Racing: Elsworth gives The Geezer some credit at last

In normal times it does not pay greatly to criticise the horses trained by David Elsworth. He guards their reputation and honour like Cerberus at the gates of hell.

Yet something strange happened here at the foot of a damp Trundle Hill yesterday. The Geezer won the Gordon Stakes for Elsworth and nobody had to suggest that the old boat was probably not quite good enough to win a St Leger. Extraordinarily, Elsworth did that himself. He came over all puppyish.

It was all rather odd, particularly as one interpretation of the Group Three race made The Geezer look fairly sporty. He was slow to go but faster where it mattered and it was five lengths and half a length back to Unfurled and Brahminy Kite, the latter having come on from fourth place in the Irish Derby. This was certainly a different geezer from the one that was never going in the Derby, the one which ran as if the wrong fuel had been pumped into his tank.

"He's a good honest sort of horse. I've always said he lacked a bit of class, but maybe I'm wrong," Elsworth said, before adding that The Geezer would probably attempt to knock off another Leger trial in the Great Voltigeur at York's Ebor meeting.

"He's got a chance [in the Leger], but I wouldn't get carried away. I hoped he'd win, but he was quite good today. I always thought he lacked a bit of class, but he's disproved it. He's run well behind Motivator on this sort of ground and, while the Derby was awful, that aside he's run to a fairly high level. I've probably underrated him, which is rare for me because I usually overrate them."

The history book, as much as its form equivalent, gives The Geezer a chance. In the past 11 years, seven Gordon Stakes winners have go on to run in the St Leger, producing two victories (Millenary and Nedawi), a second, two thirds and a fourth. At this point, the Classic horses are all chasing the Grand Prix de Paris winner, Scorpion, who is 5-4 in a place. Coral's 10-1 is the best you can get about The Geezer.

The afternoon's other Group Three contest, the Molecomb Stakes, was characterised by a touch of á la recherche du temps perdu, as David Nicholls doubtlessly observed. It was in 1982 that his pugnacious figure was in the winners' enclosure here as a winning jockey on Soba in the Stewards' Cup. His son, Adrian, had just celebrated his first birthday. He was small with only bare traces of hair on his head. And so was the boy. Yesterday it was Nicholls fils who was in the saddle, while Nicholls snr was both a proud father and trainer as Strike Up The Band powered home in the Molecomb. He might run again here on Friday in the Richmond Stakes.

The Lennox Stakes provided another triumph for a previous winner on the Sussex downs. Court Masterpiece, who was going well from some way out, eventually managed to overhaul Jack Sullivan, though, as he reeled him in, the runner-up turned from tiddler into a marlin. "The other horse gave me a bit of a fright as he kept finding more and it took me a while to get by him," Philip Robinson, the jockey, reported.

Ed Dunlop, the victorious trainer, issued a bulletin about Ouija Board, his winner of the Oaks and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf last season. This time round, Ouija Board has not been so blessed. She was seventh and next to last in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes on her York return and took home a stress fracture to her near fore cannonbone. The game was almost up.

"She was on box rest for three or four weeks," Dunlop said. "She lost all weight and was in pain, but she's turned the corner now and she's back to herself.

"She's been back cantering three weeks and, if all goes well, she'll be back in faster work in the next couple. If she's ready, there's the September Stakes at Newmarket on the third. It's Group Three, she doesn't have a penalty, it's a mile and a half and on our doorstep.

"We're pleased with her. York knocked the hell out of her. She's back now as good as she's ever looked. We're a bit of a forgotten horse, but hopefully we'll be back. The Breeders' Cup is still very much in mind."


NEWTON ABBOT: 2.05 Native Chancer 2,35 Multeen Gunner 3.10 Treacysdream 3.45 Fool On The Hill 4.20 Getoutwhenyoucan 4.55 Danish Decorum

LEICESTER: 6.20 Levera 6.50 Doctored 7.20 Tharua 7.50 Aberdeen Park 8.20 Almost Spinning 8.50 Dvinsky

Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
Life and Style
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice