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Papi stakes claim.

Byline: By William Hayler

Papineau got the better of Mr Dinos in a dramatic dress rehearsal for the Ascot Gold Cup at Sandown yesterday to set up a mouthwatering rematch at the Royal meeting.

The former French-trained Papineau, now unbeaten in two starts for new connections Godolphin, survived a stewards' inquiry to take the Henry II Stakes.

The four-year-old (9-4) took up the running from stablemate New South Wales with just under three furlongs to run as favourite Mr Dinos was caught a bit flat-footed. But he hung right as he hit the front and caused last season's Gold Cup hero to be snatched up by Kieren Fallon as he sought to get on terms.

Frankie Dettori was banned for two days (June 11-12) for careless riding, but it never seemed likely that the stewards would take the race away from his mount. He had pulled a couple of lengths clear by the time Fallon was able to get the runner-up into full stride, and eventually won by a length and a half, with a further length and a half to New South Wales.

Dettori said: "He had the race won by the time he started hanging and although it is frustrating to get a ban, you have got to be pleased with the way he ran. He is a real good galloper and if the boss wants to step him up in trip again and go for the Gold Cup, then I say `bring it on'."

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford confirmed that Ascot and an attempt to take Mr Dinos's crown would be the plan. Frankie said that the horse has a lot of class and, all being well, we will head towards the Gold Cup with him," reported Crisford.

"The Gold Cup is a great race, a very famous race which Godolphin like to support and compete in. We have had great success in it with horses such as Kayf Tara and Classic Cliche and I would hope this horse stacks up favourably with those two."

Paul Cole, the trainer of Mr Dinos, confirmed the runner-up would go straight to Ascot next without another run. "I thought Frankie rode a very clever race on the winner," he said. "He held us in for as long as he could and we couldn't quite regain the lost ground."

His hopes of overturning the form will be boosted by the extra half-mile of the Gold Cup, over which he is obviously fully proven, and with the fact that Mr Dinos was conceding 7lb yesterday.

Risk Seeker's rider Dominique Boeuf was fined pounds 500 for pulling out his mount's earplugs during the race, the jockey having already been fined a lesser amount for the same offence during the four-year-old's previous race at Ascot. According to Jockey Club officials, Risk Seeker's connections were warned if they took the same action they would face an increased fine, and a third identical incident would lead to the next penalty being even stiffer. In Risk Seeker's native France, the removal of earplugs during a race does not breach any rules.

Putra Kuantan justified favouritism in the pounds 25,000 Doubleprint Handicap with a convincing success in the hands of Philip Robinson.

Dettori set the pace on Godolphin's Excellento, but the pack closed in two furlongs out and Putra Kuantan burst clear with just over a furlong left.

The 5-2 market leader, trained by Michael Jarvis, galloped on strongly to win by two lengths from Impeller, with Finished Article a neck further away in third.

Coral make the winner 10-1 co-favourite (from 20s) for the Royal Hunt Cup, where he is set to carry 8st 8lb plus a 7lb penalty for today's success. Victor Chandler are marginally longer in offering 12-1.

Polly Perkins kept her unbeaten record when springing a 25-1 shock in the National Stakes. The Nick Littmoden-trained filly was slowly away but came with a strong run after being switched to the outside by Kevin Darley with just over a furlong of the minimum trip to run.

She had one and a half lengths to spare over Moscow Music at the line, with long-time leader Bunditten a neck back in third.

Favourite Prince Charming (4-11) was a disappointment, failing to pick up for Dettori having not enjoyed the best of runs up the rail.

Littmoden said: "She's always been a sharp little filly. We knew she acted on fast ground ( that's why we came here. Some of the others have shown their best form on soft. We've nothing to lose by going to Royal Ascot for the Queen Mary now."
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Previous Article:Irwin reigns in the wet at Valhalla.
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