Racing: Pekan primed to keep Kremlin House on high

There is perhaps no more frightening name among racing's strongholds than Kremlin House, with its built-in image of cold austerity, yet no greater surprise when the front door opens at the Newmarket yard.

There is perhaps no more frightening name among racing's strongholds than Kremlin House, with its built-in image of cold austerity, yet no greater surprise when the front door opens at the Newmarket yard.

For on the carpet at the premises on the Fordham Road is Michael Jarvis, the town's longest-serving trainer and a man for whom the word avuncular was minted. Jarvis would appear in good spirits even if his goldfish had just died, so heaven knows what noises are wafting through the letter box as the deliveries are made this week.

Jarvis, at 65, has just enjoyed an extraordinary Royal Ascot with three winners, among them the mighty Rakti in the Prince of Wales's Stakes. A glorious season lies ahead for the nasty horse and even more immediately for the nice man, as big-race glory beckons for Jarvis once again this weekend when his Anak Pekan is likely to start favourite for the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.

This is the race alternatively referred to as the Pitmen's Derby, not in memory of a retired Jumps trainer but in memory of a band of forgotten people who used to go underground in search of a material called coal.

Anak Pekan's credentials are far more modern. He won the Queen's Prize at Kempton this season and then the Chester Cup by five lengths, victories which damaged his handicap mark first by 10lb and then by 11lb. Nevertheless, he remains the one feared in the richest two-mile handicap in europe.

"The horse is well and this has been his target since Chester," Jarvis said yesterday. "He's taken a huge leap in the handicap, but when they win as easily as he did at Chester you can't complain too much.

"The ground might be more of a concern. He's a sound horse and he's run quite well on fastish ground, but he's most effective on soft. It's rained up there a bit and more is forecast, so hopefully it will be decent. He should give a good account of himself."

While Anak Pekan is perhaps unsurprisingly in good nick, the same, unusually, can be said for most of the Kremlin House team which performed with distinction on the road surface in Berkshire last week. "We had nine runners and seven of those came back 100 per cent," Jarvis added.

One of the more tender, though, is Red Fort, who was jarred up during his victory in the Wolferton Stakes. Beware backing him for the John Smith's Cup at York next month.

Rakti is far too much of an ogre to get hurt by anything as simple as a race and is growlingly ready to go again. "He's a bully, a horse who wants you in his box for the least possible time," Jarvis said. "He doesn't mind you coming in with his feed, stroke his coat, a quick brush and put his rug on, but that's enough. He likes to show who's boss on the racecourse as well and if you see him in the paddock he pulls his poor lad [Bob McGonagle] around.

"He's on course for the Eclipse. There's huge prizes out there and when a horse is four and five that's when they're really at their peak. Horses mature quite a bit from three to four. There's that mileage on the clock and they know how to race. They're battle hardened."

RICHARD EDMONDSON

Nap: Lochbuie

(Salisbury 3.10)

NB: Red Birr

(Salisbury 4.40)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before