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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
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

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz