Chris McGrath: Sahpresa's hat-trick attempt can provide reassuring continuity in age of upheaval

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The Independent Online

Well, they managed to stage the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket yesterday without the sky caving in, and no doubt we shall eventually become accustomed to the transfer of the Royal Lodge Stakes from Ascot as well.

For those craving continuity in a changing world, however, Saphresa can restore bearings this afternoon by winning the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes for the third year running.

The French mare has looked better than ever this summer, and made the podium in a vintage running of the Prix Jacques le Marois last time. But she will have to be ridden rather more alertly than on her latest visit to Suffolk, when recklessly detached from a slow pace in the Falmouth Stakes over on the July Course. Given the slip by Timepiece there, Sahpresa (3.10) duly reversed form back on home soil next time, when forcing a photo with Goldikova herself at Deauville.

She looks a solid bet, though Alanza improved again to win her first Group race at Doncaster last time and promises better still back over a mile. John Oxx seldom permits horses out of Ireland without being pretty certain they will pay for their passage home.

The other Group One prize on the card is also confined to fillies, with Best Terms short odds to extend her unbeaten record in the Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park Stakes. She proved very much at home in the rather curious conditions at York last time, whereas a couple of her key rivals went missing in rear – and it might well be worth giving another chance to one of them.

Only 10th of 11 at York, Shumoos (2.35) had previously run Best Terms to a short head at Royal Ascot, and thrashed no less a colt than Frederick Engels on her debut. She has long promised to win a big prize when everything falls right and, back to form at Kempton last time, she can make her American genes count on this very quick ground.

Even those not affronted by heedless vandalism to the autumn calendar may be perplexed to discover that the Cheveley Park has avoided relocation – along with the Middle Park, the equivalent race for colts – to what we are supposed to call "Future Champions' Day" back here in a fortnight.

The future champions on display that day will instead include a bunch of ancient hurdlers in the Cesarewitch. At least the grand old race retains its status as second leg of the "autumn double", with the first brought forward to today. The Betfred Cambridgeshire looks as bewildering as ever in its new slot, but Tinkertown (3.50, see Turf Account) looks worth investigation at huge odds.

As for the Royal Lodge, it seems safe to expect a closer affair than the final running at Ascot, where Frankel all but lapped his rivals. Back in third that day was Treasure Beach, the subsequent Derby runner-up, who had arrived via a nursery at Galway – and Aidan O'Brien has used the same race this time round to educate Wrote (2.05). A son of High Chaparral, guaranteed to stay well next year, he was far more impressive at Galway than his stablemate last year, and could represent value over this extra furlong.

Juddmonte Farms also sponsor the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh tomorrow, where O'Brien has a predictably strong hand in a race he has won 10 times in 15 years. But his three runners may have their work cut out against Akeed Mofeed, who has already beaten one of them five lengths in a Leopardstown maiden.

This colt represents a trainer with, if anything, a still more fertile history in the race. Oxx chose the Beresford to announce subsequent Group One winners in Alamshar, Azamour and Sea The Stars, and success for Akeed Mofeed would compound the suspicion that Johnny Murtagh will not have to spend this winter repenting of his Ballydoyle exit.

Born To Sea, a three-parts brother to Sea The Stars, is already favourite for the 2,000 Guineas after winning a Listed race on his debut. He is scheduled to make his next start at Leopardstown on 30 October. Now this might well be a future champion. What a pity he's not eligible for the Cesarewitch.

Lyric Of Light carries a Classic torch for Godolphin and the legacy of Jarvis

The happy few who shared a record Jackpot pool here at Newmarket yesterday were indebted to Frankie Dettori for pulling the big race out of the fire on Lyric Of Light – but your heart goes out to any punters thwarted on the runner-up. Given a vintage ride by Jamie Spencer, Samitar slipped clear in the Dip and was caught only in the final strides of the Shadwell Fillies' Mile.

Lyric Of Light had lasted longest on the bridle but proved rather hesitant when asked to knuckle down on the fast ground, drifting across the track. Even so the two fillies pulled well clear of Firdaws, who looked more of a staying type in third. Roger Varian is likely to train Firdaws for the Oaks next year, and so hope to emulate the achievement of his mentor, Michael Jarvis, with her dam, Eswarah.

Though the tragic loss of Jarvis earlier in the week had focused much attention on Firdaws, Lyric Of Light herself represents another of his bequests. Jarvis trained her dam, Suez, to finish second in the 2004 Cheveley Park Stakes, but she then joined Godolphin and never ran again.

Now unbeaten in three starts, Lyric Of Light confirms that Godolphin have entered a more productive phase since the promotion of Mahmood al Zarooni to supervise a stable in his own right. In only his second British campaign, he has now won nearly £1m more than his former boss, Saeed bin Suroor. Al Zarooni sealed his elevation with a key role in the success of Vale Of York at the 2009 Breeders' Cup, and indicated that Lyric Of Light might now be trained for the same meeting in November. As a daughter of Street Cry, she could presumably be tried on the dirt, Al Zarooni having suggested that she found conditions firm enough here yesterday.

"I don't think she minds it but for a tall, young filly, running into the Dip, it's a bit unbalancing," Dettori said. "She only does what she has to do. She's a bit green and idles in front. She picks up when you ask her, but once she passes, she thinks: 'Job done.'"

Ladbrokes offer 10-1 against Lyric Of Light emulating her stablemate, Blue Bunting, in the 1,000 Guineas back here next spring. That Classic also looks a feasible target for Alsindi, who had Clive Brittain reprising his famous winner's enclosure jig after the Oh So Sharp Stakes.

The veteran trainer, finishing the season strongly after a slow summer, declared: "It's autumn – and autumn is the time for the harvest!" Heavily backed to follow up her debut success at Yarmouth, Alsindi did well to pick off Questing after the runner-up stole a march off a steady pace.

As for the Jackpot pool, which had snowballed to £2.9m, results proved rather too mundane for any fairy-tale payday. Each runner was still "live" in the final leg, and the success of Mahbooba ultimately saw 125 winning units share a dividend of £16,610.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Tinkertown (3.50 Newmarket)

Ran no sort of race last time but it is significant that his excellent trainer is prepared to persevere in a handicap as demanding as this.

Next Best

Mashaaref (4.10 Chester)

Another for Roger Varian, this well-bred, improving colt was the only one able to go with a smart prospect at Doncaster last time.

One To Watch

Waafid (Marcus Tregoning)

Looked the part and went powerfully for a long way before fading into midfield in Thursday's debut at Newmarket, looking sure to last longer next time.

Where the money's going

Questioning

John Gosden's colt is 8-1 from 10-1 with Coral to enhance the trainer's fine Cambridgeshire record today.

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