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Consistent Firebreak not quite a winter warmer.

Byline: IAN HEANEY

The Mill Reef Stakes isn't usually much of a pointer to the following year's Classics and it would be something of a surprise were this year's winner Firebreak to go on to win the 2,000 Guineas, but life would be a lot easier for punters were more top-class horses as consistent as him.

Ian Balding's colt cost a relatively modest 27,000gns and has now won two Group races, and been second and fourth at that level. In what equated to an average renewal of the Mill Reef Stakes he already boasted sufficiently good form to win the race, and at 100-30 started at a very generous price indeed.

A line through third-placed Twilight Blues (101), another terrifically consistent performer, sees Firebreak return a Postmark of 110 for the fourth race in a row.

Runner-up Irony (103) reproduced the form of his second in the Molecomb Stakes, having subsequently run poorly at the big York and Doncaster meetings.

There seemed no excuses for either Prince Cyrano (101) or Mister Cosmi (104). The latter is probably not as good as his Richmond Stakes win initially suggested.

The disappointment of the race was Moorestyle Convivial Maiden Stakes winner Official Flame, who was tapped for toe as the principals quickened-as he had been at York.

On this occasion he failed to get back into contention, apparently on account of the faster ground, but possibly because he was facing sterner opposition.

In a season dominated by the two-year-olds emanating from the Ballydoyle and Godolphin operations, it was refreshing to see Henry Cecil cause a ripple in the 1,000 Guineas betting with the introduction of his promising filly Revealing.

She won one of two very good-looking maiden races at Newmarket on Saturday. Though it is difficult to be emphatic about the value of her form, a line through sixth-placed Platonic suggests she has run to a rating of 102.

Since she met some trouble in running, it is reasonable to expect that she will improve on that figure and, with Half Glance, gives Cecil a reasonable hand of juvenile fillies.

The second of those maidens was won in the stewards' room by Michael Bell's Dusky Warbler (99) and both he and the demoted Moon Ballad (99) are reasonable prospects without seeming likely to make the top grade.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 25, 2001
Words:387
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Next Article:Mark Your Card: All the signs say Nazareth can soon go one better; Hampered Petite Futee can find more improvement with an extra furlong to race.


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