Racing: Ruby on a fling at age of five: Richard Edmondson on two runners whose prolonged careers are proving lucrative

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The Independent Online
AFTER a three-year-old campaign, the future for winning fillies usually means carrying foals and not jockeys.

The prospect of a top filly producing offspring of note, allied with the limited openings for older horses, means that embarking on a third season is one of racing's least attractive gambles. But, at the weekend, the success of such speculation was rewarded once again by Ruby Tiger and Kooyonga.

Ruby Tiger, who already has a lucrative four-year-old career behind her, took the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday for the second successive year to raise her earnings close to the pounds 500,000 mark, while Kooyonga, last year's Irish 1,000 Guineas winner, posted the fourth Group One victory in Munich yesterday.

Kooyonga's success came in a race with the title offering the same possibilities as 'Peter Piper' after an evening in the snug, the Grosser Mercedes Benz Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen.

Michael Kauntze's four-year- old was a comfortable winner, bursting clear a furlong from home in the hands of her regular jockey, Warren O'Connor. Newmarket horses completed the frame, Harry Thomson Jones's Zaahi finishing ahead of Perpendicular, from Henry Cecil's stable.

Kooyonga, the 4-5 favourite, has the Japan Cup as her end-of- season target, but before that runs in the International Stakes at York tomorrow fortnight.

On the Knavesmire she may face, among others, Ruby Tiger and All At Sea, the leading players in Goodwood's Group race on Saturday.

Paul Cole, Ruby Tiger's trainer, reported his five-year-old, who appeared close to collapse after the race, had recovered fully by yesterday morning. 'She's come out of the race very well, has eaten up, and there is now every possibility that we will go to York,' he said. 'If anything there's a chance that she needs more racing because she gets a bit rusty.'

That means the grey may move on from the International Stakes to the Beverley D Stakes at Chicago next month and then the Prix de l'Opera during Longchamp's Prix de l'Arc De Triomphe weekend, not least because the foreign double offers a dollars 500,000 bonus ( pounds 260,000).

And if Ruby Tiger shows her appetite is undimmed in those ventures she may return to Whatcombe for a fifth season in 1993. 'While she holds her form she'll probably stay in training,' Cole said. 'The breeding situation is so dodgy at the moment that if you're picking up pounds 50,000 to pounds 100,000 a year with them on the racecourse you might as well keep going.'

After the defeats of All At Sea and Perpendicular, the tide turned for Cecil on the French coast yesterday, when Pursuit Of Love captured the Group Two Prix de Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

Pursuit Of Love, who suffered a difficult passage when runner-up in the July Cup last month, was ridden for the first time by a man enjoying his first win at Deauville, Michael Kinane.' I didn't want to get in any trouble, so I went quite early,' the Irishman said. 'But nothing came at me, and I won easily.'

Cecil himself saw the victory as retribution. 'Pursuit Of Love deserved this win after his unlucky run in the July Cup and he should make a good stallion in time,' the trainer said. 'I don't think he's a real flyer, so he will miss the Prix De l'Abbaye (five furlongs), and his main aim will be the Prix de la Foret (over seven furlongs at Longchamp on 11 October).'

Pursuit Of Love's closest pursuer was the 2,000 Guineas disappointment Cardoun, while Ben Hanbury's Twafeaj produced new heights to finish third. 'This is the best race of her life,' Walter Swinburn, the filly's jockey, said. 'We had thought fourth was the best we could get, so we are we delighted.'

The other British entry, Peter Makin's Elbio, faded in the closing stages to finish sixth. 'The horse never got into the race,' reported rider Ray Cochrane. 'I felt he didn't stay.'

(Photograph omitted)