THE ABSENTEE notes started to collect yesterday in advance of this weekend's Guineas meeting at Newmarket and the most notable omission will be Godolphin's Embassy from the fillies' Classic.
Last season's Cheveley Park winner has survived the aircraft food on the journey from the Emirates, but, like plastic cutlery, she is to be saved for another day.
"Her progress has not been as good as we have wanted for Sunday and it would not have been fair on her to run," Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, said yesterday. "That said, we are pleased with her. She is doing well.''
The Arabian team will now be represented solely by Cape Verdi and is not exactly compromised by having just a single warrior in the contest. Cape Verdi was heavily backed once again yesterday and the former property of Robert Sangster finished trading at 7-4 (from 2-1) with Coral.
A further probable scratching from the 1,000 Guineas was Lady In Waiting. Paul Cole has been unable to exercise his filly for the last two mornings because of her damaged foot and she now appears unlikely to attempt to translate her good gallops form to the Newmarket flatlands.
"It is looking unlikely that she will run," the Whatcombe trainer said yesterday. "She has a problem and missed work again this morning.''
Cole's former inmate Central Park now seems to be Godolphin's main weapon in tomorrow's 2,000 Guineas. The colt will be steered by Frankie Dettori, while the travelling side's No 2, Almutawakel, will be left in the hands of John Carroll.
The other two Godolphin entries, Altibr and Zaya, will be going through customs once again as they point at the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas).
A clue to Godolphin's strength this season, the fifth when their buccaneering ships have tied up in Britain, comes this afternoon when Mutawwaj is produced alongside the regally bred debutant Nasaayem. They will at least have the benefit of good ground unrecognised by most garden-tenders recently in Britain.
"It was dry today and dry yesterday and the forecast is pretty encouraging for the weekend," Nick Lees, the Newmarket clerk of the course, said yesterday. "It [the forecast] is warm on Saturday and hot on Sunday, so things are looking up. There will be good ground for tomorrow and Saturday unless anything untoward happens."
This relative Suffolk desert witnesses the seasonal reappearance today of the St Leger winner Silver Patriarch, whose effort (for breeding syndication purposes) to be established as the leading 12-furlong creature has been facilitated by the retirement of Peintre Celebre.
Those close to the horse inform that we will see a far more mature beast emerge from the saddling area this afternoon for the Jockey Club Stakes. It will be no easy for Silver Patriarch, however, as his opponents include more than water-bearers. The bonny Celeric is his stable's support act, while the Derby third Romanov, and the talented coupling of Kingfisher Mill and Happy Valentine, will also ensure this is much more than a triumphal march.
There is a further Group contest in a Sagaro Stakes which has been kept in cold storage from Ascot's abandoned Wednesday card. There is a great favourite (if not a market favourite) here in Double Trigger, who will wrestle with the likes of Persian Punch and Busy Flight.
l Today's scheduled race meeting at Newton Abbot was abandoned yesterday because the track was waterlogged.