Racing: Brittain maintains a no-fly zone as Warrsan aims high

Bloodsuckers are a huge problem in racing, nasty little, single-figure IQ beasts which feed off what would be an otherwise healthy body. But that's enough advertising for Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill.

There are other vampires out there and this may be the only earthly comparison in which the mosquito comes out quite well. Despite the consequences of global warming, Clive Brittain trusts there will be none of the dipterous insects hanging around in Swinley Bottom this Saturday to damage the prospects of his Warrsan in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

Warrsan may be a gleaming half-ton hulk of racing material, but he can be put off by little things, especially when they bite. Like his half-brother Luso, another former inmate at Newmarket's Carlburg stables, Warrsan is particularly susceptible to the mosquito bite and so particularly susceptible when on trips abroad. Like Luso before him, he got chewed to bits in Italy last month, when contesting the Gran Premio di Milano in the hands of Philip Robinson.

"Philip said that as fast as he pushed them off at the start they kept coming back," Brittain said yesterday. "The horse became restless in the stalls, which is not like him at all. He was sluggish in the early part of the race and never really got going until they turned for home. By then it was too late.

"He got bitten by the mosquitoes and he's allergic to them so he came out in a reaction straight away. The mosquitoes are very bad at Milan. Luso got beaten twice in Milan for exactly the same reason. A violent reaction to the mosquitoes. It must be something that comes through the dam's side because they're by different stallions.

"We had a mosquito sheet made up for Warrsan and used two different types of spray. We used it on every part we could get to. Even that didn't deter them."

Brittain, himself, though has not become poisoned. Warrsan may be trading at 14-1 in the other bloodsuckers' market, but the now veteran trainer still considers he has the horse to beat, especially as the Classic crop seems deficient this year.

"The only three-year-old that's come up with a result is Oasis Dream in the July Cup," the trainer said. "He's the only one that's made a dent in the older horses. You have to say that all we have to do is run our best race. They have got to prove themselves.

"My horse is going in fit, in good heart and I couldn't be more pleased with his condition. We have to be a little confident."

Brittain's charge was one of the few shafts of colour as the King George horses put the finishing touches to their preparations over the weekend. Kris Kin, the Derby winner, did his usual slothful stuff on the watered gallop at Newmarket on Saturday. He will attempt to become only the third horse in the last 10 years, alongside Lammtarra (1995) and Galileo (2001), to follow up in the King George after Blue Riband success.

In the aftermath of this work, a deep throat revelation came from Joe Mercer, the racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail. "As far as I know all is well," Mercer said. "He's fine."

Another to trample the watered gallop was Godolphin's Sulamani, who looked as though he could beat the world in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March, but then looked as though it was on his shoulders in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud last month. He worked seven furlongs in the hands of Frankie Dettori with his galloping companion, Celtic Silence. If the ground is suitably good, and Ascot begin watering today, he will run. An even later decision will be taken about stablemate Grandera.

KING GEORGE VI & QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES (Ascot, Saturday) Ladbrokes: 5-2 Alamshar, 4-1 Nayef, 5-1 Kris Kin, 6-1 Sulamani, 7-1 Falbrav, 12-1 Victory Moon, 14-1 Millenary, 16-1 Indian Creek, Leadership, Warrsan, 20-1 Bollin Eric, 25-1 Grandera, Mamool, 33-1 others.

Coral: 11-4 Alamshar, 5-1 Kris Kin, Nayef, 6-1 Sulamani, Falbrav, 12-1 Indian Creek, Warrsan, Victory Moon, 16-1 Bollin Eric, 20-1 Leadership, Chevalier, Millenary, Norse Dancer, 25-1 Bandari, Grandera, Mamool, Black Sam Bellamy, 33-1 others.

RACING IN BRIEF: SULAMANI BACKED FOR KING GEORGE

* Two Godolphin horses were the focus of punters' attention in betting on the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes over the weekend. Ladbrokes report backing for Sulamani, who is 6-1 from 8-1, and Victory Moon , who remains on 12-1 "Sulamani was a horse we were happy to lay following his fourth in the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud," the firm's Balthazar Fabricius said. "However, the money came yesterday and again this morning and he is now our worst loser. We have laid Victory Moon from 40-1 all the way in to 12-1 so market confidence speaks for itself."

* Mine, an unlucky loser when hampered in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket this month in which he finished a head behind the winner, Patavellian, will attempt to go one better in the £150,000 Tote International Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

* Mark Johnston's Leo's Luckyman was hurt during the loading process for the Group Three Lotto Hessen Pokal at Frankfurt yesterday and was withdrawn. Jimmy Quinn won the race on Picotee, an 11.8-1 chance, trained by Andreas Bolte.

Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
tech
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

MS Dynamics NAV Developer

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: MS Dynamics NAV...

Technical / Engineering Manager - West Yorkshire - £50k+

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: The company ...

MS Dynamics NAV Developer

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: **MS Dynamics N...

Data Analytics Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading organisation...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star