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Perseverance pays off as Caspar Netscher lands Gimcrack for McCabe; TALK OF THE TRACKS.

CASPAR NETSCHER had been knocking on the door in some of the best twoyear-old races this season but finally got his head in front in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes to give Alan McCabe the biggest victory of his training career.

Ridden by Robert Winston, the 5-1 chance strode clear to beat favourite Lilbourne Lad by two and a quarter lengths with Burwaaz three-quarters of a length back in third.

McCabe said of the win: "It's fantastic. This horse has done it all, not me. And I'm no good without my team.

"This is the tops. We topped the 200-winner mark last week and we've had four winners since. Our best season was 42, we've now had 44. Onwards and upwards, fingers crossed we'll get plenty more winners."

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf was mentioned as a long-term target for the winner, who had finished third behind Harbour Watch in the Richmond Stakes last time. Paddy Power cut Harbour Watch to 8-1 (from 10) for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas after the Gimcrack.

McCabe added: "He deserved his chance here; to me arguably he has run into the best two juveniles in Britain in Frederick Engels and Harbour Watch. I thought he was a big price."

The owner of the winner of the Gimcrack traditionally gives the main speech at the Gimcrack Dinner at York in December, but when asked about the prospect of it Charles Wentworth did not entirely convince that he would relish the engagement, saying: "Oh good, when is that?" Wentworth, who described himself as having a farm in "sleepy Suffolk" after the race, hit the headlines last year when it was revealed he had donated pounds 38,000 to the far-right British National Party.

Destiny shows his good side Green Destiny has caused William Haggas to scratch his head a few times this season, interspersing wins in valuable handicaps at Newmarket and here in the John Smith's Cup with heavy defeats at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.

But he came good again yesterday to win the Group 3 Sky Bet Mobile Strensall Stakes under Kieren Fallon, beating Tazahum by a length and a quarter.

Asked about his poorer performances this term, Haggas replied: "I think about that quite a lot. Maybe it is going the wrong way - Ascot was right-handed, Goodwood was righthanded.

It is the only credible thing I can think of.

"At Goodwood he had a bad draw because he got in among them and he didn't like it. The jockey was determined to get him in a nice position before they turned in.

That was a mess.

"The horse has won well and he's taken the next step up, he's going to have to take another one now, maybe the Prix Dollar, but that's the wrong way round. Ascot's the wrong way round for the Champion Stakes."

He added: "He's won some nice prizemoney in some good races. He's just a kind horse. Now he's gelded we'll just enjoy him."

Consolation for Crackentorp, who won the Queen Mother's Cup at the track in June but missed out on a place in the Ebor field, made a successful return to York when holding Kiama Bay in the Racing UK On Sky Bet Mobile Handicap under David Allan.

The result offered encouragement to horses drawn low in today's Ebor as 33-1 shot Crackentorp, drawn 2, beat the No.1-drawn Kiama Bay by a head with Prompter, who started from stall 4, in third.

Winning trainer Tim Easterby said: "He was in the Ebor but got eliminated so today's race was the obvious one to go for. He's a tough horse who loves a galloping track. He got murdered early on at Carlisle last time and I never saw him again. Dave's not ridden him all year, but I said I would get him on him at the right time."

Rugged's smooth win There were some expensive and wellbred two-year-olds in the most valuable juvenile maiden of the season, the Sky Bet Mobile-sponsored Convivial, but they could not land a blow on Thomas Barr's Rugged Cross, who took the 7f prize by two and a half lengths under Dane O'Neill.

Not that the winner is not well related - he is a half-brother to Blue Monday - or cheap at 55,000gns.

Rugged Cross is trained by Henry Candy, who was represented by travelling head lad Brian Clotworthy.

He said: "Unfortunately the boss is busy at home, but he will be up tomorrow for Mr Barr's runner in the Melrose [Ardlui]. The ground helped Rugged Cross today. He has a Derby entry but we will wait and see."

It starts and ends in Yorkshire The day ended as it started, with a North Yorkshire-trained winner as David Barron emulated Tim Easterby when his Shesastar came from off the pace in the 7f fillies' handicap with a searing run that enabled her to score by a length and a half from Sioux Rising in the hands of Jamie Spencer, who is now two from two on this diminutive filly.

"She's very game and very genuine and that counts for plenty," said Barron, pleased to get his name on the Ebor festival scoresheet. "It's nice to get one on the board," he added.

Shesastar was sent off a well-backed 5-1 favourite and her supporters included the man whose name this race carried to mark his 50th birthday.

"The missus sponsored it for me," said a delighted Paul Malone, "and I backed the winner."

CHILLED OUT VIPS It's not unusual to see a VIP tent on a racecourse, but the plush marquees generally offer their guests champagne. Sandown's yesterday bucked the trend and specialised in ice cream. The tent, which had a red carpet entrance, was full of very important people indulging in some of the finest products made by Sandown sponsor Haagen-Dazs, who, quite fittingly, described the area as a "chill-out zone". The most popular flavour being enjoyed by the VIPs was strawberry cheesecake.

DEFINITE PROGRESS 'The first time I ran him he was beaten a furlong and a half. He had a culture shock when the stalls opened - and that was after four racecourse gallops' Derek Haydn Jones reflects on an unpromising start for his Sandown winner First Post THAT FRIDAY FEELING V Festival traffic caused chaos on the roads and meant it took six hours for in-form Tim Vaughan to get to Bangor from South Wales. He only just arrived in time to enjoy Spirit Is Needed giving him an eighth winner in three days. "I was listening to the commentary in the car park and as I dashed into the course I heard 'and Richard Johnson is going clear," the trainer smiled.

THE VAUGHAN SYSTEM 'We have a cash machine at Bangor - it's called Tim Vaughan' This quip was heard in the winner's enclosure after Vaughan - who doubled up with Postmaster - made it 17 victories at the track in the past five seasons, during which time placing pounds 1 on each runner would have earned backers a profit of pounds 15.63 A MOVEABLE FEAST The 'edible horse' unveiled on the first day of the Ebor festival was conspicuous by its absence yesterday. Apparently a racegoer had attempted to mount it after racing on Thursday and that was the end of that.

McCOY'S DREAM RIDE There cannot have been a ride at the whole Ebor festival to surpass Tony McCoy's effort on Golden Dream at Bangor, a real never-say-die effort to conjure victory out of a chaser five lengths down at the final fence.

MICK WANTS MORE While some think that four days might be stretching it for the Ebor festival Mick Easterby is not among them. "I think tomorrow will be a success," he said. "I think they should have five days here like they have at Goodwood."

CAPTION(S):

Impressive introduction: Rugged Cross got his career off to a good start by winning the Convivial Maiden under Dane O'Neill Caspar Netscher and Robert Winston stride clear from their rivals to land the Gimcrack
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 20, 2011
Words:1339
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