sport

Bazzana stakes Ascot claim

Martyn Meade's season is starting to gather momentum after his recent restoration of a historic stable in Newmarket.

And the trainer could yet be represented in a two-year-old race at Royal Ascot after the ridiculously easy Windsor triumph of Bazzana.

Sefton Lodge, one of the oldest yards in the town, was purchased by the businessman and trainer last year and Sir Henry Cecil's former assistant Mike Marshall has joined the operation.

Bazzana was Meade's third winner of the campaign and by some margin his most impressive, with David Probert merely a passenger as she cantered 10 lengths clear in division one of the Ladbrokes Maiden Auction Stakes.

The 4-5 favourite had been third on her recent debut at Newmarket and the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting over the same six furlongs would be a viable option.

Meade's son and pupil assistant Freddie said: "It's hard to keep yourself grounded after a performance like that, but you always dream of buying a two-year-old that can go to Royal Ascot.

"After Newmarket she has been in really good form and she's definitely improved for that.

"It's all going well. A lot of work has been done on the stable and we've managed to get some support from new owners."

It was just like old times on a wet and miserable afternoon with Richard Hannon snr present to welcome back the Richard Hughes-ridden winner of division two.

For so many years before he passed the baton over to son Richard, the Hannon and Hughes combination manufactured a production line of successes on the Thameside track.

Among Angels, fourth in a traditionally strong Newbury maiden, was the 1-2 favourite and negotiated a bit of trouble before scoring by a cosy two and a quarter lengths.

"We've had a lot of Acclamations over the years and not many of them go on ground like this - it's very soft out there," said Hannon.

"He's a bit weak and I'd say we'll sit on him for a bit."

Hughes later represented the Toast Of New York connections of owner Michael Buckley and trainer Jamie Osborne as 11-10 favourite High On Life stamped his anticipated superiority over rivals in the Ladbrokes Maiden Stakes.

"The ground is very soft - and I think rather than winning because of it, he won in spite of it," said Osborne.

Space Walker (7-1) could be a three-year-old with a reasonable future after getting a good front-running Adam Kirby ride in the Ladbrokes Handicap.

Trainer Harry Dunlop said "He deserved that as he was beaten on the line at Warwick last time.

"He's by Astronomer Royal, a sire we have done well with, and he's eligible for premiums in France so running there's an attractive option. He'll be a nice little horse."

Piazon (3-1), who struggled in better company at York recently, reverted to his previous consistency by taking the Download The New Ladbrokes App Handicap under Louis Steward.

"He was more in his comfort zone here than in a better grade and he's still going the right way," said Steward

Starwatch (7-1), on a barren run stretching for almost two years, contributed to the haul of in-form John Bridger in the Bet Now With The Ladbrokes App Handicap.

"We couldn't get a winner for the first three months of the year but we've had eight or nine now," said the Liphook trainer.

"I don't know why as we're not doing anything differently."

Eugene Stanford will be paying a close interest in the Derby as he broke in Ouija Board, the dam of favourite Australia, in another life but he maintained an impressive strike-rate when Lady Of Yue (8-1) claimed the Ladbrokes Fillies' Handicap.

"I'm five from 11 runners this season, that'll do," said the Newmarket trainer. "It's my best season so far as I've got some nicer horses."

The This Is The Ladbrokes Life Handicap gave Hughes a treble as Links Drive Lady (9-2) pipped Englishman.