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
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...