For a filly who is favourite for the 1996 Oaks and near the head of the market for the 1,000 Guineas, Bint Salsabil has failed to impress the man who should know exactly how good she is, Willie Carson.
The Scot has ridden the daughter of two champions (Nashwan and Salsabil) twice this season but passes up a third opportunity this afternoon when he switches allegiance to another animal owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Ruznama.
Many felt Carson was "tight-lipped", to use one of the trade's favourite phrases, when queried about this manoeuvre but that would be unfair on the jockey. When asked if he would like to explain why he had deserted one of the most loudly touted two-year-olds of the season Carson did at least have the good grace, after a considerable pause, to say "no".
The simple reason must be that he thinks Ruznama, at these weights, the better, an assessment that was probably suggested to him by the filly's trainer, Barry Hills. It was Hills who provided the close third, Witch Of Fife, when Bint Salsabil laboured to victory last time at Newmarket and he is well placed to gauge the winner's ability. Ruznama (2.35) is therefore the selection.
Hills runs Further Flight later in the card and believes his nine-year- old will go well if the clouds open over Town Moor. However, to the pleasure of those who have supported Presenting for Saturday's St Leger, Doncaster appears to be underneath an invisible dome and has escaped much of Yorkshire's recent rain.
The going has not yet therefore turned in favour of Bishop Of Cashel in the Kiveton Park Stakes and he can be ruled out, along with Shahid, who behaved with the equanimity of a child with the sweet bag removed at Goodwood last time.
Bin Ajwaad, the Bryan Robson of a horse who shows impressive form in between bits falling off his body, must have a chance, but the winner should be Mr Martini (next best 3.10) if he gets close to the form of his Diomed Stakes win at Epsom.
The Doncaster Cup appears a simple pick-up for Double Trigger (3.40), who has the exotic environs of Victoria and the Melbourne Cup on his agenda, while his stablemate Branston Abby will give a bold show in the following race, her third in nine days. She will do well though to cope with the impressive York scorer DIDINA (nap 4.10).Reuse content