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Ayr: Airwave shows her old sparkle as she gets back on the winning trail.

Byline: Colin Russell

FLYING filly Airwave gained her first success since her impressive victory in last year's Temple Stakes when she landed the Listed Land O'Burns Stakes over five furlongs.

Plenty of water has flowed under the bridge since that Sandown win, but although placed on a few occasions in Group company, events so often seem to have conspired against her and winning has proved impossible.

However, this Listed race was tailor-made for her, and with Darryll Holland riding her for the first time, she started at 4-6 and never looked like being beaten.

Breaking much better than in several of her previous races, she settled well and came through strongly to score by a length and a quarter from Forever Phoenix.

'That was a good exercise gallop, she won very easily,' said Holland afterwards.

'I had no worries about dropping her back to five furlongs, she may not look like a sprinter but she's very quick,' said her trainer Henry Candy, who has always held her in such high regard.

'I've entered her for a race at Baden-Baden in early September, but I think we'll go the hard route by going for the Nunthorpe at York.'

Robert Winston, who rode fourth-home Dragon Flyer, was given a two-day ban, July 31 and August 1, for careless riding after switching and causing interference to two of his rivals.

Earlier in the day there was a surprise in the seven-furlong juvenile maiden with victory going to the 20-1 chance Ballycroy Girl from the Alan Bailey yard. Ridden by Eddie Ahern, who was replacing the sidelined Jimmy Fortune, the filly came from off the pace to score going away by two lengths from Venetian King.

'After her last run I couldn't fancy her, and though her owner backed her, I didn't have a dollar on,' said the winning trainer.

'My main concern was her owner Richard Collins. I thought he was going to have a heart attack cheering her home,' he added.

Fortune, who crushed a hand in the starting stalls at Newbury on Saturday, missed another winner when The Crooked Ring, his booked ride in the nursery, scored in good style in the hands of the in-form Robert Winston.The winner, who was having his eighth race of the season, was bought for 9,000gns as a yearling and was winning his second race for trainer David Evans.

The big race of the day was won by Sir Michael Stoute, and coincidentally two of the supporting races were won by former inmates of his yard, Top Dirham, who is now with Mick Easterby, landing the mile handicap, and Machinist, taking the six-furlong rated stakes for David Nicholls.

The former, who was the first leg of a double for Kieren Fallon, won by just a head after pulling himself up in the last furlong and the latter by a convincing three lengths in the hands of Alex Greaves.

David Easterby, son of trainer Mick, said of Top Dirham: 'Conditions were ideal for him and Kieren gave him a great ride.'

Alex Greaves admitted that they were still feeling their way with Machinist, and the experiment to drop him down in trip had clearly been a successful one.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 20, 2004
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