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Double act do it again with triumph by Frizzante.

Byline: By Martin Kelly

James Fanshawe and Johnny Murtagh capped a memorable few days when Frizzante flew home in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket yesterday to give them their second Group One success of the week.

The recently-formed partnership upset the apple cart on Tuesday when Soviet Song turned over Attraction in the Falmouth Stakes.

And the pair threw up another surprise with the 14-1 winner of the July meeting showpiece.

Frizzante, trained locally at Fanshawe's Pegasus Stables, saw off 19 rivals who travelled the world for the six-furlong contest, with Australian hope Exceed and Excel being sent off the 4-1 favourite.

However, the market leader never looked like getting dangerous during the closing stages and it was left to 100-1 shot Ashdown Express, Balmont (25-1) and Hong Kong-raider Cape Of Good Hope (20-1) to fill the places.

Exceed and Excel was smartly away from his draw in stall three and was soon joined at the head of affairs by Patavellian and Japanese raider Seeking The Dia. Irish challenger Antonius Pius was under pressure by halfway and as the leaders started to crumble, Balmont looked the be the biggest danger.

But it was Murtagh who stole the show, quickening from some way off the pace to get Frizzante home by a neck.

As horse and jockey were led back into the winner's enclosure, the sun appropriately broke through the blackened sky and Fanshawe beamed: "When you are having a lucky spell things just click into place.

"Today has just been fantastic. I think you grow more attached to fillies and she has been unlucky.

"She was fourth to Patavellian in the Stewards' Cup last year when she was drawn on the wrong side and flew home.

"Jamie Spencer said then she really was top class and would go right to the top, and she has proved him correct.

"I have always been allowed to take my time with her. She didn't run as a two-year-old but won first time at three.

"This time last year she was rated about 80 in handicaps, but she has improved and improved and is as tough as nails." Frizzante was sent off favourite for the King's Stand at Royal Ascot, but suffered trouble in running and had to settle for third place behind The Tatling.

After the opening race yesterday , it looked as though circumstance would again be against her as it was those drawn low who dominated the finish.

"We were drawn high (18) and I thought our chance had gone after the first," commented Fanshawe.

"But we studied the Bunbury Cup quite closely and saw that there were one or two who did quite well up the middle, so Johnny said he'd go that way and it has worked out."

Plans for the five-year-old are fluid and her handler added: "We could go back to five furlongs at York (for the Nunthorpe), but I think she prefers six so we could go for the Haydock race (Sprint Cup)."

A delighted Murtagh, who had not ridden a winner on the July course until Tuesday, added: "I got a lead from Mick Kinane and he brought me to the furlong and a half.

"When I pulled her out she picked up well and is a good winner as she kept going right though the last half furlong.

"She has been running on fast ground over five furlongs which has probably been a bit too quick for her. But it worked out well. I think she is a six-furlong filly and the rain did help."

Ashdown Express looked like proving a shock winner until being collared in the shadow of the post. Her trainer Chris Wall said: "He's run a great race and I thought he was going to win it. I know I'm biased but the starting price was a bit of an insult.

"He has beaten many of the horses who were at shorter odds and, on his form behind Frizzante in the Abernant on the Rowley Mile in the spring, he had to be thereabouts.

"He is a horse who has to have everything go for him but, when the cards fall his way, he is a decent sprinter."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 9, 2004
Words:698
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