Cecil hope in lazy mood

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The Independent Online
Six days to go, and Newmarket Heath was alive with the sound of camera shutters before breakfast yesterday as the town's Derby contenders strutted their stuff in their final serious work-outs. But on the Limekilns Henry Cecil's number one hope Dushyantor looked as if he had barely thrown back the duvet, making Pat Eddery work hard to push him two lengths clear of his lead horses Bal Harbour and Sherpas in a 10-furlong left-handed spin.

His stable-mate Storm Trooper looked much more awake, zestfully striding five lengths clear of Clever Cliche, but Dushyantor is renowned for his sloth in the mornings, and connections were satisfied.

Paul Kelleway, too, will be hoping that performance on the gallops is not duplicated on the racecourse, for his big-race favourite Glory Of Dancer succumbed by a couple of lengths to a rival from a different stable, Shaamit. There were some raised eyebrows, but Kelleway's remained at their usual level.

"I am not at all worried," he said. "You don't want to leave the race behind on the gallops."

Shaamit will be bidding to follow in Lammtarra's hoofprints by winning the Derby on his seasonal debut, and his trainer William Haggas - son- in-law of nine-time winning jockey Lester Piggott, who advised him to supplement to colt for Saturday's race - said: "He is a genuine horse who always works well, and will certainly be fit enough."

Michael Stoute's duo Double Leaf and Dr Massini worked in satisfactory style on the same watered strip next to the Rowley Mile, and on the racecourse in the afternoon there was joy for Dr Massini's supporters when his Kempton victim Wall Street won the Fortune Centre Maiden Stakes by seven lengths. The immaculately bred Godolphin-trained colt, a son of Mr Prospector and Dahlia's daughter Wajd, may now step up considerably in class to the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The focus during the afternoon was mainly on speed, and those who noted Rambling Bear's victory at Lingfield (providing the final leg of a 421- 1 hat-trick for Ray Cochrane) were on a winner at Newmarket 40 minutes later, where his Newbury victim Atraf defied top-weight to take the day's richest race, the Coral Sprint Handicap.

The tough, genuine mare Branston Abby gained her 20th victory, from 81 starts, in the Charlotte Stakes over the same six furlongs.

Behind early, Branston Abby answered Jason Weaver's urgings to pop her pretty head in front of My Melody Parkes' on the line.

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