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RACING: Opera Glass set to produce on the grand stage.

Opera Glass can land a well-deserved first success in the St John Ambulance Maiden Stakes at Beverley yesterday.

Andrew Balding's filly has been knocking on the door this season but she has been finding one or two who are too good for her every time.

As a juvenile she took on Aidan O'Brien's highclass filly L'Ancresse and was not disgraced when just two lengths behind her at Newbury.

She met another highlyrated runner in Sir Michael Stoute's Mananiyya on her seasonal debut at Windsor and put up a good fight before going down by five lengths.

This half-sister to Grey Shot meets some much less competitive rivals here and she can get a well-deserved win on the board.

Tight Squeeze can take the Brantingham Stakes (Showcase Handicap) for trainer Peter Hiatt.

The six-year-old mare has been showing fair form on the all-weather this season but she has yet to hit top gear on turf.

After average runs at Sandown and Ripon in May, Tight Squeeze looked a much better prospect when finishing third to the smart Pongee last time.

She gave a fair amount of weight to the winner that day and had no more to give in the closing stages.

Tight Squeeze certainly looked as though she was coming back to her best, though, and she is worth a chance here.

Sir Don looks to hold every chance in the Dave Hallam Does Our Signage Handicap.

David Nicholls' runner showed signs of a return to form when runner-up at Thirsk last time.

The four-year-old just got collared by stablemate Shifty in the shadow of the post that day after taking up the running two furlongs from home.

The seven furlongs certainly seemed to suit after some mediocre efforts over varying trips.

Expect him to continue on the upward curve here. At Brighton, Sir Michael Stoute can take the honours with Rossellini in the Gresham Blake --Bond Street, Brighton --Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

Apprentice jockey Fran Ferris continued his series of brushes with the stewards when he was hit with yet another ban at Windsor last night.

His five-day suspension was his third ban in the space of five days and came for misuse of the whip on Peggy Lou, who finished fourth in the windsor-racecourse.co.uk Fillies' Handicap.

Ferris was in big trouble with the Southwell stewards last Thursday when he was handed a 21-day ban for dropping his hands on Claptrap, who was caught on the line and beaten a short head by Sambaman in the Juneteenth Handicap.

After being too easy on Claptrap, he was in hot water again on Saturday for being too hard on Danifah in the Betfair.com Maiden Auction Stakes at Wolverhampton.

The filly won, but her 22-year-old rider received a two-day holiday for hitting her with excessive force. The two days were added to the 21 he picked up at Southwell and an earlier three for careless riding at Musselburgh.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 24, 2003
Words:488
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