Maputo leads home Johnston’s trio in Listed race

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MAPUTO, sent off the 3-10 favourite, led home a memorable 1-2-3 for Mark Johnston in the EBF Stallions Glasgow Stakes (Listed) in front of an appreciative crowd at Hamilton Park.

Joe Fanning brought his progressive partner home a length and a quarter ahead of long-time leader Alta Lilea, with the pair’s stable companion two and a quarter lengths back in third.

The Kingsley House trainer was saddling his fifth winner of the race and all have come since the £40,000 contest was first staged at the Lanarkshire track in 2006.

Johnston said: “I was dreading having three runners and not winning with any of them! It’s the first time I’ve had the first three in a Listed race.

“I initially only had Maputo in, but when there were only four declared I stuck the other two in. With only five runners I feel sorry for the course for putting up such good prize money.

“They have done everything they can to attract more runners including moving the date of the race. I’ve been accused of farming it, but other trainers could enter, it’s as simple as that.

“Maputo might have won impressively, but it’s not his trip, although he certainly wouldn’t want to take on Alta Lilea over further.”

Rodrigo De Torres scrambled home to spring a 22/1 upset in a blanket finish to the £33,000 John Smith’s Scottish Stewards’ Cup. Ridden by Tony Hamilton, the David Nicholls-trained winner pipped Fast Shot by a short-head with Rasaman the same distance away in third.

Hamilton said: “I’d never ridden him before and I thought we’d maybe just won. As time went on though, I would have settled for a dead-heat!”

Idyllic Star and Jason Hart supplied Keith Dalgleish with his 26th winner 
of the year, exactly half of last term’s haul, which was the best by a Scottish-based Flat trainer since George Boyd saddled 59 in 1957. And the Carluke trainer completed a short-priced double with Salvatore Fury in the 6f handicap. The winner could drop back to 5f under a penalty at Musselburgh on Tuesday.