Racing: Hurricane Run opens defence with a breeze

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The Independent Online

André Fabre hopes that Visindar can prove himself the best middle-distance three-year-old in Europe in the Vodafone Derby on Saturday. Yesterday the French master began the week with a pointed reminder that he already trains the best of the previous generation.

Admittedly the red carpet was rolled out for Hurricane Run for his reappearance at the Curragh, where he faced only two rivals for the Tattersalls Gold Cup. And the colt did his best to keep things interesting, proving so reluctant to go to post that Kieren Fallon enlisted a passing pair of cavalry from the nearby barracks to give him a lead.

He also returned with blood dribbling from his mouth, having bitten his tongue, but in between Hurricane Run was all assurance. Dropping back in trip, he was ridden positively and needed some motivating before finding top gear inside the final furlong, surging seven lengths clear of Alexander Goldrun.

If his antics beforehand merely confirmed that he has the fiery spirit common to the most brilliant sons of Montjeu, Fallon felt that Hurricane Run had otherwise shown new maturity. "Last year he was still very babyish," he said. "He would roll around in front, but today he has run straight and true. He is more together this year. He is more toned, and he knows what it's all about now."

Fabre will keep Hurricane Run to 10 furlongs for the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud before stepping back up to a mile and a half for the King George at Ascot, with defence of the Arc his autumn priority.

There was another runaway winner in Nightime, who took the Boylesports 1,000 Guineas by six lengths. The Galileo filly is trained by Dermot Weld for his mother, who is in her 90th year and bred an Irish Derby winner, Grey Swallow, from just half a dozen mares. "I thought no day could give me more pleasure in my career training horses than that one," Weld said. "But I'd say this has to match it. My mother has always believed in this filly. I wanted to sell her but she wouldn't let me, and she's been proven right."

Nightime had won only a Cork maiden and this was a remarkable display from an inexperienced filly. Weld will now decide whether to keep her at a mile for the Coronation Stakes, or step her up in trip for the Irish Oaks - or he may simply decide that mother knows best, and leave it to her.