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Leopardstown: Minardi takes up mantle with style; Kinane gains third Heinz 57 after switching from lame Freud.

MINARDI, only first reserve in the Ballydoyle team, galloped clean away from the opposition in the Independent Heinz 57 Phoenix Stakes at Leopardstown yesterday to leave Mick Kinane blessing his luck.

Kinane was to have ridden Freud, but that flying machine-at least he is said to be on the gallops-went lame and had to be withdrawn.

The Irish champion switched to Minardi and Kevin Manning, who was to have ridden him, had to sit and suffer in front of the television in the jockeys' room as the mount that should have been his put up a spectacular performance.

Minardi was slipped through a gap between Longueville Legend and the rails just over a furlong and a half out. The colt stretched clear in impressive style to beat Superstar Leo by five lengths with Dora Carrington three-quarters of a length away third, half a length in front of Longueville Legend.

Minardi, the fourth Heinz winner in six years to carry the colours of Michael Tabor, had been beaten five lengths by Rumpold on his debut at


Kinane, winning his third Heinz, said: "We were left scratching our heads after that because we thought he would win. But it was a slowly run race and he ran green.

"I think he'll improve when he steps up in trip. Also, he doesn't race like a sprinter-he has a long, flowing stride."

Asked if Freud would have beaten Minardi, Kinane grinned and said: "It's better to be born lucky than rich."

Aidan O'Brien, winning this race for the third consecutive year, reckons that both Freud and Minardi are special, though the former could be sidelined for several weeks.

He said: "Freud would have had a tough race here even though he's very good. Both he and Minardi scorch the ground at home.

However, he'll have to have a break. He was a little bit lame behind and I think it's a muscle.

"Ascot was a blip on Minardi's record. He'd always worked very well and we thought he would burn up the course. But, as with Freud at The Curragh, I'd over-minded him and he ran very green. Also, it turned into a walking race. They only galloped for the last two furlongs.

"Minardi will now have a break before coming back for the Dewhurst and similar races."

Superstar Leo, weak in the market and on her toes in the parade ring, was with the leaders a furlong out but was then unable to quicken.

Michael Hills, who rode her, said: "I feel she got the trip. I was a cosy second and the winner is obviously a very good horse."

William Haggas is thinking of dropping Superstar Leo back to five furlongs for the Flying Childers Stakes at


He said: "I'm not going to use the trip as an excuse. She's run her guts out and I'm thrilled that she's finished second in a Group 1."

Pat Eddery also reported that Dora Carrington had run up to her best. He said: "She ran a super race and so did

Superstar Leo. They're both two good fillies who were beaten by a really good colt."

Silca Legend (sixth) was slightly hampered by Superstar Leo a furlong and a half out but the stewards decided to take no action when Johnny Murtagh reported that

his mount was beaten at the time.

Speedy Gee, Mick Channon's other runner, was disappointing and finished with only one behind him.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Clower, Michael
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 14, 2000
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Next Article:Racing News: The smile that says it all; Dettori and Muhtathir help banish the blues with Group 1 success in France.

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