Racing: Dushyantor has the Freer spirit

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The Independent Online
Dushyantor, who managed to find one too good for him when favourite for both the Derby and the St Leger last year, showed he is no back number in yesterday's Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury. Henry Cecil's colt had failed to cut much ice this in three outings this year but remains a useful middle-distance performer and is clearly not an animal to give a headstart to.

Kieren Fallon, whose lack of tactical nous is generally adjudged to have been responsible for the defeat of Bosra Sham in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in July, certainly got his brain into gear on this occasion.

Following a sedate early pace, Fallon kicked on Dushyantor fully two furlongs out and, in a sprint finish, Dushyantor stayed on to win by a neck from the long-time leader Panama City with Shantou, the odds-on favourite who had beaten Dushyantor in the St Leger at Doncaster last autumn, a head away in third.

Grant Pritchard-Gordon, the racing manager of Khalid Abdullah, Dushyantor's owner, said: "He's come back to his best but apart from Ascot in June he's run creditably all season and it could be just that he's an autumn horse. You'd have to think about the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for him."

Back in the days when the top three-year-olds were packed off to stud at the end of the year, leaving a distinctly second division bunch of older horses to try and contain the new Classic crop the following year, three-year-olds used to farm races like the Geoffrey Freer.

Those days, thankfully, seem long gone and Peter Chapple-Hyam, trainer of Panama City, the sole three-year-old in the race, was "delighted" with his colt's second place, adding that "he needed the run after being off since Royal Ascot and he's still a St Leger prospect".

John Gosden was bullish about Shantou saying: "I'm delighted as it was a false-run race and he needs a strong pace. He's run up to his St Leger form as he was giving Dushyantor 3lb."

Tadeo overcame a high draw to win Ripon's Great St Wilfrid Handicap over six furlongs. My Best Valentine, gambled on from 6-1 in the morning to 7-2 favourite, was unplaced.

At the Curragh King Of Kings (2-9) returned to winning form but failed to impress when getting home by a length a half from Sharp Play in a Listed contest over seven furlongs, while Roger Charlton's King Alex narrowly won the Group Three Royal Whip Stakes.

John Gosden's Lord Of Men (4-5) scored a pillar-to-post win in Deauville's Group Three Prix Gontaut-Biron. On the prevailing good ground, the British raider Starborough must have live prospects of depriving Daylami and Spinning World, who both prefer soft ground, in today's Prix Jacques le Marois over a mile at the French track.

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