Racing: Capone outguns The Fellow

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The Independent Online
THE FELLOW remains on course to complete a hat-trick in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, despite finishing only third behind his full-brother, Al Capone II, in the Prix la Haye Jousselin at Auteuil yesterday.

Al Capone won by five lengths and six from Ucello II, a stable-mate of The Fellow, whose trainer, Francois Doumen, said: 'It was very testing ground which he hated. Hopefully we will have better going in England.'

Heavy ground at the Capannelle, Milan, seemed to assist the British challenge for yesterday's Premio Roma, the final Group One event in Europe this year. British runners filled the first four places: The John Gosden-trained Knifebox being followed home by John Dunlop's Alhijaz, and Richard Hannon's pair Port Lucaya and Right Win. The other British runners, Wootton River, Captain Horatius and Frenchpark, were sixth, eighth and last of the nine runners respectively.

It was a fine piece of riding from the front by Pat Eddery on Knifebox, keeping enough up his sleeve to repel the persistent Port Lucaya, who was himself caught by Alhijaz on the line.

Eddery said: 'I was never in doubt. Even when Port Lucaya challenged I knew he would fight back.' The latter's rider, Lanfranco Dettori, believed his mount had failed to last the 10 furlong trip.

Dettori's place on board the Italian-trained Misil in the Japan Cup on 28 November will be taken by Cash Asmussen.

Asmussen said: 'Misil ran a great race when narrowly beaten by Opera House in the Eclipse. On that form he would have the measure of White Muzzle, who I think is my biggest danger.'

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