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Stroll down the straight enables Fire Up The Band to march to victory.

Byline: Seb Vance reports

A BORED stroll down the Goodwood straight turned into a triumphal march for the Fire Up The Band ensemble yesterday, whose second win of the meeting owed much to one of David Nicholls' other owners.

Mark Leatham, who had Further Outlook with the sprint king of Goodwood, was left with a couple of hours to spare after representing Richard Fahey at the Stewards' Cup draw, and fortunately for Team Nicholls, decided to fill his time wisely.

``I had time to kill,'' explained Leatham, ``so I decided to walk the course and had no doubt that the ground was faster on the far side.

``I told Dandy and he told Adrian [Nicholls] to go for that ground, and it all worked out like we hoped!''

Fire Up The Band, along with Castelletto and Night Prospector, who both belied their mammoth odds in finishing fourth and sixth, all made their way to the far side and the rest of the field were too late in moving across to join them.

Adrian Nicholls should again be praised for his enterprising front-running ride - following on from his exploits in the same colours of the Oak Apple Syndicate on Tuesday's Molecomb Stakes winner Strike Up The Band - although the jockey was the first to admit he wasn't so sure about the tactics.

Nicholls said: ``Dad said go across for the better ground, so it wouldn't have been my fault if he'd got beaten! I wasn't so sure though, as I was worried that I might lose too much ground crossing over there - but he was right.

``Having decided to go over there, I had hoped that I'd be able to get right over to the far rail, but I couldn't quite manage that as he wasn't doing a lot for me.

``But he was going pretty fast and although I knew that the runner-up was finishing strongly, I was sure that I'd hold on.''

The runner-up was The Tatling, who won this in 2003 and was third in last year's running, and now looks back to his best after an unremarkable first half of the term. He went down by a fast-diminishing neck.

T rainer Milton Bradley said: ``It took him a long time to get over his trip to Hong Kong in December, and we won't be going back there.

``Without his 5lb penalty, The Tatling would have run out a good winner and I feel sorry for the horse.''

Third home Moss Vale is likely to reoppose the first two in the Nunthorpe, while last year's Norfolk Stakes winner Blue Dakota, returning from an absence of almost a year, finished a distant last.

Fire Up The Band's stablemate Bahamian Pirate, who was 11th of the 12, was later found to be lame.

race result Audi Stakes 1 Fire Up The Band ................10-1 2 The Tatling............................9-1 3 Moss Vale............................3-1f Owners: P Crane, A Barker & S Short Trainer: David Nicholls Jockey: Adrian Nicholls Groom: Jimmy Gee Breeders: Miss A M Rawding & P M Crane Distances: nk, 1l
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 29, 2005
Words:508
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