Racing: Bookies' faith is in Kooyonga

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The Independent Online
Despite the presence in the line-up of the Derby winner and the Oaks runner-up, Kooyonga has been put in by the bookmakers at extraordinarily short odds for next Tuesday's International Stakes at York.

After examining yesterday's 12 five-day declarations for the pounds 200,000 race, 5-4 was the longest price quoted for Kooyonga by any of the three major firms. Ladbrokes were the ones who peeked over the parapet, but Coral, who make the Irish filly an even-money chance and William Hill, who have chalked up 11-10, are firm in their belief that the Eclipse Stakes winner will see off the representatives of the Classic generation as well as Ruby Tiger and last year's winner, Terimon.

Michael Kauntze, her trainer, is not quite so confident. 'I'm frightened of all of them,' he said yesterday. 'There's a lot of very good horses in there, but you have to be most worried about a Derby winner and it's flattering to Kooyonga that she is favourite to beat him.'

Warren O'Connor will again be in the saddle. Criticised for his handling when Kooyonga was disqualified at Royal Ascot, he showed no lack of confidence when coming from off the pace to land the Eclipse and a Group One race in Munich 11 days ago.

'It's a good, long straight at York and I would imagine we would adopt similar tactics,' Kauntze said.

Rodrigo De Triano was the only surprise among the entries and Peter Chapple-Hyam admitted there was only a 'slight possibility' the colt would switch to York if the ground became too soft at Deauville where his intended target is Sunday's Prix Jacques le Marois. William Hill offer Rodrigo De Triano at 6-1 'with a run'.

There has been speculation that Dr Devious worked badly earlier this week but Chapple-Hyam said yesterday that he was perfectly satisfied with the Derby winner. Nevertheless, those seeking to oppose the favourite might instead prefer the rather longer odds offered against Terimon (33-1, Coral), who is returning to racing in the anticlockwise direction he prefers, and Luca Cumani's lightly raced runner Masad (25-1, Ladbrokes), who has been impressing on the gallops.

Terimon's likely partner, Michael Roberts, continues to suffer pain from the neck and shoulder he injured in a fall on the gallops and was out of action for the third successive day yesterday.

He missed five rides at Salisbury, one of which won, but is confident of resuming the quest for his first jockeys' championship at Newbury today. 'I spent an hour with my physiotherapist this morning and she picked up a spot on my right shoulder blade where there's a torn muscle,' he said. 'I tried riding at Clive Brittain's but when I went a good gallop on the horse the right arm was really painful.'

Painful for punters is having to endure three trotting races slotted into today's Southwell card. It is a questionable use of Tote resources to sponsor these events, an affront to their customers to include the races in the Placepot, and an insult to Nijinsky that one of the pacers in the 3.55 bears his name.

Runners for Southwell's trotting races:

2.10: Tote Credit Handicap Pace

1 Saunders No Limit, 2 Wingfield Star, 3 Red Admiral, 4 Ynys Stirling, 5 Viceroy, 6 Worth Seeing, 7 Rylock, 8 Flynn, 9 Forest Sun, 10 Red Sky, 11 Saunders Ayres, 12 Cranfield Ted, 13 Hot Sarah.

3.55: Tote Bookmakers Handicap Pace

1 Saunders Rolex, 2 Staly TT, 3 Military Lobell, 4 Silver Lobell, 5 Laurie's Son, 6 Nijinsky, 7 Greenfold Surprise, 8 JR's Flygol, 9 Afton Dream, 10 Rainstorm, 11 Master Mir, 12 Saunders Destiny, 13 Stoneriggs Inmate, 14 Black And Silver.

5.50: Tote International Free For All Trot

1 Star Trade, 2 Mr Will, 3 Kerat Horsenaes, 4 Mark Lobell, 5 Evelyn Hazelaar, 6 Yoboko Du Bois, 7 Boni, 8 Ideal Key, 9 Xola Budd.