Racing: Les Arcs accelerates upward trajectory of Pitt's training success

It has come to something when Godolphin need a Group One winner more than Tim Pitt. But that is how things remained after the rookie trainer yesterday accelerated his dizzy rise with a second championship sprint - the richest in Europe - for Les Arcs.

The photo that identified this remarkable animal as the winner of the Darley July Cup did so at the expense of Iffraaj, who would have given Godolphin their first élite prize of a troubled season in Europe. At least they can blame ill fortune now, rather than ill health. John Egan gained a decisive first run on Frankie Dettori, who had to delay his challenge briefly in order to manoeuvre round weakening horses, and Iffraaj's voracious finish failed by just a head.

While Godolphin grope their way back, Pitt is showing astounding conviction in his debut year as a trainer. Les Arcs himself was his first winner, in a handicap on the sand at Lingfield last December, and Pitt had barely a dozen other horses in his charge near Bawtry, a racing backwater near Doncaster. Yet these included Admiral, whose Chester Cup success was the prelude to an even more outrageous breakthrough in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

That kept Pitt above Saeed Bin Suroor both in terms of winners trained in Britain this year - they arrived with nine and eight respectively - and prize-money won. And that is how things remained as Pitt joyously accepted his prize from John Ferguson, who showed his customary good grace in representing the sponsor, as well as the runner-up.

"Today I'm more thrilled for the horse's sake than anyone else's," Pitt said. "He proved today that he's a genuine top-class sprinter. I'm not at all shocked by the progress he has made. He wasn't the quickest away today, but he travels supremely.

"John has taken his time and let him find his feet. He is the most genuine animal in the world, but when he gets to the front, he thinks he has done his job and I was petrified that Frankie might do us."

Having learned the ropes under Gerard Butler, John Gosden and Peter Chapple-Hyam, Pitt owed his opportunity to train to Willie McKay, the football agent who owns both the stable and its most remarkable horse. Their targets now are understandably immodest, with huge prizes at stake in Japan and Australia.

He would hope to fare better there than a pair that have made the reverse journey. The romantic odyssey of Takeover Target hit the rocks yesterday when he managed only seventh, his jockey observing that he "was pretty much going up and down on the spot", while Falkirk trailed in 13th.

Any disappointment in the Godolphin camp was placed in sensible perspective. "It's good to have a horse run well in a big race," Bin Suroor said. "We're happy that the horses seem to be coming back to themselves. Iffraaj has been giving us a good feeling on the gallops, much better than when he ran at Ascot."

The other historic prize on the card also went north when the Ladbrokes Bunbury Cup was won by Mine - for the third time. In such a competitive handicap, it goes without saying that this achievement was without precedent, though the veteran had advertised his sprightly form by finishing first on the far side in the Royal Hunt Cup. James Bethell, his trainer, suspects that he has never been better, and certainly this was easier than his wins in 2005 and 2002 - indeed, he shared a dead-heat that year.

"He took a long time to get fit this year after having a good holiday," Bethell said. "He came back enormous and the cold spring held him up. But I had him in top condition for Ascot, where it was the draw that beat him. This horse is just so laid-back, that's the key to him."

The past two runnings of the Weatherbys Superlative Sprint were won by élite performers in Dubawi and Oratorio, but the bookmakers were dismissive of the Classic credentials of Halicarnassus after his 33-1 success. You can get the same odds and better against him winning the 2,000 Guineas over on the Rowley Mile next spring, but the Cape Cross colt quickened brightly off a decent gallop and Mick Channon will be entitled to a more positive view.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?