Bluff should get them off the bit


A huge, grey horse will be in evidence at Haydock this afternoon and the only thing stronger than his massively muscular form will be the bridle and bit that forms the mechanism of his steering equipment.

Coastal Bluff would surely have won the Nunthorpe Stakes outright at York last month, had it not been for the malfunction in his bit which meant that Kevin Darley was forced to hang on to his mount's mane and effect an impression of a brave bearing down on the circled sanctuary of a wagon train.

The five-year-old's accoutrements will be checked so thoroughly today that they will surely not let him down again. The pertinent question will be whether he is good enough to hold off a refreshed set of new rivals in the Group One Haydock Park Sprint Cup. He beat Averti on the Knavesmire without a steering wheel and he should do so again, but now there are other foes.

Royal Applause was meant to be the champion sprinter earlier in the season until he was embarrassed in the July Cup, and since then there has been the trumpeting of Danetime, the victor in the Stewards' Cup. The latter travels to Newton-le- Willows with an impressive reputation, but as a handicap winner he can hardly be led to the same trough as Green Desert, Ajdal, Dayjur and Sheikh Albadou, all of whom have won this race inside the last 12 years.

In truth, nothing in today's field seems worthy of elevation to that standard, though the suspicion remains that COASTAL BLUFF (nap 2.50) is still spreading strength throughout his juggernaut frame. As he also achieves his venomous best like male wasps at this time of the year he must be the selection.

Epsom, too, has been brought forward to avoid the mourning of Saturday and gives us the September Stakes as its main dish. One of the contestants here is Dushyantor (3.40), a nearly horse of last season considered worthy of another campaign. This decision looked like being as deeply rash as an attack of shingles until the colt resurrected his reputation in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury last month. Another hard-fought success seems likely.

The opening contest bears the words "hot water" in the sponsors' elongated title, which is exactly where punters are likely to end if they speculate extravagantly. When the change does come out of the pocket it should be proffered in support of the the course and distance winner, Dance So Suite (2.05). Another who has proved himself over this devilish terrain is Polar Prince (2.35), who captured the Diomed Stakes over today's distance at the Derby meeting. That was in the stratosphere of Group Three company and the four-year-old has been highly tried since without any tangible success. Back in the requisite company, he should be a winner.

And finally, funds should be preserved for Luca Cumani's Freequent (next best 3.05), who is sure to have come on for his pipe-opener in a white- hot handicap at York last month. The time for practice is over.


NAP: Coastal Bluff

(Haydock 2.50)

NB: Freequent

(Epsom 3.05)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected