10/18/2002 11:00PM

At Newmarket, 1 for the little guy


Tout Seul showed that it is still possible for the less well-known owners, trainers, and jockeys to win Europe's top races, as he proved too strong for one of Aidan O'Brien's Breeders' Cup Juvenile pre-entries, Tomahawk, during a Saturday at Newmarket that was full of surprises.

Tout Seul, a 25-1 chance who cost less than $10,000 as a foal - compared to the $2.5 million that Tomahawk cost as a yearling - stayed on strongly up the inside rail to beat Tomahawk by 1 1/4 lengths in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes, with the favorite, Trade Fair, 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Tout Seul, who is trained by 62-year-old Fulke Johnson Houghton and ridden by Steve Carson, covered the straight seven furlongs on good turf in 1:23.99. For Carson, 23, it was his first ride in a Group 1 race.

Houghton has been training for over 40 years and had numerous top-class horses in the 1970's and 1980's, but had not won a race at the highest level since 1979.

Tout Seul, an Ali-Royal colt, has now earned more than $450,000 and will be aimed at next year's 2000 Guineas.

O'Brien saddled two others in the Darley Dewhurst who were pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup, Ontario and Marino Marini, who finished sixth and seventh. After the race, O'Brien was non-committal about the chances of any of the trio making the trip to Chicago.

"I don't know at this stage," he said. "We will see how they are and then decide."

Storming Home took the other Group 1 race on the card, the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, for the father and son trainer-rider combination of Barry and Michael Hills.

Fifth in last year's English Derby, Storming Home went eight races without a win before landing a minor event at this course two weeks before his win Saturday. That earlier victory coincided with the application of sheepskin cheekpieces, a recently devised piece of equipment said to have a similar effect as blinkers.

The cheekpieces continue to work wonders, as he took the lead from Moon Ballad with three-sixteenths to go and ran on strongly to beat that rival by a half-length, with Noverre another three-quarters of a length back in third. An 8-1 chance, Storming Home covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.42.

Saturday began in fairytale fashion with the tremendously popular 9-year-old Persian Punch, who had almost been retired after some disappointing efforts earlier in the year, bouncing back to form with a wire-to-wire victory in the Group 3 Jockey Club Cup at two miles.