04/19/2008 12:00AM

Muthabara wins Fred Darling


Muthabara did her 1000 Guineas prospects no harm at all with a 1 1/4-length victory in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury on Saturday. The 9-4 favorite, she was making her 2008 debut, and she came from off the pace to cut down Dream Day in the 13-runner affair over seven furlongs.

At the eighth pole, it looked as if Muthabara might have too much to do to overhaul the four horses in front of her, but a good turn of pace in the final furlong had her taking the lead. She also appeared full of run at the line, and she coped with the soft going well. Both those things will serve her well over a furlong longer at Newmarket for the Guineas in two weeks.

In the Greenham Stakes, for colts over the same course and distance, Confront's reputation was dented, as he could only finish fifth to Paco Boy. Trained by Michael Stoute, Confront was the most talked-abut horse before the race, but he proved unable to overhaul the outsider of the field, Bob's Surprise, when asked for his effort two furlongs out.

Confront may be suited by faster ground, but he does need a considerably improved effort if he goes for the 2000 Guineas. Paco Boy improved his record to 4 wins from 5 starts.