JOHN QUINN has a star sprinter on his hands after El Astronaute finally overcame the ‘luck of the draw’ to land the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Stakes on Dante Day at York.

The five-year-old sprinter has been knocking on the door this season, but while his second and third-placed finishes at Pontefract and Chester were decent enough efforts, they would almost certainly have been even better had he not been drawn on the wrong side of the track.

Yesterday, he was handed the number two stall on York’s flying five furlongs, and responded with a gutsy success that saw him edge out outsider Dark Shot after a head-to-head battle in the shadow of the winning post.

Malton-based Quinn has not entered El Astronaute in the Investec Dash on Derby day as he does not feel the horse handled the Epsom track last June, but there will still be some high-profile targets on the horizon, starting with the Scottish Stewards Cup.

“I think he deserved that,” said Quinn. “He was beaten by the draw in his last run and you think maybe his chance has gone, but he was very good today. He’s very quick and very honest.

“He won’t be going to Epsom because I didn’t put him in the Dash. He hung down the course last year and set the race up for the rest of them. He’ll go to Musselburgh for the Stewards Cup race up there and then we’ll see what happens after that.”

Mark Johnston’s two-year-olds are starting to come to hand, and I Am A Dreamer proved the value of experience as he claimed the Stratford Place Stud Breeds Group Winners Maiden Stakes.

The Middleham-trained youngster was the only runner in the ten-strong field to have seen a racecourse before, and he used all of his nous to claim a narrow victory over the John Gosden-trained Kessaar.

I Am A Dreamer wandered all over the track in the closing stages and had to survive a nervous wait after a stewards enquiry was called, but his victory suggests he could play a leading hand in one of the major summer festivals.

The same could well be true of Kevin Ryan’s Hey Jonesy, even though he was unable to repel the fast-finishing Main Desire in the Listed British Stallions Studs EBF Westow Stakes over five furlongs.

Having carved out most of the early pace, Hey Jonesy, trained at Ryan’s Hambleton base, stayed on gamely to finish second, and as a three-year-old, he should be open to plenty of improvement as the summer progresses.