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

A MUDDY jockey on a six- length winner: it could have been Ludlow, not Longchamp. After just five furlongs of unequal competition in yesterday's Prix de l'Abbaye, Lochsong crossed the line in isolation to confirm that no sprinter in Europe can live with her.

'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.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Account Manager (Junior)

Negotiable: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Account Manager (Junior) Account ...

Javascript Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

Solar Business Development Manager – M&A

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Lead IOs Andriod Developer

£80000 - £90000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Lead Applic...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried