Balducci bags maiden gold

Balducci put his previous experience to good use in the Alex Scott Maiden Stakes at Newmarket today.

Balducci put his previous experience to good use in the Alex Scott Maiden Stakes at Newmarket today.

Andrew Balding's colt was the only horse in the field to have been out already this term, finishing third at Lingfield last month, and he looked sharp as William Buick bounced him out of the stalls in front.

Buick managed to control the pace perfectly and held on right to the line, despite 2-1 favourite Harvest Dancer pushing him all the way and finishing half a length adrift.

"He probably needed the race last time and I think the track suited," said Balding of the 8-1 shot.

"Hopefully he will improve and go on to better things, quite where next I'm not sure."

Richard Hannon continued his domination of the Salinity Conditions Stakes as Retainer made it five wins from the previous seven renewals for the ace two-year-old trainer.

With the Hannon juveniles already hitting the target, Retainer was popular in the market at 6-5 favourite and duly produced an impressive turn of foot.

Following the example of the prolific Monsieur Chevalier 12 months ago, he coasted just over four lengths clear under Richard Hughes.

Hannon said: "I'd have liked to have seen him settle a bit better but he has done that nicely. We know what we have in the tank so we'll give him a bit of time to grow up now and have a month or two off.

"He'll get six furlongs no problem but I'm not talking about Royal Ascot just yet."

Coordinated Cut's campaign will now be geared towards the Investec Derby as he overcame trouble to land the £250,000 Tattersalls Timeform 3-Y-O Trophy.

Well-backed for the Derby as early as last season before owner Lawrie Inman switched him from Peter Chapple-Hyam to Michael Bell for his three-year-old career, he had hit the front at the two-pole under Jamie Spencer.

But Ameer and Frankie Dettori came alongside and cut across, causing Spencer to snatch up Coordinated Cut (9-1), only to make up the three lengths he lost and gain the riches by a head.

Bell said: "He loves fast ground and has done nothing but improve every single month.

"He'll go for a Derby trial now - he's in the Dante and that's my preference. With Epsom or whatever, we're going to have a lot of fun with him."

Of Ameer, trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said: "He ran a big race but was beaten by a better horse. There are no plans."

Red Jazz had not been seen on a racecourse since finishing third to Arcano in the July Stakes but was clearly raring to go as he dominated the European Free Handicap.

Michael Hills set out to make all the running in determined fashion aboard his father Barry's colt (11-2) and he found an extra gear in the closing stages to contain Quadrille (100-30 favourite) by three-quarters of a length.

Hills snr, following up in the race after Ouqba last year, said: "I would say he's more of a Jersey Stakes horse than a Guineas horse but I will have to talk to the owner.

"He should improve for that - he never stopped coughing after the July Stakes."

Michael Hills added: "He had loads of little problems last year but as long as he can put those behind him, he should have a good season."

Mick Channon's Music Show showed an excellent turn of foot when running out an impressive winner of the Leslie Harrison Memorial Nell Gwyn Stakes.

The 6-1 chance was settled in midfield early on by Kieren Fallon but was forced to come wide of the entire field to make her challenge.

The daughter of Noverre had all of her rivals in front of her passing the two-furlong marker but she made up plenty of ground thereafter and after quickening to the front, she stuck to her guns well to beat Blue Maiden by half a length.

Channon said: "You would have to be pleased with that as she has got very lazy this year and I wanted to get a run into her.

"I would have rather gone to Newbury but Jaber (Abdullah, owner) has got Lady Of The Desert running there so we had to come here.

"I have always thought she had a lot of class and Kieren didn't mess about - he knew what he had under him.

"The best filly does not always win the Guineas - I can tell you that - but we have always thought she is pretty good."

The runner-up's trainer Charlie McBride said: "I'm delighted. She just got held up in her run, a horse came in front of her and took her to the back of the field.

"Richard (Hughes) said that she'd be better with some give in the ground and bearing that in mind, we'll probably think about the Curragh and the Irish 1000 Guineas."

Henry Cecil's Principal Role was far from disgraced in finishing third and Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, said: "She has run really well and seven furlongs is probably a bit sharp for her.

"We'll probably step up to a mile and a quarter now."

Marcus Tregoning's Rumoush maintained her unbeaten record in the Blue Square Feilden Stakes, with hot favourite Timepiece only fourth.

Sent off at 7-2 on the back of a Lingfield maiden win in November, Rumoush was ridden with restraint by Richard Hills before being asked to take closer order at the three-furlong marker.

Hills coaxed his mount to the front before entering the final furlong and after giving her a reminder, she stretched clear to score by two and a half lengths from Fighter Boy.

Marie De Medici was third and Timepiece, ante-post favourite for the Investec Oaks at Epsom, could be counted unlucky after failing to get the breaks on a number of occasions.

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