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'I didn't know we'd won until I got a text'- pleasant surprise for Micky Hammond

Dragons Will Rise and Rab Havlin win again at Newcastle
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Thursday: Newcastle

Micky Hammond's unintentional decision to miss Dragons Will Rise's engagement proved a blessing in disguise after he made it seven wins from his last 11 starts with an impressive victory in the 1m2f handicap.

The six-year-old scored by two and three-quarter lengths under Rab Havlin to maintain his fine record for his delighted trainer, who found out about his success only when he looked at his phone.

He said: "I'll be honest with you, I didn't watch the race at all because I was watching the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick, even though I didn't have a runner in it.

"I didn't know we'd won until I got some text messages, so I'll make sure to watch it back tonight. He's a pleasure to train and gets on really well with Rab. He may not be Enable, but he wins his share for him."

Watson targets winter riches with new recruit

Al Zaraqaan made the perfect start for Archie Watson and maintained his unbeaten record on synthetic surfaces in the 1m2f conditions stakes, which left his new trainer keen to tackle loftier targets.

Al Zaraqaan makes the perfect start for Archie Watson

"That was a good performance by making his own running in a strong headwind. Danny [Tudhope, jockey] was delighted with him," Watson said.

"We'll see how he comes out of the race, but the Winter Derby Trial and the Winter Derby itself would be nice options I'm sure."

Results, replays and analysis

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I was watching the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick, even though I didn't have a runner in it
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