Johnston wins again as Fanning leads Hurricane charge

HURRICANE Higgins held off the late thrust of Irish raider Defence Of Duress to take the Goodwood Stakes for Mark Johnston.

The Middleham maestro struck with Landaman in the opening contest of Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday and joint top-weight Hurricane Higgins was a 14-1 shot to add to his tally in the hands of Joe Fanning.

David Pipe’s Beyond cut out much of the running and was still in a clear lead headed inside the final three furlongs before being tackled by both Hurricane Higgins and Never Can Tell.

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The two settled down to fight it out and just as Hurricane Higgins was beginning to win that argument, Defence Of Duress finished with a wet sail down the outside.

Tom Taaffe’s runner was closing all the way to the line, but Hurricane Higgins held on by a head.

Never Can Tell finished third ahead of the gallant Beyond.

Title-chasing jockey Ryan Moore suffered a fall in the race from Romeo Montague and was stood down for two days.

Fanning said: “He pulled up a little bit when I got to the front but he stayed well and he’s done it well.

“He was stepping right up in trip but he failed a stalls test last week so that’s why Mark brought him here for the flip (tape) start.

“He’s pretty good in the stalls but when he gets in there he lies down.”

Meanwhile Colour Vision, a one-time stablemate of Hurricane Higgins, will be seen to even better effect in the Artemis Goodwood Cup today if the rain stays away, according to Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford.

Since joining Saeed bin Suroor from Johnston at the end of last season, the four-year-old has won both of his starts – the Sagaro Stakes and the Ascot Gold Cup.

He is forced to carry a 4lb penalty for that success but Crisford believes that as long as the ground does not become soft, the Rainbow Quest gelding is capable of showing an even higher level of form.

“Colour Vision had a hard race in the Gold Cup, but he was very resolute and tough,” said Crisford. “He is much better on a quicker surface.

n Hereford racecourse could be handed a reprieve.

Arena and Northern announced on Friday that at the end of the 2012 season Hereford was to close permanently and Folkestone was to shut on a temporary basis.

The main bone of contention surrounding Hereford’s closure is the length of the lease.

Arena maintained throughout lengthy discussions that a 17-year lease was “unviable” and made future investment difficult.

However, Herefordshire council leader John Jarvis says a 125-year lease is on offer with the opportunity to build a hotel. It prompted Arena and Northern managing director Tony Kelly to say last night: “We look forward to discussing this further with the council.”