Racing / Ascot Heath: Gosden delight

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The Independent Online
AFTER the glamour and glitter, the homespun. And here at yesterday's Heath meeting John Gosden paid tribute to one of the bread-and-butter brigade. The win of Wainwright in the Ladbroke Handicap meant as much to Gosden as Muhtarram's in the Prince of Wales's Stakes under the Royal banner.

'If you had 10 of those you'd be happy,' he said as he welcomed Sheikh Mohammed's honest five-year-old into the unsaddling enclosure.

Wainwright had just got the better of a prolonged battle up the straight with the filly Polka Dancer, giving her 10lb and a three-quarter length beating to land the odds.

It was the horse's third win this season from six outings, his worst placing being his third place in the Lincoln Handicap. And as well as picking up nearly pounds 80,000 in prize money for his efforts, he has been leading the stable stars, like Muhtarram and Emperor Jones, in their work at home.

Frankie Dettori, still on a high after his flight on Lochsong the previous day, had to work a bit to get Wainwright home, but as Gosden said: 'You try carrying 10 stone up that hill from Swinley Bottom. We may go for the Hong Kong Trophy at Sandown but what this boy really needs is a rest - he's been on the go since the start of the season.'

Gosden, one of the straightest of trainers, apologised to punters who had backed his charge Istibshar down to favouritism in the previous heat.

The filly was never a factor, and her trainer said that after the race she had shown herself to be in season. He said: 'There was no sign of it before, but after the race it was obvious, and that was not her running.'

The race, the Albemarle Stakes, went to the lightly weighted Humbert's Landing. The son of Cyrano de Bergerac nosed ahead in the last few strides to continue a wonderful week for Paul Cole, who had four Royal winners.