Racing: Blythe Knight battles for Lincoln glory

Whether it was the change of scenery or the attentions of the veterinary surgeon can be debated, but the fact is that Blythe Knight, hitherto regarded as something of a cheeky monkey, turned up at Redcar yesterday in brave tiger guise and won the 153rd Lincoln Handicap at 22-1. The six-year-old, who both transferred from Ed Dunlop's yard in Newmarket to that of John Quinn in Malton and was gelded during the close season, took the historic prize by a hard-pressed three-quarters of a length from the 25-1 shot Royal Island.

As Zero Tolerance formed the point of the 30-runner arrow down the straight mile, Graham Gibbons settled Blythe Knight in the pack before starting to pick off rivals and take the lead more than a furlong from the line. The horse had plenty of time to shirk the issue but as soon as Royal Island began to challenge, he pinned back his ears, lowered his head and battled.

"Brilliant," said Gibbons. "The boss told me to try to coax him rather than force him, but he travelled like a dream the whole way and I got there sooner than I wanted. He was in front plenty long enough but he kept going and really stuck his neck out." The first two were three and a half lengths in front of the fast-finishing Capable Guest (25-1), who pipped Zero Tolerance (14-1) by a neck, with Audience (33-1) just behind and the 2004 winner Babodana in sixth.

Quinn paid 90,000 guineas for Blythe Knight at auction last October; yesterday the chestnut earned back £62,320 of that for his new owner, Peter Clay. "I'd been told the horse was ungenuine, but there was no sign of that here," said Quinn.

The Lincoln was run at Redcar because its usual home, Doncaster, is undergoing refurbishment. But there was an embarrassing false start - literally - to the little Yorkshire track's day in the spotlight, when 10 of the 24 stalls in the opening race sprang a second before the rest.

At Kempton, too, there was a delay before Akona Matata joined Niklas Angel (at Lingfield in October 1989), Crystal Pool (Southwell, November 1989) and Express Service (Wolverhampton, December 1993) as the inaugural winner on a new all-weather track. The discovery of some stones among the sand caused a 20-minute hold-up before the four-year-old, ridden by Jimmy Fortune, took his place in the history books.

Baracouda, the best staying hurdler of all time, has been retired. The 11-year-old finished fifth at Cheltenham 10 days ago when trying to add a third long-distance crown to the two taken in 2002 and 2003, and it emerged yesterday that he picked up a minor hind-leg tendon injury in the process. "You cannot repair a Rolls-Royce," said his trainer, François Doumen. "It has been very thrilling to be involved with a horse so loved on both sides of the Channel and he will be massively missed in my yard." Baracouda, who won 18 of 27 hurdles starts and earned £775,000, will join Istabraq at the Martinstown Stud in Co Limerick of their owner, J P McManus.

BETS OF THE DAY

Serious bet
Shaunas Vision (Brighton 4.00) is unpenalised for eased-down British debut success three days ago.

Fun bet
Whenwillitwin. In a poor contest (Brighton 4.30) with first-time blinkers and from an in-form stable, it could be today.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory