Last September the filly looked a candidate for the cartridge when she was struck into in Newmarket's Cheveley Park Stakes and lost a chunk of flesh the size of a betting slip down to the bone of a hind leg. Yesterday recuperation was completed as she proved she can still run out of her skin.
Once again, though, her race was not without incident. At the start, two boxes away from Lemon Souffle, another returning invalid, Glatisant, sat down and gave Pat Eddery the unusual sensation of leaving the stalls backwards. The Irishman sustained a bruised ankle and will not return to the saddle until tomorrow.
Lemon Souffle, however, always looked likely to register for the crocks and her choppy stride took Lester Piggott clear of pursuers. Greater problems emerged for the 58-year-old jockey on his return. Before forcing his way through the army of glad-handers, Piggott had to communicate his thoughts to Lord Carnarvon, and judging by the way the filly's owner craned towards his rider there was plenty of crackling on the message.
Old Stoneface is becoming increasingly unintelligible. The general gist of his press briefing seemed to be that Lemon Souffle had taken some time to regain confidence after her injury.
This is hardly surprising. Following the accident she has been on the floor more times than a novice chaser. This, though, has been in the course of treatment. 'She was laid out about three or four times,' Richard Hannon, her trainer, reported. 'To come back from what she's been through is unbelievable. These days she's over the door when the vet comes to call. She can smell him.'
After a quiet start to the year, Lemon Souffle began to give out the signals that she was back to herself. 'She'd always been a lively lady to be in front of or behind,' Carnarvon reported. 'She'll bite or kick you.'
On the evidence of a paddock inspection yesterday, the three-year-old, with a coat you could check your appearance in, appeared hearty, but Hannon would have preferred the confirmation of a blood test after the lacklustre performances of some of his horses recently. 'But you wouldn't get near her with a needle,' he said. 'She'd kill you.'
Lemon Souffle will now parade her talents at Deauville, first in the Prix d'Astarte and then against the colts in the Prix Jacques le Marois.
Geoff Wragg, Glatisant's trainer, later had a stab at equine psychology to explain his filly's squat in the stalls. He believed she was frightened by the last stall being snapped closed loudly.
Wragg's fellow Newmarket trainer David Loder dabbled in the same field after the visored Fallow delivered him the July Stakes. 'He wears the headgear because he just doesn't concentrate and plays at the game,' Loder said.'
But even though Fallow may think spectators should be on both sides of the rails, he has developed into a serious racehorse from relatively lowly beginnings. 'Anthony Stroud bought him cheaply for Sheikh Mohammed at only IR26,000gns,' Loder said. (You know you're rich when you can append only to IR26,000gns).
Fallow's six-length win appeared impressive, but the form may not amount to much. Neverthless, the man from Coral felt it necessary to offer a price of 33-1 for the 1995 2,000 Guineas. These bookmakers do like their little jokes.
Results, page 39
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