Vaughan’s first training success tinged with sadness

THERE was an emotional first training success for Ed Vaughan at Bath yesterday when the former assistant to the late Alec Stewart landed the Miss Hucklebridge Handicap with all-the-way winner Raysoot.

Kieren Fallon’s mount (9-2) was a fifth runner for Vaughan since he took over responsibility for Stewart’s string on the Newmarket trainer’s untimely death at the early age of 49 last week.

Vaughan’s immediate thoughts were for his former boss’s family, and he said: “Obviously I’m both delighted and relieved to have opened my account, but my thoughts are with the guv’nor, who is sadly missed.

“I’m in a very lucky position to be taking over many good horses who have all been very well looked after.”

Vaughan, who was not at Bath and watched the race on television in Newmarket, added: “It was important for this horse to get out in front and Kieren achieved that in spite of having a tricky draw.”

An old-fashioned gamble was landed in the Tipto Two-Year-Old Selling Stakes when Arbors Little Girl, backed in from 20-1 to 8-1, got up in the final stride under Steve Drowne to short-head Majestical.

The filly’s trainer Rod Millman played it down, saying: “It doesn’t take much to bring a price down somewhere like Bath.

“When we arrived I was still worried, despite some intensive practice and a stalls test, that she wouldn’t go in.”

Millman, whose winner appeared to have an impossible task two furlongs out, went to 4,400 guineas to retain her.

The market also told the story in the Hospitality At Bath Fillies’ Handicap, which resulted in a double for Drowne as he brought Fiddle Me Blue (7-2) home a decisive winner over Avit.

According to her trainer Hugh Morrison, Fiddle Me Blue is lucky to be racing as she was involved in a nasty accident which resulted in her being withdrawn from a race at this venue earlier in the year.

Favourite-backers got off to a flyer in the Claiming Stakes, in which Robert Winston produced the even-money favourite Atlantic Viking with a long, sweeping charge to hit the front approaching the distance and beat Arfinnit and Trick Cyclist by a length and a head.

The victory was a third in as many years in this race for Thirsk trainer David Nicholls, who will now take Atlantic Viking back to Epsom, where he landed the Dash on Derby day last year.

There are few courses in Britain at which it is more advantageous to have winning experience and Velvet Waters (5-1), a game scorer in the Saltwell Signs Handicap, is a perfect example.

She made all to score here in early July and was again prominent for much of the way before getting on top of Principessa and staying on strongly to score by three and a half lengths.

Trainer Fulke Johnson Houghton said: “This filly does like Bath and stays well.”

Michael Blanshard has had to contend with coughing in his Lambourn stable for much of the summer, but the victory of Rosiella under Frannie Norton in the Wick Maiden Auction Fillies’ Stakes will hopefully signal a change in his fortunes.

The 10-1 shot displayed battling qualities to hold Agent Kensington and Shosolosa by a neck and three-quarters of a length.

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