Darlan dazzles, Lights dazes

 

On the face of it, only one of the novice hurdle winners at Taunton yesterday could be described as breathtaking. The first, after all, was returned at 200-1; and the second, sent off at odds-on, won by only half a length. But the manner of Darlan's success was such that he stole the show even from the eye-watering starting price of Lights Of Broadway.

Barry Geraghty restrained Darlan on the bridle even as Ruby Walsh went into overdrive on Jump City, taking sadistic relish in his Irish compatriot's efforts as he coasted up the run-in with a narrow but unchanging advantage.

Darlan had been forced to work much harder to preserve his unbeaten record on his previous start, and this looked a fairly low-key test for a horse with Festival aspirations. But he is now 14-1 from 20-1 with the sponsors for the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle, despite Geraghty's pointed refusal to get carried away afterwards.

"My horse probably made it look easier than he did it," he said. "He's definitely one of those that if you give him a kick in the belly, he'll find a bit, but I'm not sure he's going to sprint clear." With so many other smart novices in the yard, Geraghty's studied caution makes it conceivable that Nicky Henderson may have a big handicap in mind instead.

Sam Waley-Cohen, who rides Long Run for Henderson in the silks of his father, had another frustrating day. The amateur is already serving 15 days of suspension, spread over the coming weeks, after that fiasco at Fakenham last month and has now picked up another three for his use of the whip on Time For Spring. Waley-Cohen gave the eventual runner-up three swift reminders to guarantee a big leap two out, and so earned a ban for not giving his mount time to respond. The dates of his ban narrowly avoid both of Long Run's potential Cheltenham rehearsals, at Newbury or Ascot next month.

As for 200-1 Lights Of Broadway, trained by Jo Hughes, she had been beaten out of sight in heavy ground on her only previous start over hurdles. "I'm not a gambler," Hughes said. "But I did think she was capable of running well, and the better ground and the shorter trip helped."

Turf account

Chris McGrath's nap: Bianca De Medici (3.55 Southwell)

Has taken to blinkers, likewise to this surface, travelling strongly before flattening out close home over an eighth furlong last time. Return to this trip looks ideal.

 

Next best: Laffan (2.25 Southwell)

Proved better than the rating he picked up in three quick summer turf spins when switched to AW for last week's handicap debut and can shrug off his penalty.

 

Where the money's going

Monksland is 14-1 from 20-1 with Paddy Power for the Neptune Novices' Hurdle in March.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Year 4 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is urgently recruiting...

General Cover Teacher

£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: The Job Randstad Education are ...

Year 1 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are recruiting...

Year 5 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is currently recruitin...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?