Racing: Dettori puts the Sheikh back on a roll

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The Independent Online
TWITCHERS HERE yesterday were treated to what is now a rare sighting: Sheikh Mohammed's maroon and white livery - rather than the Godolphin colours - on a potentially high-class horse. The beast in question was Glamis, five-length winner of the Milcars Stanmore Stakes and now bound for the Sandown Classic Trial later this month.

Frankie Dettori, riding his second winner from two rides on his first day back in action in Britain, launched Glamis past pace-setting Peace Of Mind a furlong out and the colt, like his trainer John Gosden's Derby winner Benny The Dip a son of Silver Hawk, responded readily.

Gosden won this 10-furlong contest four years ago with Presenting, subsequently a close third to Lammtarra at Epsom. "I was very pleased to see him get the trip," he said.

Glamis, the most experienced of the five runners and the one with the best two-year-old form - he was second in the Royal Lodge and third in the Grand Criterium - was entitled to win as he did. Third-placed J R Stevenson, winner of his maiden on his sole outing last year, produced an encouraging late flourish to finish just three-quarters of a length behind Peace Of Mind and the son of Lyphard, who represents the Peter Chapple-Hyam/Robert Sangster team will be seen to best effect when he steps up to a mile and a half.

It is early to be talking of Epsom but there was much to like about the way the Caerleon filly Claxon enhanced her Oaks prospects with an all- the-way win in the Masaka Stakes to get Pat Eddery off the mark for the year. Her trainer John Dunlop has made a tremendous start to the season and for good measure her stablemate Alabaq followed her home.

Claxon, the first foal of her yard's Fred Darling Stakes winner Bulaxie, will move up to 10 furlongs next. Dunlop said: "She did it well, and the plan would be to have one more run, and then the Oaks."

Dunlop had positive news of his Dewhurst Stakes winner Mujahid, who impressed mightily in a piece of work on Friday. The colt is due to reappear in the Craven Stakes on Thursday week, providing the ground remains easy. "He's very well indeed, but if the ground is too firm at Newmarket he'll go to Newbury for the Greenham."

The Easter Stakes, has in the past produced smart winners like Elmaamul, subsequently third in the Derby, Corrupt, who started favourite at Epsom, and Lucky Lindy, runner-up in a Guineas. But yesterday's edition, run in half a second slower time than the fillies' race, produced only negative clues. The length winner Dehoush, trained by an absent Alec Stewart, holds no Classic engagements and Raise A Grand, who had won the Solario Stakes last year and run fifth in the Dewhurst, showed little sparkle in eighth place. The race did, however, provide former champion Michael Roberts with his 1,200th winner in Britain and give owner Ahmed Al Maktoum a double on the day. Dettori wore the yellow silks to victory in the opener on the impressive Mick Channon-trained two-year-old debutant Ma Yoram, a black Dayjur colt.

Both Glamis and Claxon were tokenly trimmed for their respective Epsom races. But yesterday's serious news on the Classic front came from the Newmarket gallops in the morning, when the 1,000 Guineas favourite Bionic limped her way out of contention.

Willie Ryan pulled up the Henry Cecil-trained filly as she faltered half a mile into a routine spin on Racecourse Side. He jumped off immediately and although the daughter of Zafonic seemed to trot up sound soon afterwards the news came later she will be scanned for a suspected pelvic fracture on Tuesday. The new market leader (the third this year after the death of original favourite Bint Allayl in January) is the French-trained Moiava.

The Richard Dunwoody circus moves to Wincanton tomorrow after he managed only one win, on Grosvenor, at Newton Abbot yesterday. he now needs just one winner to equal Peter Scudamore's all-time best score of 1,678, and two to beat it.

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