Racing: Entrepreneur the Classic collector

Racing

Words became deeds here yesterday as Entrepreneur, the talking horse of the close season, won the 2,000 Guineas on his first public appearance of the year. But the script might have been different if Revoque, the runner-up, had enjoyed as clear a passage down the Rowley Mile as the winner. The favourite, eating ground at the finish, was beaten just three- quarters of a length.

However, it is Entrepreneur's name which goes into the record books, and it is he who is the evens-money favourite to become the first colt since Nashwan eight years ago to complete the rare Guineas-Derby double. Time may show his victory, however fortuitous, was that of a very good horse indeed.

It is no longer a surprise that major races can be won by seasonal debutants, and Entrepreneur, with only three previous races under his considerable girth, was prepared for his date with destiny by one of the masters of that craft, Michael Stoute. As the outsiders Shii-Take and Starborough headed the charge from the stalls Michael Kinane let the big bay colt stride out in about fifth place, his high cruising speed keeping him easily in touch with the leaders. By half-way he had grabbed the pitch on the rails, and when the Irishman popped the question well before the two-furlong marker the response was immediate.

Entrepreneur quickened in the style of a top-class horse and belied his inexperience to stick his head down and repel Revoque's desperate efforts on the wide outside. A length and a half behind, Poteen ran on to snatch third place from Starborough, with French challenger Zamindar fifth.

It was yet another excellent training performance from Stoute, who started the year in style with Singspiel's victory in the Dubai World Cup. He has never hidden his admiration for Entrepreneur, but declined to get involved in the winter-time hype which had the big bay son of Sadler's Wells billed as the second coming of Pegasus. He said: "When we started working him as a two-year-old he exuded class, and we were quite excited. But a lot of rubbish was talked about him and what he had done at home. Today was the test, and he has done it well. He was relaxed beforehand, and a proper racehorse where it mattered. But it is still early days."

Revoque's run was every jockey's nightmare, and not much better for owner Robert Sangster and trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam. Their colt, who had looked a picture in the paddock, was slowly away and John Reid's unfortunate decision to weave wide to see daylight must have cost him more than the winning distance. Whether or not he would have beaten Entrepreneur will long be debated, but he must be judged unlucky not to have been given the best opportunity to have done so.

Sangster, though desperately disappointed, was stoical. "If you can't take this sort of thing, you shouldn't be in the game." There may be the prospect of a re-match, as Revoque has the Derby on his agenda after either the Irish 2,000 Guineas or the Dante Stakes, though a one-sided one if the market is correct, as Revoque is 7-1.

Entrepreneur will go straight to Epsom, with fine prospects of giving Stoute a third Derby (after Shergar and Shahrastani) to go with his third Guineas (after Doyoun and Shadeed). Comparisons with Shergar were inevitable, and Stoute said: "This one has a lot more speed than Shergar. We didn't even consider the Guineas for him."

The Newmarket-based trainer added: "He has shown he has the speed to win over a mile, and I am hopeful he will stay a mile and a half. His sister Dance A Dream was second in the Oaks, and he is a good-actioned, well-balanced horse, so the gradients should prove no problem."

Entrepreneur, bred about two miles from the racecourse at Cheveley Park stud (where his dam gave birth to a baby half-brother on Friday night), cost a whacking 600,000 guineas at auction as a yearling, but for once in the uncertain world of bloodstock trading it was money well spent. "Of course I was hopeful he'd be a champion," said his owner Michael Tabor, "but what you expect and what you get are not always the same thing."

One of the features of this meeting has been the poor showing by the Dubai-wintered Godolphin horses, and matters did not improve in the big race, where Shamikh trailed in 14th.

Racing results, page 15

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links