Bint fits the bill

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JOHN DUNLOP, the leading trainer at Royal Ascot, rounded off a splendid week when Hamdan Al-Maktoum's beautifully-bred newcomer Bint Salsabil made a winning debut at yesterday's Heath fixture. The appearance of the two-year-old filly in the sixth race had been eagerly awaited, for she is a daughter - as her rather un-imaginative name states - of triple Classic heroine Salsabil.

In colour the chestnut takes after her sire, 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner Nashwan, but there was the look of her celebrated dam in her as she quickened off a slow pace and stuck her white-blazed face out in determined fashion, eventually winning by a cosy length and a quarter from the favourite, Prancing.

The performance earned her clear favouritism for next year's Oaks and a place among the market leaders for the 1,000 Guineas. Hills make her joint second choice (behind the Queen Mary winner, Blue Duster) for the mile race with her unraced stablemate Bint Shadayid. No prizes for guessing the latter's dam.

In the day's feature race, the Ladbroke Handicap, Salt Lake provided a morale-boosting victory for Peter Chapple-Hyam, whose Painter's Row runs in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp this afternoon. The Manton trainer was out of luck with some fancied youngsters at the Royal meeting and was relieved to see Salt Lake confirm the well-being of his older horses. He said: "Russian Revival and Night Parade came back home with colds after last week but, fingers crossed, it seems only the two-year- olds who are under a cloud."

Salt Lake, nicknamed "Mr Angry" at home, may be sharp in temperament but showed there is little wrong with his courage as he made virtually all under a forceful ride from John Reid. The four-year-old, bred by Lady Tavistock from her classy filly Bluebook, may turn out again in the valuable Hong Kong Trophy at Sandown in 12 days' time.

Painter's Row's opposition in today's Group 1 10-furlong contest includes French Derby runner-up Poliglote and British raiders Torrential and Singspiel. John Gosden, trainer of Torrential, was on the mark yesterday when Cask, jointly owned by former senior Jockey Club steward Lord Hartington and the Duke of Roxburghe, hung on in the Fern Hill Stakes. "Don't ask about future plans - this was the plan," said her delighted trainer. "A Listed win at Ascot, even by a short-head, makes all the difference to the value of a filly, especially one owned by two breeders.

Gosden's Prince of Wales's Stakes hero Muhtarram is bang on course for the Eclipse Stakes. His trainer said: "The old boy has come out of his race extremely well and though it may seem odd to say it about a Royal Ascot winner, I feel that he has yet to hit his peak."

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