Racing: Missing Gait opens way for lightweights in Ebor
Greg Wood focuses on the changing shape of next week's big York handicap
Tuesday 08 August 1995
Bold Gait proved in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle last month that he could carry top weight to success in a major handicap and, despite his 9st 10lb burden for York, he had been well supported for the Ebor. However, James Fanshawe, his trainer, said yesterday: "I'd like to give him a bit longer since his last race in the Goodwood Cup, and he'll go for the Doncaster Cup instead. In any case, it's only a mile and six at York and I think he's better at two miles plus, so the two miles and two at Doncaster should suit him."
Goodwood was also the venue for the most recent outing of Embracing, the Ebor favourite, though it was as long ago as 30 June when Michael Stoute's filly beat a small field in an uninspiring 0-90 handicap. It was her fourth success from five outings this year, though, and it would be no surprise to see the 7-1 offered by Ladbrokes shrink even further now that she will come within the compass of the handicap proper. The remainder of the firm's list reads: 10-1 Diaghilef, Wishing and Foundry Lane, 12-1 Son Of Sharp Shot, Burning, 14-1 Lombardic, Sanmartino, 16- 1 others.
Fanshawe is one of many trainers whose team for next week's meeting will depend on the ground. Henry Cecil is another who may not wish to risk valuable horses on unsuitably firm terrain, and if the going remains fast, may saddle just two serious contenders, Eltish in the International Stakes and Double Dagger in the Ebor. Similar worries may also force him to withdraw Kalabo, a candidate for the St Leger, from the weekend's main event, the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
A dozen names were left in the Geoffrey Freer yesterday, but Burooj, trained by David Morley, is one of very few certain runners. Moonax and Richard Of York seem sure to miss the race if the ground does not ease, while both Presenting and Don Corleone, who have the St Leger as their principal aim, may take an alternative route to the Classic.
The St Leger now seems likely to suffer the indignity of finding itself sponsorless this year, following the withdrawal of the financially-challenged communications company, Teleconnection. The firm, it seems, has yet to pay up for last year's race, supposedly the first stage of a three-year association with Doncaster, and since it has moved out of its offices without leaving a forwarding address, you can only hope that the clerk of the course is not holding his breath.
"Whatever happens, the St Leger will go ahead as it always has done," Simon Carr, the course's marketing director, said yesterday. "It is still a Classic, the prize-money is still the same and this year's event has the potential to be the most exciting for years. It survived without sponsorship until the 1980s and what I don't want to do is throw it open on a cheap, one-year deal. Ideally, we are looking for a three-year deal, and with all this publicity, anyone coming in now will have an instant high profile."
With that sort of talent for accentuating the positive, Carr's career in marketing will surely be glittering. Others may feel, though, that the St Leger has become unfortunately accident-prone. Perhaps Carr's first call this morning should be to the sponsorship co-ordinator at Direct Line.
n John Reid's mount, Scribe, finished down the field in South America's richest ever race, the pounds 751,880 Grande Premio Brasil, at Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. The Group One contest went to the Argentinian-trained El Sembrador, who edged out Talloires by a nose in front of a crowd of some 80,000.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Latest in Sport
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...
£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...