Racing: Urgent attempt pleases Akehurst

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THE BRITISH raid on Canada's Rothmans International on Sunday night may have proved unsuccessful, but while Peter Chapple-Hyam's yard is struggling to explain the dismal performance of White Muzzle, who finished ninth and last, there was some satisfaction yesterday for Reg Akehurst, who saddled Urgent Request to finish fifth.

Akehurst's runner was beaten in a three-way photograph for third place, and was less than two lengths behind the winner, Andre Fabre's Raintrap. 'He ran a great race and we brought back pounds 15,300,' the trainer said yesterday.

'He led until he was half-headed, then he got back up and they only caught him in the last 25 yards.' Further travel may now be on the itinerary for Urgent Request. 'If he comes out of the run alright he may go to the Hong Kong Invitation meeting in December.'

The winner, who beat the locally trained Alywow and his fellow French raider Volochine, may now run in the Breeders' Cup Turf. However, Grant Pritchard-Gordon, racing manager to Raintrap's owner, Khalid Abdullah, could confirm yesterday only that both Raintrap and his brother Sunshack, a winner in France on Sunday, will remain in training next year.