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La Cucaracha upholds terrific British record in Group 3 distaff sprint; Leopardstown.

Byline: Tony O'Hehir

LA CUCARACHA continued the British dominance of the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes when landing the six-furlong filliesO event by half a length under Michael Hills, writes Tony OOHehir.

Backed from 6-1 to 9-2, the daughter of Piccolo, trained by Barry Hills for owner-breeder Guy Reed, was scoring her first Pattern-race success, becoming the fourth consecutive British-trained filly to win the event that since 1992 has been kept at home only twice.

Before dashing for Dublin airport, the winning jockey said: OLa Cucaracha is a good filly on fast ground like we had tonight. Things went against her in the race. She was drawn on the outside and had to race wide. She got on to the wrong lead on the final bend and that made it harder for her.O

Alexander Icequeen finished well for second place under Pat Smullen, beating another British raider, Kind, by a head.

Royal Ascot at York beckons for Ivan Denisovich, who proved much too good for the opposition in the six-furlong two-year-old maiden, winning by four and a half lengths under Kieren Fallon.

The Danehill colt started 1-4 following his debut second at Newbury last month and, after his win, trainer Aidan OOBrien said: OHe is a really nice horse and it was good to see the way he got down to the job so well. He has to come into the Royal Ascot reckoning now and you would have to think heOll improve.O

Well beaten in a one-mile handicap over the same course last month, Zarandja made virtually all for a length win under Mick Kinane in the seven-furlong three and four-year-old maiden.

John Oxx, who trains the winner for the Aga Khan, said: OThe better ground helped her and she enjoyed being in front. ItOs not often a Leopardstown maiden is won by a horse rated only 76, so IOd imagine sheOll go back for another handicap.O

CAPTION(S):

Michael Hills Overcame difficult draw
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 2, 2005
Words:327
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