Racing: Two Step Kid leaves rivals wrong-footed

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The Independent Online

Two Step Kid, once considered a 2,000 Guineas hope, showed that sprinting is his game with a decisive success in yesterday's William Hill Trophy, the afternoon's most valuable race, at York. The Jeremy Noseda-trained colt, a 14-1 shot, made virtually every yard of the running to take the £75,000 six-furlong dash by a cosy neck from fast-finishing Delphie Queen (16-1). Two more to come from off the pace, Traytonic (10-1) and Alderney Race (15-2), took the minor places.

Two Step Kid, once considered a 2,000 Guineas hope, showed that sprinting is his game with a decisive success in yesterday's William Hill Trophy, the afternoon's most valuable race, at York. The Jeremy Noseda-trained colt, a 14-1 shot, made virtually every yard of the running to take the £75,000 six-furlong dash by a cosy neck from fast-finishing Delphie Queen (16-1). Two more to come from off the pace, Traytonic (10-1) and Alderney Race (15-2), took the minor places.

"I thought I might have committed a bit too soon," said winning rider Shane Kelly. "But all credit to the horse, he's quickened when they came to him and stuck to his guns." Two Step Kid, a Gone West chestnut nicknamed Trigger at home in Newmarket, still holds an entry in the July Cup. Noseda was not present, but his travelling head lad, John Davis, said: "He's an uncomplicated horse and he was given a good uncomplicated ride. Fast ground and this distance is ideal. He didn't stay seven at Newmarket on his reappearance, and five at Thirsk next time was too quick for him."

A year ago, the six-furlong maiden on the Knavesmire card went to One Cool Cat, and yesterday's winner, Blues And Royals, also looked a smart recruit; the Godolphin colourbearer, an American-bred $400,000 yearling, led a furlong out and galloped home under only hands-and-heels urging from Kerrin McEvoy to beat two equally promising types, Wise Owl and The Duke Of Dixie.

It is hardly unusual for siblings to ride against each other in a race, but less common for parent and offspring. In the Queen Mother's Cup, Sara Cumani, on the winner Mephisto, showed the way to her daughter Francesca, on the sixth-placed Kuster, both horses trained by husband and father respectively, Luca.

Last year's Ascot Gold Cup winner, Mr Dinos, heads 17 horses left in Thursday's marathon at the penultimate declaration stage yesterday. The Paul Cole-trained gelding's rivals include Papineau, who beat him at Sandown last time, the 2001 and 2002 winner Royal Rebel, Vinnie Roe from Ireland, Westerner from France, and Ingrandire from Japan.

Question marks were removed yesterday from the participation of two of Europe's star milers at the Royal meeting. The resolution on Friday of the stalls handlers' dispute, and with it the removal of the threat of tape starts, means that Six Perfections, the 6-4 favourite for the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday, will run. The French-trained filly has had her tricky moments at the start and Alan Cooper, racing manager to her owners, the Niarchos family, said: "She's very well but we would have had to consider withdrawing her had there been no stalls."

After a few days under a slight cloud, the 2,000 Guineas winner, Haafhd, recaptured his sparkle yesterday morning in his final spin before the opening day's other Group One contest, the St James's Palace Stakes. "We were really pleased with him," said Richard Hills, son of trainer Barry, "he's absolutely 100 per cent."

Hills was on the mark on the Knavesmire, driving Etmaam home by a head in the Royal Yorkshire Stakes. Mark Johnston's charge may be asked to turn out again in the King George V Stakes at Ascot on Thursday; his star stablemate Attraction, heroine of the Newmarket and Curragh 1,000 Guineas, is almost fully primed for her bid for a third successive Group One prize in the Coronation Stakes the following day. "She was up on the High Moor this morning and she went very well," said Johnston's wife, Deirdre. "She'll have her last spin on Monday."

Today's focus on Classic fillies is at Chantilly, where Menhoubah (Clive Brittain) challenges for Britain in the French Oaks against 15 locals, headed by the unbeaten Ask For The Moon, and Baraka and Alexander Goldrun for Ireland.

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