/ Racing

Scatter Dice finishes with a flourish to claim Cesarewitch

Updated: Sunday, 13 Oct 2013 19:21 | Comments

Trainer Mark Johnston was winning the Cesarewitch for the third time
Trainer Mark Johnston was winning the Cesarewitch for the third time

Scatter Dice was a shock 66-1 winner of the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket despite being left a long way at the start.

The Mark Johnston-trained filly was slowly out of the stalls, but made up the ground to take the ultra-competitive marathon handicap.

While Scatter Dice was well behind, up front Merchant Of Dubai, Albert Bridge and Sohar cut out the running until the race gathered momentum from four furlongs out.

Silvestre de Sousa brought Scatter Dice, who was wearing a visor for the first time, on the wide outside to make her challenge.

Storming past Lieutenant Miller inside the final furlong, she went on to win by three lengths from Waterclock (20-1).

Lieutenant Miller (10-1) was half a length away in third and Chiberta King (20-1) fourth.

Johnston, winning the race for a third time, said: "She's had a long, hard season but has run well on so many occasions.

"She's going to retire at the end of the year, that was the plan anyway, so I suppose this was her last chance.

"She's run a couple of strange races recently, dropping herself out, so I was a bit concerned in the first half of the race that she was all right but then I saw her hanging in with the pack. I saw her coming from a quite a long way out."

A surprised de Sousa said: "It's unbelievable. She's such a trier. She a visor on for the first time but she was just a bit sleepy (in the stalls). She's done really well."

"She's going to retire at the end of the year, that was the plan anyway, so I suppose this was her last chance" - Mark Johnston on Scatter Dice 

Trainer Marco Botti and jockey Martin Harley enjoyed their biggest success since officially teaming up when Al Thakhira (5-1) ran out a convincing winner of the Group Two Vision.ae Rockfel Stakes.

Once Harley pressed the button, Al Thakhira went clear to score by three and a quarter lengths from Blockade with Valonia third and the odds-on favourite Lightning Thunder only fourth.

"She won her maiden at Yarmouth and we thought quite a lot of her, but with stepping up to seven furlongs, the question was whether she would get the trip," said Botti.

"The owner is keen to go to the Breeders' Cup. We will see how she comes out of the race and we won't rule it out, but it could be premature."

Irish raider Fiesolana (3-1 favourite) advertised her talents before she goes to the December Sales when taking Group Two honours in the Dubai Challenge Stakes.

Billy Lee produced the Willie McCreery-trained filly to challenge the German runner Amarillo in the final furlong and pull away to win by two lengths.

McCreery said: "That was absolutely fantastic. I'm delighted. Mares like that are hard to replace, she's beaten the lads there.

"She's in the December Sales and I don't think there's anything else for her after this."

Kingston Hill (15-2) came from last place to land the Group Three Autumn Stakes in good style.

Andrea Atzeni produced Roger Varian's charge to forge clear and beat Oklahoma City by two lengths.

"He was going from a maiden to a Group race. He had to step up but I thought he did it really well. It's nice to go into winter with a horse of potential," said Varian.

"He might well be up to competing in good races over a mile next year. I wouldn't be surprised if he got a bit further."

Highland Knight (25-1) put up a game display when making all in the Group Three Darley Stakes.

Andrew Balding's six-year-old kept finding more for David Probert and held Tales Of Grimm by a short head.

The trainer said: "He's as hard as nails and after he had a summer break, it took him a couple of races to get back to his best.

"I knew it would take a good one to past him and he will probably go to Dubai now."

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