Red-letter day for McMahon at Newbury

Red-letter day for McMahon at Newbury

Ed McMahon wore a look of vindication as Temple Meads set off a memorable afternoon at Newbury for the Staffordshire trainer today.

McMahon had been despondent after his star two-year-old was too keen for his own good in last month's Gimcrack Stakes, but he made amends in unequivocal fashion in the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes before his stablemate Astrophysical Jet claimed the Dubai Airport World Trophy.

Richard Mullen, who helped Temple Meads (4-1) to win the Super Sprint at this course on an earlier outing, was back in the plate after Jimmy Fortune stepped in at York and the chestnut settled much better this time.

They entered the fray with two furlongs to run and scooted a length and three-quarters clear, reversing the form with Gimcrack runner-up Crown Prosecutor, who was pipped for second by Formosina.

McMahon said: "I was upset at York because he could never get any cover - it wasn't Jimmy's fault but he was just green. He had only run twice before.

"He has proved he gets six furlongs - it has allayed my fears because at the back of my mind was that it might be a little bit too far.

"He'd only run twice before York and was just starting to learn the game a bit.

"The Middle Park is the next plan. Newmarket will suit him better, with one or two more runners."

Mullen added: "It was no-one's fault at York, he took Jimmy by surprise because in his first two races he was very laid-back, but he didn't settle at York.

"It's a long walk across the Knavesmire and he got a bump early on, if Jimmy Fortune can't hold him there is not much hope for the rest of us.

"I'm glad he's repaid the faith we had in him."

Owner John Fretwell will still sell Temple Meads if the price is right.

"He'll win the Middle Park, this horse is serious," he said.

"It might be difficult for him as a three-year-old in the UK and I'd like him to go to the right place if he is sold."

Astrophysical Jet (3-1 favourite) has rampaged right through the sprinting division from handicaps and made it two consecutive Group Threes by quickening up through the gears in the closing stages under Graham Gibbons.

"It's been a good day, I'm having to pinch myself as they don't come along very often," continued McMahon.

"She has been on the go for quite a while, so that will be her last run of the season today.

"As a four-year-old she will be stronger and then I will pitch her in at Group One level."

Kieren Fallon delivered a flash of genius to provide Luca Cumani with his third Dubai Duty Free Stakes in the last four years.

The progressive Forte Dei Marmi (4-1 joint-favourite) looked in all sorts of trouble behind horses but Fallon had the courage of his convictions and squeezed through in the nick of time to deny Elliptical by a neck.

"He got me out of jail," admitted Fallon.

"I don't like going round the field if I can avoid it - I thought we might get a run on the rail and we got a gap and got a run through."

The Cambridgeshire had appeared an obvious port of call but Sara Cumani, the trainer's wife and part-owner, warned: "When Presvis won this a few years ago Luca felt the Cambridgeshire came a bit quick and he thinks it might the case for this horse too.

"He's promised me we can go for black type next. I'm a terrible optimist but I'd love him to go for the Cox Plate next year."

Martin Lane was handed a three-day ban (October 4-6) for careless riding on Thin Red Line.

Andrew Balding managed the perfect start to his new partnership with Highclere Thoroughbred Racing as 16-1 newcomer Baptist rose to the challenge in division one of the Bathwick Tyres EBF Maiden Stakes.

"He's a lovely horse and had been working quite well at home, but he came from the breeze-ups, which always helps. There are no fancy plans at the moment," said Balding.

Fallon teamed up with William Haggas in division two as 15-8 favourite Fury made a thoroughly competent winning debut.

"He's a nice horse, although I don't know the quality of the race," considered the trainer.

Richard Hannon's Invincible Ridge (7-2) made it two out of three in the Dubai Duty Free Nursery.

Hannon said: "He's a nice little horse, he keeps on improving, but I don't know what the handicapper will think of that."

A report was sent to the British Horseracing Authority as to why Regal Approval failed to start and was not withdrawn when Fallon was not in the saddle. The stalls handler said he had been unaware Fallon had dismounted.

Tazeez, who was third in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Arlington Million, found the perfect confidence-booster in an uncompetitive-looking Dubai Duty Free Conditions Stakes and he strolled home as the 5-6 favourite. The Prix Dollar on Arc weekend was mooted as the next port of call.

Ed Dunlop's Red Gulch (16-1) rounded the day off in the Heatherwold Stud Handicap.

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