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Ayr: Eaves's claim cut after a double for Semple.

Byline: er: Colin Russell

TOM EAVES had his claim reduced to 3lb when landing a double on West Highland Way and Flur Na H Alba. Both horses are trained by Ian Semple, who is now on the 13-winner mark for the season.

West Highland Way defied the bad vibes in the ring with a decisive win in the median auction maiden event, being ridden clear in the final furlong to beat the disappointing Oh Golly Gosh by two and a half lengths.

Semple said: "He's a lazy horse - he eats and sleeps, and just does enough both at home and in his races. Tom said he was idling in front, but basically he has the right attitude and we'll step him up a bit in grade, perhaps for a

0-85 classified."

Flur Na H Alba (Gaelic for flower of Scotland) made virtually all to beat Samuel Charles by three-quarters of a length in the seven-furlong handicap.

Semple added: "He's a bit quirky, but he's very capable and holds the seven-furlong track record here. However, he's best when he can dominate, and tends to fold up if anything really comes at him. Luckily, the plan worked and nothing got to him."

Matthew Henry celebrated his 29th birthday by riding his second winner of the season on Cefira, who took the six-furlong median auction maiden for three- and four-year-olds.

The Mark Tompkins-trained winner, who had finished third in bad ground at Pontefract on her reappearance, proved too strong for a modest bunch, scoring driven out by a length and a quarter from the well-exposed Pirlie Hill.

Cefira was giving her stud value a good boost, as she is out of the smart juvenile Bold Jessie, who has now bred five winners from five offspring, including the smart juvenile Abou Zouz and the useful seven-furlong performer Jentzen.

Goldhill Prince, bought by trainer Bill Turner for only 500gns as a yearling, gained his second success when landing odds of 1-7 in the juvenile seller. The son of Prince Sabo, giving apprentice Colin Haddon his third victory in the last eight days, made virtually all the running and drew away to win by five lengths.

Turner, who retained the winner for 4,500gns, said: "He's nothing special, but he's done all right considering he was so cheap.

The 13-furlong handicap produced a dead-heat between Toni Alcala, ridden by Paul Mulrennan for trainer Roger Fisher, and Cosmic Case, partnered by Adrian Nicholls for Jim Goldie.

Both trainers have been in good form in recent weeks - Fisher was sending out his third winner in the past fortnight, and Goldie has had five winners in the last two weeks.

She's Our Lass is having a good season and the three-year-old, trained by Declan Carroll, gained her second win in three starts when taking the seven-furlong classified stakes in the hands of Robbie Fitzpatrick.

day at a glance

Star performers

Apprentice Tom Eaves, who rode a 23-1 double and had his claim reduced to 3lb and Ian Semple, who provided Eaves with both his winners, West Highland Way and Flur Na H Alba

Puzzle

The opposition to West Highland Way in the betting. After opening at

11-8, he touched 11-4 before being backed down to 2-1. He won by two and a half lengths

Bargain buy

Goldhill Prince, bought for 500gns as a yearling by his trainer Bill Turner, has now won two races
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 23, 2004
Words:565
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