Racing: Derby hope is in for the Kil

Thoughts were of the future yesterday at Sandown, where a colt called Kilimanjaro galloped to favouritism for next year's Derby. The son of Shirley Heights posted an eight-length victory in the Vintage Inns District 48 Top Ten Stakes, a mile race designed to cater for progressive staying two-year-olds, and earned a 16-1 quote with the Tote for the 1998 Blue Riband.

The margin of victory, up the testing Esher hill in soft going against just three rivals, may have flattered the winner's ability. But there was a lot to like about the way he had the opposition on the stretch throughout, and he bounded decisively clear of Abuhail's brief threat two furlongs out as soon as Pat Eddery gave him the office.

The handsome bay had clearly learned from his debut outing at Newbury last month, when he finished fourth in a good maiden. "He didn't know what it was all about on his first run," said his trainer Michael Stoute, "but he had much more of an idea today and went through this ground well, as one by Shirley Heights should do."

Eyecatching though the performance was, it marked only the establishment of a base camp for Kilimanjaro. More will be known about whether he can progress to the summit after his next run, in either the Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot or the Racing Post Trophy Stakes at Doncaster.

The colt, who cost 500,000gns at the sales last autumn but is still partly owned by his then-vendor Lord Lloyd-Webber, runs in the colours of Michael Tabor, whose beaten Derby favourite this year, Entrepreneur, looked more like his old self on the Newmarket gallops yesterday. But even so he will miss the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp a week today.

Eddery is fast closing on the 4,000th winner of his career, and seldom can he have had an easier one than One So Wonderful's eight-length stroll home in the Atalanta Stakes after an absence of 358 days. The Classic aspirations that Luca Cumani held for the Weinfeld family's home-bred Nashwan filly before she failed to thrive through the winter do not now look wide of the mark, though they will be put to serious test in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket next month.

The richest race of the day was in Ireland, where Another Fantasy gave Richard Hannon his second successive winner of the Tattersalls Breeders Stakes at the Curragh. The Danehill filly, a 16-1 shot, defied her supposedly detrimental high draw as Dane O'Neill found a dream run up the far rail to land the six-furlong contest, confined to graduates of last years' Fairyhouse yearling sale and worth pounds 73,500 to the winner. The Jim Bolger- trained runner-up Law Library, the best of the stand-side finishers, prevented a clean sweep for the British raiders, as the next two places went to Another Fantasy's better-fancied stablemate Daunting Lady and Linda Perratt's charge Jacmar.

The loudest cheer of the afternoon surely came on the Roodeye, when the veteran stayer Further Flight notched the 23rd victory of his honourable career at the age of 11 by beating two Melbourne Cup hopefuls, Kutta and Grey Shot, in the Chester Rated Handicap.

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