02:00PM, Friday 30 April 2021
Spring is Sprung. Photo Sue Orpwood.
Spring Is Sprung, owned by the Queen, made a winning return at Windsor on Monday, the track's first evening meeting of the year.
A fortnight earlier the two-year-old trained by Michael Bell had finished fourth in a race won by a 150-1 outsider, but made no mistake this time in the hands of Oisin Murphy. The 5/4 favourite beat the Fair And Square by one and a half lengths over an extended five furlongs, clearly showing he possesses a lot of promise.
For the second week running, jockey David Probert rode a double, starting in the opening race on Thegreyvtrain (10/1) trained by Ron Harris. The five-year-old was winning for only the second time in 21 starts on turf.
Probert's other winner came courtesy of the Windsor stewards. He finished a close-up second on Maiden Castle over 10 furlongs behind fellow 2/1 joint-favourite Classical Wave, but the placings were reversed due to interference by Daniel Muscutt's mount inside the final half-furlong.
Muscott was suspended for two days for careless riding.
There were talks about a trial for the Epsom Derby after Hughie Morrison's Stay Well (8/11fav) had romped to an impressive eight-length win after making all in the 10-furlong Maiden Stakes in the hand of Tom Marquand.
Another decisive winner was Billy Mill (11/2) with Sean Leavy riding for Richard Hannon. This was only the three-year-old's fourth race and looks sure to improve.
There was a surprise winner of the 7.20 race with 28/1 chance Sir Taweel leading home the 13-runner field over an extended mile in the hands of Jack Mitchell.
The heavily-backed 4/7 favourite Lockanthem (Murphy/Bell), an eight-length winner at Yarmouth last week, weakened towards the finish and could only finish third.
Murphy said his mount had "ran flat."
Jason Watson, who rode the winner of the last race on the card, Luigi Vampa, was suspended for two days by the stewards for using his whip above the permitted level inside the final two furlongs.
Windsor's seven-race card next Monday, a Bank Holiday, gets underway at 1.56. It will again be held behind closed doors but all races will be shown on Sky Racing.
The UK has voted to leave the European Union in yesterday's referendum - and while the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead fell into the remain camp, Slough voted to support a Brexit.