Pipalong the muddy marvel

Tim Easterby, whose father, Peter, trained Little Owl and Alverton to win Cheltenham Gold Cups, the dual Champion Hurdlers Night Nurse and Sea Pigeon and also produced the last-named to win the Chester Cup and the Ebor on the Flat, trained his first Group One winner when Pipalong landed the Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup over six furlongs at Haydock yesterday.

Tim Easterby, whose father, Peter, trained Little Owl and Alverton to win Cheltenham Gold Cups, the dual Champion Hurdlers Night Nurse and Sea Pigeon and also produced the last-named to win the Chester Cup and the Ebor on the Flat, trained his first Group One winner when Pipalong landed the Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup over six furlongs at Haydock yesterday.

Ridden by Kevin Darley, Pipalong, heavily backed from 6-1 in the morning to 3-1, was suited by the heavy ground and beat Godolphin's Sampower Star by three-quarters of a length. Pipalong hit the front sooner than ideal and looked in danger as Sampower Star, ridden by Frankie Dettori, came through on the stands' side. But Sampower Star forfeited ground by drifting across the track towards Pipalong. Tomba ran well to finish a further length away in third, but his stablemate Lincoln Dancer, the 5-2 favourite, was only seventh.

Tim Easterby was at Thirsk, but his father, representing him at Haydock, said: "I can't remember how much this filly cost but it wasn't much. My wife has a half share. Pipalong has had some hard races, but always comes back for more. If anything she hit the front a bit too soon today, but it's always hard to come from behind on this sort of ground."

Darley said: "She deserved that and did everything right today. That's my first Group One winner of the year. It's nice to do it on a filly I've been associated with all year." Pipalong now goes for the Prix de l'Abbaye over five furlongs at Longchamp in October.

Dettori, who switched to Sampower Star when his original mount Lend A Hand was withdrawn because of the ground, said: "Unfortunately the horses in front of me died. My fellow quickened up well but he had no targets around him and moved across towards Pipalong."

Lincoln Dancer was never able to mount a serious challenge. Michael Jarvis, his trainer, said: "I'm disappointed, but he is an extremely tough horse to train. If we can overcome his physical problems, I'm sure he'll come back."

Polar Red is a possible for the Cambridgeshire after earlier winning the Stanleyacropolis.com Rated Handicap.

At Kempton, Mutamam earned himself a crack at the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot later this month with an impressive seven-length victory in the September Stakes.

Kuwait Trooper, who may run in the St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday, finished well to snatch second place from Pawn Broker by a neck.

Stewart is confident Mutamam will improve. He said: "He bruised a foot about seven weeks ago and wasn't able to run. In fact, he didn't leave his box for 10 days. He has been so unlucky to be a five-year-old and not reach the heights I thought he could."

The Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in Kentucky on 4 November is Mutaman's long-term target.

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