Lack of stabling angers Johnston

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The Independent Online

Deirdre Johnston yesterday criticised Leicester racecourse after withdrawing three runners trained by her husband, Mark, from races at the track because of lack of stabling. The Middleham yard was due to run Baileys Prize and Cool Investment in the claiming stakes, and Oundle Scoundrel in a maiden. The clerk of the course, Nick Lees, insisted that the fault lay with the British Horseracing Board's desire for tracks to stage extra races.

Johnston said: "When we arrived they said we could not have a stable. We can't let our horses run without getting off the horsebox. We had the two favourites in the claimer and a first-time-out two-year-old. He was going to have to stand for four hours in a horsebox before he ran. It's asking for accidents to happen. How can you expect a horse to run to its best?"

Strong support for Pipe's Heros

Heros Fatal, one of six possible Martin Pipe runners in Saturday's Cesarewitch, was yesterday heavily backed for his attempt to win the race for the second successive year. There was also plenty of market confidence for Barba Papa, trained in Ireland by Tony Martin.

William Hill report that Heros Fatal was backed in from 12-1 to 10-1 and Barba Papa was supported in from 12-1 to 8-1. The Tote make Barba Papa 8-1 from 10-1 and Taffrail 5-1 from 6-1.

* Jump racing's biggest loser, Quixall Crossett, will make his 101st attempt to break his duck in the race named in his honour at Wetherby today. The 16-year-old was pulled up on his last run at Southwell in July.