Archduke is back to form

Archduke Ferdinand swept back to form and landed his first victory since the Northumberland Plate in 2001 when running away with the Lingfield Park For Christmas Parties Handicap at the Surrey venue.

Archduke Ferdinand swept back to form and landed his first victory since the Northumberland Plate in 2001 when running away with the Lingfield Park For Christmas Parties Handicap at the Surrey venue.

The veteran (pictured right) had changed hands since that famous win, which came under the care of Paul Cole, but was still in search of his first success for Alan King, despite some commendable efforts.

After running down the field at Kempton in mid-summer, King elected to give the eight-year-old a break and his decision paid off as Archduke Ferdinand spread-eagled the field under Richard Kingscote.

The 8-1 chance was never far away in the two-mile contest and having taken closer order three furlongs out, he surged to the front and left his rivals for dead.

He charged clear and won nicely with a length and a half in hand of Maystock, with Turn 'N Burn just a head back in third.

King's assistant Noel Williams said: "It has been a while, but it is nice to see he still knows how to get his head in front.

"He showed a good turn of foot and killed them off quickly.

"We gave him a break and some time off to freshen up and it has done the trick. The plan is to run him over hurdles again, but we thought we'd give him a run on the Flat first.

"He is not getting any younger, but has learned to settle and that has made a difference."

Kingscote initiated a double when Lisathedaddy (10-1) landed a memorable win for connections with a gutsy success in the opening Jumping Here On November 8th Apprentice Handicap.

Brendan Powell's four-year-old was named in memory of owner Patricia Wilson's daughter Lisa, who was killed in a car crash four years ago.

Lady Grace made amends after an unlucky outing at Wolverhampton with a clear-cut success in the Lingfield Park Golf Club Nursery.

An impressive winner of a Kempton median auction last month, the two-year-old failed to get the clearest of runs on a subsequent outing and finished fifth.

But she proved herself one to keep on the right side when stepped up to a mile under Tony Culhane.

The 8-1 chance came from off the pace and after going clear over a furlong out, she flashed past the post with a length and a quarter in hand of Aaim To Prosper, with top-weight Hanging On taking third.

Trainer William Haggas was represented by his wife Maureen, who said: "This seems more her trip.

"She didn't have a very good draw in stall 10 - it was a case of getting early cover so she could show her turn of foot, and she did."

Escape Route also displayed a nice turn of foot to deny odds-on favourite Mystic Dancer and make a winning debut in the seven-furlong EBF Maiden Stakes.

The 10-11 market leader, a full-brother to Medicean, had travelled well at the head of affairs and opened up a commanding advantage passing the two pole, but Jimmy Fortune produced Escape Route (6-1) down the centre of the track to score by an impressive two and a half lengths.

Winning trainer John Gosden's travelling head lad Barry O'Dowd said: "He broke well and won nicely. Jimmy said he was a bit green but when he asked him he picked up well.

"It looked a good race on paper and it was a nice educational run for him.

"We will take him home and decide if he runs again this season."

Sunlight (4-6 favourite) put her rivals to the sword when making all to take division one of the Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

Philip Robinson bounced the Michael Jarvis-trained juvenile out of the stalls and gradually wound up the pace, kicking for home off the final bend to beat the staying-on Gold Hush by a length and a quarter.

Travelling head groom Paul Rutter said: "She made the running at Newmarket and the other jockeys gave Philip a soft lead, which is never a wise thing to do, and she has done it nicely."

Jarvis went on to take division two when introducing a promising filly in the shape of Fragrancy.

The 10-1 shot was under pressure a long way from home under Matthew Henry but she steadily made headway round the outside of the field and after taking the lead in the final half furlong, scored by three-quarters of a length.

Bruce Raymond, racing manger to her owner Mohammed Al Nabouda, said: "Michael said she might be green and would improve for the run, and that is the way it has worked out."


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