Racing: Goodwood hopes high for Araafa after gallop

Jeremy Noseda knows too well the putative slips 'twixt stable and starting stalls and is far too sensible an operator to confront his peers with mouthy challenges. But if, as he prefers to, he is leaving the talking to his horses, then the message from the Sussex Stakes favourite Araafa in Newmarket yesterday afternoon was clear.

The colt, ridden by Alan Munro, looked hot stuff in a workout on the July course 13 days ahead of his date at Goodwood. With one twitch of Munro's reins and one change of leading leg he bounded clear of a solid older yardstick and came back with a challenge in the confident set of his neck and shoulder. "George Washington?" his demeanour said, "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough."

Araafa is still behind the 2,000 Guineas winner in the ratings, presumably on the basis that his achievements since his fourth place in the first Classic - a turnaround of form in the Irish Guineas, an authoritative defeat of a subsequent Group One winner in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot - have succeeded only in boosting his rival's status.

"I'm not saying anything about the others," said Noseda, also with a glint in his eye, "but this one is right there and ready and I'm happy. If people don't believe in him now, I don't know what else to do."

As far as Munro is concerned, Araafa's display felt every bit as breathtaking as it looked. "He's an attacker," he said, "a horse you can commit and know he'll keep going. And if you can go early then it leaves no room for error behind you.

"He has a tremendous reaching stride and you can feel a lot of power behind. And even in a gallop like this, you can feel the will of the horse and his determination. He goes on any ground, he's good on the big day. He's the complete article."

Araafa has played his part in Munro's successful relaunching of his career in these parts. "To ride a horse like this is just as good as it gets," he said. "I don't try to analyse the way things have gone too much. I just see myself as lucky to be here."

Twelve months ago, Noseda sent Proclamation on a similar mission across town before taking the Goodwood Group One mile showpiece. "Perhaps it's a bit of superstition that has made me do it again," he added, "but there are other reasons.

"He's quite sparky and when the game's on, he knows it's on. This will have given him a little awayday, and will have done him more good that three routine gallops in terms of settling him and giving him confidence."

Noseda has a more pressing interest in top-level competition tonight, when another of his yard's Classic winners, Vague, reverts to dirt in the American Oaks at Belmont Park. The filly, winner of the UAE 1,000 Guineas at Nad Al Sheba in February, has seven rivals as she tackles 10 furlongs for the first time.

Tomorrow at Maisons-Laffite, Munro rides Dragon Dancer, the short-head Derby runner-up who has the dubious honour of being the best maiden in training. After his runner-up spot at Epsom and fourth in the Irish Derby (ridden by Darryll Holland both times), Geoff Wragg's charge drops to 10 furlongs in the Prix Eugene Adam and will face four rivals, including Linda's Lad, not seen since his disappointing 12th at Epsom, and Markovitch, from Peter Chapple-Hyam's yard.

For the Prix Robert Papin on the same card Evens And Odds (Kevin Ryan) and Not For Me (Tim Pitt) travel from Britain, while the Godolphin team fields its first French runner of the season when Sussex Stakes entry Librettist attempts to put his hat in the mile championship ring in the Prix Messidor.

The last of the European Derbys, the German version, is staged tomorrow at Hamburg. It is not least in terms of international significance, for Shirocco won it two years ago and the field of 15, all locals, is headed by Peter Schiergen's Lauro.

With Ascot's King George meeting next weekend and Glorious Goodwood the following week, the domestic programme today is lowish-key. The most valuable race of the day is the £135,000 Super Sprint at Newbury, a contest with its purse boosted by auction sales.

That shrewd spotter of a bargain yearling, Richard Hannon, has made the five-furlong dash his own, with six victories. He is capable of bringing them home at any price in the betting ring, too; his first winner, Lyric Fantasy in 1992 was a 2-5 favourite and his most recent, Lady Livius last year, started at 100-1.

No-one will get too rich by backing the pick of his three candidates today; Gilded (3.30) is a very smart filly indeed - like Lyric Fantasy a Queen Mary Stakes winner - but her credentials are hard to overlook. Scented Present appeals most of the others.

Caradak lifts the Blues

Godolphin continued their recent renaissance when Caradak took the Lillian Summers Memorial Stakes at Newbury yesterday. Just 24 hours after Ashaawes obliged for Sheikh Mohammed's team in the feature at Leicester, Caradak repeated the trick when making a winning return at the prohibitive odds of 2-7.

The five-year-old, a dual Group Three winner for John Oxx last year, was having his first start in the blue silks, having arrived with Godolphin as part of a package which included the Irish Oaks winner Shawanda.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Mount Usher (Ripon 3.20)

NB: Tevere (Market Rasen 3.45)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Injury Fee Earners

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist personal injury...

Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Executive / Business Development

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing, UK based I...

Recruitment Genius: Tennant Liaison Officer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An experienced TLO is required to manage, deli...

Guru Careers: Tax Manager / Accountant

£35 - £50k DOE: Guru Careers: A Tax Manager / Accountant (ACA / CA / CTA) is n...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen