winning trainer Balding added: “He is a high-class horse in this ground, he travels very well on it, which is big help. The choice is between the Prix Royal Oak or going back to the St Simon.”