Racing: Kinane gives the curiosity cup a timely kick

One of the raisons d'etre of the Shergar Cup, the annual international jockeys' team event that is the centrepiece of a day of fun and frolics, is to introduce newcomers, particularly youngsters, to the sport. And even the most fervent of non-believers might have been converted by the victory of Dorothy's Friend in the Stayers'. The four-year-old came into the straight plum last, but once balanced, aimed and launched by Mick Kinane, he ate ground, hit the front half a furlong from the line and crossed it, to a noisy reception, a length in front of Double Obsession.

The cheers were undoubtedly for the victory of a well-backed favourite rather than partisan enthusiasm for the success of a Great Britain & Ireland team rider over one representing the Rest of the World, the Australian Damien Oliver. As a spectacle, for the newcomer or the regular racegoer, the denouement of the two-miler was pretty to watch, and Jamie Spencer's daring run up the rails on Desert Quest to take the Challenge half an hour later was not bad either.

"That was one hell of a ride," said Dorothy's Friend's trainer, Roger Charlton. "He was so far out of his ground that I thought he could not possibly win, but I suppose you should not have those fears when someone like Mick Kinane is in the saddle." The performance confirmed the gelding as one of the season's most progressive marathon men. He is in the Ebor Handicap at York next week and has been cut to about 14-1, though Charlton warned he is not certain to run. "We thought a mile and six was a bit sharp for him when he was beaten at Goodwood last time," he said, "and the Cesarewitch might be more his target."

The inflated prize money and owners' perks on offer, far in excess of an "ordinary" Saturday, meant a decent standard of competition. Justaquestion, on whom Frankie Dettori took the Juvenile and off whom he delighted the crowd with his flying dismount, is bound for the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood later this month and Group One hopes, in the Haydock Sprint, are entertained for Tychy, winner of the Distaff under Gerald Mosse.

More than any other sport, racing does not lend itself to team tactics - which are actually forbidden under the rules - so the result of the Shergar Cup, in which mounts are partly decided by random chance, cannot be more than a curiosity. "You can't impede others in the race or anything like that," said Dettori, captain of the winning World side, "so all I can do is make sure that the boys who don't normally ride here know as much as possible about the horses."

None took any advice on board better than Weichong Marwing, the Hong Kong-based South African who had had only one previous ride in this country. Victory in the closing Sprint on Paradise Isle clinched him the award for yesterday's leading jockey.

The day opened with children's football masterclasses, overseen by the former Republic of Ireland star Andy Townsend, and ended with a pop concert by chart-topping girl band Sugababes. More than 22,000 came though the gates, happily sizzled in the sun and enjoyed the day for what it was.

So, the bread (the purses totalled more than £310,000) and a circus was yesterday; today is for the purists, with Group One contests in France and Ireland, featuring the sport's own sugababes. One of the motifs of the season has been girl power, in the shape of a series of top-class fillies, and this afternoon two of them step out against the boys. At Deauville, July Cup heroine Frizzante leads a powerful British challenge for the seaside meeting's sprint feature, the Prix Maurice de Gheest, one of nine cross-channel raiders in a field of 19.

The Queen Mary Stakes winner Damson, the best of her age and perhaps of either sex, faces colts for the first time in the year's first juvenile top-level contest, the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. The daughter of Entrepreneur, unbeaten in three outings, carries the familiar dark- blue colours of Coolmore boss John Magnier but is trained by his son-in-law, David Wachman, rather than Aidan O'Brien. Three from Ballydoyle - Oratorio, Carnegie Hall and Russian Blue - are among her six rivals.

With her regular rider, Jamie Spencer, on Russian Blue, Damson will be partnered by Kieren Fallon. "Meeting colts is a huge challenge," said Wachman, "but if she is beaten we can always go back to running against fillies. She's in good order, though." Last year's winner, One Cool Cat, is now better-known for his defeats than his victories. The colt who was expected to be a Ballydoyle flagbearer this term has one last chance to redeem himself as he drops in class and distance in the six-furlong Phoenix Stakes.

News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
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

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea