Racing: Stravinsky's talents in demand

THE BOOKMAKERS were unimpressed yesterday following Raise A Grand's victory in the Solario Stakes at Sandown. Like the thoroughbred racehorse who forms the centrepiece of the action, the modern bookmaker was taking no chances with a prospective predator in in the form of Stravinsky, winner of a York maiden on Thursday and now the 4-1 favourite for the 2000 Guineas next May.

However, the bookmakers saw no need to activate their instinct for self- preservation after yesterday's seven-furlong Group Three, in which Pip Payne's Grand Lodge colt beat Compton Admiral, who himself had undone Henry Cecil's Killer Instinct at Ascot last month.

Taking over in front for Gary Carter approaching the final furlong, the chestnut, second to Aljabr when seeking a hat-trick in Glorious Goodwood's Group Three Lanson Champagne Vintage Stakes, had to withstand the late threat of Compton Admiral, the 13-8 favourite. He did so by a length and a quarter at the line, with two back to Miss Universe.

After the race Aljabr was shortened to 12-1 second favourite behind Stravinsky, with Coral and William Hill, while Raise A Grand and Compton Admiral are on general offer at 33-1.

Payne, howver, was understandably enthusiastic about his chestnut: "That was a very sweet performance," he said. "He has always been a nice horse and has done nothing wrong. He was carried out by a loose horse at Yarmouth but won his second and third starts nicely. He didn't like the ground at Goodwood."

Quizzed as to Raise A Grand's future, Payne added: "I haven't discussed it with the owner and there may be a remote possibility he will go for the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster but more than likely he will go for a winter's rest. He has lots of scope and I would like to give him a winter to develop into that large frame."

Gerard Butler said of the runner-up: "He ran really well. We were beaten by a good horse, but they had the better ground and the best run up the inside rail."

Willie Ryan, who broke two ribs in a fall in the Tote Ebor Handicap on Wednesday and has since been detained in York District Hospital, is making steady improvement and hopes are high that he will soon be discharged. "I spoke to Willie and he seems much brighter," his agent, Martin Raymond, said yesterday afternoon.

"He will be moved tomorrow morning to a private hospital in Cambridge. He's improving by the hour. There are no problems except that he has cracked ribs, has broken a little bone on his back and also cracked a small bone in his foot - but it is nothing serious."

Ryan also suffered internal bruising and Raymond refused to make a firm prediction of when he would be back in action. The jockey was injured when his mount Street General appeared to clip the heels of Ridaiyma before stumbling and coming down, catapulting Ryan into the path of Theatreworld and Cash Asmussen, also unseated from his saddle. The horses concerned were uninjured.

Wolverhampton card,

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