JOHN REID rode a Sandown double on potentially the two best horses in action in Britain yesterday. The two-year-old Fantastic Light stamped himself a promising young stayer as he made it two from two in the Sun Stakes and the four-year-old Kissogram took another step in her relative One So Wonderful's hoofprints in the Atalanta Stakes.
Fantastic Light, whose subsequently disappointing stablemate Kilimanjaro went into a few Classic notebooks when he won the 1997 running of the mile race, tackled front-running Aesops a quarter of a mile out, but the leader proved hard enough to pass and it was only inside the final furlong that the American-bred Fantastic Light, a son of Rahy, asserted his authority to win by three-quarters of a length with the leggy, babyish-looking Adnaan third.
Bruce Raymond, representing the winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute, commented: "He's a very relaxed horse and he idled in front. John thought he was going to win hands and heels, but then he had to give him a couple of smacks. He stays well and handles the ground and now we will have to step him up in class."
Kissogram, from the same Meon Valley Stud family that produced One So Wonderful, had little more than an exercise canter to take the Atalanta Stakes. Racing with her tongue hanging out, the bay Caerleon filly - whose great grand-dam One In A Million is One So Wonderful's grand-dam - made all the running and quickened clear of her rivals up the Sandown hill. The winning margin of six lengths was two lengths less than that recorded by One So Wonderful, her Juddmonte International-winning contemporary, also trained by Luca Cumani, last year.
With the post-York lull in Britain this weekend's quality racing is to be found in Deauville, where yesterday the Aga Khan's French Oaks winner Zainta took her unbeaten record to six with a cosy length and a half victory in the Prix de la Nonette.
This afternoon the seaside course's feature is the Prix Morny, the second Group One two-year-old contest of the European season. The six- furlong race has been won thrice in the past four years by British-trained horses and has again attracted a strong raiding party. Paul Cole's charge Red Sea, impressive winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on his last outing, is likely to start favourite and will not be inconvenienced by the fact that the ground has been eased by heavy rain yesterday.
His challenge is backed up by Exeat, a son of Dayjur who won a Haydock maiden by eight lengths, from John Gosden's yard, and Caballero (Clive Brittain), Indiana Legend (Brian Meehan) and the filly Golden Silca (Mick Channon).
The joker in the French pack is Danzari, representing the Andre Fabre- Khaled Abdullah team. The filly, a daughter of 1991 winner Arazi, impressed enough when she rocketed home on her debut four days ago to be supplemented for this tougher test.
The Ascot Gold Cup winner Kayf Tara will try to redeem the reputation slightly dented by defeat in the Goodwood Cup in the Prix Kergorlay. The Sadler's Wells four-year-old was thought to be unsuited by the Sussex track's undulations and should be more at home on the flat expanses of Deauville. The soft going will suit him, too, as it will the leading French stayer, Tajoun.
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