Racing: Arc Trial leaves hopefuls Scorned

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The Independent Online
AS ITS name might suggest, the Arc Trial was supposed to admit entry up the Longchamp gangplank to two horses here yesterday. It didn't quite work out like that.

Taipan and Posidonas were the animals expected to frank their credentials for France in just over two weeks' time, but all they could do was fill the frame behind a horse for whom a place had been the brightest prospect at start of play. Scorned is not entered in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and neither is he to be supplemented for the project.

"I thought we'd do well to be in the money and he's exceeded expectations," Ian Balding, the winning trainer, said. "He's a lovely horse and, while I might be slightly biased because we bred him, he's very likeable. He should be a lovely four-year-old.''

Posidonas will go to Longchamp only if the weather turns the way that followed the construction of another ark, and more positive news concerns the participation of another pair of horses. Saeed Bin Suroor is uttering very confident noises about Daylami and Sea Wave, who performed at either end of the spectrum over the weekend.

The former appears to be superficially in good order following his success in the Man O' War Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday. His trainer does not share the doubts of others that the Arc trip is outside his range.

Sea Wave had the shortest prep race in Arc memory in the Prix Niel on Sunday, decanting Frankie Dettori after five yards. "He's never done that before," Bin Suroor said, in the comforting way dog owners appease after their pet has savaged your leg.

Sea Wave will be given a stalls test at Newmarket this morning, then several pieces of sharp work to ready himself for the big day. Hope is by no means lost. Godolphin were staggered by the gallops Sea Wave was producing with some of their best creatures before the Great Voltigeur and were fearful that the colt would not be able to produce a similar display on the track. A course record and a four-length victory later, they felt a little more comfortable. In addition, Sea Wave has reportedly improved since York.

David Loder would be hard pressed to improve his record with two-year- olds but he's doing his best. The Newmarket trainer, who has a 44 per cent strike-rate with his juveniles, welcomed back Berlioz after yesterday's first-race win - then nominated the Dewhurst Stakes as the colt's next outing. "We hope he's going to be a very nice horse," the trainer said. He's that already.

Fearful trainers should be aware that Loder has ammunition to spare. "There's a few more still to come," he said. "Enough to keep us busy until the end of the season.

"I very much enjoy training two-year-olds because they're fresh and they don't know any better. Hopefully, everything they know is what you teach them."

For those who keep notebooks in their anorak pockets, there are some Loder horses worth remembering for the weeks ahead. They are Lujain (Middle Park), Calando (Fillies' Mile and Breeders' Cup Juvenile), Sicnee (Royal Lodge) and Kareymah (Prix Marcel Boussac). You have been told.