Racing: Gallops reports point to Rohaani in Rosebery

It's the Rosebery Stakes, Jim, but not as we know it. The 10-furlong handicap, first run in 1931 in memory of the eponymous 5th Earl in the days when the phrase sporting Prime Minister was not an oxymoron, will be contested for the first time today under its modern, all-weather, identity.

But its new look, and that of the even more venerable 1891-inaugurated Queen's Prize, would perhaps allow the course's founder in 1878, Stanley Hyde, to rest easy in his grave. For Lancashire-born Hyde was first and foremost an entrepreneur and any notion to try to keep the suburban Sunbury track in business would doubtless have met with his approval.

Kempton's Flat programme has been clinging on by its fingertips in the commercial arena for some time and in these early days of its sand rebranding the jury is still out on its merits as an attraction. Today's card is the most valuable yet on the new oval but more telling evidence may come on Friday, at the first floodlit evening meeting.

An as-yet unproven Group horse in a handicap is always an interesting proposition, though the fact that Imperial Dancer took the Rosebery Stakes at 33-1 four years ago, before adding two Group Threes that season and ending his career with a Group One success, suggested that his light was up to that point fairly well hidden.

But for Rohaani (3.15) there have been no bushels. The four-year-old's progress last year was well-charted; it culminated in his first defeat, though his best performance, in the last of four outings, when he went under narrowly at Newbury to three battle-hardened opponents, of whom second-placed Blue Monday won the Cambridgeshire next time.

Rohaani, a massive individual (his size has caused problems in the stalls in the past), has matured during the close season and his work in Newmarket this spring, on both all-weather and grass gallops, has been of an eye-catching order.

Favourites do not have a good record in the Rosebery - the last to score was Special Dawn 11 years ago - but today's likely market leader looks a typical lightly raced, considerately handled Michael Stoute improver who will go on to better things. Another bred for the surface, Red Racketeer, a half-brother to the UAE Derby winner China Visit, is second choice.

The classiest exposed performer on display this afternoon is Nayyir (3.45), one of the most frustrating nearly horses of recent seasons. His record of seven wins from 26 outings does no justice to his talent, which has brought him five Group One placings. His victory at Wolverhampton in February was his first for two and a half years, though he had been within a length of winning, including a neck behind Soviet Song in a Sussex Stakes, between times.

He seemed to have no problems with the step up to today's 10 furlongs in his last run, the Winter Derby at Lingfield, but the race proved a typical victory-into-defeat hard-luck story for him as he was hampered by a rival in the straight.

It may be significant that Dermot Weld sends Simple Exchange over from the Curragh for another try on sand - he was probably better than his sixth place off a slow pace and a wide draw in the race at Lingfield in November taken by another of today's rivals, last year's Rosebery Stakes winner Kew Green - but surely the drop in grade, smaller field and first-time assistance of Frankie Dettori will bring Nayyir compensation.

Mick Channon eschewed last month's Easter Stakes at Kempton as a prep for his Classic candidate Yasoodd because of its transfer to the all-weather and instead sends the colt to this afternoon's 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown. His four local rivals, headed by maiden winner James Joyce, from Ballydoyle, all hold the Rowley Mile engagement.

Whatever happens, the contest should give Aidan O'Brien a handle on three-year-old form; another runner, the Kevin Prendergast-trained Rekaab, was twice placed at Group Two level behind better-performed Ballydoyle inmates Horatio Nelson and Septimus.

Channon, who reported his star filly Flashy Wings in rude health after a workout yesterday, fields one of his lesser lights, Asaawir, in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at the Co Dublin track. O'Brien has opted to keep Beauty Bright and Kamarinskaya, at home rather than send them to Newmarket next week, but the likely favourite is Prendergast's charge Ugo Fire, another yardstick to last year's form, given her placings behind George Washington, Wake Up Maggie and Rumplestiltskin before a Group Three victory.

The richest race of the Easter weekend is Monday's Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, worth £97,586 to the winner from a field of 30 headed by high-class novice Our Ben. The warm-up in Co Meath tomorrow is the Powers Gold Cup, featuring a confrontation between In Compliance, Missed That and Nickname.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Call My Number (Kempton 2.45)

NB: Royal Alchemist

(Kempton 3.10)

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
News
An Apple iPhone 6 stands on display at the Apple Store
businessRegulators give iPhone 6 and 6 Plus the green light
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Arts and Entertainment
film
News
news
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

Pricing Analyst

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

Data/ MI Analyst

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

Project Manager with some Agile experience

£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

Web Application Support Manager

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style