Royal approval for Michael Bell
A review of Friday's action from Newbury where Sign Manual was a 4/1 winner for Her Majesty The Queen.
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Michael Bell was able to congratulate himself on a "well-executed plan" after Sign Manual provided The Queen with a winner on her visit to Newbury.
Her Majesty was carrying out private duties at the Berkshire track rather than being on official business, but word had been passed to the Newmarket trainer that runners would be appreciated.
Success looked unlikely with even a furlong remaining of the two-mile Dreweatts 1759 Handicap and it took a switch to the outside of the field and all of Hayley Turner's powers of persuasion to get the 4/1 chance past 7/2 favourite Lieutenant Miller right on the line.
"It was very much the plan as soon as the programme book came out, as we knew Her Majesty would be coming to the meeting," said Bell.
"It's very much a private visit for her, but (racing manager) John Warren gives us the heads-up.
"His form, particularly his last run at Newbury, had worked out well and we had him tuned-up, so it's great.
"We're very happy as The Queen very rarely goes racing with all her other commitments."
There was not to be a Derby clue provided by Contributer but trainer Ed Dunlop can still look at the trials after his victory in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Conditions Stakes.
The mile-and-a-quarter event has been won by some top fillies in recent years like High Heeled, Myplacelater and most notably the Oaks star Light Shift.
Contributer (7/4) was being asked to take a large step up from his victory at Wolverhampton last November and when Ryan Moore asked him a question from the back of the quintet, he moved smoothly through the field and established a length and a quarter gap ahead of Cruck Realta by the line.
"It's not very nice ground out there, but he has handled it very well," said Dunlop.
"He's not in any Derby, as he was a breeze-up horse, but he is in the Dante.
"If he comes out of this all right he could go for the Sandown Classic Trial next week."
Moore earlier helped Sir Michael Stoute claim his first winner on the grass this season in the Coln Valley Stud Bridget Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
Pavlosk went off at 13/2 in a three-year-old race taken by the classy Sentaril last year.
All the money was for 9/4 favourite At A Clip, and those two were the quickest away from the gates but Pavlosk final challenger was Spicy Dal, who finished a length adrift.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "She's a nice filly.
"They didn't go a great pace but she has done it with hands and heels and hopefully there's more progress to be had."
Paul Hanagan was given a two-day ban (May 3 and May 6) for careless riding on Rufoof.
The Whitley Stud Maiden Fillies' Stakes revealed another Oaks winner in Dancing Rain in 2011 and perennially attracts a host of beautifully-bred newcomers.
It was dominated by Hughie Morrison, with Richard Hughes bringing Banoffee (28-1) home first and stablemate Fanzine staying on for third.
"Banoffee had a problem last year so we didn't run her and she's obviously quite decent, as is the third, who I thought ran terrifically as she's backward," said in-form Morrison.
"Hughesie said I shouldn't be afraid of going for something like the Cheshire Oaks."
Hughes used his tactical nous from the front aboard Baltic Knight (9/2) in the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Handicap.
"They have always said he was good enough to go for one of a trials, but off a mark of 95 I thought he could win a handicap, and we planned this race in November," said James Stafford of owners Thurloe Thoroughbreds.
"He's such a relaxed horse he could run in the Esher Cup at Sandown next week, and this could be a good trial for the Britannia at Royal Ascot."
David Elsworth's stable is thriving with the onset of spring and Justice Day was able to come out just on top of Meritocracy in what looked a reasonable bunch of two-year-olds in the Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd EBF Maiden Stakes.
Paul Holley, representing Elsworth, said: "We got him from the breeze-ups and he has been so easy to deal with. We hadn't done a lot with him either.
"The boss will be pleased, as he owns him as well."
Heeraat (5/2 favourite) continued to look at a sprinter with a clear future when making all the running in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap.