Mike De Kock gained his second winner in Britain when his colt Warsaw swooped to win here yesterday. The reputation of the top South African trainer had failed to register with bookmakers and punters alike, however, and the colt started at the lavish odds of 16-1.
Warsaw was following Archipenko, winner for De Kock of the Group Two Summer Mile at Ascot last month – and like that victor is a former inmate of Aidan O'Brien's Tipperary stable, and this was his first run in new colours.
Warsaw is now temporarily housed in Newmarket as part of the South African's European squad and made his first appearance for 346 days in the six-furlong Betdaq The Betting Exchange Handicap. He benefited from first-time blinkers yesterday when scoring by three-quarters of a length and the same from Ebraam and Shifting Star.
The winner was running in circumstances rather different than those he has been accustomed to. During a two-year-old season with O'Brien, the Danehill Dancer colt won a Listed race at the Curragh before struggling in Group company – although finishing adrift of New Approach, Henrythenavigator, Fleeting Spirit and Saoirse Abu was not exactly a disgrace.
"Kempton's great – the surface is really good and a couple of the other jocks said that that was quite a tough race," reported rider Kevin Shea, riding at the Surrey track for the first time. This isn't one of our best ones – he's done one or two nice pieces of work but not much. We know where we are with him now and I'm quite excited both for him and for some of our other horses. I'm sure there will be some good prizes for him at the Dubai winter carnival."
A fair crowd appeared for the Bank Holiday card and racegoers also experienced a smart performance from the Henry Cecil-trained Many Volumes, the 2-1 favourite.
A colt whose reputation has largely preceded him, Many Volumes appears more mature as a four-year-old and he followed his Listed race victory at Sandown by brushing off his opponents in the betdaq.co.uk Conditions Stakes with minimal effort. "I couldn't be more happy really – he's stepped up again here and was doing all his best work at the end," said Cecil's assistant Mike Marshall, who was not at liberty to disclose any future plans.
Cecil's efforts to follow up in the Bet Premier League Football – Betdaq Handicap were dashed when his Tomintoul Flyer was denied by Muhannak in the final strides. Mark Wallace did achieve a double – although it was his apparent second string, the unraced Captain Ramius, who set the ball rolling in the opening maiden stakes. Wallace's Geoffdaw, a 10-1 shot visored for the first time, completed the brace in the topnaps.com Handicap.
Wallace revealed that his sprinter Benbaun is to attempt to win the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh for an astonishing fourth consecutive time, with the Newmarket trainer looking to send his stable star back to Ireland on Sunday.
Benbaun's winning spree stretched to the Group One Prix de l'Abbaye last year but he has failed to get his head in front this season in five starts. He did not look like winning last week's rescheduled Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at Newmarket either but found his feet in the closing stages to sprint through for fifth behind Borderlescott.
"I don't know what happened in the Nunthorpe – he just couldn't go with them for the first two furlongs and I thought we were going to have to carry him out on his shield," said Wallace. "But he went past loads of horses at the end and he almost looks like he wants six furlongs now. They don't tend to go as quick at the start of the sprints in Ireland. Then we could look at the Betfred Cup at Haydock over six furlongs."
l At Ripon yesterday, jockey Duran Fentiman was hit with a 10-day ban by the stewards for failing to ride out for third place on Collateral Damage in the Ripon Rowels Handicap won by Osteopathic Remedy. He will be out of action for 8-17 September. Earlier, Desert Phantom extended his unbeaten sequence to three with a game performance under Richard Mullen in the Listed Ripon Champion Two Years Old Trophy. The David Simcock-trained youngster battled well to win by a head.