Racing: Moscow Flyer smarter, faster, better

Moscow Flyer, as we should know by now, is unbeatable over fences. The only horse that can beat him is himself. Jessica Harrington's equine machine made it 19 wins from 19 completed starts in the Melling Chase here yesterday. The only occasions he has not won over fences are the four times he has thrown himself to the floor.

Moscow Flyer, as we should know by now, is unbeatable over fences. The only horse that can beat him is himself. Jessica Harrington's equine machine made it 19 wins from 19 completed starts in the Melling Chase here yesterday. The only occasions he has not won over fences are the four times he has thrown himself to the floor.

The worrying message from yesterday for those who seek to get even close to his shirt-tails is there is no sign of decrepitude in the 11-year-old. On the contrary. The engine remains roaringly intact, while the on-board computer has been updated.

Moscow Flyer has become a cleverer athlete, one which can correct himself at his fences. He is smarter, faster and better. "That's probably the easiest ride I've ever got off him," Barry Geraghty, the jockey, reported. "It was like sitting in a Ferrari.

"That last circuit was the easiest ride you'd ever get in the world, popping away from fence to fence and having the pleasure of knowing there was nothing good enough to beat him. He was even better than Cheltenham [where he regained the Queen Mother Champion Chase] and he's still mad keen about the job. There's no reason that next year should be any different."

Moscow Flyer was flighty and keen early on yesterday. The 4-9 favourite breasted a few of the early obstacles, minor collisions which served to awake the competitive spirit within him. At the same time, a gentle surrender unfolded among the five others who deigned to take part.

Davoski was never at the races, while Mister McGoldrick fell at the third. Kadarann's white flag was hoisted when he whacked the sixth fence and, by the 12th, Moscow Flyer was out on his own at the head of what remained. A yawning vault at the cross-fence, four out, sealed it. A gap of 16 lengths was established to Le Roi Miguel and Therealbandit by the line.

"Barry says he's getting better," Harrington said. "Finally, at the age of 11, he's getting much easier to ride. I'll never get another one like him. He is one hundred times very, very special, but, one day, he is going to get beaten." But only when Moscow Flyer, as well as Geraghty, is carrying a stick. He runs next at Punchestown in two weeks' time. Book early to avoid disappointment.

It was a windy day on Merseyside and also a green one, with four winners coming from Ireland. Like-A-Butterfly, the mare who is more like a buffalo, began the sequence for Ireland in the Mildmay Novices' Chase and for the sport's premier owner, J P McManus.

Like-A-Butterfly was a failure in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at the Festival when not at her best. "In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do, but Cheltenham is like a bug and everyone wants to get there," Christy Roche, the trainer, said. "She might not be the mare she used to be, but very few mares will have won a Grade One bumper, a Grade One hurdle and a Grade One chase."

The first of the home salvos was fired by Mighty Man, who retained his unbeaten record in the Top Novices' Hurdle. Henry Daly's gelding is gradually getting rid of the habit of running two races - one to get to the start and a second when the tapes go up - and even greater triumphs beckon. He even received one quote of 20-1 for the 2006 Champion Hurdle.

"He is going to be a lovely horse," Daly said. "He is a lovely horse now, but he will get better when he learns to settle and take less out of himself even in the paddock.

"There is no obvious race for him now unless he travels to Punchestown and he hasn't really got the mentality for that at the moment."

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
techResearchers recover 100s of nude photos from second-hand smartphones
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Digital Marketing,London

To £58k Contract 12 months: Charter Selection: Major household name charity se...

Key Account Manager, Medical

£35000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent commission structure + Car: Charter Sele...

Key Account Manager, Medical

£35000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent commission structure + Car: Charter Sele...

Account Management Strategy Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: Required skills:Previo...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice