Racing: Punters foxed

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The Independent Online
Jeremy Glover knows how to keep his horses a step ahead of the Official Handicapper. The man who sent out Balthus (1987) and Rambo's Hall (1989 and 1992) trained an incredible fourth Cambridgeshire winner in the last 10 years when Clifton Fox won the prestigious handicap at Newmarket yesterday.

A race with 38 runners - 30 of which are carrying their true handicap weight - over a straight nine furlongs with little or no draw advantage over one of the fairest courses in Britain ought to produce a bunch finish but Glover seems to have the knack of hoodwinking the assessor into giving his Cambridgeshire horses a weight under which they can turn the race into a procession.

And Clifton Fox, who had appeared to be trying his hardest - rather than trying it on - when pulling out all the stops to beat Angus-G by a neck in a 10-furlongs and 60 yards handicap at Doncaster on St Leger day, had seemed to have little obvious chance of confirming even those placings on 3lb worse terms yesterday afternoon.

Demonstrating a disgraceful disregard for the arithmetic of the anorak, Clifton Fox turned the numbers game into a crying game for many form book students as he extended that Doncaster superiority to five lengths. The four-year-old, partnered by Nigel Day, burst to the front two furlongs out and stormed home two and a half lengths clear of Missile with Angus-G the same distance back in third.

The 66-1 outsider Another Time, who had to carry 6lb more than his true handicap weight, finished a creditable fourth. Kammatarra, heavily backed from 12-1 in the morning down to 11-2 favourite, was unplaced.

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