Racing: Librettist soothes Godolphin tension

In winning the Prix Messidor at Maisons-Laffitte with Librettist yesterday, the Godolphin team put down a marker for the season that was distinctly double-faced. The four-year-old's victory was a welcome confirmation that the blues are back in form but it was also the outfit's first Group success on the Continent of this campaign, and only their fourth in all - by their standards a poor effort.

But the lack of form of the normally powerful squad has been well-documented and the signs are that the corner has been decisively turned, for Librettist's success was the fifth in six days for his masters. It was also testament to their skill and patience; the Danzig colt certainly has an engine - he was fifth in the Dewhurst at two - but his bodywork is rickety.

"He's desperately difficult to keep sound," said Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford, "and we don't plan things too far in advance for him." Yesterday's Group Three mile contest, in which Frankie Dettori rode a perfect race from the front, was the four-year-old's third win in as many runs this year, but he missed all of last season.

Dettori bounced Librettist out of the gate and set a steadyish pace until upping the ante going to the final quarter of a mile, where the change of gear almost immediately had the chasing pack in trouble. Helios Quercos was the first to be able to pick up, but Librettist had done enough and was a length clear at the line.

He holds an entry in the Sussex Stakes and was cut in the bookmakers' list to 12-1 for the Goodwood showpiece, but if he does step back up to Group One company, it is more likely to be in France, at Deauville next month. "I was impressed with him," said Dettori, "but I'd think his next run will be the Prix Jacques le Marois."

Electrocutionist, the Godolphin candidate for the next top-level event on the European circuit, Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, will have his final serious workout tomorrow morning. By then, it will be known if one of his opponents will be star mare Ouija Board. Her people must decide before noon today whether or not to pay the £70,000 supplementary fee to enter her for the great Ascot race or wait until the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

"Our decision will go to the wire," said Peter Stanley, racing manager to the five-year-old's owner, Lord Derby. Ouija Board, winner of the Prince Of Wales's Stakes on her penultimate start, is a general 8-1 chance to win the King George.

Christophe Soumillon is standing by to take over the ride on the André Fabre-trained King George favourite Hurricane Run from Kieren Fallon should the Irishman lose an appeal against his current domestic ban in the High Court on Thursday. Soumillon was Hurricane Run's regular partner until his sale last year to the Coolmore axis.

Yesterday in Europe it was largely a case of Germany calling. The 137th edition of the Deutsches Derby, won two years ago by top-class Shirocco, produced a winner of exciting potential in Schiaparelli and the two Group Two contests at Maisons-Laffitte went to residents of the fatherland, Boccassini in the Prix Morny and Flashing Numbers in the Prix Eugene Adam.

The hitherto unheralded Flashing Numbers may have galloped his way into a future quiz question as he joined the names Sir Percy, Papal Bull and Hala Bek on the list of those who have relegated Dragon Dancer to a second-place spot. The Prix Eugene Adam had seemed an ideal opportunity for the Derby runner-up to lose his unwanted tag of being the best maiden in training, but he once again found one too good.

The frustrating Geoff Wragg-trained colt took control from trailblazing Markovitch after seven of the straight 10 furlongs, but had no answer to the winner's closing burst of speed and went down by two lengths. "He ran well but was beaten by a better horse on the day," said rider Alan Munro.

Or, it may be, any day. Flashing Numbers, trained by Mario Hofer, seems upwardly mobile; as a juvenile last year he was not far behind yesterday's third, Linda's Lad, in a Group One, and is now back in Europe after a spell at the Dubai Carnival. Derby 12th Linda's Lad, three lengths behind Dragon Dancer, ran an odd sort of race, last, and almost tailed-off last, of the five runners for much of the race, he suddenly changed his attitude and was staying on strongly at the end.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Jost Van Dyke (Yarmouth 3.35)

NB: Fractured Foxy (Beverley 6.30)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Project Manager (infrastructure, upgrades, rollouts)

£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments