Racing: Turtle Island storms home

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The Independent Online
TURTLE ISLAND stormed to 2,000 Guineas favouritism with a scintillating eight-length victory in the Greenham Stakes here yesterday. John Reid brought the Robert Sangster-owned colt cruising through the field to join the leaders a furlong and a half out and, from then on, daylight was always runner-up.

The bookmakers reacted by promoting Turtle Island, one of last year's most consistent two-year-olds, to head the betting for the Newmarket Classic. The best offer was Ladbrokes' 6-1, which lasted less than an hour, Hills and Coral went 9-2 and 4-1 respectively. Sangster said: 'He was 40-1 this time last week. And yes, I have backed him.'

Yesterday's soft ground was very much in Turtle Island's favour, but his connections are adamant that it is not necessary for him to show his best form. His trainer, Peter Chapple-Hyam, said: 'He had a long season last year and, when he was beaten on firm ground, he was suffering from sore shins.'

Sangster's luck has swung dramatically recently. Last month his best three-year-old, Stonehatch, was killed. Now he has not only Turtle Island but also Colonel Collins, touched off by King's Theatre in the Craven Stakes on Thursday, available for duty on the Rowley Mile. He said: 'If you can't take the knocks then you shouldn't be in the game.'

The trainer Richard Han non said that his two Guineas hopes, the colt Redoubtable - withdrawn yesterday because of the going - and the filly Lemon Souffle, would have a racecourse gallop at Newbury next weekend. He said: 'I'll put something like Swing Low in to take them along a bit, and then hope the ground dries out by Newmarket.'

Broadway Flyer, the all-the-way winner of the first, earned a 33-1 quote for the Derby from Hills. The John Hills-trained son of Theatrical also holds a St Leger entry. In the day's other trial, Just Happy scrambled home at Thirsk.

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