Racing: Wannabe makes it to the big time

YOU COULD feel the coming winter in the air here yesterday, and you could see it too, in the first traces of dull, woolly coats worn by a few of the runners for the Cheveley Park Stakes. Wannabe Grand was not one of them, though, and for her the seasons all seem to come as one. "An iron filly," Jeremy Noseda called her after she had beaten off Imperial Beauty by half a length, and only a fool would argue.

This was Wannabe Grand's eighth race of the season, which would be a fair campaign for a four-year-old handicapper. For a well-regarded juvenile, it is almost unheard of, but Wannabe Grand is a generous horse who thrives on hard work. "She's incredibly tough," Noseda said. "There could be more talented horses, but her attribute is toughness. She's danced every dance this season, and still come back for more."

Noseda himself has been around the ballroom a few times for a trainer in his mid- thirties. An assistant to John Dunlop and John Gosden, and then an important backroom boy for Godolphin, he left to train in America for a season and a half before returning to Britain last year.

He now has a Group One winner among the 40-odd horses he prepares in Paul Kelleway's old yard on the Bury Road, which is all the more commendable given that neither his former employer at Godolphin, Sheikh Mohammed, nor any of the Maktoum brothers figures among his list of owners.

For the moment at least, he is doing very well without them, although yesterday's race could well be as good as it gets for Wannabe Grand. Noseda, like Mark Johnston, seems to have the rare ability to keep horses at their peak for races and months on end, often teasing out a little more improvement with each new trip to the track.

Even he, though, cannot alter the basic blueprint, and when Wannabe Grand ran over seven furlongs in Ireland earlier this month, her stamina failed her. The ground was soft that day, and the wind in her face, but still the omens were not good if Noseda has Classics in mind.

"It would have to be a big question mark," Noseda said, "but we've got a lot of time to think about it now, and to me, today was her 1,000 Guineas." In other words, Ladbrokes were right to leave her unchanged at 33-1 for next year's Classic, although it was interesting to hear that Noseda feels he has a better juvenile - an unraced colt - at home. His name remains a secret, but presumably only until the 2,000 Guineas entries are published.

The final field for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is rather closer to hand, although the 17 names which remained after yesterday's five-day declaration stage do not tell the whole story. Two of the first six horses in Coral's latest betting - Sea Wave and Limpid - are not yet in the race, but will almost certainly be supplemented tomorrow, along with the Prix Vermeille winner, Leggera.

Another leading contender, Dream Well, worked over 10 furlongs at Chantilly yesterday, and convinced Pascal Bary, his trainer, that he will improve significantly on his disappointing third in the Prix Niel. "There is no doubt that Dream Well has made a lot of progress and in any case the ground was awful at Longchamp that day," Bary said.

And if Dream Well disappoints, there is always the possibility that Croco Rouge, Bary's other runner, will spare his blushes. "I just prefer Croco Rouge," Bary said. "I thought that he was the strongest before the French Derby, but Dream Well proved me wrong that day. On Sunday however, I think Croco Rouge may gain his revenge."

Coral agree with him, although only just. Croco Rouge is a 5-1 chance for Sunday's race, with Dream Well half a point longer (from 6-1). The main mover in their market yesterday, though, was Sea Wave, the horse who dumped Lanfranco Dettori after a couple of strides in the Prix Niel. He is now an 11-2 chance, from 8-1, so someone must have been backing him. Perhaps it was his psychotherapist.

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe: Ladbrokes: 9-2 Dream Well, High-Rise, 5-1 Croco Rouge, Sagamix, 6-1 Sea Wave, 8-1 Limpid, 16-1 others. 1,000 Guineas: Ladbrokes: 5-1 Bionic, 7-1 Bint Allayl, 14-1 Kareymah, 16-1 Etiaaz, 20- 1 Calando, Ebadiya, Starspangled, 33-1 others. Cambridgeshire Handicap: Ladbrokes: 8-1 Dokos, Pasternak, 9-1 Supply And Demand, 12-1 Almond Rock, 14-1 Silk St John, 16-1 others.

Suggested Topics
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
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

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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