Racing: Invermark the right stamp

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The Independent Online
THE GOLD CUP has always been a tricky race, as Rex Harrison found when he discovered his wife Jeanne Moreau cavorting in The Yellow Rolls-Royce after winning the great contest as a movie owner.

Husbands should be on their guard therefore this afternoon when the old encounter will take some capturing. For since Master Jackey won the first running in 1807 of the Royal meeting's oldest race there has never been a field to match today's quantity.

A total of 17 aspirants will go to post for a marathon that was formerly a target for Derby winners. The Gold Cup invariably produces a dramatic finish and also attracts animals which perform well for years on end. This afternoon Celeric and Kayf Tara represent past winners, while Persian Punch goes in as the beaten favourite of the last two runnings.

However, the going as much as proven performance promises to have a profound effect today. Kayf Tara has performed his greatest deeds with cut in the ground, and a similar comment can be applied to Laurentide, whose trainer, Henry Cecil, has won this event five times. All will be inconvenienced.

INVERMARK (nap 3.45) too has soft-ground form in the locker, but his weight-carrying effort in the Chester Cup on terrain similar to today's suggests he has all-round skills. On that form he beats Rainbow High.

Underfoot conditions will certainly not be a hindrance to Credit-A-Plenty (next best 2.30), the filly which divided Ramruma and Noushkey in Lingfield's Oaks Trial. That form received the highest possible franking when that pair went on to dominate the Oaks at Epsom. Further persuasion comes in the form of John Dunlop's record in the Ribblesdale Stakes.

The day's second Group Two contest, the Cork And Orrery Stakes, has drawn Tomba and Andreyev, who were first and third respectively 12 months ago. The one here though is Bold Fact (4.20), who relishes ground close to concrete. Last time out at Lingfield, Henry Cecil's colt was demonstrably superior to Tipsy Creek, and that runner-up went on to win the prestigious Temple Stakes at Sandown.

Another owned by Khalid Abdullah and trained by Cecil, High Walden (4.55), appears the answer to the Chesham Stakes. The half-sister to Reams Of Verse is unraced, but the message from Newmarket is strong.

There are further encouraging dispatches from the sport's homeland for John Gosden's Warm Heart (3.05), a contestant in the Norfolk Stakes. He showed all the vestiges of immaturity on his Newcastle debut but still managed to bound four lengths clear of the opposition.

And finally, the completion of a Warren Place hat-trick awaits. Mayo (5.30) won so comprehensively on his handicap debut at Haydock it would be foolish to desert him.