Amour can be sweet for Candy

But Southern Hemisphere raiders will pose a threat to home hopes at Royal Ascot

In the 10 days dividing Epsom and Royal Ascot, with their stifling collars and breathless expectations, you could wish for no more relaxed sanctuary than here. Under the dreamy gaze of the distant cathedral, the usual suspects were again among the winners, ensuring that the journey home for men like Richard Hannon or Henry Candy was sweet as well as short. With next week in mind, however, they had met the day's most momentous duties long before setting out.

Candy's lofty cranium would always be liable to show above a parapet, but he must feel uncomfortably exposed against the latest posse of Southern Hemisphere sprinters hurtling this way. On Tuesday's opening card, Candy leads the home defence in the King's Stand Stakes with Amour Propre, a three-year-old who managed to blitz mature, experienced rivals on his reappearance at the Guineas meeting.

Having prospered with Amour Propre's half-brother, Corrybrough, Candy managed to get his hands on the chestnut for just 1,500 guineas as a yearling. "I'd be the first to admit that he didn't look the most amazing of individuals at that stage," Candy said. "But he's caught up, even if he still doesn't look a typical sprinter, quite slight in build. He was very, very green to start with, and made an awful fuss about everything – until he had a run. After that he was fine."

Amour Propre promptly broke course records on his next two starts, before a successful Ascot reconnaissance in the Cornwallis Stakes. Then came that blurring display of front-running, first time out, in the Palace House Stakes. "I was surprised that he managed to win quite so easily, against those horses and at those weights," Candy admitted. "But he has certainly been working in exciting fashion. He did his last piece this morning, and Dane [O'Neill, his rider] said that he was happy, that the horse was starting to relax. I have been trying to teach him to settle in behind, so that he knows there is more than one way to get the job done. Otherwise, apart from anything else, you would totally demoralise any horse you worked him with. I just hope I haven't overdone it."

Such self-deprecation comes naturally to Candy, but he will not be short of genuine alarms at Ascot. Like so many others, he has been hearing intimidating things about the Australian sensation, Scenic Blast, but he will be relieved that Luca Cumani intends to keep his Greek import, Ialysos, for the Golden Jubilee Stakes over an extra furlong on the Saturday. "No matter what the surface, any beast that can run five furlongs in 54 seconds has got to be pretty unusual," Candy observed.

Hughie Morrison is another trainer with a fondness for this place, and was particularly gratified when Cill Rialaig won the Margadale Fillies' Handicap - named in honour of his grandfather. Morrison has first hand experience of J J The Jet Plane, the South African raider who beat two of his own horses on his British debut at Windsor nine days ago, and his praise for that performance was not wholly unqualified. "He did it very well, and he's obviously pretty good," Morrison said. "But I don't think either of mine let themselves down on the [firm] ground – they were just too fresh and well the next day."

An hour later Morrison was back in the winner's enclosure with Yonder, who won despite getting loose beforehand and hiding in the racecourse stables. His tenancy had been briefly interrupted in the meantime by Hannon, with Secret Hero. Needless to say, Hannon is especially confident of making an impression next week with his juveniles. Always a formidable group, they are led this year by Canford Cliffs, impressive on his debut at Newbury last month and the big rival to the Ballydoyle colt, Steinbeck, in the Coventry Stakes.

"They all worked this morning, and if they're all right in the morning, we're all set," Hannon said. "Put it this way: I think we'll have a good chance in every two-year-old race."

Chris McGrath

Nap: Vanishing Grey (2.40 Haydock)

NB: White Shift (3.40 Haydock)

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?