Racing: Soumillon on Hurricane stand-by

Assuming Kieren Fallon remains ineligible, Chris-tophe Soumillon will ride Hurricane Run at Ascot on Saturday.

Having ridden him last season, prior to his purchase by Coolmore Stud, Soumillon had appeared the obvious candidate to replace Fallon in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. But the prolonged reluctance of the colt's connections to name a rider has evidently cloaked certain political differences among them.

For much of yesterday, it was understood that Olivier Peslier had instead been chosen for the ride. This would have represented a considerable snub to Soumillon. Though clearly a rider of rare brilliance, Soumillon did not shine when last riding in this country, repeatedly meeting traffic on Ouija Board in the Eclipse Stakes. Nor, indeed, did he win many admirers when finishing fast into second on Hurricane Run himself in the Prix du Jockey-Club last year.

Perhaps André Fabre, the colt's notably autonomous trainer, made a stand on his behalf. One way or another, by yesterday afternoon Soumillon was back at the head of the queue.

Though none would confirm these machinations on the record, insiders were adamant that Soumillon had won a late reprieve. This seemed to be reflected by jockey bookings for Simply Perfect, a filly also in Coolmore ownership, and trained by Jeremy Noseda. For much of the day, Peslier was booked to ride her in the Princess Margaret Stakes on the same card. By the end of the afternoon, he had been replaced by Soumillon.

It is the wish to avoid precisely this kind of saga that encourages the Coolmore partners to retain a jockey. Unfortunately, the divisive treatment of Fallon by the Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA) means that they must reconcile themselves to more of the same, for so long as they stand by their man.

Fallon's licence to ride in Britain has been suspended pending his trial on a charge of conspiracy to defraud, even though it may take him two years to clear his name in court. The Turf Club has insisted throughout that he should be allowed to ride in Ireland on the principle that he remains innocent unless proven otherwise.

Tomorrow, Fallon's lawyers will hope to persuade the High Court that the HRA has abandoned that precept. They not only need to get a positive judgement, however, but need to get it pretty promptly, as final declarations for Ascot will be made even as the court is in session.

That will doubtless seem a fairly remote contingency to Soumillon, who will be eager to bring his flair to one of the great occasions in the European calendar.

As Sir Michael Stoute, who saddles Maraahel, said yesterday: "If he's back to his best, Hurricane Run will win." Nonetheless, he professed a degree of optimism for his 16-1 chance. "We're hoping to come back with something," he said. "Mara-ahel is an honest, consistent horse. Though he might seem to have a bit to find against the best, he has already run very creditably in Group One company, and we know he likes the track."

News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
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

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing