Racing: Row enters the Classic picture: Horris Hill winner draws plaudits and lets his trainer get Derby dreams into a realistic perspective. Richard Edmondson reports

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The Independent Online
PAINTER'S ROW entered the Classic picture yesterday with a smooth display in the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury. Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt is now 20-1 for both the 1995 2,000 Guineas and Derby with William Hill.

This Classic talk was a welcome diversion for the Manton trainer, who has spent the last few weeks being warmed on the revolving spit of the controversy over the merits of Yutaka Take as a jockey. 'I've not had much to dream about lately so I might as well start now,' he said.

Painter's Row's was a copybook success, though the victory may not amount to much in the grand scheme as only Tirol, the winner of the race in 1989 before graduating to 2,000 Guineas glory, has gone on to any sort of prominence in recent years.

Painter's Row settled well in the early stages before being presented with an unusual problem early in the straight as Amin started to swerve around violently in front of him. The colt's erratic passage was caused by a fractured off-hind, an injury which meant he had to be destroyed.

'The plan was for my colt to be up there, but he dropped back to last when the horse in front of him broke his leg,' Chapple-Hyam said. 'But he got round that and could not have done it any better.'

Painter's Row has had his problems at Manton, but Chapple-Hyam believes he can now go on to high station, and accomplish much the same as Erhaab, who was third in the Horris Hill 12 months ago before dramatic success at Epsom.

'He's been a bit of a handful at home, but we've given him time and it's paid off,' the trainer said. 'I've always thought a lot of him and I think he might be a Derby prospect, as he is related to the Sun Princess family.'

If Britain's main race of the day had the overtones of National Hunt racing, there was plenty of sterotypical fare at the winter game itself at Wincanton.

This was the venue for the Desert Orchid South Western Pattern Handicap Chase, named after the grey for whom this event used to be the annual season-opener and virtual autograph-signing session. The grey's former stablemate, Givus A Buck, was a consideration for an event denuded of many of its most prestigious entries, but he looked a tired and panting beast in fourth place as the field swung into the straight.

But, as Boscean Chieftain, Mulbank and Egypt Mill Prince battled up front, the hobgoblins came in to land.

Boscean Chieftain was the first to go, pulled up badly lame by Richard Dunwoody, an injury which will necessitate protracted box-rest. Mulbank continued the theme, attempting to run out at the penultimate obstacle and shooting Chris Maude out of the saddle. Egypt Mill Prince then collided with the stricken jockey's form, leaving Givus A Buck to come home 30 lengths clear.

'We were just coming to win our race,' David Elsworth, Givus A Buck's trainer, said in one of his less sincere moments. 'But seriously, we didn't have a hard race. We've got the prize money and now he'll go for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury next month.

'We decided not to get involved with a strong gallop and I think they probably went too fast up front and didn't ride a race to get the trip. I'd been complaining about how unlucky we've been recently, but I think I'll shut up now.'

An announcement is expected today confirming that the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, on 5 November will be televised by the Sky Sports Channel, with some races shown live. Channel 4, which has televised the event in past years, confirmed yesterday that it would not be providing any coverage.

(Photograph omitted)

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