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Monday 11 December 2017

Maywood polishes off Brighton finish

Godolphin's Maywood was the horse to take out of the final Brighton meeting of the year.

The European Breeders' Fund Maiden Stakes looked to have reasonable strength in depth and was taken in fairly comfortable fashion by the 13/2 shot, who made amends for a nose defeat on his debut at Wolverhampton just under a fortnight ago.

Jockey Ahmed Ajtebi said: "He's a very big horse, he looks like a three-year-old already and the trainer (Mahmood Al Zarooni) wanted just to give him a couple of late runs for experience.

"He was very slow out of the gate at Wolverhampton last time but he knew more today. I thought I was in front too early but he had plenty left in the tank."

Viking Spirit rewarded the staunch support shown to him by his owners, The Masterminds, with a first victory in nearly two and a half years in the Ryan Moore Three Classic Wins 2010 Handicap.

Connections feel five scores from 48 starts is not quite a fair return for a sprinter of his talents but all was forgiven as he flashed home at 14/1.

Tony Reece, representing the 10-strong syndicate, said: "We got him in 2003 and he has loads of ability but has never quite managed to reach the heights we expected him to.

"He was third to Tax Free in a heritage handicap at Newmarket in 2005 and has run nicely enough in the Stewards' Cup, the Wokingham and the Ayr Gold Cup, and I think reached a rating as high as 104.

"I couldn't really tell you why he has won. He went to Chester a few runs ago, which is a funny track, and he ran quite well. This was something different too, and maybe that's what worked."

Current champion jockey Moore was only seventh in the race to commemorate his achievements but he could not be subdued for long, charging home on Richard Hannon's 5/2 favourite My Vindication in the Tarpan Vodka Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

Mick Channon achieved the notable feat of saddling a one-two-three in the Britvic Soft Drinks Nursery.

The first two home carried the same colours of Box 41 and were separated by a nose, with Cathy Gannon finishing late on the less fancied Crown Ridge (10/1) to catch Sam Hitchcott and Falkland Flyer (4/1), while Cathcart Castle was isolated on the stands rail but managed to take third.

Channon was not quite finished as Leizu (11/1) and Chris Catlin captured the Brakes For Fresh Ideas Handicap.

Gannon had more to offer too as she helped Alan Bailey's Catbells turn the Tarpan Vodka Handicap into a procession.

The 9/4 favourite was 4lb 'well-in' for finishing second over course and distance last week, and it showed.

James Rogers and 33/1 chance Derby Desire just lasted home in the finale, the Book Your Christmas Royale Party Now Apprentice Handicap.

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