Sovereign strikes gold

Mick and Noel Quinlan's runners always have to be afforded respect but there was something of a surprise as Celtic Sovereign obliged at 20-1 in the Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

The only newcomer in a field of three-year-olds, the gelding was right at the back of the field turning for home but Jerry O'Dwyer casually passed horses and only used hands and heels as they surged a length and a half clear.

The 6-5 favourite Peponi was second.

Noel Quinlan said: "He's a nice horse, very well-bred and had been training well but he has had plenty of problems.

"We'll have to see what we do now. He'd be a grass horse really, but if the handicapper were to give him a mark of around 75, he might run again in a month."

Rain started to turn to sleet by the end of the digibet Handicap, where O'Dwyer claimed a double aboard Moojeh.

Former Turkish racing driver and owner Can Artam, on a flying visit from his native country, was completely unbothered by the atrocious conditions as he welcomed back the Marco Botti-trained 20-1 shot, who got the best of a tight finish.

"It's the first time I have been able to see her run," said Artam.

"I've known Marco for a while and he has become a good friend. I have some breeding interests in North America and Turkey and hopefully we will be able to send him some better horses in the future."

Stuart Williams' Sircozy was the 10-11 favourite to rattle off a quick four-timer in the Handicap but despite looking the obvious winner for much of the way, he just came up short.

Sircozy dead-heated for second with Taste The Wine but was beaten a short-head by Quinsman, both of whom are trained by Stan Moore.

"They are two good, tough little three-year-olds and to be honest we needed two to beat Stuart's horse, who he has placed very well.

"I thought Quinsman might have just had the edge and he could go hurdling in the spring. Taste The Wine might go hurdling straight away."

Capone gunned down Vhujon close home to take the digibet Casino Handicap.

The 11-4 favourite is a consistent sort and ran with promise to take third at Lingfield las time.

Although Vhujon's ambitious early strike down the far rail looked to have secured the spoils, Hayley Turner was patient aboard Capone and proved three-quarters of a length too good.

Trainer Roger Curtis had made the decision to go to Ffos Las instead of Sunbury.

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