Racing: Top Cees seizes his chance

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The Independent Online
TOP CEES, the horse at the centre of a celebrated court action earlier this year, notched a very easy victory under Jimmy Fortune in the Tennent Caledonian Breweries Trophy at Ayr yesterday. Lynda Ramsden, who trains the eight-year-old, who gained notoriety when subject of a libel which proved costly for the now defunct Sporting Life in 1995, said: "The Chester Cup and the Cesarewitch have been the two main aims for the year, and the latter race is still the plan. Top Cees is not in the Northumberland Plate, we have another (Mithak) for that, but I don't think we would want to take on Arctic Owl, who beat him at York, again."

Top Cees strode into the lead two furlongs out and having surged clear won by an official three lengths from Motet, but was value for at least double that, having been eased up in the last 100 yards. Top Cees had been fancied for the Chester Cup but was badly hampered on the home bend and Mrs Ramsden added: "He sustained a very deep and inch-and-a-half-long cut over an artery on his off foreleg but he was very lucky really."

The owner Jeff Smith, who rode a rollercoaster of emotions during the Royal fixture, had his heart in his mouth again at Ascot's heath meeting when Night Shot landed the Palan Handicap by a short-head. Night Shot came with a late rattle under Martin Dwyer to pick off trail-blazing Jay Gee on the line.

Smith's colours had been carried to victory in Wednesday's Royal Hunt Cup by Refuse To Lose and into second place in Friday's King's Stand Stakes by Lochangel, though in between he experienced the defeat of Persian Punch in the Gold Cup.

A punter scooped almost pounds 25,000 with a 9p bet on the Tote Jackpot. There were four individual winners, who all invested in the pool via Tote Direct for the pounds 275,690.30 dividend for the rollover pot - which swelled to almost pounds 425,000 at the start of racing.

With the first five favourites all beaten, just pounds 2.66 survived going into the sixth race which was won by the favourite Spirit Willing.

That result produced pounds 1.09 in winning units with the luckiest punter picking up pounds 165,414.78 for a 60p line. The backer with the 9p line won pounds 24,812.13.