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Racing: Drowne gets share of Glory.

Byline: ALASTAIR DOWN

JOCKEY Steve Drowne got a slice of compensation at Lingfield when Autumn Glory won the all-weather track's first Group race at 9-1.

Drowne is the usual rider of July Cup winner Pastoral Pursuits but was needed for Avonbridge in Thursday's big sprint only to see his old friend go sailing by in the last half furlong.

There was no such disappointment at Lingfield as Autumn Glory was able to hold the late burst of Court Masterpiece and pick up the pounds 29,000 prize.

Drowne said: "I thought I was going to win the July Cup when Avonbridge went clear, so I wasn't best pleased when Pastoral Pursuits did us, even though I was delighted for the horse.

"Autumn Glory is a class horse. We travelled well all the way and, although I could hear Court Masterpiece coming, I was never really worried."

The success confirmed the return to form of the Geoff Wragg stable and the trainer said: "I guess I will be in the record books for winning the first Group race here and this horse deserves it, he's been unlucky in some top races."

Drowne had a disappointing ride on well-fencied Odiham in the two-miler won by Richard Hughes on High Action, who is being aimed at the Ebor next month.

Hughes looked in line for a follow-up when Swift Oscar led inside the final furlong of the mile handicap but the combination was mugged in the last few yards by Jimmy Fortune on 8-1 chance Wavertree Warrior.

Winning trainer Nick Littmoden had opened up with a success from hardy sprinter Smokin Beau (8-1) and his great day carried on with Orpsie Boy (16-1) at Chester.

"Smokin Beau always seems to run into form at this time of year and we'll be looking at races like the Stewards' Cup and the Ayr Gold Cup," said Littmoden.

Kerrin McEvoy has not been able to capitalise on Frankie Dettori's broken collarbone in the Godolphin silks with a series of disappointments at Newmarket, but at least Three Graces was good enough to lift Chester's opener.

Three Graces was just the second Godolphin-trained winner in the past two weeks and their only other runner, Fibou, was out of the money at Nottingham.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 10, 2005
Words:374
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