Proton's force to lift Magnum

Racing

GREG WOOD

With the BBC's Match of the Seventies currently earning impressive ratings, Channel 4 too seems to have decided to enter the sporting nostalgia market this afternoon by reviving the ITV Seven. Most of the essential ingredients are there: six handicaps and a maiden, a visit to one of the country's less glamorous venues, and competitors whose fame does not extend much beyond their stable door. Not, of course, that that will deter Bank Holiday punters from attempting to back all seven winners, any more than it did 20 years ago.

The feature event, in theory at least, is the Moet & Chandon Silver Magnum at Epsom, which would be just another 12-furlong handicap were it not for its importance to those riders with the time and resources to consider themselves Gentleman Amateurs. This is the "Amateurs' Derby", over the Classic's course and distance, and the problems Epsom can pose even for professional jockeys are doubly significant today.

If the riders are a little lacking in technique, however, it is impossible to argue with Reg Akehurst's record in valuable handicaps, and the trainer seems likely to add to his haul today. Proton (3.40), his runner in the Magnum, has finished second on his last two starts, but on both occasions showed sufficient form to win this afternoon. By contrast, Casual Water, perhaps his most significant rival, has superficially impressive form figures but has run up his sequence in some very weak 14-furlong events.

It is not just Epsom's Classic course which asks some unique questions of horse and rider. Thirty minutes after the Magnum, 11 runners will set off down the straight five furlongs, the fastest sprint track in the country, and one on which course-specialists are always worth following. In particular, it may find out Painted Desert, a lightly raced filly from Roger Charlton's yard, whose recent han- dicap debut was over Sandown's very stiff five furlongs.

One runner who adores Epsom, though, is ALLTHRUTHENIGHT (nap 4.10), who swoops down the hill with such delight that he should even overcome the additional handicap of a wide draw. General Rose (3.05) is another who should go well, having recently finished a good second at Brighton, which closely resembles the Surrey switchback.

At Newcastle, an impressive pounds 20,000 has been added to the stakes for the two-mile handicap, attracting runners from as far away as Arundel. John Dunlop's Shining High is one of two three-year-olds in the field, and both have the potential to succeed, but an opponent who is old enough to be their grandfather may put them in their place. Good Hand (3.20) is still capable of useful form, and has now dropped to a handicap mark which gives him a chance to produce it.

Bonne Etoile (next best 3.55), has a very generous weight in Newcastle's Listed handicap, while Western Fame (2.50) can ensure that John Dunlop does not leave the North empty-handed.

Dunlop enjoyed success rather closer to home yesterday when Bint Shadayid got up in the last strides to beat Papering in the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood. "That frightened me to death," the trainer said. "She lost her action down the hill and from there it was a bit of a panic."

Bint Shadayid's odds for next year's 1,000 Guineas are unchanged at 14- 1 with William Hill, and she will now face her sternest test to date in either the Fillies' Mile at Ascot or the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp.

Swain may soon be a very familiar name to British punters following his comfortable defeat of Michael Stoute's Zilzal Zamaan in the Group Two Grand Prix de Deauville yesterday. Andre Fabre's colt is entered for the St Leger, but Sheikh Mohammed, his owner, also has Affidavit entered for Doncaster and a decision on their participation will not be taken until next week. William Hill, though, clearly feel that Swain will go to Town Moor, and he is now their 11-2 second favourite for the final Classic.

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: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence