Racing: Ebtikaar the name to remember in November

The November Handicap does not rank high on Piggott's CV. He won the traditional curtain-dropper to the Flat season only once, on the Richmond Sturdy-trained Tintagel in 1969. But at least he did win it; two other feature handicaps, the Lincoln and the Cambridgeshire, were unconquered.

Piggott was champion apprentice twice, in 1950 and 1951. By then he had had a Derby ride, unplaced on Zucchero, and won an Eclipse Stakes, on Mystery. This afternoon's sport will reveal the identity of this year's boy wonder. Or, it may be, girl; Hayley Turner and Saleem Golam are locked together on 44 winners.

Today, the duelling pair have seven head-to-head rides each, in all six contests at Southwell, which will bring a rare focus of interest to a morning-start banded meeting, before they head up the A1 to Doncaster, and the November Handicap, in which Turner partners Rawdon for Michael Bell and Golam is on Chris Thornton-trained Lets Roll.

In its heyday the November Handicap, first run in 1876, was the last great gambling spectacle of the year, even though it was usually run on hock-deep ground on a track with the action mostly invisible because of the habitual fog shroud of its old home alongside the River Irwell. The race was transferred to Town Moor after the Manchester course's closure in 1963 (and it was Piggott who rode the last winner there, on Fury Royal in the Goodbye Plate).

Although all-weather racing now keeps the Flat's participants in a job all year round, the last day of the turf season marks - rather arbitrarily - the cut-off point for the various championships. Jamie Spencer is assured his first senior riders' title, Sir Michael Stoute his eighth trainers' crown, and Hamdan Al Maktoum will be leading owner for the fifth time.

In the absence of a superstar performer (one-trick pony Eswarah, the Oaks winner, was his leading earner) Sheikh Hamdan has done it with numbers. He goes into the day not only with more prize-money in the coffers than anyone else (more than £1.7m) but more winners, 95. Ebtikaar (3.35), his November Handicap candidate, will be the 543rd and last runner of the domestic season and this progressive, in-form three-year-old, winner of a competitive contest at Newmarket last month, can end it with a flourish. Others to consider are Rawdon and Gold Gun.

Ten furlongs on easy ground in south Yorkshire is successfully trodden territory for Mango Mischief (3.00), who was making such a good fist of giving weight to Ouija Board in the Princess Royal Stakes at Newmarket last month before her stamina patently ran out. Kevin Darley ended yesterday still on 99 winners; in the nursery London Express (12.45) can bring up his century.

The unhappy events of Tuesday at Exeter notwithstanding, the jumps campaign is gathering pace and today at Down Royal two horses who have the scalps of the most recent Gold Cup winners meet in the season's first Grade One contest, the James Nicholson Chase.

For an if-only horse, Beef Or Salmon does not have a bad record, half of his 12 jumping wins having come at the top level, including a defeat of Kicking King in this last year, before beating Best Mate at Leopardstown. He comes here with a cobweb-removing run on the Flat under his girth.

The rising star War Of Attrition (2.40) beat Kicking King fair and square at Punchestown last month, when making their returns, and although he will be trying today's trip for the first time, he stayed on over two furlongs less there. He may prefer better ground, but has youth and speed on his side.

Wincanton stages a cracking card, brimful of interest for the future. Napolitain (2.10) is Paul Nicholls's pick from a multiple entry in the novices' chase, while Red Devil Robert (3.15) can emerge as a Hennessy Gold Cup contender for the powerful Ditcheat yard in the stayers' handicap.

Richard Edmondson

Nap: Gold Gun (Doncaster 3.35)

NB: Naunton Brook

(Wincanton 3.15)

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
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

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
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