Racing: Pole Star hopes go west

Two trainers with the same name are forced to suffer very different fortunes

Magnanimity in adversity is priceless in the world of the fragile equine physique, as trainer Evan Williams demonstrated yesterday. The Welshman, something of a wizard with crocks, swallowed his disappointment with grace after Pole Star, whom he had thought not only a certainty here in the novices' chase but also a genuine Cheltenham Festival prospect, trailed home a well-beaten second and walked off the track sore.

The eight-year-old, once third in an Ascot Gold Cup in his palmy days on the Flat, has had his share of physical vicissitudes and seemed, after five years in a Newmarket yard, to have lost the plot mentally as well. But the transfer during the close season to the wide-open spaces of Llancarfan, Glamorgan, and a change of regime appeared to have worked the oracle after a sparkling success at Exeter.

But any dreams are now on hold after Paul Green's classy little gelding limped away, accompanied by the course vet, after being unsaddled. "The bubble has burst," Williams said. "I knew we might be in trouble when the other one went past us so quickly but you just have to take this sort of thing on the chin and get on with it. Winning is good, it's what we all want to do, but first and foremost we want the horses to come home safe. I'd rather he'd gone down a short-head and finished sound than for this to have happened. I don't like to say he was beaten only because he seems to have gone wrong behind because it sounds disrespectful to the winner, but he did come here in absolutely terrific form."

Williams had positive news of his most famous revitalised charge, the Hennessy winner State Of Play. "He's well and happy and we're just chipping away with him," he said. "I've no regrets about not taking on Kauto Star round Kempton. I expect we'd have got blasted off the park like everything else."

Last month's Newbury victory elevated Williams to the big-time. His New Year resolution is level-headed, though. "Just to keep surviving," he said. "That's the hardest part."

The horse who finished 19 lengths to the good yesterday, Flying Enterprise, prompted a double for Venetia Williams. Tony McCoy, in the saddle, pressed 4-6 shot Pole Star throughout the final circuit, eventually pulling clear from three out. "It was his plan to ride like that, to take on the favourite," said Williams (NYR: "to lose the overweight I put on over Christmas."). "The horse is not very big, but he's very brave." The Williams double, completed by handicap chaser Fast Forward, was nearly a three from three here, her third runner Kelrev going down to Lord Of Beauty in the handicap hurdle. Limerick Boy, though, did bring up a treble for the yard at Haydock.

Lord Of Beauty's trainer Noel Chance (NYR: "To give up drinking... no, make it to have as many more winners as possible!") performed a fine feat of conditioning with the six-year-old, whose outings since running on Grand National day last year have been restricted to two recent preps on Wolverhampton's all-weather. "He has legs of glass," said Chance of the chestnut. "But we knew if they held up the handicapper had given him a chance. He may have one more run over hurdles but then he'll go chasing. His legs have been fine, and those runs on the all-weather have stood them in good stead, but you never know when they might go again."

Nicky Henderson's hopes for 2007 were clear after Amaretto Rose became his ninth winner in six racing days in the novices' hurdle. "To keep going like they are running at the moment," he said. "It's been a jolly good Christmas." Amaretto Rose, making her hurdling debut, looked smart as she quickened 13 lengths clear of trailblazing Hobbs Hill. The nursery at Lingfield achieved its place in the history books by dint of all five declared runners hailing from the same stable, a first on the Flat. The contest became a match when trainer Peter Grayson withdrew three, leaving 2-11 favourite Grange Lili to beat Foxy Music a neck.


Best shortshot
Still unexposed over fences and back up in trip, the former pointer Flash Cummins (Warwick, 3.05) can continue to progress.

Best longshot
Beauchamp Twist (Warwick, 1.35) was hinting at ability at this moderate level before being brought down on his latest run.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most