• Horse Racing

Maureen too good for Princess Margaret rivals

ESPN staff
July 28, 2012

Maureen bounced back from a luckless defeat in the Cherry Hinton Stakes to land the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot.

Richard Hannon's filly finished fast and late to no avail to Newmarket last time, but there was no hard-luck story on this occasion as she scored with ease to reward odds-on backers.

Richard Hughes tracked market rival Hoyam for much of the race before pulling his mount out to challenge inside the final two furlongs.

Maureen showed a willing attitude to strike the front over a furlong from home and power clear for a two-length success from Sandreamer.

Sri Putra came with a rare late rattle to foil favourite Afsare in the Sky Bet York Stakes. Afsare looked set to score when sweeping down the outside under Kieren Fallon, but Luca Cumani's charge drifted to his left and Sri Putra kept a straighter course to foil the well backed 9/4 favourite.

Winning trainer Roger Varian said: "He's a grand servant and deserved to win a race like this. Until he won this year he'd gone two years without winning, although he'd run some great races, but it all came together today so we're very pleased.

"I can understand why he was a big price, but if you look through his form he has beaten most of these. If the race panned out for him you could see him winning a race like this on fast ground.

"He's run some great races against the likes of So You Think and he's placed in the Eclipse and the Prince Of Wales's Stakes.

"He had a race like this in his locker but it all had to work for him and it did today. If the race is run quick horses come back to him and that suits his style. I'm so pleased for the owner and the horse that he's Group Two winner now. The headgear might just have focused his mind.

"I'd like to plan an international campaign for him in the autumn. Where that will take us I'm not quite sure. We've got a lot of options around this trip."

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