Racing: Franklins Gardens blazes a trail through Yorkshire Cup

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The Independent Online

There is a rule on the Knavesmire that should never be forgotten: always get first in line. It works on the way into the course, it works at the champagne bar, and, most of all, it works on the racecourse.

There is a rule on the Knavesmire that should never be forgotten: always get first in line. It works on the way into the course, it works at the champagne bar, and, most of all, it works on the racecourse.

Franklins Gardens was the beneficiary of the precept yesterday, making all even in a race as long as the Yorkshire Cup. Mark Tompkins's representative led Percussionist from the stalls in the 14-furlong contest and, after a brief coming together of the race clan two furlongs from home, that was how they finished.

"He's got a turn of foot for a stayer so I knew he could quicken from the front end," Darryll Holland, his jockey, reported. "I let them get to me, gave him a little breather, and then he stretched out well when I kicked him on again."

Tompkins, the Yorkshire-born trainer, now has fancy notions about races close to home and as far away as he could possibly get. "He deserved that after all the little problems we had with him last year," Tompkins said. "We've got in the back of our mind that we might go to [the] Melbourne [Cup] with him. He'll come back here for the Gold Cup before then."

Among the disappointments were Millenary, last year's victor, and Papineau, who was trying to become Godolphin's sixth winner of the contest since 1995. Team Dubai have enjoyed scant return since their aeroplanes blackened the skies over East Anglia in the run-up to the Newmarket Guineas meeting.

Nevertheless, if there is panic there it is being well hidden. "The season is January to December so judge us on 31 December," Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, said. "You'll see us hitting form in June and July time."

Im Spartacus gave some sort of boost to the Derby chances of Gypsy King when coming home clear in a handicap. The colt was pipped by Aidan O'Brien's Blue Riband hope at Chester last week and looked a handicap snip. He goes up 21lb in the weights today.

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