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.

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk