Collet heaps high praise on Verse

 

It was a singular entertainment, for a Monday, but otherwise provided exactly what you might expect of a race involving Goldikova – acceleration like a razor's cut from an outstanding female miler. This time, however, its author was not the one who had already accumulated a record tally of Group One wins.

Instead it was Immortal Verse, building on her breakthrough success in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, who confirmed herself an authentic new star in the European firmament by outpacing a very strong field in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville. Goldikova none the less managed to get closer than any of the colts and, having been beaten by Makfi in the same race last year, retains every right to an unthinkable fourth success at the Breeders' Cup, granted a return to fast ground on a turning track. Coral quote her at 2-1.

Freddy Head was not making excuses, shrugging that Goldikova is now six years old. But she may have lacked the winner's freshness, having had barely a fortnight to recover from her 14th elite success, and nor was her cause helped by the dead ground, or having to challenge wide.

Regardless, the winner's veteran trainer – who once won the Breeders' Cup Mile himself, with Last Tycoon – suspects that he might never have trained a better horse. Robert Collet is now toying with the possibility of taking on Frankel in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes back at Ascot in October, and so potentially rescue the new Champions' Day card from a mere lap of honour for the champion colt.

Immortal Verse was always travelling easily under Gérald Mossé and settled the race in a trice, closing smoothly from last place before quickening through to lead 300 yards out. She was always holding Goldikova, a length in it at the line, and the favourite ultimately only just held second from Sahpresa, who completed an all-female podium. Dick Turpin and Cityscape never landed a blow for Britain, seventh and eighth respectively, but at least they beat Mutual Trust, who surrendered his unbeaten record very meekly.

Earlier on the card Goldikova's half-sister by Galileo, Galikova, had continued her own rise with a fluent Group Two success over 10 furlongs. Caught out by a false pace in the Prix de Diane, she reversed form emphatically with the winner, Golden Lilac, this time and could do better again when tried over a mile and a half in the Prix Vermeille. Ladbrokes cut her to 12-1 from 16-1 for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Back on home soil, the fallout continues from the bitter end to Howard Johnson's training career. Johnson was given a four-year suspension on Friday as a result of giving his horses prohibited surgery and medication, and does not envisage resuming. His patron, Graham Wylie, yesterday disclosed the destination of the 20 horses he will retain, while the rest of his string is dispersed at the sales.

Wylie has divided them between the champion trainers of Britain and Ireland, 13 going to Paul Nicholls and the remainder to Willie Mullins. Those going to Somerset include the talented but wilful Tidal Bay, while Mullins will be welcoming the exciting Back In Focus. "It's great to have Graham on board," Nicholls said. "Tidal Bay is getting on a bit, but it will be nice to have him in the yard and we might train him for the National. There are some nice youngsters coming down as well."

Mullins, who has a record of discovering dramatic improvement in recruits from elsewhere, was diplomatic as usual. "I'm delighted to have been considered," he said. "And I'm hoping I have as much luck for Mr Wylie as Howard Johnson had for him. Mr Wylie told me which horses were coming over this morning and I recognise most of them: there seems to be some good quality there."

Native Khan, beaten only two lengths in the Derby, will not run again this season. "Clearly, Epsom took more out of him than we originally thought, as he did not reproduce that form in the Irish Derby," Ed Dunlop, his trainer, said. "I have spoken to the owners, and we have drawn stumps and will bring him back next season. We always thought that he would make an even better four-year-old anyway."

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Blown It (2.45 Musselburgh)

Another to thrive for his rookie trainer, still with room for manoeuvre in the handicap and capable of better still after meeting traffic when first and second on his two latest starts.



* Next best

Law To Himself (3.45 Musselburgh)

Down to a fair mark, and second in a better race than this last time, suggests he will be taking advantage soon – perhaps today, with extra furlong likely to suit.



* One to watch

Astrology (Aidan O'Brien) looks another potential star at Ballydoyle judged on his impressive debut at Leopardstown last Thursday, going right away at the finish.

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own