RACING: So Factual adds to the score

RACING

GREG WOOD

reports from the Knavesmire

"Oaks, Derby, Eclipse, King George, International." Simon Crisford, racing manager for the Godolphin operation, counted on his fingers the British Group One races the team has won this year, after watching So Factual bring up the half dozen in yesterday's Nunthorpe Stakes. Had he wished to add up their global total at the highest level, he would have needed to remove his shoes and socks.

That figure now stands at 11, but probably not for long. So Factual certainly looked capable of improving it yesterday, hitting the front at the distance before comfortably holding the unexpected challenge of Ya Malak by a one and a half lengths, with Hever Golf Rose third. Mind Games, the 10-11 favourite, was notable only for his absence when it mattered.

It was a stirring performance, not just by the horse but also by his jockey, Lanfranco Dettori. Thirteen days ago, Dettori left Haydock in an ambulance after a heavy fall and yesterday was riding for the first time since.

"Before my first ride today I was really nervous," the champion jockey said afterwards. "Is my timing right? Do I still look good on a horse? - so many things were going through my mind." It was, and he does.

Crisford went on: "The horse really deserved that. He's very youthful and very willing, but he must have fast ground." If the good weather continues, So Factual will travel to Haydock next month for a fascinating rematch with Lake Coniston, the July Cup winner whom he beat very narrowly in the Cork and Orrery Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Since So Factual won on dirt in Dubai during the winter, the Breeders' Cup Sprint must also be a possibility.

The poor performance of Mind Games - he missed the break and was never going well - was a bitter blow for Jack Berry, his trainer, who has yet to win a Group One race and may never have a better chance. There was disappointment for Berry, too, in the Lowther Stakes, in which his My Melody Parkes was caught by Dance Sequence after setting a fierce pace which saw off the rest of her field.

Harayir, last year's Lowther winner, went on to take the 1,000 Guineas, but Walter Swinburn, Dance Sequence's jockey, was refreshingly frank about the chances of a repeat performance. Blue Duster, 12-1 favourite for the Classic with Coral, has beaten Dance Sequence twice this season and in Swinburn's view will do so again, if required. "I rate Blue Duster, I really do," the jockey said. "Even after her first start, I knew she was going to be very hard to dethrone." Dance Sequence is a 33-1 chance with Hills to prove him wrong.

There was talk of Classics, too, before the Convivial Maiden Stakes, in which Mukabir, said to be the equal of his stablemate and Derby favourite Alhaarth, made his debut. Mukabir certainly looked the part in the paddock, big, strong and well-muscled, but from that point things started to go wrong. He went to post much faster than his seven rivals, but came back rather more slowly, fading from well over a furlong out to finish almost last. Alhaarth, we must hope, will perform rather better in today's Solario Stakes at Sandown.

Upfront, Desert Boy and Leonine were separated by just a short head at the line, with the former adding to Peter Chapple-Hyam's growing collection of juvenile winners. The trainer took particular satisfaction from his belief that there are others back at Manton with the beating of Desert Boy. "I've got a few more cards to play yet," he said, and wise backers will mark his words well.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there