Second on time

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The Independent Online
The trainer's art could hardly be better illustrated than by the Nassau Stakes victory of Last Second at Goodwood yesterday. Sir Mark Prescott, who has charge of the filly at his yard in Newmarket, has to order the cotton wool in bulk to keep the fragile grey on the go. She has a constitution of glass and has raced only four times in her life, but as three of them have been victories she is clearly worth all the trouble.

Her best previous run came at Royal Ascot, when she ran Shake The Yoke to a neck in the Group One Coronation Stakes, and started favourite to make amends in yesterday's Group Two contest. She did it in style by a couple of lengths, with George Duffield timing his challenge to perfection, pouncing on Papering in the last half-furlong.

A relieved Prescott said: "She is such a frail little thing, and takes her races very hard. It takes her a long time to pick up again afterwards. She has a marvellous temperament and a relaxed nature, but physically the races take a lot out of her."

Last Second, owned by Faisal Salman, will remain over 10 furlongs, which she coped with well, for the rest of the season, and will not leave Newmarket again. Her targets are the Sun Chariot Stakes and the Champion Stakes.

It is not often that a race like the Stewards' Cup is turned into a procession, but Coastal Bluff managed to do just that in yesterday's renewal of the valuable handicap. The grey gelding stretched away from his 29 rivals in the final two furlongs to win by a comfortable three lengths and give the Maunby trainer David Barron his second win in the race in three years.

The 10-1 joint-favourite was eased down by Jimmy Fortune as he crossed the line in front of his fellow market-leader Double Bounce, with Sir Joey a length and a quarter third. The first three home were drawn 29, 23 and 28 respectively; the first of those on the stands side was the fourth-placed Bolshoi.

Barron, who took the race in 1994 with For The Present, said: "We almost didn't run him because we thought the ground would be too quick, but having watched the sprints during the week on TV we decided to make the journey."

Barron has a share in Coastal Bluff, whose sire Standaan won the race 17 years ago. He said: "I originally bought him as a foal for just pounds 1,500, to run with another colt I had bred, and who I thought would be a star. As it turned out, the other one couldn't even catch me."

At Newmarket the accent was on the future. In the opening Hero Stakes, Bahhare, a two-year-old half-brother to the top miler Bahri, confirmed the promise of his winning debut over the same seven furlongs last month with a record-breaking six-length defeat of Rich In Love.

With only four runners it was a fairly bloodless victory for the John Dunlop-trained youngster, but there was much to like about the way the big bay son of Woodman eased effortlessly to the front a quarter of a mile from home and then, as soon as Richard Hills asked, lengthened clear. The jockey, deputising for the injured Willie Carson, had the luxury of being able to throttle back on the line, but his partner still set a new juvenile seven furlong record.

Bahhare, whose name means mariner in his owner Hamdan Al Maktoum's native tongue, sailed into second place behind the French-trained Zamindar in the betting for the 2,000 Guineas. His targets for the rest of this season are obvious ones for a colt with Classic pretensions, culminating with the Dewhurst Stakes on the Rowley Mile in October.

Injury struck again for unlucky Norman Williamson at Galway when he was concussed after a fall. Riding Pingo Hill in the Dawn Milk Handicap Hurdle, Williamson was catapulted out of the saddle when the four-year- old clipped the second hurdle. Eventually back on his feet, Williamson was stood down for two days by the course surgeon.