Racing: Khassah to take shine off Dazzle

The winning post at the end of the July Course will be the most obvious marker at Newmarket today, but by no means the only one. For many racegoers, there will be a mental milestone too, placed at the point where, with four Classics and Royal Ascot already behind, the first half of a Flat season has finished and the second can begin.

The July meeting at Headquarters brings more than just a change of mood. The cast list too will reflect the advancing campaign, as horses which have been with us since April start to drop away, and the Pattern cycle for two-year-olds is set in motion. From now on, the winners of good juvenile events will have two prices - the one they started at and the derisory one on offer for the 1997 Guineas, all of nine months distant. Smart punters, as ever, will back them at the former and ignore the latter.

Indeed, this year the process has started even in advance of the Cherry Hinton Stakes, today's valuable contest for two-year-old fillies, with Ladbrokes quoting Dazzle, who is expected to start favourite today, at 20-1 for next year's 1,000 Guineas. Khassah, perhaps her most serious opponent today, is 25-1 for the same Classic.

For Khassah's trainer, John Gosden, the second half of the season cannot start too soon. The opening months of the campaign have generally been miserable ones for Gosden, but when Shantou ran third in the Derby it announced that some form was returning to his string, and his strike-rate over the last fortnight has been almost 25 per cent.

Khassah (next best 3.05) should improve Gosden's percentage still further today, for while Dazzle may have won Royal Ascot's Windsor Castle Stakes on her racecourse debut, it was hardly the strongest juvenile event of the week and Khassah's successful introduction at the Heath meeting was every bit as impressive. The filly looked outstanding both in the paddock and on the way to post, and even more so on the way back as she comfortably put two lengths between herself and her field. With three unbeaten runners in today's race (Peter Chapple-Hyam's Ocean Ridge is the other) this could be a very significant contest, and Khassah should emerge with her record intact.

Chapple-Hyam chose the maiden which opens today's card to introduce Colonel Collins three years ago, while last year the finish was fought out by Alhaarth and Mark Of Esteem. Although the big Newmarket yards are not represented today, this should again be a maiden worthy of the closest scrutiny, even if it is a non-starter for betting purposes.

Whatever the fate of Chapple-Hyam's debutant, Equal Rights, in this race, the Manton trainer stands every chance of collecting the card's most valuable event, the Princess of Wales's Stakes. While the purse is not quite the pounds 20m which might seem appropriate, ASTOR PLACE (nap 3.40) can still add a worthwhile sum to his handler's prize-money total and strike a blow for the Classic generation in the process.

Though he has won just a single, very weak, race so far this season, Astor Place ran much better in the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) than his eighth placing might suggest. In receipt of almost a stone from the likely market leaders, Bequeath and Singspiel, his chance is far stronger than his odds might indicate.

A maximum field of 20 will go to post for the one-mile handicap, but this is perhaps not so competitive a race as it appears and may take rather less solving than the nine-runner rated handicap later on the card. Ninia, Saifan, Crown Court and Charlie Chang are the ones for the short-list, with Ninia (2.35), now reunited with Jason Weaver, the probable winner. The rated handicap is far more problematic, and Galine is little more than a grope in the dark.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Health & Social CareTeacher

£100 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Health & Social Care T...

RE Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Temporary Teacher of RE require...

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: PSHE Teacher required in Devon - Star...

SEN Teacher (Primary)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: SEN Primary Teacher required Devon

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice