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Race Meeting Report - May 31st

Thu, May 31, 2012

The going was officially good to firm, but the slowness of the times suggested that watering had had an effect.

The opening two year old event looked like a two-horse race and proved to be so. Bheleyf (7/4) scooted clear two furlongs out under Harry Bentley and looked a certain winner. Suddenly he tied up and the evens favourite Boleyn belatedly got the hang of things. There was only a head between them at the end.

In the mile and a half handicap the 11/4 favourite Boston Blue was under pressure some way out, yet ran on doggedly to take the lead. In the end Jim Crowley could afford to ease him just before the line, a length and a quarter in front of Dubai Glory, with the rest well strung out.

The third race, over a mile and a quarter, included the Amanda Perrett-trained Autarch (7/1), who was dropped in class. He was fifth and going nowhere half a furlong out but finished strongly to give Jim Crowley with a double, suggesting a step up in trip would be worth trying.

The Frankel combination of trainer Sir Henry Cecil and jockey Tom Queally were represented by the filly Chignon, who started at a generous 7/2 joint favourite in another mile and a quarter contest. Held up for most of the race, she ran on well from the bottom of the hill and once she hit the front quickly went two or three lengths clear. As she was allowed to coast home, Thecornishcockney appeared late on the scene and cut the winning margin to a fast-shrinking three quarters of a length.

Supporters of 1/3 favourites never had a moment's worry as Godolphin's Ibtahaj took the mile maiden with ease. Frankie Dettori was virtually motionless except when pulling up to limit the winning margin to three and a half lengths.

Favourite backers entertained few hopes for 9/4 shot Lightning Spirit, struggling in eighth in the last furlong of the mile handicap. George Baker was able to conjure a fast, wide finish, enabling her to pass everything else and win with a little in hand. This completed a double for Heart of the South Racing, the owners of Bheleyf.

The New Black (16/1), a grey filly visored for the first time, was another wide finisher coming from an unpromising position in this seven furlong race. Pushed along on the outside some way out, her progress was gradual rather than spectacular but at the line she was a comfortable winner.

In the eighth race, a six furlong handicap, Avonmore Star (5/2) scored for the first time in two years. Three-time course specialist Cheylesmore finished well in third, his best form coming over further.

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Jim Beavis