Racing: Dunwoody hits 1,000

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MANY football managers have discovered that winning the title means little if your principal rival starts the next season with a string of victories. The pattern was repeated at Ludlow yesterday, when Richard Dunwoody announced that he has parted company with his agent, Robert Kington, shortly before riding a double which included the 1,000th winner of his career.

Dunwoody is only the fourth jockey to reach four figures, but an ever-expanding fixture list means that several riders of his generation should do so in the near future, while younger riders such as Adrian Maguire seem sure to join them in time.

None the less, few sporting landmarks demand more endurance or courage, and only Peter Scudamore (who retired with 1,677 winners), John Francome (1,138) and Stan Mellor (1,035) have enjoyed more success than Dunwoody. He is just 29 and, fitness permitting, should yet overhaul all but Scudamore, without whom Dunwoody would already have been champion half a dozen times.

He starts his pursuit without the assistance of Kington, who had been booking his rides since 1987 and played his part in the jockeys' championship success last season. At the time, that title seemed sure to be the first of many, but now first and only looks equally likely, as Adrian Maguire maintains a lead of more than 30 winners over the defending champion.

Maguire's excellent start appears to have been the final burden for a partnership in decline. 'This does not come as a surprise,' Kington said, 'and the fact that Adrian Maguire has been going so well has been a contributing factor. We have had some good seasons together but it has just petered out.'

'This has not happened overnight,' Dunwoody said. 'I will book my own rides for the time being, though eventually I will need another agent.' As long as he keeps producing the assurance and judgement of his double on West Monkton and Celcius yesterday, Dunwoody's phone will keep ringing.

The puzzle over Jodami's poor performance at Chepstow on Saturday should be resolved tomorrow, when Peter Beaumont, his trainer, receives the result of the Gold Cup winner's subsequent blood test. 'When a long-odds on favourite gets beaten you have to have a dope test, but I've no reason to suspect anything untoward,' he said yesterday.

David Nicholson has already diagnosed the cause of Another Coral's poor run last month - he was pulled up with an irregular heartbeat - but will work him tomorrow before deciding whether he is fit to contest the Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday, a race he won last year.

The 8-1 on offer about his chance will attract only mug money until that test. Nicholson has another runner in Second Schedual, the 9-2 second- favourite behind Egypt Mill Prince, who is a 5-2 chance.

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