Classic pair for 1997

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The Independent Online
While the 2,000 Guineas winner, Mark Of Esteem, is heading for the stallion shed, his closest pursuers at Newmarket will be back in action next year, it was confirmed yesterday.

Both Even Top, beaten just a short-head in the first colts' Classic, and Bijou D'Inde, who was only another head away in third, will race on as four-year-olds. Four of the first five home in the 2,000 Guineas stay in training as Alhaarth (fourth) and Beauchamp King (fifth) will also be back in action next year.

Alhaarth's jockey, Willie Carson, has also confirmed his intention to return to the track. There had been speculation that the 53-year-old would be kicked into retirement by the abdominal injuries suffered in last month's accident at Newbury. But the four-times Derby-winning rider said: "I hope to be back for the start of the season in March."

He added that doctors had warned him not even to think about riding competitively until the end of this year.