Racing: Search for new Chief

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IMMATURE, like the season itself, 11 runners filed into the paddock before the first race of the year at Newmarket. Proud owners looked on, convinced the new season would bring glory. Classic trials get all the attention, but no contest better epitomises the Craven meeting than the Constant Security Maiden Stakes (Class D), writes Greg Wood.

Tons of beautifully-bred horseflesh strolled around, and optimism glowed from experienced men and women. After all, the winner of this humble event last year went on to be placed in the Oaks, while in a similar race later the same day, Commander In Chief, the Derby winner, made his debut.

Many of yesterday's runners' pedigrees featured sires like Sadler's Wells, Alleged and The Minstrel. No matter that some looked like two-year-olds, and others like novice chasers. No matter either that the first horse home from this costly collection turned out to have been 'spun' (rejected) at the sales after failing a wind test. Not even a bookmaker offering 40-1 about his chance in the Derby could shake the expectancy.

The winner's name, incidentally, was New Reputation. Naturally.