Ferguson enjoys Viking's plunder

Sir Alex Ferguson, who celebrates his 70th birthday tomorrow, was at Doncaster yesterday to see his horse Harry The Viking battle to a narrow victory in the Lynn Higgins 60th Birthday Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.

The Manchester United manager part owns the Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old, who was following up a debut success over fences at Doncaster three weeks earlier. A bad mistake six from home failed to effect Harry The Viking, priced at 5-2 who outpointed Ikorodu Road by a head in a rousing finish.

"He doesn't make things easy. He's a workmanlike horse who only does what he has got to do," said jockey Daryl Jacob. "He's a fine horse and will be big and stronger next year. He's a powerful stayer and I probably got to the front too soon on him, but that was just the way the race worked out."