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Vicious Dancer, written off as a selling plater in his early days, continued his climb through the ranks with a Listed race victory at Ayr today.

The gelding justified some heavy backing when seizing victory in the Harry Rosebery Stakes, feature race on the opening day of the Western Meeting.

The 6-1 chance, available at twice the price in the morning, forced his way to the front near the line under Dean McKeown to pip Red Millennium by a head.

It was the same distance back to the favourite Elsie Plunkett in third.

Vicious Dancer was sold by his trainer Richard Whitaker for 8,000 guineas to Clare Samuel whose husband Geoff owns last year`s Ebor winner Vicious Circle.

'I bred the horse myself and bought him back myself for 3,800 guineas when he went to the sales,' said Whitaker.

'But when Clare and her husband came to my yard to get some forms in connection with Vicious Circle I managed to sell them Vicious Dancer.

'I told them he`d be a fun horse who might be able to win a seller.

'He just hasn`t stopped improving and never knows when to give up.

'He`s done really well as he`s had a blood blister on his back and I`ve only been able to give him two gallops since he won at York 11 days ago.'

Vicious Dancer may step into Group company and tackle the Willmott Dixon Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot next month. Another option is to look for a suitable race in France.

Linda Perratt, whose stables are just a few hundred yards from the course, landed a notable one-two when 40-1 chance Ptarmigan defeated Get Stuck In (25-1) by three lengths in the Gael Suzuki Helps Ayrshire Hospice Handicap.

One lucky backer had placed a bet of #100 each-way on the winner at 50-1.

Anyone out there with the powers of Mystic Meg who successfully nominated the first two in the correct order would have been rewarded with an Exacta dividend of #1,314.30.

Perratt - who had two others runners in the race - insisted that she had fancied both the first and second.

And she revealed that she had tipped Ptarmigan Ridge to her bank manager even though the colt had been off the course for 355 days.

'They`d both been working well but I had to run Get Stuck In here as I was hoping he might get a penalty which would make it certain that he gets in the Silver Cup,' said Perratt.

'Five furlongs is certainly Ptarmigan Ridge`s best trip and he loves soft ground.

'He was in his box for six months last year because of cracked heels but he won on his debut the year before so I knew he would go well fresh.'

Mark Tompkins broke an 83-day spell without a winner when Armagnac popped up at 11-1 in the Tattersalls Maiden Auction Stakes.

'It`s been a nightmare really. I`ve been experiencing the same problems as Barry Hills and Henry Cecil,' he said.

'The horses have had runny noses and when they`ve been able to run they`ve just emptied in the closing stages.'

Tompkins looked all set to complete a double as Royal Minstrel nosed ahead with three to go in the Royal Bank of Scotland Helps Ayrshire Hospice Handicap.

But the 25-1 chance lacked resolution, he swished his tail repeatedly under pressure, and went down by three-parts of length to Busy Lizzie.

The winner, ridden by Kevin Darley, was justifying the decision to send her on an 856-mile round-trip from Arundel, West Sussex. Trainer John Dunlop clearly has plenty of fuel at his disposal.

McKeown teed up a double at odds of more than 44-1 when guiding home Rathkenny in the opening seller.

But the jockey`s day was marred slightly when the stewards banned him for one day (September 24th) for using his whip with excessive frequency on Vicious Dancer.

Neil Kennedy was given a two-day ban (September 24th-25th) for careless riding on Garrison in the second race.