Racing: Miesque's Son to keep it in family

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The Independent Online
Summer may be lingering in the air, Indian style, but the racing calendar's run down to the wire starts this weekend. The three Group One races staged - one in Britain, one in France and one in Ireland - mark the start of the final autumn shakedown.

As far as the divisional championships are concerned, the one heirarchy that does seem settled is among the sprinters, where Anabaa reigns supreme. Most of the 11 runners in today's Sprint Cup at Haydock have been seen off by the French colt as he established his dominance so, although the pounds 77,250 first prize is not to be sneezed at, whoever wins may have to settle for the silver medal at the end of the season.

Even in the absence of Anabaa, the booty may go to France, courtesy of Miesque's Son (3.30), who chased him home at in the Prix Maurice de Gheest last month. That was the lightly-raced four-year-old's first appearance at the highest level after a cosy win in a lesser event - where he beat a smart filly who has franked the form since - and he appears to be on an upward curve.

His trainer John Hammond knows what it takes to win the race, having scored with his only two previous runners, Polar Falcon and, last year, Cherokee Rose, and rates this colt their equal. There is also family honour at stake at Haydock, as his dam (no prizes for guessing her name) and two older siblings, Kingmambo and East Of The Moon, picked up 16 Group One races between them for the Niarchos family.

Danehill Dancer ran his best race of the year when only a neck behind Miesque's Son at Deauville, where the ground was softer than he will encounter today, and must be respected. But the chief threat may come from Lucayan Prince, who beat all bar Anabaa in the July Cup after running away with the Jersey Stakes, and whose stable is flying. Like the favourite, six furlongs is his minimum trip and a strong pace - certain today - will suit.

Whether or not Miesque's Son can ultimately follow in his dam's hoofprints in the Breeders' Cup Mile - which is on his programme rather than a clash with Anabaa over five furlongs in the Abbaye - remains to be seen, but tomorrow afternoon at Longchamp the Prix du Moulin should identify who will carry the Tricolore against Britain's contenders for miling honours, in Europe at least, in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot later this month. Spinning World can give the Niarchos colours a cross-Channel double.

The spotlight falls on the two-year-olds fillies in Ireland tomorrow, where 10 contest the televised Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh. Ryafan looked potentially smart when she made a winning debut at Doncaster and can give the raiders a fifth victory in six years.

Results, Wolverhampton card, Moyglare Stakes & Prix du Moulin fields, page 24