Highflying swoops

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The Independent Online
Highflying showed that he is not ready to be pensioned off just yet when he returned to winning form for the first time in nearly 12 months at Ripon yesterday, writes Ian Davies.

Connections had considered retiring the 10-year-old but were forced into a rethink after the gelding pipped the favourite Etterby Park in the Ripon Bell-Ringer Handicap.

Highflying responded gamely to Kevin Darley's urgings to head the front- running Etterby Park approaching the final furlong. The favourite rallied close home but Highflying was not going to be denied.

Highflying, a winner of the Northumberland Plate in 1993, was registering the 14th success of his career from 52 outings and was taking his win and place earnings past pounds 140,000. Principal owner Barry Batey said: "This is not quite as good as winning the Plate but it's a wonderful tribute to the horse - he's like a gladiator.

"We had thought about retiring but after this we'll have to keep him going for the time being."

Highflying is now likely to go to Ascot on Friday to try to secure back- to-back victories in the Brown Jack Handicap.

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