Racing: Spectrum shows his true colours

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The Independent Online
SPECTRUM won his colours in the autumn sunshine here yesterday with a sparkling victory in the Dubai Champion Stakes. The Irish 2,000 Guineas winner came back to his best to take the 10-furlong Group 1 contest with a scintillating burst of speed up the final hill. John Reid timed his challenge to perfection on the bonny colt, who had two lengths to spare over the Paul Cole pair Riyadian and Montjoy, separated by a head.

Spectrum's performance was a triumph for his trainer, Peter Chapple-Hyam, who patiently nursed the son of Rainbow Quest back from injuries incurred when he finished 13th in the Derby. Chapple-Hyam said: "It was touch and go whether he ever ran again. He was very jarred up and had deep muscle problems."

On his comeback run at Longchamp last month, the three-year-old had finished a neck behind the Derby runner-up, Tamure, giving him 7lb. Tamure, looking unhappy on the fast ground, finished fourth yesterday, four lengths behind the winner and a short-head in front of the favourite, Bahri.

It was Reid's first success in the Champion Stakes - worth pounds 141,840 to the winning owners Lord Weinstock and his son Simon - and Chapple-Hyam's second, having scored with another Irish Guineas winner, Rodrigo de Triano, three years ago. Spectrum will stay in training next year.

By picking up pounds 58,000 for second place, Riyadian fully justified the decision to supplement him at a cost of pounds 20,000 last week. The mile specialist Bahri - behind Spectrum in the Irish Guineas on their only previous meeting - was in contention at his best distance, but found the final two furlongs beyond him. But the pounds 6,398 he earned for fifth still took John Dunlop to the top of the trainer's earnings table and thus confirmed his first championship in his 29-year career, for his main rival, Saeed bin Suroor, will have no more runners in Britain this season.

Earlier in the day 12 months of planning came to fruition when Old Red landed the Cesarewitch for one of the shrewdest trainers in the business, Mary Reveley. The five-year-old, ridden coolly by Lindsay Charnock, stalked steadily through from the back of the field to tackle Nanton Point a furlong out and stayed on stoutly to take the pounds 46,170 prize by a length. The favourite, Top Cees, finished well to take third spot a neck behind, with Inchcailloch fourth.

The competitive two-and-a- quarter mile handicap had been 11-1 shot Old Red's target since last autumn, and he came to the race with just one run this year, an eye-catching fourth at Ayr in September. But the road to yesterday's success was not entirely smooth, for Old Red is a notoriously difficult character to train.

Mrs Reveley, whose yard is on the Cleveland coast at Saltburn, said: "He pulls very hard indeed, and once he takes hold he's away. He frightens jockeys to death, and the others were winding Lindsay up before the race. Kevin Darley told him he'd have been best to leave his car in Cambridge."

The trainer, who owns her charge in partnership with a Berwick-on-Tweed carpet dealer, Alf Flanagan, paid tribute to one of her work riders, the jump jockey Nick Smith, for his part in calming Old Red's headstrong tendencies during the winter. And Charnock played his part on the day by taking the gelding early to the distant starting point. The jockey said: "The boys told me I'd better take a packed lunch with me, but I had no trouble going to the start, and he settled well in the race. They can put me on a few more like him if they want."

Racing results, page 27