Racing: Shantou has Classic stamina

There is no place for the faint-hearted up the long, gruelling, Doncaster straight. And here yesterday Shantou put to the sword those who had doubted his courage by beating Dushyantor by a hard-fought neck in the 220th St Leger.

The race, run in glorious sunshine, provided the biggest crowd for 20 years with a tremendous spectacle as the Derby second and third fought out the finish of the world's oldest Classic with no quarter given on either side. It was a second successive St Leger for Frankie Dettori, and a first Classic winner for John Gosden since he was head- hunted from California by Sheikh Mohammed to train in Newmarket eight years ago.

In the Derby, Dushyantor finished ahead of Shantou as they chased Shaamit home, but the extended 14 furlongs on Town Moor provides a different test, and it was Shantou who came through it best. Three furlongs out Pat Eddery cruised towards the front on the favourite and, as Sharaf Kabeer weakened, Dushyantor went two lengths clear a quarter of a mile from home, with Dettori hard at work.

But neither the Italian nor his gallant little partner gave up, and under forceful driving Shantou put his head down and caught his rival five strides from the line. It was four lengths back to Samraan, who was followed by Mons, St Mawes and Wilawander.

The finish was racing at its best as two gallant colts unflinchingly answered every demand. However, two hours after the race it was announced that Dettori - who hit Shantou 14 times - had been banned for four days, from 23 September, and Eddery two days. The suspensions took some of the gloss off the race, but it must be stressed that it is the wording of the whip rules, rather than the stewards' interpretation of them, that is flawed.

Any further whip misuse will put Dettori in line for a lengthy holiday, yet according to Gosden, it was his jockey, who had chosen to ride Shantou instead of Sharaf Kabeer, who made the difference. He said: "The horse is not an easy ride, but he runs for Frankie. He has a wonderful empathy with horses, and certainly brings out the best in this one. But when I saw his elbows at work two out I thought we were in trouble. He rode a phenomenal race, but all credit to the horse for digging so deep."

Shantou had to overcome severe problems as a youngster. He was diagnosed a wobbler - prone to incoordination and paralysis in his hind quarters - and it was touch and go whether he raced.

Dettori, who delighted the appreciative Yorkshire crowd with his trademark flying dismount and uninhibited hug for Sheikh Mohammed (technically a breach of the rules), deliberately brought Shantou wide of Dushyantor as he made his final thrust. He said: "The one thing I wanted to do was keep away from the other horse, give him nothing to race with, because he is so tough. I wanted so much to win the race for John."

Plans for Shantou are fluid, but Dushyantor reverts to 12 furlongs in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, for which he is 25-1 with Hills.

If Doncaster provided a vindication of the Derby form, Leopardstown did not. Shaamit finished a tame fourth in the Irish Champion Stakes and is out to 20-1 for the Arc. The winner Timarida, who won going away from Dance Design, has been cut to 16-1 for the Paris race, for which she would have to be supplemented.

The Arc focus switches today to the three televised trials at Longchamp, where the market leaders Helissio and Pentire are in action. The three- year-old colts, including Peter Chapple-Hyam's Polar Flight, put their case in the Prix Niel, in which Helissio, who met his only defeat under a bad ride in the Prix du Jockey- Club, cannot be opposed.

Swain, who beat yesterday's Goodwood winner Singspiel in the Coronation Cup, is the most dangerous of the four rivals Britain's best middle-distance horse, Pentire, will face in the Prix Foy. The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner should prevail even in the absence of an obvious front-runner to ensure a truly-run race.

The fillies, mostly closely matched on their best form, take the stage first in the Group One Prix Vermeille, where British hopes lie with Bint Salsabil (John Dunlop), Papering (Luca Cumani) and My Emma (Rae Guest), but Andre Fabre's Tulipa, who has had a break since winning the Ribblesdale Stakes and is reportedly sparkling, may keep the Group One prize at home.

In the day's other Group One contest, the Prix de la Salamandre for two- year-olds, Zafonic's much-touted baby brother Zamindar can redeem the reputation he tarnished in the Prix Morny at the expense of Peter Chapple- Hyam's Revoque.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
books
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Sport
sport
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine