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Alexandros awesome at Meyden

Godolphin inmate Alexandros showed a fantastic turn of foot to land the Dubal International-sponsored Al Rashidiya, the first ever turf race at Meydan.

The five-year-old was beaten just by a nose in last season's Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and was sent off the 7/4 favourite in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

Dettori had a double handful halfway up the straight and, once asked to go about his business, Alexandros engaged overdrive and passed the post with plenty in hand.

Winning trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "He handled the surface really good and I was very happy with the way he finished. That (the Dubai Duty Free, in which he finished third last year) is the plan, but we'll see how he comes out of the race."

Dettori added: "He's getting a bit older and nine (furlongs) fits him like a glove. I really fancied him as he's always run well in Dubai."

Sam Thomas is expecting the drop in trip to suit Tartak when he lines up in the Blue Square Handicap Chase at Doncaster tomorrow.

Tom George's seven-year-old ran encouragingly for a long way in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, but tired in the closing stages as Kauto Star forged clear to win the race for an unprecedented fourth consecutive time.

He drops back a mile in distance for Saturday's valuable handicap, but Thomas is hopeful the track and the likely strong pace will play to his strengths.

"He is ready to run. He ran well in the King George without quite getting home and we have freshened him up," said the jockey. "It's a nice galloping track and a strong pace will suit. Hopefully we have got him where we want him now and he can put in a good run."

Alan King's Mille Chief heads 77 entries for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on March 19.

The Barbury Castle trainer has twice tasted victory in the juvenile championship with Penzance (2005) and Katchit (2007) and has supplied the last two runners-up in Franchoek and Walkon.

Quito De La Roque stayed on best in the testing conditions to land the Surehaul Mercedes Novice Hurdle at Clonmel.

Colm Murphy's 7/4 favourite was sent straight to the head of affairs by Davy Russell and disputed the lead throughout with Quadrillon. The Book Thief emerged the main danger to the winner jumping the final flight, but Quito De La Roque found more for pressure and passed the post four lengths to the good.

Murphy said: "If he improves as much as I think he can, he could be a real nice horse. I'm delighted with him."

Kalahari King heads a final field of 15 runners for the Blue Square Handicap Chase at Doncaster tomorrow.

Ferdy Murphy's eight-year-old makes his seasonal reappearance in the competitive handicap having been narrowly beaten in last season's Arkle Trophy before going on to win a Grade One at Aintree.

Charlie McBride is hoping Rollwiththepunches can book his ticket for the Cheltenham Festival with a good performance at Newbury next week.

The Newmarket handler is eyeing a crack at the Supreme Novices' Hurdle with the five-year-old, following a convincing win on his debut over obstacles last month.


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