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Surface switch proves key to Desert Falls


IN a sport in which all-weather gallop facilitiesare a dominant part of training, it was refreshing to see Desert Falls show himself to be a throwback to the old days when taking to Polytrack on his first experience of the surface in the 6f maiden.

Trainer Richard Whitaker, saddling a first runnerat the course, rarely uses artificial gallops and Desert Falls had never been off the grass at his yard near Leeds.

AfterDean McKeown brought the colt home ahead of perennial bridegroom Servoca, Whitaker's son and assistant Simon explained: "During the wet summer our gallops have been perfect and he's never missed a single day on the grass.

"He's been knocking on the door and deserved his win, but we were in the dark over whether he would handle the Polytrack."

McKeown had enjoyed a good strike-rate on his limited trips here, numbering two winners from three visits.

Brian Meehan continued his good run when positing a double through Irish Mayhem and Storm Sir in the two 1m handicaps.

Nicky Mackay waspraised by Meehan's assistant Patrick McEwan for his handling of 6-1 chance Irish Mayhem, who like Storm Sir has looked a different horse since having his attention switched to sand.

After his triumph over Relative Order, McEwansaid: "This fellow won at Yarmouth but like Storm Sir he's an American-bred and the all-weather suits him."                                                  
Storm Sir, a wide-margin winner at Lingfield, followed-up under Stephen Donohoe as he thwarted gamble-of-the-race Yarqus in a photo.

McEwan added: "He couldn't go the pace earlyon, but Stephen said that when a gap presented itself he took it immediately, while he didn't resent the kickback."

Luke Morris picked-up a three-day ban for his riding of Rubacuori in this race. He was found to have struck his horse in annoyance. Theban is on Sunday September 28, Monday September 29 and Monday September 30.

Donohoe had earlier launched a double on the Terry Mills-trained Court Approval in the 5f maiden.

Mills said: "He'd been running on the wrong ground and had run intoa good filly. I knew that if he could dominate he'd go close."

Sylvester Kirk is another trainer going through a purple patch and his Elhamri rediscovered his form from the spring when thwarting Secret Asset by a length in the 5f handicap.

Those who entertained the skinny price about Dougie Peel were made to sweat before Robert Winston's mount took the claimer, all out, from BA Globetrotter.

Star performance
Desert Falls took to the sand like a duck to water as he gave Richard Whitaker a first Great Leighs winner with his first runner



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