Racing: Armiger to bolster Abdullah hand: Richard Edmondson on a prospective addition to a winning team who faces his sternest test at Doncaster this afternoon

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The Independent Online
FROM HIS record in the leading juvenile races this season, it must be assumed that Khalid Abdullah has bowls of Shredded Wheat, Weetabix and Golden Grahams before he goes up to watch his youngsters on the gallops.

Seldom has an owner gone into the winter months with such warm prospects to sustain him. As Abdullah rips pages off the calendar he can look forward by looking back at the performances of Zafonic and Tenby, the favourites respectively for the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby.

Tenby's credentials were established in the Grand Criterium at Longchamp, while Zafonic, who first sprang to prominence in the Prix de la Salamandre, confirmed himself a colt of the highest standing when winning the first of Britain's two juvenile championship races, the Dewhurst Stakes.

By this afternoon, Abdullah may have a third musketeer following Armiger's run in the second of those title events, the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

As well as having Khalid Abdullah in his corner, the Rainbow Quest colt has another useful second in the shape of Henry Cecil, who has won this race seven times in 17 years. The form of Armiger (3.45) is by no means his Achilles' heel either, as his debut success at Newmarket was in a fast time from Zind, who subsequently finished with some of Britain's finest in the Dewhurst.

Paul Green, Carvill's Hill's part-owner, has his first runner in Britain as a trainer when View From Above runs in the previous race. The mare, one of 10 horses Green prepares in the Channel Islands, has won a Derby, the Jersey version, but may not cope with a horse that ran in another Derby, for amateur riders at Epsom earlier this season, Simply-H (3.10).

The rain in Yorkshire yesterday will have come just in time for Roger The Butler (4.15), while Silent Expression (4.45) is back for the first time over the course where she recorded her most impressive performance of the season.

The most significant race at Newbury, the St Simon Stakes, involves two horses, Further Flight and Zinaad, who provoke protectionist instincts in their trainers.

The former has exhibited such honesty in his many years with Barry Hills that the Lambourn trainer has him second to only Rheingold in his all-time list. Zinaad (next best 1.45) has had just two runs in a career interrupted by a knee injury but has still managed to find favour with Michael Stoute.

The Newmarket man, aware that his well-bred colt may be called on for stud purposes at the end of the year, may be tempted to brick up his stable door. After Zinaad's victory in the Goldolphin Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month, Stoute said: 'I won't let them take him away.'

The races either side of the Group Three event should go to No Reservations (1.15) and SHAFFAAF (nap 2.15), who reappears quickly after chasing home Heart Of Darkness at this course on Thursday.

The weekend's top race in Europe, the Group One Prix Royal Oak (French St Leger) at Longchamp tomorrow, may serve to further display Khalid Abdullah's riches. He is represented by Allegan, who won by a margin of 18 last time. 18 seconds.