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Sandown - Temple Stakes: Airwave soars to Ascot favouritism with dazzling win.

Byline: JON LEES

AIRWAVE, who went into the race as the only horse to have beaten Russian Rhythm, emerged from the Temple Stakes as a powerful challenger for sprinting honours as she romped to a spectacular win by three lengths, despite giving her rivals more than a headstart.

Conceding what Dane O'Neill estimated was a seven-length start to Repertory when she walked out of the stalls, she clawed back the ground in the space of a furlong.

As a result of the Group 2 victory, achieved under a 7lb Group 1 penalty, she was cut to 2-1 favourite (from 6) by Coral for the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal

Ascot, almost certainly her next target.

Trainer Henry Candy said: "I wasn't as nervous as I should have been. I have seen her do the most amazing things. Four lengths is an awful lot to give away against the old professionals, but I

wasn't that worried. Dane got there too soon, took a pull, went again and still got there too soon.

"She's just come good in the last week. She hasn't got a Kyllachy to work with, but she has some good old yardsticks and I was pretty happy she was okay. If she improves on that she will be all right."

Candy believes that over Ascot's six

furlongs, Airwave's tendency to break slowly will help her challenge, though the King's Stand, in which Kyllachy was an unlucky third last year, is available as an alternative.

"I'll have a word with Dane, but I would think she would go for the Golden Jubilee where she won't have to give weight away," Candy added. "If she is going to get left that would help as well. You really could ride a waiting race in the Jubilee. The King's Stand would be a softer option."

He added: "She was always quicker than Kyllachy. She shared the gallop with Kyllachy before the Nunthorpe, and Mr Rutter's comment afterwards was, `oh my God!' It was pretty sensational."

O'Neill has picked up the ride on the filly because Chris Rutter retired after Airwave's win in the Cheveley Park Stakes.

O'Neill said: "She just dwelt a little. The fact it was a sprint always makes it look worse than it is. That's just her, she's just a bit slowly away, but the main thing is not to rush her.

"I would say I was the best part of seven lengths down. I didn't want to panic or rush her, so from the three to two I asked her to pick up. All of a sudden I've got to the two, and I'm almost getting there too soon and running into the back of them.

"I had to take a check, paused on her almost a furlong and a half out, and from the furlong-marker when I've asked her to quicken she's done it instantly. I rode Mr Brooks work at Mr Hannon's when I was an apprentice, but she is very quick."


Coral: 2 Airwave, 8 Oasis Dream, 10 Continent, Malhub, 12 Belle du Jour, Twilight Blues, 14 Captain Rio, 16 All Thrills Too, Choisir, Country Reel, Crystal Castle, Elusive City, Feet So Fast, Firebreak, Needwood Blade, Romantic Liason, Three Points, Tomahawk, Zipping, 20 bar.


Airwave (Dane O'Neill) simply annihilates her rivals to win the Group 2 Tripleprint Temple Stakes at Sandown yesterday in the style of a top-class sprinter
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 27, 2003
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