Import Rugell coming of age
Clive Cox's Rugell looks a stayer to follow after making every yard of the running in the Tinopolis Handicap at Ffos Las.
The Argentinean import had been largely disappointing for Henry Cecil during 2009 and although he showed little on his first appearance for Cox at York, his fourth place finish at Kempton last time suggested he possessed plenty of ability.
Sent off at 8-1 under Luke Morris, the five-year-old was soon dictating matters in this one-mile-six-furlong contest and while the challengers were queuing up in the straight, Rugell galloped on strongly to pass the post two and a quarter lengths to the good.
“Maybe it took him a while to acclimatise but I think he's a horse who has taken a bit of time to get to know as well,” said Cox.
“He was a Grade Two winner in Argentina and that is quite difficult to assess compared to the British form.
“He can be quite keen and I think by dropping him in to try to help him settle, we have stopped his progress.
“The change of tactics has helped him and the ground suits as well. Fair play to Like as it was a great ride. We'll have to see what we do next but he wouldn't want the ground too soft.”
There was a thrilling finish to the Carol Harries Anniversary Handicap, with 4-1 shot Warlu Way gaining a narrow verdict over Countess Comet.
The eventual winner travelled ominously well throughout under Tom Queally but it ended up being hard work, with Countess Comet making John Dunlop's charge pull out all the stops to score by a nose.
“He travelled very well and I thought he was going to go and win better than he did, but he probably keeps a little bit for himself,” said Queally.
“He has plenty of ability and it is nice to get the verdict. He didn't quite stay the mile and a half on softer ground last time but on this sort of ground, I think he'd have every chance of staying.”
Odds-on backers had their fingers burnt in the Audi Maiden Stakes as Supercharged was firmly put in her place by Irish raider Yellow Dandy.
The former was sent off at 2-5 following a couple of placed efforts but jockey Richard Hughes was hard at work from the halfway stage and Yellow Dandy (7-1) made every yard of the running to score by two lengths under Andrea Atzeni.
Winning trainer Liam McAteer said: “Six winners came out of the last race she ran in at the Curragh and she's a fast filly.
“I'm glad for the owner (Frank Cosgrove) as he also bred her.”
Meanwhile, Paul Carberry timed his run to perfection on Save My Blushes to capture the Kilbegnet EBF Novice Chase at Roscommon.
Echo Bob tried to make all the running and still led over the final fence but Save My Blushes (7-1) came sailing past in the last 50 yards to win by half a length.
Paul Flynn's gelding was making amends in this Grade Three contest over two miles after falling three out at Ballinrobe a week ago.
Save My Blushes appeared a forlorn hope when at the back of the field at the fourth-last fence, but Carberry never gave up.
Flynn said: “Carberry was unbelievable on Save My Blushes — I thought he would be pulled up at one stage!”