Racing: Forgotten hero is decorated

Ian Davies
Saturday 07 June 1997 23:02

Decorated Hero, the horse that cuts out all the donkey work for Benny The Dip on the Newmarket gallops, starred in his own right at Haydock yesterday afternoon.

Within half an hour of his stable companion's Derby win the five-year- old took the Listed John of Gaunt Stakes in fine style. Punters latched on to the connection and sent the gelding off a heavily-backed 11-8 favourite and Decorated Hero made most of the running to win by a length.

The winning jockey Gary Hind, who was so close to gaining the Derby ride, confessed to mixed feelings as he watched the big race on television. He said: "I am delighted for John Gosden, he is a great trainer who has put up with a lot of criticism, but I wouldn't be honest if I said I wasn't feeling a little down at the moment. Mr Gosden phoned me last weekend to put me in the picture regarding the Derby. He's done a great job with the horse and Willie Ryan, who lives a few doors away from me in Newmarket, gave Benny The Dip a perfect ride."

Gosden's stable spokesman Andy Laird said: "I only saw the last couple of furlongs of the Derby but even then I shouted myself hoarse. Decorated Hero is an ideal lead horse, he virtually trains himself and if you can pass him on the gallops then you have to be something special."

At Epsom, Polar Prince continued his climb up the rankings with a success in the Group Three Diomed Stakes. Polar Prince's ability to handle the tricky track - he won over the course at last year's Derby meeting - stood him in good stead.

He was able to hold a handy place as the favourite Faithful Son failed to handle the bend. Establishing a useful lead in the final furlong, Polar Prince was still half a length to the good over Faithful Son at the line.

His trainer Michael Jarvis is now keen to step up Polar Prince to Group One company in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville on 17 August. He said: "He's done it well but I did think he was starting to shorten up in the last 50 yards. He got the mile well but this is another half furlong. I never put him in at Royal Ascot so we might think of the Marois. He went to Rome 14 days ago so he wouldn't have wanted to run in another ten days at Ascot."

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