Racing: Queen has rivals in a spin

Hills springs a surprise and Spencer on the mark for in-laws in Cambridgeshire

That business about not being able to win if one does not take part may be a statement straight from the university of the bleedin' obvious and Spinning Queen, surprise winner of yesterday's Sun Chariot Stakes, certainly was something of a have-a-go heroine. But her shrewd and experienced trainer Barry Hills need apologise to no one for a well-executed tilt at a windmill that brought a prize of £113,160 and the kudos of being a Group One winner to the hitherto unheralded filly.

In a field reduced in interest and strength by the withdrawals of Peeress, Speciosa, Flashy Wings and Vague, Hills' son Michael, in the saddle, bounced Spinning Queen, the 12-1 outsider of the five runners, straight into the lead from her berth next to the far rail. The chestnut three-year-old galloped along happily in the sunshine, shadowed by the two top-class older mares, Alexander Goldrun and Soviet Song.

But to the consternation of most, a shadow was all they ended up chasing down the Rowley Mile. Spinning Queen, not in the least inconvenienced by the soft, rather tacky ground, was three lengths clear soon after halfway and continued her serene progress to the extent of a nine-length advantage at the line, leaving the winners of eight Group Ones between them fighting for the runner-up spot. Soviet Song claimed it by a neck, with her stablemate Musicanna fourth and Red Evie, the other top-level winner, a long last.

Hills snr admitted that his first plan had not been to fly so high with Spinning Queen, who had not before demonstrated she could cope with the ground, distance or company of yesterday. "She's tough, and she always runs good, solid races," he said. "But the original plan had been to go for the Challenge Stakes [a grade lower and a furlong shorter]. But then we thought, 'if you're not in it you can't win it'. We did work out how to try to do it beforehand. There would have been no point at all in trying to beat Classic standard horses from behind, so the only way to do it was to wind it up from the front. They were hold-up horses, we got the script right and it's nice to see artistry can still have its day."

Hills jnr executed the plot perfectly, aided by a willing partner. "I had to take the bull by the horns, you can't give a bunch of Group One winners a start," he said. "She didn't seem to like it soft earlier in the year, but she's stronger now and she moved like a dream going to the start. And she's also more settled in her mind, less hot-headed about the whole thing. She saves her energy for when it matters."

Spinning Queen, a daughter of Spinning World, is scheduled to go under the hammer next month at the Newmarket sales and must now be considered a most valuable asset. Her trainer, though, hopes such plans may be abandoned. "She's getting better," he said, "and she'll be better still next year. She's not very big, but good things are supposed to come in small packages."

Victories by daylight may be acceptable in elite contests, but they are not supposed to happen in competitive large-field handicaps. Nonetheless, 9-1 shot Formal Decree turned the Cambridgeshire into a procession, coming in a comfortable four lengths clear of the next of the 33 runners, Blue Bajan at 25-1. Pinpoint (10-1) pipped Take A Bow (40-1) for the minor honour, with 9-2 favourite Smart Enough fifth. The winner, a three-year-old trained by Richmond-based Alan Swinbank, was a chance ride for Jamie Spencer, whose intended mount Cesare was withdrawn. Spencer, whose mother-in-law Lynda Ramsden is one of Formal Decree's part-owners, replaced Dean McKeown.

Like several recent Cambridgeshire winners, Formal Decree seems a Group horse in disguise. "He will get further than this," said Swinbank, "and we will take him to Dubai for the winter carnival."

Otherwise, here and at Longchamp, the afternoon belonged to Godolphin. First to strike was Caradak in the French Group One feature, the Prix de la Foret; fifteen minutes later Satchem beat stablemate Pinson for a Group Three one-two down the Rowley Mile; and - jamais deux sans trois, sure enough - the set came though Echo Of Light in the Group Two Prix Daniel Wildenstein. And the boys in blue have unbeaten US star Discreet Cat to look forward to tonight at Belmont Park.

Both the French winners were ridden by Frankie Dettori. The Italian inched Caradak home by a short-neck ahead of dead-heaters Welsh Emperor and Linngari but, despite a swerve close home from the rather quirky four-year-old, had a rather easier two-length success on Echo Of Light, with Picaresque Coat, galloping companion to Japanese Arc contender Deep Impact, in second place.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn