Racing: Dancer trips the light fantastic in Sprint Cup

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The Independent Online

Smart movers win five-furlong sprints, as the Sprint Cup at Musselburgh appears to demonstrate. Bryan Smart sent out the winner of the valuable handicap for the second time in three seasons yesterday when Aegean Dancer took advantage of bottom weight to score.

Royston Ffrench, who was new to the ride, had the five-year-old handily placed and hit the front a furlong out, the 10-1 shot holding off Celtic Mill by a length. The Tatling, still running as a 10-year-old, went off the 4-1 favourite but made no impact.

After the champagne moments of double Derby success last weekend, Frankie Dettori heads back across the Channel today in pursuit of yet more Classic success. He followed his smooth victory on Authorized at Epsom with a similar triumph on Lawman for Jean-Marie Beguigne in the French edition last Sunday. Today he returns to Chantilly to ride Sheikh Mohammed's West Wind in the Prix de Diane.

This time Beguigne saddles one of Dettori's strongest rivals, sending out Believe Me as he goes in pursuit of a rare French double of Derby and Oaks, last achieved by Charles Eliott in 1956. The Aga Khan's Vadapolina, trained by André Fabre, could scupper both schemes.

A few plans and prejudices were buried in the dirt at Belmont Park last night when Rags To Riches ended a 102-year wait for a filly to win the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the American Triple Crown.

It looked as if the horse owned by Michael Tabor-Derrick Smith had lost her chance when stumbling coming out of the stalls, but John Velasquez worked her into a challenging position and when he produced her with a run she battled out the finish with Curlin, which had won the Preakness Stakes. But Rags To Riches, trained by Todd Pletcher, fought her way to the $600,000 prize.

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