Fame game can take the spotlight off big attraction
Even the very best horses cannot stimulate quite the same curiosity about the sport as some of the men around them. None the less, those champions contributing to the weekend's entertainment on four legs are overdue some attention.
The tumult surrounding Kieren Fallon has even overshadowed a putative rematch between the outstanding colt in Europe, Sea The Stars, and the only one among his many victims retaining feasible hopes of revenge, Fame And Glory. In reality, heavy rain at Leopardstown during the week mitigated neglect of the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes. John Oxx is adamant that Sea The Stars requires fast ground, so it was a pleasant surprise when he declared the colt, reserving the right to a final decision today. After a pretty tough race against Mastercraftsman at York, just 18 days ago, discretion is likely to prove the better part of valour, with exacting international assignments still ahead.
Perhaps Oxx felt some patriotic debt to the race, as the one remaining opportunity for his champion to run on Irish soil this year. Either way, Aidan O'Brien has done his own duty by running Mastercraftsman, as well as Fame And Glory. Admittedly it would do no harm, should his big rival fail to show, for Fame and Glory (3.30) to give his stablemate a more comprehensive beating than Sea The Stars managed at York last month.
For the conviction at Ballydoyle is that Fame And Glory's sole career defeat, behind Sea The Stars at Epsom, was partly of their own inept devising. That day Sea The Stars, stepping up from a mile, gained first run on the guaranteed stayer, Fame And Glory, in a sprint finish. There was no messing around at the Curragh next time, when Fame And Glory extended to five and 16 lengths respectively his superiority over two other Ballydoyle colts with whom he had, unfathomably to O'Brien, passed the post more or less in unison at Epsom.
The Fallon saga dovetails neatly with the best race contested in Britain today, as he takes the mount on the favourite for the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock. High Standing has proved an inspired buy for his connections, but is a pretty short price for a horse yet to try his luck at this level – for all that he warrants a promotion in grade.
Fleeting Spirit did win a championship race at Newmarket last time, but has since had a setback and will resent every drop of rain. In contrast the hampered runner-up that day, Main Aim (3.30), has been eager for easier ground and had excuses when disappointing at Goodwood last time.
Latest in Sport
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
Is David Beckham one of the Premier League all-time greats? He's not even in the top 1,000 says Chris Waddle
Groundhog day looms for Arsène Wenger as Arsenal battle for a place in the Champions League on final day
Andre Villas-Boas ready to spark Tottenham revolution
One last swipe at Manchester City and then Sir Alex Ferguson was gone...
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + bens: Progressive Recruitment: C# WEB DEVELOPER Le...
£240 - £260 per day: Progressive Recruitment: WPF Developer (C#, VB.Net) North...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS2 teacher needed to do PPA ...