Bargain Queen shines at Leicester
News of the action from Leicester where Desert Queen's display may have put an intended liaison with Kayf Tara on hold.
Desert Queen impressed in winning the feature
Desert Queen's intended liaison with Kayf Tara could be put on hold after she put up an impressive front-running display to take Listed honours at Leicester.
The paddocks were supposed to beckon for the nine-year-old but connections will think again after the £500 bargain buy took her earnings to £60,000.
The Harry Fry-trained nine-year-old made light of giving 10lb to the opposition as she jumped immaculately to win the £30,000 Charnwood Forest Mares' Chase, the richest jumps race held at Leicester.
Noel Fehily had the 4/1 shot smartly away and the others could never get close enough to threaten her superiority, as Desert Queen swept to victory by 10 lengths from Cresswell Breeze.
"We were talking with the owner beforehand and she was due to be visiting Kayf Tara before too long, but we may have to postpone those plans for a little while," said Fry.
"The better ground helped her today as two and three-quarter miles is probably her best trip. These races are very good and she's now won two of them.
"She's not that easy and does things her way. She's done more than we expected her to do and she's naturally a better chaser."
Kayf Tara gave a timely reminder of his stallion capabilities by siring two winners on the card, Ballyarthur and Master Vintage.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ballyarthur (15/8) made all to win the Croxton Park Novices' Hurdle as he comfortably disposed of 4/6 favourite Global Stage by nine lengths, ridden by trainer's son, Sam.
"He is a nice horse, but I think the favourite ran a bit below par. He'd had a hard race in the Tolworth 17 days ago," said Twiston-Davies senior.
"He's a chaser for the future. We'll just keep chipping away with him and see what we've got.
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"He'd been pretty unlucky this year. He had a fall, so deserved that."
The winning jockey had little more than a schooling session to complete a quick double on Romain De Senam in the Dick Christian Novices' Chase.
Paul Nicholls' charge was sent off at 1/20 to dispose of two rivals after the withdrawal of market rival A Hare Breath and was worth much more than the winning margin of six lengths over Agreement might suggest.
Romain De Senam might turn out again at Doncaster on Saturday, where he would carry a 5lb penalty.
"After Ben Pauling's horse was withdrawn it was straightforward and he jumped round as we expected," said Nicholls' assistant Harry Derham.
"Sam said he's done a harder bit of work at home, so it's a nice way to earn a good bit of money.
"He's in at Doncaster on Saturday in a valuable handicap chase. We'll get him home and see how he is."
Master Vintage (16/1) overcame an absence of 711 days because of a kissing spine to lead from start to finish in the Humberstone Handicap Hurdle under Danny Hiskett.
"A few of the family have been hard-pullers. In the past we've held him up, but having been off for so long we thought we'd pop him off in front and try to settle him that way," said trainer Richard Phillips.
Global Dream (5/1) won for the third time at the West Midlands track when pipping Running Wolf by a short head in the SIS Handicap Chase under Adam Pogson.
The seven-year-old, trained by Caroline Bailey, defied top weight and was giving 18lb to the runner-up.
Bailey's husband Gerald said: "He's very game and he's only won here and at Southwell. He stays very well and he'll get further. He's a genuine little horse.
"We'll try to find something for him back here or at Southwell."
Sister Sibyl (11/8 favourite) gave 6lb to all her rivals as she registered her second success over jumps in the British Stallion Studs EBF Mares' 'National Hunt' Novices Hurdle.
Hughie Morrison's six-year-old gave jockey Tom O'Brien a cut to his nose and a knock to his neck when she threw her head back, but the combination were good enough to win by three-quarters of a length from Treackle Tart.
Morrison said: "She travels well and has got a bit of speed. Hopefully she'll be all right to go chasing with next season or the year after."
Neil Mulholland's Actlikeacountess (12/1) held Staunton by a neck to run out arguably a fortuitous winner of the Brook Conditional Jockeys' Mares' Handicap Hurdle after Wildehearted Woman fell at the second-last and brought down Madame Lafite.
Winning rider Sean Corby said: "We were lucky. When they quickened up we were a bit flat-footed and the two leaders were getting away from me when they came down."
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