Normal Business resumes

On the sort of filthy afternoon that is sometimes mystifyingly referred to as good jumping weather, See More Business provided a spark of light in the gloom on the first serious Saturday of the winter game. The 10-year-old, winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1999 and a dual King George VI Chase winner, is the highest-rated chaser in Britain and his consummately easy winning seasonal debut in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby yesterday was a delectable
bonne bouche to the new campaign.

On the sort of filthy afternoon that is sometimes mystifyingly referred to as good jumping weather, See More Business provided a spark of light in the gloom on the first serious Saturday of the winter game. The 10-year-old, winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1999 and a dual King George VI Chase winner, is the highest-rated chaser in Britain and his consummately easy winning seasonal debut in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby yesterday was a delectable bonne bouche to the new campaign.

With only three rivals, and those long-distance plodders, the result of the contest was in the formbook from the moment that Mick Fitzgerald let See More Business pull his way six lengths clear of Young Kenny going past the winning post on the first circuit. The only hiccup in an otherwise immaculate round of clean, active jumping through driving wind and rain came three out, when See More Business veered alarmingly left and took the obstacle on the angle.

"The others were always going too slow for him; he likes to hit a rhythm and jump in it," said a delighted and slightly relieved Fitzgerald. "I gave him a squeeze going into the straight and, slightly to my surprise, he picked up the bridle. At that third-last fence he wavered to correct his take-off; he had been out on his own for more than a circuit and I had just let him run a bit too long down to it and he's have been too close if he'd stayed straight. If they were wetting themselves in the stands, just think how I felt. But professional that he is, he got me out of jail."

See More Business, who came home 30 lengths clear of Bobby Grant, is now on course for a tilt at a third victory in Kempton's Boxing Day showpiece. He remains 10-1 for a second Gold Cup in March, with reigning champion Looks Like Trouble, who makes his first appearance of the year at Down Royal in Ulster 13 days hence, the 5-1 favourite.

"Mick said he feels as good as ever, and that's good enough for me," said trainer Paul Nicholls. "In the Gold Cup this year, when he was fourth, the race wasn't run to suit and the ground was too fast. If he gets his conditions he'll give it another good shot, even though he'll be 11 by then."

Paul Barber, See More Business's equally relieved owner, had made the trek from Somerset to Yorkshire to watch his favourite. "When the weather is like this you wonder sometimes why you bother going racing," he said, "and then a horse like this, and a performance like this, reminds you."

With the best jumpers now up and running, there are few flickers left in the domestic Flat season and two of yesterday's winning trainers at Newmarket, Richard Hannon and Mick Channon, had opted for the wedding of the former's daughter instead of headquarters' blasted heath.

Worthily, Channon's charge, won the Zetland Stakes, a ten-furlong contest for two-year-olds that regularly produces a high-class stayer, or better, of the future. Recent winners include Bob's Return, Double Trigger, Double Eclipse and Silver Patriarch. Yesterday's test was a searching one for a juvenile but Worthily, a son of Northern Spur, dug as deep as the ground under John Reid's driving and stayed on stoutly to beat the handsome Capal Garmon by a length and a quarter. Bruce Raymond, racing manager to the colt's owner Salem Suhail, said: "We thought he would stay every yard. He has done well physically through the summer and there is every reason to suggest he should go on the better things next year."

Channon, responsible for Salamandre and Dewhurst Stakes winner Tobougg, fields Ayr maiden winner Samara Middle East in the final Group One for two-year-olds of the European season, the Criterium de Saint-Cloud. The other British challenger is Gerard Butler's Reduit, against two from Ireland and a home defence of four led by Sagamix's brother Sagacity.

Much further afield on the global circuit antipodean superstar Sunline became the seventh different winner in the seven races run so far in this year's Emirates World Series when she repeated her victory of 12 months ago in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in Melbourne early yesterday. The 10-furlong contest is Australia's most important weight-for-age race, the equivalent of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes or Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and Sunline, a five-year-old mare, produced a breathtaking performance under Greg Childs to defeat last week's Caulfield Cup winner Diatribe, ridden by Craig Williams, by seven lengths.

Her £473,896 win made her Australia's highest earner. The New Zealand-bred daughter of Desert Sun, trained by Trevor McKee, is now on schedule to display her talent further afield with a tilt at the Hong Kong Cup, the final leg of the Emirates World Series, racing's international championship, in December.

The next two in the 11-race series are the Breeders' Cup Turf and Classic on Saturday, followed by the Japan Cup later next month. The only other winners in the series still in action, all on 12 points, are Giant's Causeway, who contests the Classic; Montjeu, about whose will-he, won't-he Turf participation no decision had yet been made early yesterday evening; Samum, retired for the season; and Mutafaweq, who sidesteps the Turf in favour of the Japan Cup.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam