Cumani to ask God big question

Luca Cumani, trainer of God Given

Luca Cumani has always been a master at placing his horses and it was evident once more as God Given landed a valuable win in the BetBright Aphrodite Stakes at Newmarket.

Rated only 79 heading into the Listed contest, the Nathaniel filly, a half-sister to Postponed, had only won one of her previous four races and that was as a long odds-on favourite last time out.

Crucially, though, that was on soft ground and she relished the surface at Headquarters, giving jockey George Wood the biggest success of his career to date on the 7-1 chance.

Up against fillies who had run with credit in the Oaks and the Ribblesdale Stakes, she rallied well to beat the 5-1 joint-favourite Isabel De Urbina by a length and began to live up to her exalted pedigree.

More Mischief once again ran with credit back in third, carrying a penalty for her recent win at Newcastle.

"She was very good and I'm very happy with her," said Cumani.

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"She's a nice, progressive filly and she reminds me very much of her half-brother Postponed (whom Cumani used to train).

"The fact she's won today now makes her a very valuable proposition for her owner-breeder (St Albans Bloodstock).

"It would be nice to take it one step at her time with her and aim for a Group Three next.

"She could be a filly for the Park Hill (at Doncaster's St Leger meeting on September 14), but the big aim now is to have her 100 per cent for Ascot on Champions Day (Fillies And Mares Stakes, October 21)."

Contango (11-10 favourite) revelled in the soft ground as he dismissed his two rivals in the Betfinder By Betbright Handicap, taking his unbeaten record to three for Andrew Balding and David Probert in powering 11 lengths clear of Ray's The Money.

Another to star on the card was Capla Temptress, who made it two wins from as many starts with a taking performance in the Lettergold Fillies' Novice Auction Stakes, pulling right away to score by a ready three and a half lengths from La Diva.

Sent off the 100-30 favourite, Marco Botti's youngster had made a winning start on the all-weather at Chelmsford last month and is clearly useful.

Love Dreams (7-4 favourite) was another winner for the in-form Mark Johnston yard in the Betbright Handicap, staying on strongly for a five-length triumph from Mountain Rescue in the hands of PJ McDonald.

William Knight's Ballard Down (16-1) took the Betbright Recall Handicap under Harry Bentley, while the Dean Ivory-trained Dark Magic (9-4) got off the mark at the second time of asking in the Betbright Maiden Stakes.

Curious Fox (11-2) continues to be a sprinter to follow, with the Anthony Carson-trained four-year-old defying joint top weight in the Betbright Casino Handicap.

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