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A winning Rhythm.

Byline: By Nigel Burns

Sir Michael Stoute unveiled a live Vodafone Derby hopeful in North Light this week and the master of Freemason Lodge has strong claims of winning a more imminent Group One race, too.

Stoute has won the Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on no less than three occasions in the past decade - with Soviet Line in 1995 and 1996 and Medicean in 2001 - and can add another to his tally with Russian Rhythm tomorrow.

Successful in six of her nine starts, the daughter of Kingmambo includes among her haul last year's 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Nassau Stakes.

She has proved conclusively she is a miler, and her win in the Guineas revealed she can be brought to the racecourse in tip-top condition for her seasonal reappearance.

Another point worth noting is that Russian Rhythm finished ahead of some smart colts when runner-up to Falbrav in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on her penultimate start last year.

So she is unlikely to be overawed by the company she finds herself in for tomorrow's mile race.

That company includes a brace of 2000 Guineas winners in Refuse To Bend and Indian Haven, the 2002 Dewhurst winner Tout Seul, who returned to form at Leicester recently, and Firebreak, who landed a Group Two event at Nad Al Sheba on his latest outing.

Newbury has also been a happy hunting ground for Geoff Wragg over the years and the Newmarket handler appears to have bright prospects of winning the Paddy Power Stakes with The Whistling Teal.

Noted making late headway on his seasonal reappearance in the Dubai Irish Village Stakes at Newbury last month, the eight-year-old looked much sharper when only losing out close home to a rejuvenated Systematic in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester last week, with a yawning gap of 12 lengths back to Compton Bolter in third.

The son of Rudimentary drew a blank last year but was in fine form in 2002, winning twice, including Newbury's St Simon Stakes over a mile and a half.

Although yet to win over tomorrow's distance of an extended one mile five furlongs, there appears little doubt that The Whistling Teal gets the trip and, with the cobwebs blown away, it looks time for him to resume his winning ways.

Swagger Stick, unbeaten in two starts this season, bids to land his hat-trick in the London Paddy Power Gold Cup.

John Dunlop's charge, successful over a mile as a juvenile, has improved since stepping up to middle distances this year.

Although a drifter in the betting on his reappearance at Leicester last month, the Cozzene colt saw the 10-furlong trip out well, coming home a length and a quarter clear of Hazyview.

Bumped up to a mile and a half on his return to Leicester later in the month, the half-brother to Breeders' Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup winner Pleasantly Perfect looked to be improving rapidly as he put a fair field of handicappers in their place.

Although he has some way to go if he is to rise to the same dizzy heights as his illustrious relation, there are still plenty of good races to be won with him.

Cold Turkey improved in leaps and bounds on the all-weather over the winter and continued his good run when winning the Grand Metropolitan Stakes at Epsom last month.

Raised to a mark of 85 following that win, the son of Polar Falcon has won on Polytrack off a perch of 84 and left the impression last time that there could be even more to come from Gary Moore's charge.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 14, 2004
Previous Article:Federer sails into last eight.
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