You could see the circle of racing life yesterday at Marcus Tregoning's Kingwood House yard, high above the village of Lambourn.
The old hero Nayef was in his box, resting before his final effort, in the Champion Stakes a week today. Elsewhere, yearlings from the Newmarket Sales were being brought off trucks and allocated stables from where it is hoped one will emerge to further transport the Kingwood banner.
"Yes, it's all starting again," Tregoning said. "Nayef has done us a tremendous amount of good. He's been around and in the public eye for a long time. He's won a big race for us every year and that's very important in terms of establishing an operation. It will be sad to see him go, but he can't go on for ever."
It is interesting to note that this afternoon commemorates the anniversary of the day when Nayef first burst into the public consciousness by galloping away with the millenium running of Ascot's Autumn Stakes. It may be significant that Tregoning has chosen to run Elshadi in this year's race, especially as the colt also won the Haynes, Hanson and Clark Stakes at Newbury which has been the nursery for champions including Shergar, Unfuwain, Rainbow Quest and Nayef himself.
It may have been an enchanting journey thus far, but there is one element of Elshadi which is much less fairytale. On both starts thus far, and it continues this afternoon, he has worn headgear. "He's needed the blinkers because basically he's just very immature mentally," Tregoning said. "Lots of two-year-olds in the States run in blinkers the whole time and this horse won't necessarily need them all his life.
"But, just at the moment, he's being a bit of a playboy and, as he's running so well in them, well why not?"
With just five runners it will be a tactical Autumn Stakes. And as Elshadi and Sir Michael Stoute's Menokee look like staying horses for next year, it could be that Fantastic View (1.15) will do them both for speed.
Tregoning saddles Tahreeb in the Cornwallis Stakes and considers the colt to be his tip of the day, but the chestnut is badly drawn. That cannot be said about Needles And Pins (2.20), who will be ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori if he recovers from the food-poisoning that caused him to miss a winning ride at York yesterday.
"Frankie is a good booking," Michael Bell, the trainer, said. "Nobody knows how to ride Ascot like Frankie. My horse is very effective over five, as she showed in the St Hugh's Stakes [at Newbury], and is in very good form. For a filly this time of year, she looks fantastic."
The stalls lottery has also been kind to the course-and-distance winner Peruvian Chief (nap 1.45), who did not run a bad race in the Rous Stakes on his last outing nine days ago at Newmarket, considering he was drawn out of it. The six-year-old, who was fourth in this event from the wrong side last year, has come down in the weights this season, so far now that he has a sporting chance of just about making all.
The Princess Royal Stakes appears as though it was devised for Summitville (2.50), who gets in well here courtesy of a failure to win a race this season. James Given's filly was, however, third in the Oaks, and, if she settles early here, she wins.
At York, there is a chance for the appallingly named Blue Tomato (1.40) in the Rockingham Stakes now that connections have recognised he is not Nijinsky. This Listed race is more the preserve of a course-and-distance winner.
The best bet on the Knavesmire concerns Ice Cracker (next best 2.10), who quickened to lead close home at Goodwood recently. She may be up 4lb for that venture, but could have something in reserve and is worth pursuing, not least because she emerges from an advantageous low draw.
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