Ahern survives skid to win at Lingfield

Eddie Ahern brushed off a dangerous skid on the icy roads around Lingfield to arrive in time for victory in the betdaq.co.uk Conditions Stakes today.

Eddie Ahern brushed off a dangerous skid on the icy roads around Lingfield to arrive in time for victory in the betdaq.co.uk Conditions Stakes today.

The Surrey course had managed the Herculean effort of staging a race meeting for the second consecutive day despite a further sprinkling of snow supplementing an already white landscape.

Ahern had only a couple of mounts and it was the second one that counted as the Gerard Butler-trained Beauchamp Viceroy (3-1) drew tidily clear in a tight four-runner heat.

"I was driving through Crowhurst (a village three miles from Lingfield) and I wanted to go round a bend but the car just went straight on," explained Ahern.

"It all happened in slow motion, I think I put my foot on the brake, you're not supposed to do that, but we were going straight for a sign that said 'Welcome To Crowhurst'.

"We stopped about four inches away from it. The car's grand. I was just with my girlfriend and a couple of friends and we got it back up."

Of Beauchamp Viceroy, Ahern added: "It was very simple. He is a nice horse but he can run a good race and then be disappointing the next time. I don't really know why."

The idea of racing in such conditions seemed to have mystified members of an Australian radio station, who even rang clerk of the course Neil Mackenzie Ross to explain.

But the Polytrack was safe even though it started snowing again during the afternoon.

The feature event of the day, the £16,000 Betdaq The Betting Exchange Super 7 Handicap (Qualifier), went the way of the itinerant gelding Elna Bright.

Now in Epsom with Brett Johnson, he was guided expertly up the inside rail by Liam Keniry to foil Jamie Spencer and the fancied Atlantic Story.

Owner Peter Crate has big plans for the 8-1 winner now, reporting: "He was a fortuitous purchase last August.

"We bought him to win the Brighton Mile, it wasn't long after his previous run, but he was finishing like a train to be beaten a short-head after losing two shoes. We knew we had a fair tool on our hands.

"He'll come back here for the final of this race on Winter Derby day and we'll enter him for the Lincoln, although he might not get in. After that he'll have a well-earned break."

All the talk prior to the Bet Multiples - Betdaq Maiden Stakes concerned 5-4 favourite Septemberintherain, who is entered in the Derby, but he was only third to Mark Johnston's powerful front-runner Lovers Causeway (5-2).

Building on a game second at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day, rider Joe Fanning said: "He's a lovely horse and he'll stay a mile and a half at least.

"He just gallops and has done it well there."

Prince Of Sorrento (2-1 joint-favourite) made it two wins from three career starts in a blanket finish for the Bet Premier League Football - Betdaq Handicap.

Trainer Jon Akehurst reviewed: "He's progressive and if he ran like last time it should have been good enough as he was the most unexposed."

Tarporley trainer Pat Morris and jockey Stephen Craine are making quite an impression of late and they combined in the Betdaq On 0800 178 1221 Handicap with Rubenstar (4-1).

Abergavenny wizard David Evans, also on the mark at Kempton, struck in the Bet All Weather Racing - Betdaq Classified Claiming Stakes with Clear Sailing (13-8 favourite), who was claimed from Ollie Pears just a week ago.

The weather was about as far from the race title as could be imagined as the snow swept across the course in the closing Bet African Nations Cup - Betdaq Handicap.

Not that it mattered to trainer Stuart Williams and jockey Andrea Atzeni, who got a great tune out of Boogie Waltzer (10-1) to land a first success from eight starts.

Williams said: "She's all about speed. She's in at Southwell next week and she might go after I've had a chat to the owner."

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox