Racing: Lady Fairfax fuels Classic dream

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The Independent Online
SA BARGAIN-BUY filly called Lady Fairfax took the Masaka Stakes here yesterday to give the 1,000 Guineas sponsor Bernard Gover a sporting chance of winning his money back at Newmarket next month.

Lady Fairfax swooped in the last 50 yards to beat Threatening by a head, the first win of her career. She cost just 5,000 guineas as a yearling, picked out at the last sale of the year by her trainer, Ron Boss, specially to give Gover the chance of a runner in the Classic backed by his firm, Madagans. The Newmarket-based Boss said: 'It's an absolute dream - at that sort of money she's done well to win, let alone win a race like this.'

Lady Fairfax, pick of the paddock for fitness, was one of three who drew well clear of the rest in the straight. The field came over to the perceived best ground on the stand rails, and two furlongs out the first to go for home was Threatening, with Crazy For You following her under pressure. Then approaching the furlong pole Pat Eddery and Lady Fairfax, slightly impeded by the weakening Braari, finally got a run through and burst clear of the pack in pursuit of the leaders. The filly showed a good turn of foot as she answered the champion's questions readily and gamely. Crazy For You stayed on at one pace three and a half back; she was 10 lengths clear of the fourth filly home, Fawaakeh, with Tzu'Mu fifth.

The next stop for Lady Fairfax is, obviously, the Guineas, but her performance in yesterday's Bonusprint-sponsored race cut little ice with the layers. She is 50-1 with Ladbrokes; her connections, however, have backed her at twice that.

Ultimo Imperatore, winner of the Easter Stakes under Willie Carson, is also Guineas-bound, but to the Italian version in Rome, the Premio Parioli on 2 May. The John Dunlop-trained colt led two out and always had too many guns for Concordial.

Rain at Aintree in the past 24 hours, and more forecast, has prompted betting on soft- ground specialists in the Grand National. The bookmakers report money for Master Oats and Moorcroft Boy and have eased Young Hustler and Topsham Bay. Miinnehoma, the choice of Richard Dunwoody, has also been backed.