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RACING : Donna Blini shows Guineas credentials.

Byline: By William Hayler and Robert Pratt at Newmarket

Brian Meehan has his sights firmly set upon next year's Stan James-sponsored 1,000 Guineas after he claimed the Sky Bet Cheveley Park Stakes for the second year running at Newmarket.

Jockey Mick Kinane gave 12-1 winner Donna Blini a typically masterful ride to hold off the late challenges of Wake Up Maggie and favourite Flashy Wings by a neck and the same.

Donna Blini had been off the course since landing the Cherry Hinton Stakes back in July and she showed signs of freshness when keen in the early stages.

But once Kinane had managed to get a tow from early leader Dizzy Dreamer, he was able to settle his mount. The latter gave way on meeting the rising ground and Donna Blini was sent about her business and rallied well to see off the persistent challenge of the runner-up.

Ted Durcan had settled Flashy Wings towards the rear of the ten-runner field and made a deal of ground up in the closing stages.

The bookmakers clearly agreed that Mick Channon's filly had been unable to show her best form, as she remains ahead of Donna Blini in the ante-post betting for the 1000 Guineas, but winning trainer Meehan was not about to let that bother him.

"I don't worry about that sort of thing," he said. "I think she's a Guineas filly and that's what she will be trained for.

"I wouldn't think there would be a problem with the trip as long as they go a good enough gallop with her.

"She's a lovely filly. She proved it in the Cherry Hinton. We debated going to the Lowther Stakes and all sorts of things, the Moyglare and even the Doncaster sales race with all that money, but we felt it was best to wait and give her time.

"She's a tough, hardy filly and she galloped all the way to the line. Maybe the break she had made her idle a bit going to the line. We are very pleased with her.

"It's been a good season. We haven't had as many two-year-old winners but we've had fewer runners because they have been more backward, which means we've more to look forward to in the future."

A step up to Group One company could be on the cards for Aussie Rules after he regained the winning thread in a thrilling renewal of the Somerville Tattersall Stakes.

Aidan O'Brien is considering a tilt at the Darley Dewhurst Stakes back on the Rowley Mile course on October 15 as hold-up tactics paid dividends in the Group Three contest.

The Danehill colt weaved his way through the pack to lead well inside the final furlong but was strongly pressed by the rallying Killybegs. However, the 3-1 joint-favourite stuck his head out for Kieren Fallon and held on by a short head.

O'Brien and Fallon completed a double when Fire And Rain made a winning debut in the Macmillan Cancer Relief Coffee Morning Maiden Stakes.

The son of Derby winner Galileo wore down Mashaahed in the last of the eight furlongs to score by a length, with another five back to the third horse, Red Rocks.

Fire And Rain is 33-1 with Ladbrokes and 40-1 with Paddy Power and Cashmans to emulate his sire at Epsom next June.

The Richard Hannon-trained Boogie Street showed his rivals a clean pair of heels in the Rous Stakes, coming home a length and a quarter clear of runner-up, Corridor Creeper after making all the running under Richard Hughes, while Art Eyes gained a well-deserved Listed win in the Unicoin Homes Noel Murless Stakes.

Trainer John Gosden and jockey Jimmy Fortune maintained their fine run in the top juvenile races when Murfreesboro justified 4-1 favouritism in the pounds 250,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes


Kieren Fallon rallies the Aidan O'Brien-trained Aussie Rules (left) to hold off a driving finish from Michael Hills on Killybegs in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket yesterday
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 30, 2005
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