Racing: Injury scuppers Turtle plunge: Punters marooned as Chapple-Hyam colt treads water until York next week

THE hours leading up to the weekend's opening race are meant to be a time for cheerful optimism, before the day's first loser heralds a return to reality. Today punters are denied even that small comfort, thanks to the withdrawal of Turtle Island from the Group One Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville tomorrow.

This, of course, is the colt who won the Irish 2,000 Guineas by 15 lengths, such is his liking for a soft surface. Heavy rain at the Normandy track had been matched by floods of money for Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt in the ante-post book on the weekend's main event, but yesterday he was found to be lame.

It will be of little comfort to Turtle Island's supporters that the injury is sufficiently minor to make the International Stakes at York on Tuesday a possible alternative engagement. With typical insensitivity, the bookmakers quickly introduced him into the betting for that event, though Coral and Ladbrokes at least had the decency to add the 'with a run' proviso to their odds of 100-30 and 4-1 respectively. Hills prefer to target the incurable optimists with 8-1 all-in.

Though Turtle Island was favourite for the Jacques le Marois in some books, even without him the British challenge for the race down Deauville's straight mile remains strong. Sayyedati, winner of the race for Clive Brittain last year, will be joined by Barathea, Emperor Jones and Mehthaaf, though Francois Boutin's East Of The Moon, winner of both the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas) and Prix de Diane (French Oaks) is expected to start favourite. Ski Paradise, to be ridden by the Japanese champion Yutake Take, Signe Divin, Lunafairy and Matelot complete the home team.

Deauville in August is as close as French racing gets to Royal Ascot but, in a country which phased out its own royalty two centuries ago, the month-long meeting is thankfully more about style than class. No such luck for British punters, who will be forced to make do with the 'French theme' to the day's racing at Newbury (probable translation: people in berets and hooped T-shirts selling overpriced baguettes and plonk).

Here, too, there is a name to make backers curse, as Henry Cecil's Red Route contests the card's feature event, the Group Two Geoffrey Freer Stakes. Red Route had a brief, inglorious day or two as a leading fancy for next week's Ebor Handicap, before Cecil made it clear that rather more prestigious assignments are anticipated for the three- year-old, in particular the St Leger. Success this afternoon against five experienced stayers would mark Red Route down as a live contender for the final Classic.

The most interesting race on the supporting card is, typically, not thought worthy of television time. The Yattendon Maiden Stakes is, almost without exception, the launch-pad for a useful two- year-old: former winners include Nashwan, while last year Pencader beat Hawajiss with a horse called Erhaab way down the field in 12th.

Peter Chapple-Hyam, Pencader's trainer, saddles Varnishing Day this afternoon, and all the yards worth mentioning also send representatives. Careful study of the promising also-rans will bring its reward in the weeks and months to come.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
news

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
News
London's New Year's Eve fireworks event is going to be ticketed this year for the first time at £10 a head
news

Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Life and Style
tech

Try putting that one on your Christmas list
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Lecturer - Construction

Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Construction Lecturer needed for a Col...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job ? This is a new post...

Primary Teacher EYFS, KS1 and KS2

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week