Verse hits right note
There was a Royal winner at the Newmarket July Festival as Free Verse scooted clear in the Piper-Heidsieck E.B.F. Fillies' Handicap.
Brendan Powell kept the Queen's runner (8-1) close to the pace in the opening race of day two and punished his opponents in the final couple of furlongs as she surged to the front and quickened four and a half lengths away from the 4-1 favourite Riot Of Colour.
Trainer Richard Hannon's son and assistant, Richard jnr, said: "She's a versatile filly and liked the ground - she came away very well there."
Powell said: "I ride out for Mr Hannon every Sunday and I'm taking everything I can get on the Flat but I'm a jump jockey first and that's what I want to do for the rest of my career.
"Colin Tizzard was very good to me last winter and I will be basing myself there again."
Mark Johnston has been worrying about the health of his large string but Fulbright (10-1) bucked the trend in the Betfred "The Bonus King" Stakes.
The versatile individual has performed well at up to a mile but had enough speed for this £100,000 sprint as he powered up the stands rail under Silvestre de Sousa to record a three-quarter length victory over Place In My Heart.
The Middleham trainer said: "The horses haven't been running well - we've had a lot of coughing and a lot of skin and foot infections which are probably because of the bad weather.
"This horse has been an exception, we've kept him on the go and he always runs well.
"Racing comes thick and fast at this time of year so you've just got to keep him entered up."
John Gosden unleashed another useful prospect as Ghurair made a winning start to his career in the Weatherbys EBF Maiden Stakes.
Seemingly well fancied as the 3-1 favourite, the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt travelled kindly towards the near side rail and eased into contention under Paul Hanagan.
Godolphin newcomer Improvisation and Roger Charlton's debutant Dundonnell both shaped with more than a degree of promise, but Ghurair was much too good on the day, beating the former by a length and a half.
Hanagan said: "He felt pretty smart. Temperament-wise he's absolutely A1 and he's got a lovely attitude.
"It was a bit of a messy race and I was just trying to follow the right lead horse, but when a horse is travelling like that it makes your job a lot easier. I like him.
"He was green going down to the start and when he hit the front he pricked his ears, but that's expected as he's only a baby.
"I just had to give him a few flicks to teach him his job, but he's had a great introduction today and it will have done him the world of good.
"He'll definitely be better on better ground."
Gosden said: "He'd been working nicely and Paul had ridden him in work and loved him.
"Paul didn't rush him and brought him through with a lovely ride."
Mahmood Al Zarooni saddled a one-two in the EquineFx.com Maiden Stakes with 7-2 joint-favourite Marshgate Lane eventually getting the better of Ruwaiyan, while Jack's Revenge (7-1) closed out the afternoon in the Newmarket Historic Home Of Racing Handicap.