Racing: Lochsong maintains Britain's Abbaye habit: Ian Balding's mare leaves Europe's top sprinters standing as the favourite for the 1,000 Guineas flounders in the Longchamp mud
Monday 04 October 1993
'I've never been so fast in my life,' her jockey, Lanfranco Dettori, said after a ride which tested only his ability to hang on. Lochsong was ahead after a couple of strides, clear after a furlong and beyond recall at halfway. Only Dayjur in recent memory has stamped such authority on the Abbaye, a race which has eluded a French- trained horse for 15 years.
Lochsong's success in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York completed her ascent from weak, unraceable immaturity through handicaps to a place with the best. Yesterday's win showed that reaching the top is no reason to stop climbing.
The problem is, where to? Dayjur went on to glorious failure in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, a race to which Lochsong's quick-start, front-running style might seem ideally suited. But amid Dettori's lavish praise there were words which counselled caution.
'She is one of the all-time greats,' he said. 'She is a true five-furlong horse who loves the soft.' But at Santa Anita in California next month they will race over six, and beneath the dirt, the track will be cooked solid. A more probable schedule will give Ian Balding's mare a winter break before she attempts to reinforce her predominance next season.
While Jeff Smith, Lochsong's owner, matched Dettori compliment for compliment - 'she's absolutely fabulous, unbelievable' - next door in the runner-up's enclosure Eric Alston was more than holding his own. Alston's Stack Rock was the unlikely second ahead of Monde Bleu, and increased the Lancashire trainer's prize- money total by pounds 33,000. The John Gosden-trained Wolfhound, who beat Lochsong comfortably at Haydock last month, found the pace too hot and finished seventh.
Lochsong's was the only success which required the winning owner to find a Bureau de Change. French- trained horses defended the remaining purses, with Elie Lellouche sending out Verveine to add the Prix de l'Opera to a big-race double on Saturday and Sierra Madre taking the big juvenile fillies' event, the Prix Marcel Boussac.
Struggling behind the latter was Coup De Genie, who showed nothing of the form which had made her ante-post favourite for the 1,000 Guineas. The heavy going, and a body-clock which told her winter was coming, were offered as excuses for her poor performance, and the bookmakers appear to have been persuaded. Ladbrokes' price of 6-1 for next spring's Classic is still the best available.
Before the weekend, Sheikh Mohammed's prospects in both that contest and the 2,000 Guineas were looking frail, but a smart price of horse trading has strengthened them considerably.
The Sheikh has purchased four juveniles - Royal Ascot winner State Performer, the unbeaten filly Balanchine, Escarpment and Shepton Mallet - from Robert Sangster, and plans to race them in Dubai during the winter before repatriating them for the 1994 campaign.
Latest in Sport
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...