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Rutba has hurdling plan after staying success


MARCUS TREGONING has won a Derby and many other major prizes on the Flat, but he has never shaken off his jumping roots, and after Rutba had followed up last week's Yarmouth win in the 2m race he revealed that he intends running the filly over hurdles this winter.

After the Act One filly had defied a 6lb penalty with a convincing length-and-a-quarter defeat of Chiff Chaff, another who won last week, Tregoning confirmed: "I'm hoping to go hurdling with this filly, and also with Formax.

"She's got plenty of size and scope, and she'll get the trip standing on her head."

He added: "I was bought up with point-to-pointing and we had a few jumpers in Dick Hern's day.

"I used to dothe schooling and we had the odd winner, including Mutazz, who won a couple of novice hurdles for the Major.

"Rutba will have another run or two on the Flat, but I think we'll keep her to grass. She's been a slow learner, but she's from a late maturing family."

The two-year-old novice looked a decent race for the money, for it attracted four winners and a $400,000 Godolphin newcomer.

It went to the Michael Jarvis-trained Haydock winner Playfellow, who led approaching the furlong markerin the hands of Philip Robinson and beat the scopey Godolphin colt Musleh by a two and a quarter lengths.

Playfellow, from the first crop of the highly promising Kheleyf, has some fancy entries, but Jarvis is not in any rush to commit himself.                                                                                      
He said: "He's always been promising. He came to me from Darley's pre-training set-up, and they liked him there.

"He's progressed and he's got some nice entries, including the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster next month, although I don't know about that."

The two trainers' finishing positions had been reversed earlier in the afternoon when the Godolphin colt Fortune City had beaten the Jarvis hotpot Vine Street by seven lengths in a 1m3f maiden, having been given a very enterprising ride by Frankie Dettori.

Alan McCabe paid 7,000gns to buy selling winner Courageous Nature out of the Brian Meehan stable after the colt had beaten the race's two form horses by half a length and two and a quarter.

Patrick MacEwan, representing Meehan, said: "He hated the soft ground last time and Eddie gave him such confidence here, and that helped him."

Ahern was also seen to great effect when competing a double on the Mark Wallace-trained Geoffdaw, who followed up last week's Kempton win with a fast-finishing neck defeat of Little Knickers after Night Premiere tired quickly after being a couple of lengths clear inside the final furlong.

There was an exciting finish to the 7f handicap, in which favourite Gulch'sRose made up seven or eight lengths in the straight but failed by a neck to collar 25-1 chance Lawton, who races for Raymoond Tooth and is trained by his daughter Julia.

The trainer said: "He's still very green and still learning. He's a home-bred and dad will be thrilled."

Star performance
Playfellow won decisively and can hold his own in better company


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