The Maidens In Waiting section in Ahead On The Flat have enjoyed a productive first half of the season and that trend continued on Wednesday. First Officer (11/10) became the eighth individual winner (from 10 horses) when taking the Bibury Cup at Salisbury. The Galileo colt had been repeatedly denied a clear run on his handicap debut at Sandown earlier this month before running on fourth. Stepped up to a mile and a half at the Wiltshire track, Roger Varian's charge appreciated the longer distance hitting the front approaching the final furlong before fending off the challenge of Al Azhar to score by half a length. A half-brother to a mile and six Listed winner, First Officer is bred to stay further but is likely to be kept to a mile and a half for the time being. Interestingly, when interviewing Roger in February he reported that after Ryan Moore, who rode him twice as a two year old, told the trainer to keep him to a mile for his third run before stepping up in distance once handicapping. That has proved sound advice and he is capable of adding to his initial success.
Value Racing Club have also been in fine form with a couple of winners in as many days. Captain Square won by fifteen lengths on his hurdles debut at Newton Abbot on Tuesday having been left clear at the penutimate flight. Bought out of Andrew Balding's yard, the Sir Percy gelding was rated 69 on the Flat and, while not over big, the three year old made the perfect start to his new career with Tom Lacey. Twenty four hours later, Nibras Gold confirmed the promise he had shown on his hurdles bow at Ffos Las in May by going one better at Worcester on Wednesday. The gelded son of Golden Horn took over in the home straight before staying on strongly to register a three and three quarters of a length win.
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