Racing: Value in taking Distant View: Rivals may run Turtle close in the absence of his preferred amphibious terrain

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The Independent Online
THE RACE that promises to be the most intriguing of next week's Royal Ascot meeting enticed bookmakers to produce their prices after yesterday's five-day declaration stage. For once, they appear to have left caution aside as in unanimously, and understandably, making Turtle Island a short-priced favourite, they are quoting large prices about some talented colts who will have excellent chances if the favourite drops out because of the going.

Peter Chapple-Hyam's outstanding winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas will line up in Tuesday's Group One race provided the ground is not firm and is as short as 11-10, with Coral, to return first. Yesterday the going at the Berkshire course was good up to the final furlong, where it had turned good to firm.

The forecast for the weekend would not suggest that the course will be a sun-baked desert by Tuesday, but nor does it indicate that Turtle Island will have the testing conditions that enabled him to spreadeagle the opposition in both the Irish Guineas and Newbury's Greenham Stakes.

On good going at Longchamp he was narrowly defeated by one of Tuesday's opponents, Green Tune, who is 9-2 to inflict a second defeat. But for those willing to gamble that the weather will allow dry ground, there are more interesting propositions. Grand Lodge, hopeless on heavy at The Curragh, looked a different horse on the faster ground of the Rowley Mile when second to Mister Baileys in the 2,000 Guineas and is 7-1 with Coral. Distant View, who did best of the disadvantaged stands side group in the Guineas, is 8-1 with the same firm and Ladbrokes, while Darnay, who looked an improved performer when second in the Group One Prix Jean Prat last time, is 16-1 with those organisations.

Chapple Hyam's attacking policy means he also plans to curtail the recuperation time for his Derby horses, Colonel Collins and Pencader, and they are likely to reappear in the King Edward VII Stakes on the same day.

'Colonel Collins will run if the ground is good and it is supposed to rain on Sunday,' Chapple-Hyam said. 'The alternative is the Eclipse.'

Otherattractions on the Ascot opening day are a Coventry Stakes for which three Chapple-Hyam juveniles, Citadeed, Missel and Rambrino are engaged, and a competitive Prince of Wales's Stakes that has attracted 19 contestants. These include Ezzoud, who has been surprising his trainer, Michael Stoute, on the Newmarket gallops by forsaking his usual laziness and finishing in front of his stablemates.

ST JAMES'S PALACE STAKES (Ascot, Tuesday). Coral: 11-10 Turtle Island, 7-2 Green Tune, 7-1 Grand Lodge, 8-1 Distant View, 10- 1 First Trump, 12-1 Psychobabble & Royal Abjar, 16-1 Darnay, 66-1 Dover Straits, 200-1 Czarna; William Hill: 5-4 Turtle Island, 9-2 Green Tune, 6-1 Grand Lodge, 7-1 Distant View, 9-1 First Trump & Royal Abjar, 12-1 Darnay & Psychobabble, 14-1 Dumaani, 100- 1 Czarna & Dover Straits; Ladbrokes: 5-4 Turtle Island, 9-2 Green Tune, 6-1 Grand Lodge, 8-1 Distant View & First Trump, 9-1 Psychobabble, 10-1 Royal Abjar, 14-1 Dumaani, 16-1 Darnay, 50-1 Dover Straits, 150-1 Czarna.

(Photograph omitted)