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Castilo Del Diablo (Jamie Spencer,right) beats Modernstone in the 1m 4f handicap

Castilo Del Diablo (blue) edges out Modernstone in the 1m4f handicap

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Super Spencer threads Castilo Del Diablo to win

Report: Lingfield, Saturday handicap 1m4f, 4yo+

CASTILO DEL DIABLO was given a vintage Jamie Spencer ride to come out on top in a fiendishly competitive Lingfield handicap.

Waiting patiently on the inner, Spencer didn't panic when short of room and his coolness was rewarded as the leaders fanned across the track turning in, allowing Spencer and the David Simcock-trained Castilo Del Diablo acres of room to challenge on the inside before holding the late lunge of 4-1 favourite Modernstone.

The winner, completing a double on the card for Simcock after the earlier success of Fractal in division two of the 1m2f maiden, returned at 9-2, with 8-1 chance Swing Alone in third.   

The Marco Botti-trained Halfspin cut out the running under Nicky Mackay, who appeared to slow things down as the runners turned into the back. 

It wasn't long until the tempo started to quicken and a packing field meant there were plenty of hard luck stories as riders fought for valuable racing room.

As Castilo Del Diablo nipped up the inner turning in, Modernstone had to be manoeuvred around runners by Andrea Atzeni, before finding his stride to lunge at the winner late on, but ultimately failed to make up the deficit.

After watching his runner collect a first prize of almost £30,000, Simcock said: "He has been called a few names but I think he's an honest horse and he has shown that today. He has had a few problems but I'm really pleased for him and the owners. I'm pleased they are putting on good prizes on the all-weather and they have had a good race for it."

Grendisar was the other runner that looked particularly unlucky in running. Short of room in the home straight, he arguably would have finished in front of Swing Alone given a clear passage.  

There was further disappointment for Grendisar's jockey, Paolo Sirigu, after stewards felt the Marco Botti-trained runner had appeared to be tenderly handled from entering the home straight to finish fourth and decided to hold an inquiry into the running and riding of the four-year-old.

They interviewed the rider and the trainer, as well as receiving a report from the veterinary officer. The rider stated that his instructions were to drop the gelding out, as he is a tricky ride, and to finish as close as he could.

However, he felt that he had delayed his challenge for too long and could have finished in third place. The trainer stated that in his opinion his jockey asked for his effort too late.

Having heard their evidence and viewed recordings of the race, the stewards found the rider in breach of rule (B)59.4 and guilty of failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to obtain the best possible placing.

They suspended Sirigu for ten days and he will be out of action from January 18- 25 and January 27-28 inclusive.

Spencer was also banned for three days (January 18-20 inclusive) for using his whip on Castilo Del Diablo and not giving him time to respond.

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