Racing: Kinane's quick healing helps Donna Blini home

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The Independent Online

And on his first ride back, Kinane won the Cheveley Park Stakes on Donna Blini in a punching finish of necks. High pressure clearly not only stimulates blood flow round injured bones, but also steely resolve. "It is great to be back riding after only six weeks," said the 46-year-old Irishman, "and I'm sure this treatment brought me on two weeks."

Donna Blini, a 12-1 shot, gave the injured limb a thorough test. Keen at first, she settled kindly in second as outsider Dizzy Dreamer took the field of 10 along. Then after gaining command in the final furlong she needed the full Kinane drive as Wake Up Maggie and 15-8 favourite Flashy Wings came at her. She responded gamely to give her trainer, Brian Meehan, his second successive victory in the Group One contest, after Magical Romance.

It was Donna Blini's first run since winning the Cherry Hinton Stakes here in July and she will now go into winter quarters with the 1,000 Guineas as her target. "She's pretty tough," said Meehan, "doesn't take any prisoners, on the racecourse or at home. Maybe the break she had made her a bit idle in front, but she's hardy."

The Bertolini filly, a bargain (in bloodstock terms) 20,000-guinea yearling, has yet to tackle further than yesterday's six furlongs, but neither trainer nor jockey envisage any problem in the stamina department. "She relaxes and will give herself every opportunity of staying the mile," added Kinane. "I was always going the pace I wanted, and she quickened well. After the Cherry Hinton, I said to Brian to give her time, that she was a filly with the scope to improve. He brought her here in absolutely great shape."

Neither Chris Wall nor Mick Channon, trainers of Wake Up Maggie and Flashy Wings respectively, would offer any excuses in defeat. "No disgrace to be second in a Group One," said Wall. "We were beaten by a better filly on the day in a fair, fast-run race." His sentiments were echoed by Channon, who said: "The ground was right, she did everything right, just didn't win. She needs further already and will be a proper racehorse next year." Flashy Wings, as third-favourite, is still the best-placed of yesterday's principals in the ante-post Guineas market.

The Cheveley Park Stakes, the final top-level contest of the domestic season for juvenile fillies, was the day's most prestigious contest, but, despite its £104,000 first prize, not the most valuable. That status was held by the preceding race, a vehicle for promoting the upcoming Tattersalls October Yearling Sales and one which offered the considerable carrot of a £250,000 purse to graduates of that auction.

The £125,300 top pot went to Murfreesboro, who cost his owner, George Strawbridge, 70,000 guineas, thus making him another of that rare enough species, a racehorse who pays for itself. The colt, named after a Civil War battle, continued the fine form of the John Gosden-Jimmy Fortune partnership in two-year-old events. The trainer and jockey took both the Fillies' Mile, with Nannina, and the Royal Lodge Stakes, with Leo, at last week's meeting here.

"Long may it continue," said Fortune, who rode an excellent race to get Murfreesboro home by three-quarters of a length from Blades Girl, the full width of the course away. Drawn on the stands side in a 30-strong field which split, he was master of his own group with a quarter of a mile to run, but could see that the horses on the opposite side were two lengths ahead. "I knew that, but the horse didn't," he said. "I had to get after him and it's hard to get them to race if they've nothing to race with. But he was very gutsy."

Murfreesboro, a son of Bahamian Bounty, is likely to stick to six furlongs next year. "It would be nice to have a good sprinter," said Gosden. "I haven't had one since Oasis Dream."

That 2003 July Cup winner took the Middle Park Stakes. Aidan O'Brien has won three of the past five runnings of the contest but warned that his challenge for today's running may be reduced by the non-appearance of Art Museum, who has a sore foot. O'Brien was on the mark yesterday with Aussie Rules, who may return for the Dewhurst Stakes after his short-head Group Three success.

Richard Edmondson

Nap: Classic Encounter

(Newmarket 2.40)

NB: Rob Roy

(Newmarket 2.05)