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Horse Racing: Cumani takes a Curtain Call; SEE PAGES 40-41 FOR MORE GREAT RACING COVERAGE.

LUCA CUMANI treads a familiar path tomorrow as Curtain Call leads the line-up for the Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield.

The Newmarket handler sent both Kahyasi and High Rise to win the one-mile-three-furlong heat before going on to glory at Epsom in 1988 and 1998 respectively.

Although it would be a big jump to say for sure Curtain Call will come out on top on the first Saturday in June, it is fair to say he will be hard to beat here.

Trained by Jessica Harrington as a juvenile, the son of Sadler's Wells bagged a Group Two victory and managed to split subsequent 2,000 Guineas second and first, New Approach and Henrythenavigator, in the Futurity at the Curragh.

Recruited by Cumani over the winter, Curtain Call made a good start at Nottingham when beating two moderate rivals in a virtual canter over 10 furlongs.

That told his supporters little except he has wintered well, but Cumani has a huge amount of faith in this colt and that he is taking the tried and tested route may be indicative of high expectations.

Look Here is something of an unknown quantity but she is worth a try in the totesport 0800 221 221 Oaks Trial Stakes.

This daughter of Hernando raced just once as a juvenile but she impressed many watchers when accounting for subsequent winner and Derby fancy Doctor Fremantle at Newmarket.

Although returning from a long lay-off, Look Here can supply trainer Ralph Beckett with a second successive win in the race.

Verba is taken to launch a successful raid for France-based Englishman Richard Gibson in the totesport Betxtra Chartwell Fillies' Stakes.

Zaahid can land a deserved win the totesport Victoria Cup at Ascot.

Barry Hills' runner missed the cut for the Lincoln at the beginning of the season and was unfortunate to run into the rapidly-improving Don't Panic when finishing fourth in the consolation race.

He then lined up against Lang Shining at Newbury and despite being well fancied he could not match the pace of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained winner.

Zaahid should not be written off after those two defeats though and can once again prove competitive in this seven-furlong heat.

Regal Flush proved good enough to finish fourth in last year's St Leger and it would be a big surprise if he were turned over in the John Doyle Buckhounds Stakes.

At Nottingham, Cartimandua can shrug off a near year-long lay-off to score in the Listed Kilvington Fillies' Stakes.

Goodbye has hit the bar on his last two starts but can come good in Warwick's HBG Construction Ltd Handicap, while Alexander Huricane is the pick in Thirsk's Dick Peacock Sprint Handicap.

Haydock stage a mixed card with the Grade Three totepool Swinton Handicap Hurdle the highlight.

David Pipe landed the race with Acambo in 2006 and his I'm So Lucky looks a likely type this time around.

A winner at Royal Ascot two years ago, I'm So Lucky evidently possesses plenty of class and really seems to have benefited from the switch to Pipe's care earlier this year.

An impressive winner at Stratford in March, I'm So Lucky was last seen when finishing second in a decent Listed event at the Grand National meeting.

He probably did not see out the two-and-a-half-mile trip that day but a drop back in distance here should suit and he must have a good chance in this ultracompetitive event.

Hexham also race over the sticks with Innominate finally ready to open his account in the Hexhamshire Maiden Hurdle.


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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 9, 2008
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