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Handicapper praises `amazing' Somnus after Tout win.

Byline: Lee Mottershead

TOUT SEUL'S victory in the Dewhurst Stakes on Saturday has prompted BHB two-year-old handicapper Matthew Tester to give a glowing reference to the colt's Redcar conqueror Somnus.

Tester deferred allotting a rating to the Fulke Johnson Houghton-trained Newmarket winner, but at the same time spoke in handsome terms of Somnus, who beat Tout Seul in the Betabet-Two-Year-Old Trophy, despite conceding 6lb, earlier this month.

With the Dewhurst result tying in with French form, Tester requires further consultation with international colleagues before a proper assessment of the race.

He said: "Some years it's obvious how to

approach the Dewhurst, but this year that is not the case. While I have my own thoughts, a higher or lower valuation of the form could be extremely valid."

Turning his attention to the Tim Easterby-trained Somnus, who also landed Doncaster's St Leger Yearling Stakes, Tester said: "Although Somnus beat Tout Seul at Redcar, that race didn't play to Tout Seul's strengths. That said, Somnus is amazing and, although it's unlikely he'll end up as champion juvenile, he is still going to earn an exceptional rating for a horse who's never run in a Group race.

"If you look at the Doncaster race, Mister Links, who was second, had finished second in the Gimcrack, the fourth Airwave went on to win the Cheveley Park, the fifth Monsieur Bond was then second in the Mill Reef and the sixth Cumbrian Venture was just touched off in a Listed race at York."

The Racing Post's two-year-old handicapper Simon Turner described the Dewhurst form as "up to scratch".

He said: "I've put Tout Seul on 118, which has Tomahawk running to the level of form he produced behind Oasis Dream in the Middle Park. The level the form has been rated at is

rock-solid and it may even turn to out to be better still - I certainly can't see it being dropped."

Tester also expressed his satisfaction at the result of the Rockfel Stakes, after his two

highest-rated fillies in the race, Luvah Girl and Casual Look, finished first and second.

He said: "It was an interesting contest and the running of both Luvah Girl and Casual Look shore up the ratings I had for Russian Rhythm and Soviet Song. However, my expectation is that Six Perfections will end up being rated above the British fillies. Although the domestic fillies have had a tremendous year, nothing has impressed me more than Six Perfections."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 22, 2002
Previous Article:Seven wins on the board, and the lure persists; What the Breeders Cup means to me: the trainer: Shug McGaughey.
Next Article:Ballydoyle 5-4 for Trophy triumph; O'Brien hot favourite to land Doncaster prize for the fourth time.

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