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.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
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

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution