Friar Tuck steals Trophy

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FRIAR TUCK made merry men of the bookmakers at York yesterday by running out the 33-1 winner of the day's feature race, the pounds 50,000 William Hill Trophy Handicap. The three-year-old gelding, ridden by Jason Weaver, was always close to the pace and hit the front a furlong out to run out a ready length and a half winner from the strong-finishing Marton Moss with another 33-1 shot, Prix Star, third.

It was the most valuable career success for the Ayr-based Linda Perratt, who trains the son of Inchinor for the six-strong Cree Lodge Racing Club. She said: "It was the longest final furlong I've watched."

And perhaps Friar Tuck was an appropriate winner on the Knavesmire's 28th Timeform Charity Day, when the object of proceedings is to take money from those who can afford it to give to those who need it.

Rapier is scheduled to turn out again at Royal Ascot on Wednesday after carrying top-weight to victory in the Cadogan Silver Salver.

The four-year-old, ridden by Darryll Holland, coped with the soft ground as a good son of Sharpo should and came home a length and a half clear of two carrying more than a stone less, Dispol Diamond and the gallant nine-year-old mare Pride Of Pendle.

It will be the second successive trip to the Royal meeting for Rapier, who finished third in the Britannia Handicap last year from Richard Hannon's yard.

The target this time is the more valuable Royal Hunt Cup Handicap as one of Leyburn-based Micky Hammond's first batch of runners at the prestige meeting.

Hammond said: "Ascot is definitely a possibility and the penalty he picked up for today's win should help him get into the race."

Lonesome Dude, Sir Michael Stoute's first runner since his knighthood was announced yesterday, was sent off favourite but was well held in fifth.

But the Queen, who honoured him in her birthday list for services to his native Barbados, was able to celebrate a win in the Queen Mothers' Cup Ladies' Race when her admirable veteran Whitechapel carried Jane Allison straight as a die down the centre of the track to pip Pekay, who had forfeited ground by drifting to the far rail.

The stewards had to adjudicate after the two-year-olds Princely Dream and Focus slugged out a desperate finish to the Leonard Sainer Stakes.

The former, the 5-2 favourite, got the verdict of both the photo, by a short-head, and the panel, who gave him the benefit of the doubt after he had appeared to impede the runner-up through the final furlong.

The winning trainer, Richard Fahey, admitted that he had had huge misgivings over running the Night Shift colt. "I was dreading the ground," he said. "The horse is only a baby - he's had only five gallops in his life - and was running very green.

"But my hand was rather forced as I want to run him in the Goffs pounds 100,000 Challenge at the Curragh in 12 days' time. They say good horses go on any ground but I know this horse will be better with it faster."

Princely Dream was a winner missed by Kieren Fallon, temporarily sidelined by a twisted knee. But the champion jockey will be sound for Royal Ascot - a scan yesterday confirmed the damage healed - and will return to action at Windsor tomorrow evening.