04/23/2011 2:46PM

Sandown: Improving Dick Turpin pulls away


Dick Turpin, looking like a major player in the European mile division, easily won the Group 2 Bet365 Mile on Saturday at Sandown in England.

Stuck down along the inside about a quarter of a mile from the finish, Dick Turpin found room just outside pacesetting Highland Knight. The capable Cityscape loomed on the outside and briefly appeared to be going just as well as Dick Turpin, but the strong race favorite powerfully dashed away under minimal urging from jockey Richard Hughes to win by 2 1/4 lengths.

“He’s definitely better now, and there’s more to come,” Hughes said after the victory.
Cityscape finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Dream Eater, who was followed by the somewhat disappointing Music Show and Highland Knight. The winner was timed in 1:42.91 over good ground.

Dick Turpin gave trainer Richard Hannon four straight wins in the Best365 Mile. Paco Boy won the race in 2009 and 2010. Hannon also trains leading English miler Canford Cliffs. Canford Cliffs was a better horse than Dick Turpin last season, but the gap between the two may have narrowed this year.

* Also at Sandown on Saturday, Kings Gambit made all the running and gamely held off Black Spirit to win the Group 3 Gordon Richards by a nose. Tom Tate trains the winner, who was ridden to victory in the 1 1/4-mile race by Jamie Spencer.