Racing: Beneficial leaves Wragg with regrets: A fine Derby trial makes no difference to the ante-post lists as the winner is not entered for Epsom

Click to follow
The Independent Online
A TANTALISING performance in a Derby trial here yesterday as Beneficial produced a swaggering display to take the Dee Stakes. The victory for Geoff Wragg's colt had Epsom written all over it, but the necessary printing has not been done elsewhere. Beneficial's name is not among the Derby entries.

'He wasn't put in the Derby because I didn't think he was good enough for it, and that he wouldn't be suited by Epsom,' Wragg said.

Beneficial was certainly suited by the Roodeye, however, impressing both Ladbrokes, who would have put the colt in at 10-1 for the Classic had he been a consideration, and jockey Michael Hills.

'When I've ridden him before it's been with give in the ground and I think he's better on this,' he said. 'I was always travelling like the winner and he quickened up in the straight like a really good horse.'

BenefiEcial accelerated so well, in fact, that he pared more than half THER write errora second from the course record established by Sir Harry Lewis in 1987. That winner went on to finish fourth to Reference Point at Epsom.

Yesterday's win was all the more impressive in that Beneficial opened up four lengths between himself and the rest down the short straight of Chester's Rollerball circuit.

'If he was in the Derby I would certainly not want to be getting off him,' Hills added. 'He travels well, he's going to get that trip and he's got a turn of foot, so all the credentials are there.'

Hills has gone close in the premier Classic before, in 1988 when Glacial Storm was second to Kahyasi, and believes this horse a similarly competent runner. 'It's hard to make comparisons and Glacial Storm ran the race of his life on Derby day, but this one is at least as good as he was,' he said.

Instead, Beneficial will now compete in the sort of race that must make German racecards the thickest pamphlets in European racing, the Group Three Grosser Hertie-Preis Von Deutschland over 11 furlongs at Munich later this month. A successful mission there will lead connections to go for the 12-furlong Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, where Beneficial would attempt to restore family pride: his half-brother, Jeune, beat all but Beyton in the race last year.

Jeune and Beneficial are linked by more than blood. Both have proved potent animals after being taken out of the Derby by their owner, the late Sir Robin McAlpine, who died earlier this year.

'He was not too generous with his entries,' his nephew, Bobby McAlpine, a director and steward at Chester, said yesterday. 'He watched them like a hawk.' The pounds 200 he saved by not entering Beneficial in December 1991 may prove to have been a rare business lapse by the construction magnate.

Ante-post investments on Yawl, Barry Hills's leading Oaks fancy, appear similarly unsafe following reports that the filly is coughing. She will now miss next Tuesday's Musidora Stakes at York, and her recovery rate will determine whether she takes in Goodwood's Lupe Stakes or goes straight to Epsom. Coral and Ladbrokes both extended the filly by two points to 10-1 on receiving this news. In Yawl's absence, the Musidora is now at the mercy of the Oaks ante-post favourite, Sueboog, who will face just four opponents.

Another resting filly over the coming weeks will be Sayyedati, Clive Brittain's 1,000 Guineas winner. The trainer believes that she may have drained herself in the first Classic, and possible engagements including the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot are now likely to be shelved.

Brittain has been persuaded to run Sueboog at York because the watering equipment has been turned on at the Knavesmire. There was watering also at Chester yesterday, in the eyes of those behind Beneficial.

Roger Duchene, 37, one of France's most experienced jump jockeys with over 230 winners, was killed in a fall at Auteuil yesterday. He did not regain consciousness after suffering a crushed chest at the Riviere du Huit (Eight Stream) fence.

Comments