Blue stakes Royal Ascot claim
Last Updated: 05/06/14 11:51am
William Buick: Won the opener at Nottingham
Nottingham winner Blue Aegean displayed a combination of track craft and natural speed that should stand her in good stead should she form part of the Godolphin team at Royal Ascot later in the month.
Blue Aegean had finished a fair third on her racecourse bow at Sandown last month, with plenty of punters latching on to her potential to send her off the 7/4 joint-favourite alongside Osaila in the Bet totejackpot Irish Stallion farms EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
It was that pair that duly fought out the finish with newcomer Osaila having to settle for second as the Charlie Appleby-trained Blue Aegean proved two and three-quarter lengths too good in the hands of William Buick.
The rider said: "She was green first time but knew her job today and has won very easily. I think Charlie will have to think about Royal Ascot for her now."
However, there was a sting in the tail for Buick as the stewards banned him for one day (June 22) after deciding he had not ridden to his draw at the start.
Several races on the card were won from the front, including the enterprisingly-ridden Native Heart (4/1) in the Try A tote trifecta Today EBF Stallions Fillies' Handicap
Danny Tudhope took the bull by the horns leaving the gate and soon had the field strung out. Hard as she tried, 6/4 favourite Bragging was unable to close the gap on the two-length winner, who was having a first outing for Phil McEntee.
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Tudhope said: "It's a front runners' track and with a straightforward filly like this, it was great to get a soft lead and enjoy my own way in front."
Rod Millman, who saddled a first career treble last week, continued his fruitful run when Taws came from last to first to land the Bet On All UK Racing With totepool Handicap under Cam Hardie.
Showing a liking for the cut in the ground, the 9-2 chance was well on top in the last 100 yards and in owner Ken Arrowsmith's view will get further.
He said: "Steve Drowne rode her last time and said all she needed was a trip. It was lovely to watch her win and she'll have no bother stepping up to two miles. She's a half-sister to Deauville Flyer who was a 100-rated horse that stayed all day."
The runners in the Follow @totepool on Twitter 'Hands And Heels' Apprentice Series Handicap were very tired at the end as Thecornishcowboy (5/1) stretched seven lengths clear of Roger Thorpe.
Trainer John Ryan said the winner may turn out again at Kempton on Thursday if taking these exertions in his stride.
Paul Pickard's enterprise when scoring on Balty Boys in the totepool Home Of Pool Betting Handicap cost him a two-day suspension (June 22 and 23) for using his whip with too much frequency.
Richard Hughes incurred an identical ban for the same reason after finishing runner-up on Tagula Night in the totequadpot Four Places In Four Races Handicap.
The John Gallagher-trained Heartsong (9-2) emerged victorious in the hands of Louis Steward, with the duo clinging on by a short head.
Gallagher said: "When I saw Hughsie coming up fast on Tagula Night I thought we might get beat, but Louis is well worth his 5lb claim and it makes a difference."
The testing conditions played to the strengths of Flashy Queen (7/1) as she edged out Touch The Clouds by three-quarters of a length in the toteexacta Pick The 1, 2 Handicap.
Trainer Joe Tuite said: "She hit her head in the stalls at Windsor last time when the filly next to her played up. She's a nice filly and in these conditions our hopes soared.
"I definitely think she'll give us a lot of fun, but she'll have a little break now. My horses are in great order - that's 17 winners from 15 horses that have run."