Racing: Tycoon collects cash

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REG AKEHURST removed himself from the Christmas card list of another set of bookmakers yesterday when Texan Tycoon landed a second betting coup in 24 hours for the Epsom trainer at Brighton.

The victory of Texan Tycoon, who was supported to 7-2 from a morning price of 16-1, followed Millsolin's remunerative success at Kempton the previous day.

Part of Akehurst's camouflage yesterday was to use Tom Ashley, a 7lb claimer who had never ridden a winner previously, as his jockey. The trainer seems to rate Ashley's judgement highly. 'Tom rode the horse at Kempton over one mile and told me that the horse wanted a trip,' he said.

Charlie Moore, the veteran local trainer who retires next year, was also on the mark with Precious Air. 'I'm top and bottom of the league in Brighton - because I am the only trainer here,' he said.

Moore, a former car dealer, has recovered from several alterations to his own bodywork to clock up around 30 years as a trainer. 'I've survived two heart attacks and four by-pass operations, but I'm happy to say I've had some good times training and will finish without having any debts hanging over my head,' he said. The jockey honours went to Lanfranco Dettori, who completed a double on Surprise Offer and Fortensky, the latter for Brighton's top trainer of recent years, Luca Cumani.

Zafonic, the short-priced favourite for next year's 2,000 Guineas, was among 30 horses left in the Dewhurst Stakes at yesterday's declaration stage. The impressive Prix de la Salamandre winner is likely to run in the Group One race at Newmarket on 19 October, leaving Tenby, another leading juvenile owned by Khalid Abdullah, to contest the Grand Criterium at Longchamp on Saturday week.