Racing: Turgenev tries to fortify Ebor claim

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The Independent Online
TURGENEV, heavily-backed to win next week's Ebor Handicap, is due to run at Haydock tomorrow night in preparation for the big York race.

Steve Cauthen has been booked for Haydock but will be unable to take the mount on 19 August because of Turgenev's light weight.

Victory for the John Gosden- trained colt tomorrow would see the three-year-old's Ebor odds shorten still more. He is an 8-1 favourite with most bookmakers.

Another contender taking the Haydock route to York is Aude La Belle. Quoted at around 16-1 for the Ebor, she is trained in Devon by Angela Knight. Mrs Knight believes her mare was unlucky when fourth in the Brown Jack Stakes at Ascot last month and is anxious that Aude La Belle gets a run in the Ebor.

Friday's race is not valuable enough to provide a penalty. The Ebor, traditionally one of the biggest betting events of the Flat season, has a maximum field of 22. To get a run, therefore, both Aude La Belle and Turgenev need more than 20 horses handicapped above them in the original Ebor entries to be pulled out.

A fresher horse heading for York is Richard Hannon's First Victory. The six-year-old has raced just twice this year but is in fine fettle, says Hannon, who explained that his horse has recovered from becoming jarred up on fast ground last season. The grey finished fourth in the Ebor in 1990, and sixth last year.

First Victory is not at his best on soft ground, but Hannon also warned this week that First Victory may be withdrawn if the York going was too firm. He is optimistic that the ground will be sufficiently watered, however, and hopes Pat Eddery will ride. The horse is currently a 16-1 chance.

Clive Brittain's Sayyedati is an absentee from the 'Heinz 57' Phoenix Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday because of unsatisfactory blood tests. But seven other British-trained horses are still due to line up.