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Racing: Mehthaaf mocks Turtle

MEHTHAAF produced a scintillating display in the Tripleprint Celebration Mile here yesterday. The daughter of Nureyev caught the trailblazing Emperor Jones inside the final quarter-mile and quickened clear to beat him two and a half lengths, with the favourite Turtle Island a disappointing third, three-quarters of a length away.

The winner paid a resounding compliment to her fellow fillies East Of The Moon and Sayyedati, who beat her at Deauville two weeks ago. The ground is the key to Mehthaaf, who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas on softish going earlier in the year. The rains came in time for her yesterday, but they proved too much for Grand Lodge, who was withdrawn from the Mile yesterday morning because the going was deemed to have become too soft for him. He may run in the 10-furlong Guinness Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in two weeks' time.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot next month is Mehthaaf's next stop, where she may meet Sayyedati again. Her trainer, John Dunlop, said: 'She's not a big filly, but she's very, very good when she's got her ground, and she's tough and takes her racing well. She ran to her best today, and it's wonderful to beat a classic-

winning colt.'

The said colt, the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Turtle Island, will renew rivalry with Mehthaaf at Ascot. Yesterday was his first outing since June and John Reid reported that he got very tired. Mehthaaf's rider, Willie Carson, left the course at the gallop after the Mile, heading for a Concorde flight to Chicago, where he wears the same blue Hamdan Al Maktoum colours on the John Gosden-trained Muhtarram in tonight's Arlington Million.

And, on a great international racing weekend, British trainers had a field day at The Curragh yesterday, with wins for Michael Bell in the Anglesey Stakes with Smart Guest, a one-two for Mark Johnston in the Futurity Stakes with Jural and Indian Wedding, and a clean sweep for the raiders in the pounds 100,000 Tattersalls Breeders Stakes courtesy of Loveyoumillions (Johnston again), Veuve Hoornaert (Richard Hannon) and In Love Again (Mick Channon).

Midnight Legend is 4-1 for the St Leger with Hills after winning the March Stakes at Goodwood.