Racing: Freeloader will relish return to the Knavesmire

It would be easy to dismiss today's main card at York as a counterbalance to last weekend at Longchamp, a rather dull ying to the sumptuous yang in the Bois de Boulogne. But then the Knavesmire possesses a compelling element that not even Paris was able to serve up six days ago.

The jockeys' championship, which by now is usually at composition-of-acceptance-speech stage, is still alive and kicking wildly. A good promoter could even sell it as a three-way contest, yet essentially Seb Sanders already has the bronze around his neck as Frankie Dettori and Kieren Fallon continue their arm wrestle today at York.

The Italian is slightly over the perpendicular at the moment and, despite a winner on the Knavesmire yesterday, the champion has a considerable task to get closer on what is a particularly competitive, if not hugely classy, day. The pair also slap each other with their gloves at Wolverhampton this evening.

The quality race on the Knavesmire is the Listed Rockingham Stakes, in which Fallon partners the rerouted Yajbill, who was initially a contender for Salisbury's abandoned Cornwallis Stakes. Dettori is on the unbeaten Woodcote, but the riding titans will find it difficult here in the face of two horses saddled by Mark Johnston.

The Middleham trainer sends another unbeaten beast in Joseph Henry to the track after an absence of five months. It is a hard assignment, but no more than he has been asked to do at exercise. "He's been working pretty well," Johnston said yesterday. "His last bit of work was with Shamardal, which was a tall order, but he went well enough to justify starting at this level."

This, though, looks destined for Kingsley House's Nufoos (2.05), who was runner-up in a Group Three contest at Ayr last time and knows what it is like to be buffeted by good company.

After that the remaining televised races have attracted maximum fields. That will mean trouble for those drawn high in the first of the handicaps. Freeloader (nap 2.35) is not one of the cursed ones and looks persuasive as he has shown he can operate successfully around these contours.

Master Robbie (next best 3.05) is no stranger to victory here and is well treated on his best form. He looked to be approaching that station when fourth from 2lb out of the handicap at Newmarket. He will not be short of a gallop either. This is his third race in 10 days.

The Coral Sprint Trophy is difficult. Talbot Avenue has a chance after the cruelty of putting him in with The Tatling and Var at Newbury, while Pic Up Sticks got back in the groove at Ripon last time. Favour falls though on Mutawaqed (3.40), who has threatened to win a valuable prize for some time.

The British try to get their own back in the Prix de la Forêt at Longchamp today, when Nayyir leads five travellers into battle for the Group One contest. Gerard Butler's runner has never won at this level, while Hughie Morrison's Pastoral Pursuits, Doncaster's Park Stakes winner, has never even run at it. Somnus and Monsieur Bond are also in the mix against the paltry, numerically at least, defence of Denebola and Charming Groom.

A harbinger of times waiting comes at Limerick tomorrow, when the first serious jumps horse of the season appears in the Munster National. The fast, flashy horses will soon be away and in their places will be the winter warriors such as the animal embarking on another Cheltenham Gold Cup campaign, Beef Or Salmon.

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Sport
A view of today's Spanish papers
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
people

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
books

Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Support Analyst - London - £22,000

£20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chel...

Learning Support Assistants-Nantwich area

£8 - £9 per hour: Randstad Education Chester: We are currently recruiting for ...

Primary Teachers-Northwich area

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Teachers- Northwich Ar...

Primary Teachers-Northwich area

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Teachers- Northwich Ar...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London