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Edited Breeders’ Cup Release ― KHK Racing Ltd’s Vandeek (GB) took the step up in class in stride to win Sunday’s Sumbe Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville in a thrilling finish. With his victory in the 6-furlong straight course contest for 2-year-olds, Vandeek earned an automatic starting position into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 80 Graded/Group stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.

Amo Racing Ltd’s Thunder Blue (GB) led thefield near the half-miler marker before Christopher Head’s filly Ramatuelle, a worthy 5-4 favorite, took the lead when approaching the final furlong. She was followed closely by the eventual winner and the Aidan O’Brien-trained River Tiber (IRE), winner of the Coventry Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot. Ramatuelle and Vandeek went head-to-head in the closing stages before Vandeek edged in front to win by a short neck, with Ramatuelle settling for second.

River Tiber finished 2 lengths back in third with the Charlie Johnston-trained Sacred Angel (IRE) fourth.

Vandeek, an unbeaten, striking son of Havana Grey (GB), won the Markel Richmond Stakes (G2) at Goodwood 19 days ago. The Morny triumph provided trainers Simon & Ed Crisford with their first victory in the race.

Under Andrea Atzeni, Vandeek completed the distance in 1:09.84 over a course listed as very soft.

Simon Crisford said: “Vandeek met some trouble in the race and when the filly kicked, it was going to be a serious test of his capabilities to see if he could run her down. The track’s tiring but we knew he’d cope with it. He finished off really well. His temperament is very good, he’s bombproof. He’s very laid back and we could back him up quickly. It helps he can find a fourth and fifth gear. I think he’ll stay further as time goes on but he’s a work in progress.”

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