Racing: Tate in a lone date with Destiny

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DARING DESTINY, an 18-1 shot, landed a tremendous touch when she came home alone to win yesterday's Ayr Gold Cup. The three-year-old, drawn 29 of 29 and blinkered first time, raced in isolation near the stands rail for more than half of the six-furlong contest but, confidently ridden by apprentice Jason Tate, got up to beat Alzianah, under Willie Carson, and the rest of the main bunch in the centre.

The filly's victory was the biggest of ex-jump jockey Karl Burke's burgeoning career as a trainer, and the result of a well- laid plan. He said: 'I thought with the high draw our chance had gone. But when I walked the course I noticed that there was a strip of decent ground a yard or so off the rail. I told Jason to stick to that and he carried it off to perfection.'

A further neck behind, last year's winner Hard To Figure, giving the first two more than a stone, humped his top-weight into third place, followed by Palacegate Touch, the well- backed Thousla Rock and Neither Nor, who was badly hampered early in the race. Another of the market leaders, Double Blue, was 11th.

Daring Destiny earned a prize of pounds 51,000 and landed pounds 112,000 in bets for one of her owners, David Maloney. Her breeder Ann Knight, in whose colours she runs, had a more modest pounds 2 each-way.

It was a first ride in the historic handicap, first run in 1804, for 22-year-old Tate. He drove Daring Destiny into the lead inside the last, and resisted the temptation to look across at Carson and co until he reached the winning post. He said: 'I was always within a length of the leaders and knew she would pick up when I wanted.'

It was a good day for apprentices - at Newbury, Michael Fenton steered the well- supported Princely Hush to victory in the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes - but a better one for the matchless senior jockey, Michael Kinane. He and trainer Dermot Weld combined forces to take the two big races at The Curragh. Wins on Definite Article in the National Stakes and Vintage Crop in the Irish St Leger brought Kinane's Group One score for the season in Europe to six.

Vintage Crop, now bound for another Melbourne Cup, became the first horse to win two Irish St Legers since the race forfeited Classic status by being opened to older horses 11 years ago. The runners kicked up water as they galloped, but the darling of Ireland, made favourite by the Curragh faithful, coped admirably. He took Bob's Return three furlongs out and was driven out to win by three lengths, followed home by Rayseka. The Luca Cumani- trained Kithanga, was a one- paced third, but the best of the British in front of My Patriarch and Bob's Return.

The seven-year-old goes into quarantine today before his trip to Australia. Weld said: 'I was thrilled. The St Leger was a tougher race than last year and a superb performance by a great horse. Now we look to the next challenge; he's gone up 10lb in the weights, but we'll have a week longer to prepare this time.'

The Mill Reef Stakes went at a crawl in the early stages, but once Princely Hush took it up at half-way he had only to be pushed out to hold the late flourish of the talented but rather cranky Fallow. His effort, a compliment to his Kempton conqueror Art of War, earned him a 25-1 tag for next year's 2,000 Guineas.