Racing: Governor Brown proves master of Classic hope Muqbil

Newmarket Cambridgeshire meeting: Defeat for Dunlop's odds-on favourite changes the 2,000 Guineas picture as O'Brien runners falter again

This is the time of the year when owners, trainers and jockeys look forward to being blessed with a winter warmer, the arrival of a promising two-year-old to keep them glowing over the dark months in anticipation of great glories the following spring.

It is beginning to look fortunate that Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum will be spending the off season in the natural heat of his native Dubai. Until a week ago Sheikh Hamdan appeared to have good grounds for composing a victory speech for next year's 2,000 Guineas. Then it was announced that his glittering young colt Almushahar had damaged himself on the Newmarket gallops, news which was compounded here yesterday on the Rowley Mile when Muqbil dribbled to defeat in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes. Suddenly winter will not be quite as exciting for the Sheikh.

It may be that Muqbil will still be a substantial force in his second season. He was going on at the end of this seven-furlong contest after betraying signs of youth, but there was still great disappointment that he could not build on the huge promise of a Newbury debut success.

There was a sparse crowd to witness his flashy form in the parade ring, an attractive chestnut body decorated with splashes of white. Muqbil's only challenger both in the betting and flamboyance stakes was Ballydoyle's Marino Marini, a striking light grey.

There was a phoney war in the race proper until all five runners congregated line abreast at the four-furlong marker, their jockeys giving the appearance of advancing hussars. Then came the notable feature of Newmarket, The Dip. And then came trouble.

Muqbil threw in a Saturday-night stumble, changed his legs and lugged to the inside. He got going again only when he hit the climb on the other side of the shallow valley, but that recovery was not enough to catch Governor Brown, who had half a length to spare at the line.

John Dunlop, the trainer of the 4-5 favourite, was just grateful to get his horse back. "That was most unsatisfactory," he said. "When he came down that hill I thought he'd broken down or broken his leg with the way he lost his action."

Governor Brown may now return to these environs for the Dewhurst Stakes, although Paul Cole, his trainer, remains unclear about his colt's true merit. "I'm pretty surprised when any of them win," he said. "It's never straightforward and you just hope he's a good horse.

"Richard [Quinn, the winning jockey] thought they were all running a bit green. It's difficult coming down that hill sometimes for two-year-olds, especially when they don't go a great pace early on and they all quicken going down the hill. They do run around a bit."

Marino Marini beat just one home and his display, half-an-hour after the defeat of Sorcerous in the Noel Murless Stakes, emphasised that Ballydoyle has some chopping to do before emerging from the woods.

Sorcerous cost 2m guineas across the road at the Tattersalls Houghton Sales two years ago to the day and that is not an outlay he looks like recouping.

Tholjanah, his half-length conqueror, is considered a Cup horse for next season, but his trainer, Marcus Tregoning, has more immediate matters on his mind, namely the next appearance of stable spearhead, Nayef.

That will be made clear this morning at declaration time for Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. "If he ran in the Arc we could always go to America for one of the Breeders' Cup races and, from what I've seen so far, he would have a good chance in the Turf or the dirt race [the Classic]," Tregoning said. "He'd obviously have an outstanding chance if he went to the Champion Stakes [back here in just over two weeks] as well.

"There is no question in my mind that the Arc will be a very tough race, with the French horse [Sulamani] in very good form. Islington might be going as well I believe and I would rate her as one of the best three-year-olds, including the colts, in the country."

2003 2,000 GUINEAS: Coral: 8-1 Trade Fair, 12-1 Almushahar, Maghanim, 14-1 Statue Of Liberty, 16-1 Elusive City, Refuse To Bend; Ladbrokes: 10-1 Trade Fair, 12-1 Maghanim, Refuse To Lose, 16-1 Statue Of Liberty, Van Nistelrooy; William Hill: 8-1 Trade Fair, 10-1 Almushahar, 14-1 Statue Of Liberty, 16-1 Elusive City, Maghanim, Muqbil, Refuse To Bend, Van Nistelrooy.

PRIX DE L'ARC DE TRIOMPHE (Longchamp, Sunday): Coral: 7-4 Sulamani, 9-4 High Chapparal, 6-1 Nayef, 8-1 Aquarelliste, 9-1 Islington, Marienbard, 10-1 Manhattan Cafe, 14-1 Asian Heights, 16-1 Falbrav; William Hill: 7-4 Sulamani, 2-1 High Chapparal, 7-1 Marienbard, 8-1 Aquarelliste, Nayef, 10-1 Islington, Manhattan Cafe, 16-1 Asian Heights, Falbrav.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Recruitment Genius: Factory Operatives

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer ba...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003