When Carry On Katie flashed past the post in the Cheveley Park Stakes here yesterday she carried the colours of Mohammed Rashid, royal blue with a white disc and spots. When the filly returns here for the 1,000 Guineas next spring, an element of her owner's name is likely to remain, as well as the primary colour of her livery. Yet by then Carry On Katie will almost certainly be a member of Sheikh Mohammed's vast Godolphin squad. The covetous Sheikh was in the winners' enclosure yesterday as Jeremy Noseda's filly returned from battle.
Noseda, of course, used to be in the Godolphin crew himself, and he recognises that Carry On Katie may soon be a former part of his operation. "I'm thrilled for today and relaxed about what happens from now," the Newmarket trainer said. "To me she has proved herself the best two-year-old filly in training. If she goes to Godolphin then I hope she goes on and wins the Guineas for them."
Mohammed Rashid, a member of the Sheikh's security team, knows the score. "If he wants to buy, I will sell," he said.
As her name suggests, there is always a touch of farce before the ebullient Carry On Katie is readied for the fray. Frankie Dettori was on her back and jogging down to the start before all his opponents had even entered the parade ring in an effort to keep the lid on his partner.
As anticipated, Carry On Katie was keen to get to the lead, but the ferocity disappeared when there was nothing to block her way. She flowed along pleasingly, always the apparent winner, until a challenger appeared in the final furlong. Dettori would have heard the huffing and puffing of his big bad wolf, Kieren Fallon, who came late on Majestic Desert.
The champion jockey, however, ran out of real estate as Carry On Katie's combative qualities permitted her to hang on by a short-head. "She is still buzzy and full of life and she is definitely getting better," Dettori said. "I liked her attitude. She is strong and has scope, and she pulled out extra when they came at us. I'd be optimistic that she'd get the mile next year."
There was a neat circularity to the result as Wannabe Grand had provided Noseda with his first Group One success in this race six years ago. She was half a length behind Wince the following spring in the 1,000 Guineas and the news for those tempted to take Ladbrokes' top offer of 12-1 for the Classic is that Carry On Katie compares favourably.
"She did it the hard way, but was more relaxed than at York [in the Lowther Stakes]," Noseda said. "We've worked hard on her at home and brought her to the track 10 days ago and schooled her through the stalls and got her to switch off.
"She is relaxing more, growing up more, and, though it will be a big test, I think there is a big chance she will get a mile. She is a better filly than Wannabe Grand. She was a real trier, an overachiever, but Katie has more natural talent."
There were other supposedly more naturally gifted than Milk It Mick in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes, but that did not prevent Jamie Osborne's colt spoiling Dettori's attempts of a big-race double. The Italian's mount, Bayeux, looked home until the Group Three race turned into a great parable, the last becoming first. Pat Eddery was the man to get the timing perfect from the back, at the same time suggesting his timing to end his career at the age of 51 is somewhat awry.
"We took a chance riding him the way we did today," Osborne, who was collecting his first Group race, said. "He's such a generous horse and he's rather been the victim of his own enthusiasm in that he is always doing his best for you. So we decided to drop in and Pat buried him brilliantly."
This was Milk It Mick's 11th start of the year and it is safe to assume he has not been campaigned with a Classic career in mind. Osborne mentioned the Dewhurst Stakes back here, but a more realistic target is next year's Italian Guineas.
* Kieren Fallon has lost his appeal against a one-day ban for careless riding and will miss tomorrow's Newmarket card.
Nap: Halawellfin Hala
NB: Three Valleys
HYPERION'S TV TIPS
GRAVARDLAX has the best form of those that have run, but there are plenty of threatening newcomers.
The Newbury win of COMPTON BOLTER was endorsed by Hilbre Island yesterday and he looks more solid than The Whistling Teal, who has been restricted to one run this year.
Sir Michael Stoute can be trusted to have top-class KALAMAN back to his best after his York flop.
The runaway Royal Ascot win by Three Valleys represents the best form here and he was unwell when defeated in Ireland, but at the morning prices FOKINE, narrowly beaten by Balmont at York, makes more appeal at 14-1 with Coral and the Tote.