Racing: Quito has advantage of draw in quest to land historic double

Justice will only really be complete, Alan Berry probably believes, if he ends the week with the Ayr Gold Cup in his back pocket.

Justice will only really be complete, Alan Berry probably believes, if he ends the week with the Ayr Gold Cup in his back pocket.

It was quite possible on Tuesday that the Cockerham trainer's career would be in tatters, but Berry was acquitted at the Jockey Club of charges of conspiracy to defraud over the running of Hillside Girl last summer. Now he will hope Circuit Dancer and Commando Scott acquit themselves just as well in Scotland this afternoon.

The former, generally available at 20-1, would appear to be the most fancied of the pair, and has been drawn apparently favourably in stall 26 in the field of 28 runners. "He's going to win a big race one day," Berry said yesterday. "He's won a couple of good races at York - he won well there this year. He just needs everything to go his way. It's a bit of a lottery, but if you haven't got a ticket you can't win it. I don't think the ground will bother him. He's won on soft. He ran his best race early on this year on heavy ground at Thirsk."

Commando Scott comes with a less ringing endorsement. "He'll like the soft ground, that's the only reason why we declared him," Berry added. "His form has been real good, but he has needed plenty of cut in the ground. It's asking a lot for a three-year-old, but he's in there doing his best. He's at the right end of the handicap and Paddy Mathers takes 5lb off his back."

The imperative of the high draw also brings into the equation last year's winner, Quito (next best 3.10), who will be bidding to be the first horse since Heronslea in 1930 and 1931 to do the double in consecutive years, and just the third, along with Raeberry in 1908 and 1910, to win the race twice. Only those two handicappers of old, along with Coastal Bluff (9st 10lb) in 1996, have carried bigger weights to victory than Quito's burden of 9st 8lb for the six-furlong contest.

Yet David Chapman, Quito's trainer, considers the seven-year-old has a serious chance as he cannot believe what he sees when the horse comes out of his box these days. "He looks very well. He's bigger and stronger than he's ever been, and to look at he looks a better horse [compared with last year]," Chapman said yesterday. "He's always been a bit lean and lanky, but he's got a neck on him now and a back on him.

"I don't think we've seen the best of him and the ground won't be a problem. He's rated 106 which I think is 14lb more than last year. Tony [Culhane] likes to come late on him. I'll just leave it up to him."

At Newbury, the class race is the Mill Reef Stakes, which in the event of overnight rain, is likely to turn into a contest of attrition. Those circumstances should suit Salsa Brava (3.25) most admirably. Several old lags contest the grandly-titled World Trophy, and while Pivotal Point has possibilities for the tyros, the form book says one of the greybeards in The Tatling (2.20) is the form choice and one which will be bolstered by rewarding odds.

Elsewhere on the card there is big money available in the John Smith's Stakes, for which the conditions favour COUNSEL'S OPINION (nap 4.00), while the sales race is best left to Umniya (2.50), fourth in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

Battle resumes at Ireland's principal racecourse this afternoon, when the estimable Vinnie Roe attempts to extend his sequence in the Irish St Leger to four. Dermot Weld's horse has to surrender one year and this could be it. Like last year, Aidan O'Brien's Brian Boru (3.40) has been largely disappointing for much of the campaign, but, also like last season, when he won the Doncaster St Leger, he is now primed for action.

* Brazilian-born apprentice Nelson de Souza gained his biggest success in Britain when bringing Paul Cole's Eisteddfod home in front in the Ayr Silver Cup yesterday. The first five raced on the stands side and Fonthill Road was the first home of those who elected to make their bid up the far rails. With today's Ayr Gold Cup in mind it appeared as if high numbers had the best of the draw, but some observers felt that come this afternoon, down the middle could be the best place to be. Rain is forecast and that could undo the drying work the sun and wind did yesterday.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
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

Campaign Manager

£40000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Campaign Man...

JQuery Developer (JQuery, C#, front-end, JQuery, UI, Tomcat)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organ...

Senior Sales Supervisor

£75000 - £100000 per annum + bonus, bens: Progressive Recruitment: Sales Super...

Linux Systems Administrator - UNIX, Linux, Shell, Bash

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...

Day In a Page

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
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil