Racing: Late-flowering Bloom

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The Independent Online
DANCING BLOOM, who survived a fractured skull last year, finished her career in splendid style in the Princess Royal Stakes here yesterday. The flashily marked daughter of Sadler's Wells came from last to first under Walter Swinburn in the short straight to catch Lille Hammer and win with her ears pricked.

After the race, Dancing Bloom's trainer, Michael Stoute, revealed that she was lucky to be alive after a freak accident on the training grounds at Newmarket. 'She was crossing the road by Mark Prescott's yard,' he said, 'when a paper bag blew against her forelegs. She reared up in terror and fell over backwards and crashed her head on the ground. There was blood coming out of her ears, and an

X-ray showed she'd cracked a bone in her skull. It was touch and go and it was a miracle she survived.'

Yesterday's Group 3 victory was, surprisingly, Dancing Bloom's first at Pattern level, though she has twice finished runner-up in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks. She will now retire to her owner Lord Weinstock's Ballymacoll Stud.

It was a day for the ladies at Ascot, with home-bred fillies starring in the two other principal races as well.

Millstream bounced right back to her very speedy best for a sparkling four-length win in the Cornwallis Stakes. There were shades of her sire Dayjur in her performance and she looks a fine prospect for the top sprints next season for Sheikh Mohammed.

Her trainer Mark Johnston has done well to bring her back after a disappointing mid-

season. 'She went badly astray,' he said. 'In fact she went to pieces mentally at York - but she thoroughly enjoyed today. She loves to dictate.'

Cape Merino landed a substantial gamble in the five-

furlong Bovis Handicap, backed from 33-1 in the morning to 12-1 at the off, though not, according to her new trainer David Chappell, by the stable or her veteran owner, Diana Ellis.

Chappell has had charge of Cape Merino for just three weeks, having acquired the filly because of her previous handler Alf Smith's serious illness. Chappell said: 'All credit to him; all I've done is keep her fresh.'

Celtic Swing is favourite for next year's Derby after winning the Hyperion Conditions Stakes by eight lengths. He broke the seven-furlong course record in the process. His owner, Peter Savill, who has already backed the horse at 250-1 for the Derby, believes Celtic Swing is the best he has had in 17 years.

'I have been getting very excited about him for a long time. There is nothing of any age that can work with him at Lady Herries' stable. He must be the best I have ever had,' said Savill.

Celtic Swing, who earned quotes of 14-1 and 12-1 with William Hill and Coral respectively, will now run in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. In that race he may meet Presenting, winner of the listed Autumn Stakes.

Over the jumps at Bangor- on-Dee, Adrian Maguire was suspended for eight days - 17- 24 October inclusive - for careless riding on Malawi in the opening race. The Irishman was off for two days last week and starts a three-day ban tomorrow.

The reigning National Hunt champion jockey, Richard Dunwoody, suffered an injury scare when taking a crashing fall at Worcester. It was feared Dunwoody had broken his collarbone when brought down from Moore Bones in the EBF National Hunt Novices' Hurdle.

But his agent Robert Parsons has confirmed that Dunwoody has not suffered a break, and expects his jockey to be fit to ride on tomorrow.

'Richard has hurt his shoulder and is going to get it checked out, but he doesn't think anything is broken,' said Parsons.

(Photograph omitted)