Handicappers swing from yesterday's hero

Racing

JOHN COBB

A year ago Celtic Swing received the most glowing references from the handicappers who compile the International Classifications. This year, almost as if they were blaming him for letting them down, they have snubbed him.

Then he was given the highest rating achieved by a juvenile on turf in the 17-year history of the Classification, at 130 a full 6lb clear of his contemporaries. Clearly, after a season in which he failed to win a British Classic, Celtic Swing could not command such impressive figures again, but having erred on the optimistic side last year, the handicappers have not been so generous to the dark bay colt this time. On a figure of 124 he is 6lb behind Britain's best, Lammtarra, but also deemed 5lb inferior to Bahri, whom he beat on the only two occasions on which they met.

At least Celtic Swing has an opportunity to prove that the first set of figures came nearer to the truth as he remains in training this year with the Dubai World Cup as his first target. Lammtarra, who despite heading the figures for three-year-olds and upwards, was allowed a rating of only 130, will have no opportunity to improve his status having been whisked off to stud. His mark is some 11lb below Dancing Brave, the highest-rated horse since these records began.

Despite clinching the big-race treble of Derby, King George and Arc last achieved 24 years before by Mill Reef, Lammtarra languishes behind other recent champions in Reference Point (rated 135), Warning (133), Old Vic and Zilzal (134), Dayjur (133), Generous (137) and St Jovite (135).

Also of concern is that Lammtarra is rated 2lb inferior to America's Cigar (132), who tops the world list as the Classifications fully embrace the European and North American form for the first time.

Britain's senior handicapper, Geoffrey Gibbs, argued that it was impossible to rate Lammtarra any higher. "There is a requirement within racing that we need heroes and I wouldn't disagree with that," he said. "Lammtarra was latched on to as being a hero and all sorts of comparisons were made, notably with Mill Reef, and I am afraid most of them were very wide of the mark.

"We are not damning Lammtarra, but he hasn't in his life beaten a horse by more than a length. He was very courageous but never showed the brilliant turn of foot Cigar has shown time and time again.

"Cigar was five and it was a great sadness that Lammtarra will never be asked a serious question against three-year-olds when he would have been a four-year-old.

"Everything he was asked he did, probably through courage, but he didn't sit part three of the examination. His were unique achievements but we can't say he was a world-beater because of what he achieved."

And, while now conceding that in the early years of the Classifications the ratings were 5-7lb too high, Gibbs stands by the more recent assessments. "Dancing Brave's Arc victory was a unique performance. Bering was an outstanding horse in his own right but the way Dancing Brave beat him was quite remarkable."

The search for this year's hero begins with a trawl through the juvenile ratings (above). Alhaarth's figure of 126 at the top of the tree is not as commanding as Celtic Swing's last year, but only Royal Applause, on 124, is rated within 6lb of the 2,000 Guineas and Derby favourite. "He demonstrated his immense versatility, answering everything he was asked most impressively," Gibbs said.

LEADING PRICES FOR THE CLASSICS: (C=Coral; H=William Hill; L=Ladbrokes):

2,000 GUINEAS: 2-1 Alhaarth (H), 14-1 Royal Applause (H & L), 20-1 Beauchamp King (L), 20-1 Danehill Dancer (C & L), 20-1 Mark Of

Esteem (H), 25-1 Bijoi D'Inde (L), 25-1 Coldstream (H), 25-1 Lord Of Men (H & L), 33-1 Allied Forces (H), 33-1 Le Triton (H).

1,000 GUINEAS: 3-1 Bosra Sham (C & H), 5-1 Blue Duster (C, H & L), 20- 1 Bint Shadayid (H & L), 25-1 Bint Salsabil (H & L), 25-1 Pricket (C & L), 25-1 Sea Spray (C, H & L), 25-1 Solar Crystal (H & L), 33-1 Applaud (L).

DERBY: 7-2 Alhaarth (C), 20-1 Beauchamp King (C & L), 20-1 Coldstream (H), 25-1 Bijou D'Inde (C & L), 25-1 Lord Of Men (H), 25-1 Mark Of Esteem (H), 25-1 Mons (L), 25-1 Sacho (H & L), 25-1 Silver Dome (C & L), 33-1 Micks Love (C), 33-1 Helicon (C & H).

OAKS: 16-1 Bint Salsabil (C, H & L), 20-1 Bosra Sham (C & H), 20-1 Bint Shadayid (C & H), 25-1 Lady Carla (H), 25-1 Ruznama.

TOP 30 TWO-YEAR-OLDS IN INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATIONS

Rating Name Breeding Sex Owner Trainer Trained

126 Alhaarth Unfuwain - Irish Valley c Hamdan Al Maktoum W R Hern GB

124 Royal Applause Waajib - Flying Melody c Maktoum Al Maktoum B Hills GB

120 Danehill Dancer Danehill - Mira Adonde c M Tabor N Callaghan GB

119 Blue Duster Danzig - Blue Note f Sheikh Mohammed D Loder GB

Rio Duvida Salse - Fluctuate c Lady Harrison D Loder GB

118 Lord Of Men Groom Dancer - Upper Strata c Sheikh Mohammed J Gosden GB

Loup Solitaire Lear Fan - Louveterie c D Wildenstein A Fabre Fr

117 Manninamix Linamix - Mrs Annie c J-L Lagardere A Fabre Fr

Miss Tahiti Tirol - Mini Luthe f D Wildenstein A Fabre Fr

Tagula Taufan - Twin Island c R & E Hitchins I Balding GB

116 Almaty Dancing Dissident - Almaaseh c P Savill C Collins Irl

Woodborough Woodman - Performing Arts c R Sangster P Chapple-Hyam GB

115 Beauchamp King Nishapour - Afariya c E Penser J Dunlop GB

Eternity Range Majestic Light - Northern Eternity c Mme F Boutin P Bary Fr

Kahir Almaydan Distincly North - Kilfenora c Mirza Al Sayegh J Dunlop GB

Le Triton El Gran Senor - La Tritona c Maktoum Al Maktoum Mme C Head Fr

Mons Deploy - Morina c Mrs E Vestey L Cumani GB

114 Bosra Sham Woodman - Korveya f W Said H Cecil GB

Shake The Yoke Caerleon - Bermuda Classic f S Brunswick E Lellouche Fr

113 Allied Forces Miswaki - Mangala c A Altayer H Cecil GB

Ashkalani Soviet Star - Ashtarka c HH Aga Khan A de Royer Dupre Fr

Barricade Riverman - Balleta c K Abdullah A Fabre Fr

Bint Salsabil Nashwan - Salsabil f Hamdan Al Maktoum J Dunlop GB

Cayman Kai Imperial Frontier - Safiya c I A N Wright R Hannon GB

Even Top Topanoora - Skevena c B Schmidt-Bodner M Tompkins GB

Mawwal Elmaamul - Dish Dash c Hamdan Al Maktoum R Armstrong GB

Occupandiste Kaldoun - Only Seule f J Wertheimer Mme C Head Fr

Spinning World Nureyev - Imperfect Circle c S Niarchos J Pease Fr

Tumbleweed Ridge Indian Ridge - Billy Blue c Tumbleweed Partnership B Meehan GB

With Fascination Dayjur - Fran's Valentine f G Strawbridge J Pease Fr

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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: 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