Racing: Rambo's return mission

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The Independent Online
WHEN Jeremy Glover sold his 1989 Cambridgeshire winner, Rambo's Hall, to America for pounds 100,000, he was entitled to believe he had seen the last of the best horse to have passed through his yard. That was until the phone rang, offering him a pounds 75,000 profit and a chance to pursue a second victory in one of the autumn's richest handicaps.

Glover is responsible for just 24 horses at his decidedly unfashionable base of Worksop, Nottinghamshire, but with the comings and goings of Rambo's Hall he has achieved a financial coup that even a currency trader would be proud of. When the horse's new American owner phoned Glover to say that Rambo's Hall had failed in the glamorous setting of Santa Anita, California, Glover offered pounds 25,000 to buy him back, and drew up a training schedule that has now established him as 8- 1 second favourite for this year's Cambridgeshire, at Newmarket in eight days.

There was just one problem: warts, and lots of them (now retrieve your breakfast from the kitchen floor). Most troublesome of the lot was a growth on one of the horse's legs, and in removing the unsightly carbuncle damage was done to a tendon, hence the lack of interest when Rambo's Hall recently won two claiming races at Haydock.

From the way he sprinted clear of Croft Valley in the Hoover Handicap here yesterday it was clear that Rambo's Hall is fully sound again, and when Glover says 'everything I've ever planned with this horse has worked out,' you can be sure that a second victory in the Cambridgeshire (soft ground permitting) is part of the scheme.

Not schemed or planned-for yesterday was the success of Queen's View in the Blue Seal Stakes. Granted, the Luca Cumani stable had won five of the last six runnings, but this time Henry Cecil's Felucca was being touted as the winner (even by Cumani), a fact which was reflected in the starting prices.

They went 15-8 Felucca and 10-1 Queen's View, and - let's all sing it together - Queen's View won. It was a shade more rewarding for Cumani than Bonny Scot's performance in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes: fourth to Opera House, who will now be dispatched to Belmont Park for the Turf Classic.

There was pounds 110,000 in prize- money at Ascot, yet virtually all the talk was of races not yet run. Would Rodrigo De Triano, Second Set, Mystiko and Marling run in tomorrow's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, will Cunning contest the Arc, will Michael Roberts accompany Lyric Fantasy or Sayyedati in next week's Cheveley Park Stakes?

Roberts, not unnaturally, had hoped Sayeddati would contest the Fillies' Mile here tomorrow rather than mix it with Lyric Fantasy at Newmarket, but Clive Brittain, the former's trainer, is among many reluctant to risk their finest on Ascot's rain-sodden terrain, whatever the potential rewards. Rodrigo is almost certain to miss the foremost European mile race, but in the spirit of warped optimism that pervades this parish, most of the other fast-ground specialists are holding their position (temporarily, at least).

Here are the latest prices, which represent the best guide to running plans: 5-4 Selkirk, 7-2 All At Sea, 7-2 Marling, 10-1 Lahib, 12-1 Brief Truce, 14-1 Second Set and 40-1 bar. The message in trainerspeak yesterday was that the ground is 'soft, but not bad'. Put that in your betting computer.

(Photograph omitted)

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