Follow Carson's Aqaarid instinct

RACING: A veteran rider with an enviable record can make Sunday history in the 1,000 Guineas

BY RICHARD EDMONDSON

Much of the build-up to tomorrow's 1,000 Guineas has concerned the thoughts of William Hunter Carson, OBE.

At 52 years of age, the judgement, as well as the skills, of the cackling Scot are held in as much awe as they ever have been. So, for some time now, punters and pressmen have been hanging on the central question of the fillies' Classic: would Carson ride Harayir or Aqaarid?

Willie has quite enjoyed this guessing game, and has frustrated questioners in much the same way, strangely, as the tall lad keeping boiled sweets out of the reach of his classmates in the playground.

Carson initially settled on Aqaarid, but was then allegedly swayed by support from racing's boffins for Harayir. Anyone who knows the Scot will be little surprised to discover he has made a manual gesture to the experts and decided to ride Aqaarid this afternoon, in contravention to just about every other morsel of advice he has received.

That said, Carson is one of the few jockeys who has reliable form for choosing the right horse from a closely matched duo. (Others tend to see animals as disparately as a pair of gloves).

The jockey's torment and the presence of Celtic Swing producing his much- vaunted talent on the same weekend have tended to deflect from what is a ground-breaking moment for the Turf.

The first Sunday race day with betting on and off course is endorsed by no less a figure than the Monarch, who dispenses her gelding Pending to Salisbury. The Wiltshire course will have all manner of flyers coming in. There is a display from the Red Devils, as well as efforts from eagles and vultures.

Carson may well feel like throwing himself at the talons of the last- named if Diffident wins this afternoon's 2,000 Guineas. Andr Fabre's colt just caught Harayir in the desperate stages of the Free Handicap when collecting weight and she would look rather tasty on that form. The same may not be be said for Richard Hills's evening meal if Carson questions his initial judgement.

This Classic is about more than just one man's foibles however. Criquette Head, who has a record to compare with anyone in recent years, sends over Macoumba to test a Continental nurturing against the animals prepared in the British blast.

Even Macoumba, however, will not have as many snaps to show around as Moonshell, who found Dubai stamps on her luggage after winning a Doncaster maiden last October. Journeys to the Emirates were first thought to be a hopeful desperation, but Balanchine last year, and Red Bishop and Dumaani this, have shown runners from the desert must be treated most seriously.

Moonshell is considered to be better prepared than Balanchine last year, and thoughts extend from tomorrow towards the Derby. Patterns may show it is foolish to ignore both her and her spoilt upbringing, but the final choice must lie with Willie Carson. The son of a banana packer seldom picks wrongly and so Aqaarid must be the choice.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
news
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot