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Hannons map Maur' success

UNLUCKY losers do not always come up trumps in their next race, but Maureen made up for a desperate passage at Newmarket to win the Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes at Ascot in tremendous style.

The top races for two-year-old fillies such as the Lowther and Cheveley Park Stakes now beckon for Richard Hannon's charge after she followed up her second place on the Cherry Hinton with victory in this Group three.

Whether she can develop into a 1000 Guineas contender, however, is open to question at this stage.

After a nightmare run at British HQ when second to Sendmylovetorose, Richard Hughes chartered a smooth path through this race, pushing the 5/6 favourite two and a quarter lengths clear of Sandreamer.

"I know people have said she's small, but she's a good mover and a good-looking filly," said Hannon's son and assistant, Richard jnr.

"If she is just a two-year-old, she's one of the best two-year-olds around. She'll probably go on to the Lowther Stakes and then the Cheveley Park."


Even victory in Europe's most valuable five-furlong handicap did not provide Kieren Fox with a rosy outcome after the jockey was handed a seven-day whip ban (August 11-17).

A percentage of the spoils from the £100,000 Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap after delivering Barnet Fair right on the line will have been welcome to Fox, a once-promising apprentice who drifted out of the sport for a few months earlier this year.

Abstaining his sister-in-law's wedding for the ride on Richard Guest's gelding Barnet Fair (7/1), he carried out instructions to the letter on the habitual slow-starter and picked off Taajub by a neck.

At least Guest was upbeat, and said: "I trained Les Arcs, who won Group Ones, and I think this horse is quicker. If ever he was going to win a big handicap, it was going to be off bottom weight. He'll go to Deauville now, there are three or four races for him over the next few weeks."

Roger Varian is set to keep Sri Putra to just below the top level after his stable stalwart gained a valuable triumph in the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes.


A regular in Group Ones without success, the six-year-old won for just the seventh time in 28 starts and showed that he has not lost his appetite for racing by registering his first British Group Two win.

The Newmarket trainer put in Pekan Star as a pacemaker and equipped Sri Putra (12/1) with blinkers and a hood.

The plan worked as the entire defeated Afsare by a hard-fought neck in the hands of Neil Callan.

"I'd like to plan an international campaign for him going into the autumn. Where that will take us we'll see," said Varian. "We've got a lot of options around this trip. Where we go domestically next I'm not sure.

"Now that he's won a race like this I'd like to keep to a winning path instead of a place-money path."

Andrew Balding's Highland Knight, meanwhile, claimed a first victory above handicap level in the Listed Skybet Supporting The Yorkshire Racing Summer Festival Pomfret Stakes at Pontefract.