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Petrushka is star material; Leicester Yesterday.

Leicester maidens have been used as a springboard to the career of some star performers over the years, and the Highclere Thoroughbred syndicate are hoping for big things from Petrushka after her win in division one of the maiden for juveniles, writes Graham Cunningham.

Kieren Fallon, now just six short of his third consecutive double century, produced Petrushka with a telling late burst to beat the well-regarded Shamah a shade cosily and told winning connections they have "a serious filly" to look forward to.

"Sir Michael [Stoute] has always said she'll be next year's filly," said Tim Jones of Highclere, "but she's always been well regarded and is bred to get a mile and more."

Shamah's trainer, Barry Hills, made amends for her defeat by winning division two with The Woodstock Lady and sending out Sea Mark to overcome a 360-day absence to land the apprentice maiden.

The Woodstock Lady was well handled by Michael Hills to pip Scarletta by a neck, while rising apprentice star Tony Beech made the most of his first ride for Hills senior with another polished performance on Sea Mark.

Kevin Mooney, Hills' assistant, said: "Shamah probably came up against a good one, The Woodstock Lady can only improve, and Sea Mark will probably stay in training as he's taken time to recover from splitting a pastern this year."

Sean Woods moved within four winners of a target score of 40 when High Tatra got the better of a good tussle with Limelighting in the showcase handicap.

The first two bumped inside the last - an incident which earned winning rider Neil Callan a one-day ban (October 20) for careless riding - but there was never any danger of the placings being reversed.

Rex Norton, who part owns the winner, revealed that even after six wins High Tatra has only just repaid the 23,000gns he cost as a yearling.

A further dividend will follow when he goes to the sales later this month, though Hunt and his partner John Jackson already have plans to reinvest in a yearling to replace him.

Clive Washbourn conducted a sound piece of business when buying Beggars Belief last month, and saw John Dunlop's filly score for the second time in his colours in the fillies' handicap.

Washbourn, no shrinking violet when it comes to celebrating victory, described himself as "elated" and is hoping Beggars Belief can win again before she visits the former Dunlop-trained Bahhare at stud in Ireland next year.

The flow of winners from Peter Harris's yard shows no sign of abating, and Bow Strada extended his unbeaten record to two in the 10-furlong minor event for juveniles.

Several firm cracks were needed from Richard Quinn, but they had the desired effect as the Rainbow Quest colt wore down Atwaar close home.

Anthony Kelleway saddled his fifth winner of the year when Face The Class and Jason Tate combined to land the seller, but was content to let the Up And At 'Em filly go to a bid of 2,500gns from Chester Barnes.

The winner is bound for Martin Pipe's yard, while Kelleway and winning owner Mike Perkins are now looking ahead to saddling Love You Too for the pounds 100,000 Tattersalls Autumn Auction Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

The mile minor event was not much of a race, but Michael Bell welcomed the result after his Oregon Dream bounced back to form under Michael Fenton.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Cunningham, Graham
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 12, 1999
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