Racing: More magic from Young Mick
Great Britain and Ireland team easily dominate the World in Ascot riders' cup
Sunday 13 August 2006
As it always should be, it was a horse who was the star of the show here yesterday. A fleet of international jockeys were strutting their stuff in the Great Britain & Ireland v the Rest of the World team competition that is the Shergar Cup but the remarkable Young Mick put them in their place. With Gerald Mosse in the saddle, he provided the ROW side with their sole success in six races but such was the ease of his victory that the identity of the rider was almost immaterial. Charlotte Church, who provided the post-racing musical entertainment, could probably have won on him.
All right, Young Mick is just a handicapper, not a top-level performer. But pound for pound he is the most improved horse in training and his progress has been a testament to his small-time Newmarket trainer George Margarson. The four-year-old could not win a bad maiden at Wolverhampton in January off a mark of 52; yesterday he romped in off 96 in the Challenge to record his third 12-furlong success here, including one at the Royal meeting, and his ninth of the year.
His next target is the Ebor Handicap at York in 10 days' time, for which he is now among the market leaders at around 10-1. "Today was nothing more than a paid exercise gallop for him," said a delighted Margarson. "He'll be out again tomorrow for a 10-furlong canter; if he wasn't he'd be climbing out of his box.
"That seems the key to him, he thrives on hard work. Back in January he wasn't doing on the track what he was showing at us home and I finally lost my temper. I ran him four times in nine days, he won three, the penny finally dropped and he hasn't looked back." Young Mick, owned and bred by Mike Kentish, will be stepping up two more furlongs on the Knavesmire. "Whether he gets the trip, we won't know until then," added Margarson, "but my guess is he will. Everyone laughed when I put him in the Melbourne Cup, but I think they'll have to take him seriously now."
For all its place on a novelty day, the Juvenile has produced some smart performers in its short history, having two subsequent Group 1 winners, Tout Seul and Kinnaird, in the past three runnings. Yesterday's easy four-length winner, Eddie Jock, is on his way up the ladder and may turn out again in the Acomb Stakes at York.
Racing, with so many individual axes grinding in each human-equine partnership, cannot really lend itself to a team event; yesterday was hardly a rider cup, never mind a Ryder Cup. The result, about as inconsequential as that of the Charity Shield, was, for the record, a 158-95 point victory for the home side, including doubles from Seb Sanders and Ryan Moore.
But on the credit side, the day provides something different in the lull between the Goodwood and York festivals and yesterday's crowd of over 21,000 compares very favourably with that on an ordinary Saturday here.
At Newmarket, English Ballet produced at stylish display to take the Sweet Solera Stakes, the Group 3 contest that often pinpoints top-flight young performers, notably Soviet Song, who beat Summitville four years ago. The Barry Hill-trained filly was slowly away but swiftly found her balance and stride ground and with a quarter-mile to go quickened on demand on the rain-softened ground to go clear of Princess Taise and win, her ears pricked, by a length.
The most important of the weekend's two-year-old events is today's Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. Last year George Washington announced his arrival in the top echelon of his generation with a devastating eight-length rout of his rivals, becoming the seventh winner of the race to emerge from Ballydoyle in eight years.
The latest Aidan O'Brien wunderkind is Holy Roman Emperor, one of the last of the Danehills. The colt was supplemented to the six-furlong dash at a cost of E30,000 (£20,000), so it may be reasonable to assume his connections are confident of his atoning for a disappointing Coventry Stakes, when he was only 15th of 21 runners. The Royal Ascot winner, Bryan Smart-trained Hellvellyn, reopposes.
This afternoon's other top action is in France, where Peeress (Sir Michael Stoute) and Librettist (Saeed Bin Suroor) challenge from Britain for the Prix Jacques Le Marois . The O'Brien raider is Ad Valorem, with the home defence led by Stormy River.
BETS OF THE DAY
The experience of well-bred Hadahoo (Leicester 2.20) in a similar race at Newmarket two weeks ago should tell.
Has been off for four months, but Cursum Perficio (Leicester 3.20) is unexposed and well-drawn for one who races prominently.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal team news: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fails late fitness test as Harry Redknapp makes five changes for QPR
Manchester United vs Newcastle match report: Brilliant Wayne Rooney scores twice to fire up United's unlikely title challenge
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester United 3 Newcastle 1: 'I'm playing like Paul Scholes,' says Wayne Rooney
Sports Quiz of the Year 2014: The Questions
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...