Racing: Piggott pulls rank to win on Captain

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The Independent Online
LESTER PIGGOTT, with only one win in Britain this season, continued his successful run abroad when he rode a double at the Capannelle, Rome, on Saturday aboard John Dunlop's Captain Horatius and the Luca Cumani-trained Suplizi.

Captain Horatius looked set to win the Group Two Premio Ellington easily but tired close home and needed the full Piggott treatment - prohibited in Britain by the whip rules - to deny Big Tobin by a nose. By contrast, Suplizi burst clear in the Listed Premio Lazio and won cosily.

'I'm pleased to have won on Captain Horatius but Suplizi was different class and won very nicely,' Piggott said. He was later fined pounds 200 for not riding in the third race because he was unable to make the weight of 8st 5lb.

Billy Newnes had a lucky escape at San Siro, Milan, yesterday when he was unseated and kicked in the paddock by Dunlop's juvenile debutant Kafkaienne. He was saved from serious injury by his body protector, and was able to partner Kafkaienne to victory in a seven-furlong maiden.

At Longchamp, Bigstone, last year's Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner, made a winning reappearance in the Group One Prix d'Ispahan. 'He has improved since last year,' Elie Lellouche, the winning trainer, said. 'We are thinking of trying him over a mile and a quarter in the Eclipse, but we may keep him to a mile, in which case the Sussex Stakes, Prix Jacques le Marois, Moulin and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes whould be a possible programme.'

Bigstone's neck victory came at the expense of the John Gosden-trained Muhtarram, whose jockey, Willie Carson, said: 'I had to switch Muhtarram at the beginning of the straight, and initially thought that might have made the difference. But now I've seen the replay I think we were beaten fair and square.'

Gosden again had to settle for second place half an hour later when Darnay chased home the odds-on favourite Millkom in the Group One Prix Jean Prat.

Darnay had finished third to Derby aspirant Foyer and yesterday's Derby Italiano second, Overbury, at York last time. Gosden said: 'Darnay might go to Royal Ascot for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, but his main target is the Eclipse.'

Richard Hannon's Port Lucaya (Jason Weaver) scored a half-length victory in the Group Three Badener Meile at Baden-Baden yesterday. John Dunlop's Visto Si Stampi (Bruce Raymond), was fifth.

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