Furtado runner at centre of mix-up fiasco lands gamble
African Trader, the horse who mistakenly ran as his stable companion Scribner Creek here on his previous start, landed quite a punt when winning the 7f handicap.
The identity mix-up occured in a race here on January 14 and only came to light the following day. Trainer Ivan Furtado admitted the error was his own fault as the two horses are alike and was fined £2,000.
African Trader was beaten 18 lengths into seventh place over a mile that day, but down in trip, he was backed into 6-1 (from 20-1) and got up in the last stride under promising apprentice Gabriele Malune to beat the frustrating Unnoticed by a short head.
He is owned by David Slater and afterwards Furtado said: "It was definitely the right horse today. I thought this shorter trip would suit him. He isn't a horse who quickens he just keeps going and got there just in time."
It proved a fine day for Furtado, Malune and Slater for they completed a double when Check 'Em Tuesday romped home in the concluding mile handicap.
No title challenge
Oisin Murphy made it 45 winners for the all-weather season when partnering the 7-2 shot Warrior's Valley to win the 5f handicap, but he ruled out any chance of winning the all-weather jockeys championship, in which he is 15 behind runaway leader Luke Morris.
He said: "I have no chance of catching Luke he has too big a lead. I'm riding in Dubai as well and I'll just try and ride as many winners as I can."
Third at Lingfield the previous week, Warrior's Valley, who is trained by David Griffiths, was having his first run on the Fibresand surface but it proved no problem for he was smartly away and made all the running to score by two and a half lengths.
His trainer said: "He's a horse I have always thought a bit about but he has been a slow learner. The weight-for-age allowance was handy today."
Seasearch easy to spot
It proved a good day for three-year-olds who were taking on older horses for Seasearch absolutely trotted up under Martin Dwyer in the 1m4f handicap, scoring by 23 lengths despite hanging left to the far side rail.
He runs in the colours of the Kingsclere Racing Club and is trained by Andrew Balding, who said: "My mother bred him so she will be delighted. He stays and tries hard and will probably go for 1m6f handicaps now, though I hope the handicapper doesn't put him up too much."
Seasearch was running off a mark of 49 in this 45-50 handicap, but had bottom weight as he was receiving stacks of weight from his elders.
Khee relishes new trip
A new distance here this season has been 2m2½f and it has proved something of a benefit for the 11-year-old Cousin Khee, who won the first race over the trip last month and followed up with a convincing success in the second.
Trained by Hughie Morrison, he was once again ridden by Theodore Ladd, who brought him with a run in the straight and fairly sprinted away to win six lengths. It was Cousin Khee's 12th career success and the seventh win for his rider.
Barron on the mark
Although he was the leading trainer here for many years, David Barron does not have many runners at the course nowadays, but he took the maiden with the lightly-raced Kripke, who was partnered by Ben Curtis.
General out of luck
The 13-year-old General Tufto had his 206th Flat race, 117 of them here, when he contested the mile handicap but couldn't make it a 16th course win though as he finished an honourable fourth.
It was a mixed day for apprentice Gabriele Malune for though he had two winners, he was given a four-day ban for exceeding the whip limit on African Trader.
Thought for the day
Winners Warrior's Valley and Seasearch were both three-year-olds taking advantage of what could be a generous weight-for-age allowance.