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Medicean sets a poser after late, late show.

Byline: JON LEES

THE numbers do not add up to a formidable tally but the prize-money

total is fast heading towards the pounds 500,000 mark after Sir Michael Stoute captured the domestic season's first Group 1 open to older horses with Medicean at Newbury on Saturday.

The fifth of Stoute's six wins of 2001 in the Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes completed a 15-day golden period in which he has also landed the 2,000 Guineas, the Group 2 Dante Stakes and a Listed event.

And there is much more to come, with Breeders' Cup Turf winner Kala-nisi poised to make his reappearance at The Curragh on Sunday and Golan and Dilshaan being prepared for a crack at the Vodafone Derby.

Royal Ascot's Prince of Wales's Stakes, the ten-furlong event raised to Group 1 status last year, may become Medicean's next target after he left it to the very last stride of the one-mile Lockinge to deny Warningford and Swallow Flight in a finish of two necks.

Medicean cemented the profitable relationship his Cheveley Park Stud owners, David and Patricia Thompson, have with the Lockinge by becoming their fourth winner. They also bred the dual victor Soviet Line.

The winner of a Group 2 last year from Observatory-a non-runner on

Saturday-and twice placed in Group 1s behind Giant's Causeway, Medi-cean's programme will take in the season's mile championship events after Royal Ascot, where the Queen Anne Stakes is the alternative to the Prince of Wales's.

Only two Lockinge winners, Belmont Bay and Then Again, have won the Queen Anne since 1980, and Stoute said: "We're going for Group 1s. But there is no Group 1 at a mile until the Sussex Stakes, and then you've got the French races in the summer as well.

"The Queen Anne is only a Group 2. He may have to go and see if he can be successful with a penalty, but it's a tough one. I can't remember the last horse who won with one. I tried it with Soviet Line-and they are very vulnerable.

"We tried Medicean at a mile and a quarter last year in the John Smith's Cup but it was very inconclusive. He was drawn 21 of 22, got banged and pushed out and ran a little bit keen."

Stoute feared Medicean might struggle on the holding ground but he was produced with precision timing by Kieren Fallon to snatch the race from Warningford and Swallow Flight, who was forced to make the running.

Fallon said: "He's a horse who needs to be ridden that way. When he hits the front he thinks he's done enough. It was a surprise that he won, because a lot of our horses are just needing the run. I thought he would have, but his ability got him through it."

Warningford's programme is centred around establishing the colt as a prospective stallion, and the jump in class so nearly paid off.

Trainer James Fanshawe said: "He deserves a job as a stallion. He's as tough as hell. I thought he'd got it but the last 50 yards were just too far for him."

Swallow Flight will be readied for Royal Ascot, where he will tackle the Queen Anne, in which he finished third last year.

Fallon's latest success came at the end of an up-and-down week in which his riding of the Queen's Flight Of

Fancy drew criticism from racing manager Lord Carnarvon.

Stoute said: "I don't think it's been too down. There was just one little blip there where he laid a little far out of his ground, but he's been riding great since the start."

nRest of the Newbury action:

report, page 71


Sir Michael Stoute and Kieren Fallon discuss Medicean's Group 1 success in the winner's enclosure
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 21, 2001
Previous Article:Cheveley's policy with colts looks like a winner.
Next Article:Compton Admiral limbers up for reappearance.

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