Racing: Jarvis has Rakti fighting fit for Queen Anne

With the Derby now run on a Saturday, there is barely time to gasp at the winner before a deep breath is required for the next attraction on the summer circus billboard, Royal Ascot. Motivator has set the middle-distance standard for his generation, but next week at York there are three top-level races involving more seasoned superstars, notably the Queen Anne Stakes on the meeting's opening card a week today.

Before Saturday's eye-popping display at Epsom, the horse who had stamped his personality and talent most imperiously this year had been Rakti, with his five-length blitz in the Lockinge Stakes. The versatile six-year-old won the 10-furlong Prince of Wales's Stakes at the meeting's traditional home last year, but it was confirmed yesterday that miling is to be his game, for his next two runs, anyway.

"He's going for the Queen Anne," said trainer Michael Jarvis, "and we'll keep him over a mile for the time being, although what happens later in the year may be different. But after Ascot there's the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood."

Rakti, the first of whose six Group 1 wins came over 12 furlongs, in the Italian Derby before he joined Jarvis, is fighting fit after his Newbury endeavours. "He's in very good form," added the Newmarket handler, "in fact, he came out of the Lockinge in better shape than he's been after any race since he's been with me. He's usually a bit stiff and sore after his races but he's been absolutely fine this time."

The élite sprints at next week's £3,255,000 extravaganza, the King's Stand Stakes today week and the Golden Jubilee Stakes four days later, this year are the two European legs of the inaugural three-continent Global Sprint Challenge. But one bold international venture has sadly foundered, with the news yesterday that top Australian sprinter Fastnet Rock will not fulfil his dates on the Knavesmire. The four-year-old made it to England - he is currently lodging at Geoff Wragg's overflow yard in Newmarket - but has failed to acclimatise.

His trainer Paul Perry was responsible for the flying phenomenon from Down Under of two seasons ago, the bull-like Choisir, who became the first to pull off the Royal Ascot double since Diadem in 1920, and the New South Wales conditioner's latest globegalloper had been vying for favouritism for both of next week's races. But Fastnet Rock is a horse of less rugged constitution, has been poorly since his arrival in this country and his connections have finally accepted the inevitable.

"He won't be going to the Royal meeting," said Perry's son and assistant Shannon yesterday. "It is disappointing, but he's still suffering from travel sickness and I can't train him properly." The son of Danehill also holds the entry in next month's July Cup at Newmarket, but may not even be well enough to display his talents there. "We will monitor him in the next seven to 10 days and hope that he improves to get him to the July Cup," added Perry junior. "But if he doesn't then we will have to call it all off. The horse's health comes first."

Two days after the Derby, plans are still fluid for the protagonists, both principals and also-rans. But there have been hints that Motivator may go for the first middle-distance clash of the generations, the Eclipse Stakes early next month, rather than sticking to his own generation in the Irish Derby a week earlier until taking on all-comers in the King George.

The Sandown race sponsors, Coral, make the Derby hero 2-5 in a match-bet to beat Shamardal, who took the Prix du Jockey-Club, the French equivalent, on Sunday. Motivator had his Derby won at 10 furlongs as well as 12, and victory in the Eclipse would put him in the company of only Nashwan (1989), Mill Reef (1971), Tulyar (1952), Blue Peter (1939), Coronach (1926), Lemberg (1910), Diamond Jubilee (1900) and Flying Fox (1899). The last Epsom winner to try his luck was Benny The Dip, who finished second in 1997.

Should the two star three-year-olds turn up at Sandown, the Irish Derby, these days normally a powerful counter-attraction, will be reduced to something of a consolation prize, with both the French-trained Epsom and Chantilly runners-up, Walk In The Park and Hurricane Run, heading that way.

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