Timely strike for Beckett
A review of the action from Lingfield, where Ralph Beckett showed that life goes on, even without a stable jockey.
There is a good job available to someone as Ralph Beckett's stable jockey but the Classic-winning trainer was not revealing too much after Oisin Murphy's victory aboard Mick Duggan at Lingfield.
With long-serving Jim Crowley recently opting to go freelance, Beckett is currently taking the best available for his horses, and the Jacksons Estate Agents Handicap was only the third time Murphy had ridden for him.
There is doubtless a long list of clients seeking star apprentice Murphy's services, and he helped 2/1 favourite Mick Duggan follow up a course and distance success three weeks earlier with a no-nonsense ride.
"I wouldn't read too much into that booking," said Beckett.
"It's a difficult one. In an ideal world we'll have something in place before long, but how long is long?"
Beckett has revitalised Mick Duggan since receiving the chestnut from Simon Hodgson, and the trainer said: "I think there might just be a bit more left. He's a huge horse.
"If he gets some juice I'd love to run him on grass, a mile and six at Salisbury or something like that."
David Lanigan has barely had a runner during the middle of summer but his statistics remain impressive and Hoist The Colours gave the Lambourn trainer his third winner in just over a week.
July's tally came to three from nine and August would have quickly been taken to a perfect three from three had Allegation not been beaten a head at Kempton on Monday.
Hoist The Colours (8-1), a strapping Sea The Stars colt, showed promise on his three-year-old bow at Windsor but was beaten a distance in a subsequent outing at Newmarket.
Ted Durcan's mount was that touch more willing than market leaders Saarrem and Artful Rogue and beat them handsomely by four lengths in the Patrick McVeigh Maiden Stakes.
"He's a massive horse, we've always liked him, but he's just taken time," said Durcan.
"I don't know what happened last time, maybe the ground was too quick. He's next year's horse."
Those Lanigan stats looked even more impressive when Durcan and 5-4 favourite Ragged Robbin, a half-brother to the trainer's Derby runner-up Main Sequence, just lasted home in the Heart FM 97.5 FM Handicap.
Portamento was probably the smartest performer on display on a family raceday where children outnumbered punters, showing plenty of dash to get back on the winning trail in the Inox Novice Stakes.
Charlie Appleby's grey had landed a Goodwood maiden before being outclassed in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, and after a reasonable second in a similar event to this at Newmarket, was dropping down to five furlongs.
The 8/13 favourite was always in command over his three rivals, scoring by a length and a half.
"He's quick, isn't he?" said jockey William Buick.
"He struggled around the bends but that's fair enough as he'd never been around one before, so credit to him."
It has been musical stables for Chapellerie, who opened her account for Brendan Powell in the Tersus Handicap.
The 7/4 favourite had been a close second at the course 11 days earlier and went a place better over a furlong shorter, with the trainer's daughter Jenny delivering her late and quickening three and a quarter lengths clear.
"The saddle slipped last time, and the key's to hold onto her until the last minute," said th e jockey.
Lisa Williamson's Bertie Blu Boy (9/2) clinched his fourth course and distance victory of the year in the Indus Catering Handicap.
Jimmy's Girl (3-1 joint-favourite), who is small but speedy, was a fitting winner of the Greyhound Fillies' Selling Stakes as she trapped well and never gave her rivals a look-in.
Cam Hardie's mount now leaves Richard Hannon and joins Chris Dwyer, who bought her for 5,400 guineas at auction.