Muir succeeds at Folkestone

Willie Muir achieved quite a feat in the Alex And Peter Hatfield Handicap at Folkestone as his three runners managed to finish first, third and fourth.

Willie Muir achieved quite a feat in the Alex And Peter Hatfield Handicap at Folkestone as his three runners managed to finish first, third and fourth.

The Lambourn handler had been bombarded with requests as to which one had the best chance, but they did not quite come back in the anticipated order as the Martin Dwyer-ridden We Have A Dream (9-2) led home Our Acquaintance and 7-2 favourite Blue Jack.

Mark Wallace’s Baunagain prevented the clean sweep.

“I hate running them all like that, but there are no three-year-old handicaps for horses who want cut in the ground,” explained Muir.

“Blue Jack works like a very nice horse but has just blown up. The third one didn’t look ready yet while the winner is the laziest horse in the world.”

Paul Cole has started the season in electric form and Northern Tour’s success made it six winners from just 17 runners by the end of the day.

The 4-6 favourite for the kmfm Median Auction Maiden Stakes had been considered forward enough to contest the Brocklesby Stakes – where he finished sixth – and Richard Quinn just had to push him out to beat Soul Sista by a length.

Part-owner Richard Maynard said: “We know Paul thinks plenty of him. He’s got lots of speed and scope but he should get a bit further. Options are certainly open.”

Cole’s run was not repeated by 4-1 favourite Andronikos who again flattered to deceive in the Weatherbys Bank Handicap which went to Barry Hills’ Bonnie Prince Blue (9-1).

Stable representative Geoff Snook said: “He’s not a bad sort on his day, but definitely one who runs best when fresh.”

Another team to have made a swift, if slightly less obvious impact is that of Mark and Amanda Perrett whose Riverscape plundered the Folkestone Racecourse For Weddings Maiden Stakes.

The 13-8 favourite had to be asked a few questions to repel Pam Sly’s well-backed Valferno.

“I think nearly all the horses we’ve run this year have won now,” said Mark Perrett.

“She looked in a bit of trouble turning for home and will be better for stepping up in trip.”

There was a fine training performance from Jonny Portman in the Betfair Apprentice Training Handicap.

His Compton Charlie, providing a belated 80th birthday present for Portman’s father Tony, also the owner, was having his first run for 269 days and having shown precious little last season, was accordingly priced at 20-1.

“I was very impressed by (rider) Jack Dean – he did exactly what we told him,” said Portman senior.

Trainer John Harris is in Spain as a broken leg continues to repair but the hard-fought victory of Princelywallywogan (6-1) in the Invicta Motors Handicap will have certainly aided recovery.

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