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Teggiano takes charge; MAY HILL STAKES.

TEGGIANO is Ladbrokes' new favourite for the Sagitta 1,000 Guineas after trouncing a strong field for the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster yesterday, writes Tony Smurthwaite.

The winner, another big-race success this week for Clive Brittain, earned a 16-1 quote for the Guineas next May, and the same odds from Coral for the Vodafone Oaks a month later.

Her victory over the mile was both emphatic and enjoyed, especially by Frankie Dettori who, unusually for a Group 3 race, performed a flying dismount.

The Italian explained that he promised the exhibition to Teggiano's owner-breeder, Abdullah Saeed Bul Hab, who had told the jockey of his pre-race nerves at having such an exciting prospect.

Dettori might also have been celebrating the realisation that he had found a Classic filly for next year, perhaps by then in the blue silks of Godolphin.

Sheikh Mohammed was not present to see the race but will no doubt hear plenty about Teggiano's devastating performance from her owner, a member of his family.

After Lord Derby's debut winner Circle Of Light had led the field at a fast pace well into the home stretch, where she was challenged by Rowa, Teggiano came wide, late and fast to win drawing away for a three-length verdict from Redcar winner Everlasting Love, who stayed on doggedly for Michael Fenton at 20-1.

"I liked her a lot the first time I rode her," said Dettori, "and told Clive that she had enough class to go on to the May Hill and then a Group 1 in France or England.

"She gave me good vibes for next year, though she is still on the weak side. She idled a bit so I gave her a couple of smacks so that she knows what's to come in better races."

Brittain, in the limelight once more after Mistle Song's Park Hill victory on Wednesday, was asked whether he expected to lose Teggiano to the Godolphin operation.

"I never worry about that sort of thing," he said. "Sheikh Mohammed has been very good to me over the years and what happens, will happen."

The canny trainer suggested that his Salisbury winner Crimplene may be about as good as Teggiano, who he said he had always rated highly.

"Crimplene is a live challenger for the Cheveley Park Stakes and Teggiano either for the Fillies' Mile or the Marcel Boussac."

As a daughter of top sprinter Mujtahid, Teggiano looks to have been more influenced by her dam, Tegwen, who won over 11 furlongs and produced a winner at 14 furlongs.

"She'll definitely be a mile-and-a-half filly," Dettori said.

The disappointment of the race was Princess Ellen, the 15-8 favourite, who finished ninth.

There was a sting in the tail for Fenton after the stewards found him guilty of irresponsible interference in an incident with Wardat Allayl. Fenton was banned for three days-September 18, 19 and 20-which rules him out of the Ayr Gold Cup.

SAGITTA 1,000 GUINEAS

Ladbrokes: 16 Teggiano, 20 Morning Pride, Saintly Speech, Shining Hour, 25 bar.

Hills: 14 Morning Pride, 16 High Walden, 20 Alhufoof, Saintly Speech, Teggiano (from 33), 25 bar.

Coral: 16 Saintly Speech, 20 Morning Pride, Teggiano, 25 Preseli, Shining Hour, 33 bar
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Smurthwaite, Tony
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 10, 1999
Words:535
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