Ajman Princess justifies long odds-on favouritism at Lingfield

Fri 31 Mar 2017

Roger Varian can begin to dream big again with Ajman Princess after she gained a first career success in the 32Red Maiden Fillies' Stakes at Lingfield.

After finishing second in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot, the daughter of Teofilo missed the second half of the season after sustaining an injury in the Irish Oaks.

Taking on inferior rivals on her seasonal return, the 1-20 shot only needed to pushed out with hands and heels by Andrea Atzeni to claim the mile-and-a-quarter prize by three and three-quarter lengths.

Varian said: "She was a highly-rated maiden and first and foremost it is important those fillies win a race in their careers.

"I think really it was just an exercise and a confidence booster. I don't think she was doing much in front. She was having a look at herself in the straight. There were two reasons to keep her in training - one was to make her a winner and the second was to win a stakes race.

"I should think that run would bring her on a little bit and give her a bit of confidence. She will be back into stakes company for something like the Daisy Warwick at Goodwood."

He added: "It's hard to say what went wrong in the Irish Oaks. She went down in the stalls and finished lame behind. She was sore after the race, it was hard to know whether she hurt herself in the gates or during the race."

Monumental Man enhanced his impressive record at the Surrey track when showing a willing attitude to land the Betway Dash Handicap to complete a double for trainer Michael Attwater and jockey William Carson.

Having earlier claimed the Betway Claiming Stakes with Luv U Whatever (9-4), the pair struck again after the eight-year-old fought back late on in the five-furlong dash to defeat Sandsfrankskipsgo by a neck, to make it five wins from nine starts at the course.

Attwater said of the 9-2 winner: "He always seems to be a 5lb better horse round here for some reason. He drifted off the bend and gave the second horse a chance to go a length up.

"Once William got his stick in left hand, which is his strong one, he came home strongly.

"We will freshen him up and aim him at the Epsom five-furlong race now that he won a couple of years ago. We just don't want the ground too soft."

Ivan Furtado hopes the cosy length-and-a-half victory gained by Sword Exceed on his first start for the yard in the 32Red Casino Handicap is a sign of things to come this weekend when the action returns to the turf at Doncaster.

Furtado said of the 5-2 winner: "I was a bit concerned about the long absence..

"It probably helped that they went a decent pace as he can be a bit of a handful. He travelled well and picked up well when he was asked. It was probably not the greatest race.

"We've got four runners at Doncaster over the weekend. I've got one in the maiden on Saturday and Glorious Asset in the apprentice race. I expect him to go close. Dutch Art Dealer does as he likes but if he is on a going day he could go close."

Top Of The Bank (8-1) claimed his second Lingfield win in the space of a week when holding on gamely to take the Betway Sprint Handicap by half a length.

Winning trainer Kristin Stubbs said: "He was genuine and didn't have it easy today. It was a better race, but he battled well. I think he is starting to get his confidence as that is his third win this year.

"Tony (Hamilton) seems to think he likes going round a bend. If there was something at Chester we could look at that, or Catterick, those kind of places."

Zain Emperor (6-1) showed the benefit of a short break when gaining a first win since switching yards to John Butler in the sunbets.co.uk Handicap, while Tartan Bute (6-4) bounced back from defeat Wolverhampton earlier this month in the Betway Stayers Handicap.

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