Sixties Icon back in fashion with Festival win

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The Independent Online

Sixties Icon tasted success for the first time since his victory in the 2006 St Leger when scooting clear to claim the Festival Stakes here yesterday.

Jeremy Noseda's Classic winner made an encouraging start to the new campaign when chasing home the potentially top-class Getaway at Newmarket earlier in the month and comfortably stamped his authority on this Listed contest.

Dropped back to a mile and a quarter, the 8-13 favourite settled well for Ryan Moore and picked up well inside the final two furlongs to register a five-length victory, banishing memories of a disappointing 2007 in the process.

Noseda said: "He had problems with his palate last year. His first run was a step in the right direction and this was a nice confidence booster. The trip wasn't a concern as he has a lot of speed. I said to Ryan not to worry about gears as he has loads of them.

"He'll head to the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot now and I might consider races like the Arlington Million in mid-summer. He holds entries in everything and later in the year he might go back up to Group One company."

Elhamri was another to come in from the cold as the former Royal Ascot winner edged a neck success in the five-furlong Thomas Eggar Handicap.

Sylvester Kirk's 5-1 chance has had little luck since taking the Windsor Castle and Weatherbys Super Sprint two years ago, but was all heart to fight off the challenge of the favourite Safari Mischief.

Kirk said: "It is good to see the little horse get his head back in front as it has been a long while since he did. He was a precocious two-year-old, but didn't really grow and got left behind last year. He still hasn't grown, but he has strengthened up."

Richard Hannon's team continue in red-hot form and the Marlborough trainer sent out his 14th winner of the last fortnight as Indian Art landed the Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

The son of Choisir showed the benefit of a previous outing to knuckle down at the business end of the six-furlong dash and score as the 4-1 joint-favourite under Richard Hughes.

Hannon's son and assistant Richard jnr said: "He's had a run, which was an advantage, and now he has raced downhill we'll take him to the Woodcote at Epsom on Derby weekend. After that he would probably have a break to the July meeting or even York."

William Knight has a tidy strike-rate at his local track and hit the target with 16-1 chance Casilda, who took the maiden fillies' stakes by half a length.

Knight said: "I knew she would only improve from her debut at Windsor and I liked the way she quickened up. She is a nice filly for the future. I was surprised at her price. I hope a few people backed her – I certainly did!"

* Thewayyouare, initially thought to be a candidate for the Vodafone Derby, will stay at home to contest the French equivalent six days earlier instead. The colt finished sixth in the French 2,000 Guineas. He is trained by André Fabre who has not won the Prix du Jockey-Club since 1997 with Peintre Celebre.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Suzi's Decision

(Pontefract 7.00)

NB: Palace Moon

(Pontefract 9.00)