Fast Arcano promises return on investment

Brilliant run at Deauville makes high-priced colt the favourite for 2,000 Guineas

As an investment opportunity, Sheikh Hamdan's purchase of the two-year-old Arcano three weeks ago would have the dragons salaaming in their den.

After the Maktoum brother and his headhunters saw the promising Brian Meehan-trained colt maintain an unbeaten record at Newmarket, they were in. And the reward for their judgement is that the newest bearer of the blue and white silks is now favourite for next year's 2,000 Guineas.

Yesterday at Deauville, Arcano won the Prix Morny, the Group One finale to the Normandy seaside season, and in the process burst the bubble that had floated around Canford Cliffs since Royal Ascot. There was not much between them at the end – Arcano took the prize by a short neck from Special Duty, with Canford Cliffs a neck third – but the victory was decisively fair and square.

Ridden for the first time in public by Richard Hills, Arcano was last of the five runners for five of the six furlongs, but once asked for maximum effort the 9-2 shot responded with a will and cut down trailblazing Special Duty with a strong, determined late thrust. "I'd only sat on him once before, in a piece of work at home," said the rider. "In the race, he still felt a bit green early. He was caught a bit flat-footed when the pace quickened, but he stayed on really well and his attitude in the finish was terrific. He's a great addition to the team."

Whatever the Sheikh paid for Arcano, a son of Europe's most exciting young sire Oasis Dream, it will be considerably more than the 90,000 guineas he cost his former owners, a syndicate including members of the Sangster family, as a yearling.

Even before he beat Showcasing, impressive winner of last week's Gimcrack Stakes on his debut, Meehan realised that he had a talent out of the ordinary on his hands and yesterday the Manton-based handler emphasised that the youngster's best days are ahead, particularly when he tackles longer distances.

"He's still a great baby, with masses of improvement to come," he said. "All options are now open but he does want to go further than six furlongs now. He's absolutely entitled to be Guineas favourite at this stage and his getting a mile next year will not be an issue. And I'm very pleased that we've done the job for the yard's new owner."

It was the end of a good week for Meehan, whose charge Lady Of The Desert has been prominent in the 1,000 Guineas betting since winning the Lowther Stakes at York on Thursday. Arcano is now as short as 8-1 for the colt's Rowley Mile showpiece next May, with the Ballydoyle inmate Alfred Nobel, winner of last month's Phoenix Stakes, and Canford Cliffs, from the Richard Hannon yard, his nearest market challengers.

It falls to few to become either champions or wonder horses and, although Canford Cliffs' six-length tour de force in the Coventry Stakes looked worthy of a certain Usain, he had shot his bolt yesterday before the race was half-over. Under strong pressure from Richard Hughes the 4-5 favourite drifted to the stand rails and although his undoubted above-average ability took him to the front rank going into the final furlong, there was no trademark lightning change of gear on this occasion.

"He had every chance," said trainer's son and assistant Richard, "and I can't really use his huge Ascot run as an excuse as he's had 10 weeks to get over it. Today has been disappointing."

Special Duty, the best of the locals, will now head for the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket after her excellent effort against two high-class colts. "That was perhaps the best two-year-old race of the season," said her trainer Criquette Head-Maarek.

Arcano was Meehan's second winner of the Morny, after Bad As I Wanna Be nine years ago, a race that has a patchy record in signposting Classic talent. Since Zafonic won in 1992, the only Newmarket Guineas winner to emerge from its ranks has been the filly Natagora, second at Deauville three years ago.

Earlier in the afternoon at Deauville, a possible Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe candidate emerged for the Godolphin team when the imposing Schiaparelli outclassed his rivals by 10 lengths to take the Prix Kergorlay. The six-year-old, winner of the Goodwood Cup on his previous run, is perceived as a stayer these days, but did win three 12-furlong Group Ones last term before his transfer to the blues and now has the traditional older-horse Arc trial, the Prix Foy, pencilled in.

His rider Frankie Dettori notched a Group-race double in the Prix Nonette on John Gosden-trained Charity Belle, previously seen as runner-up in a Ffos Las handicap, and was narrowly denied a treble in the day's other Group One contest when Godolphin's Lady Marian was touched off by a short head by Alpine Rose.

Turf account: Sue Montgomery


Bawadi (4.40 Kempton) Produced a satisfactory performance when winning an ordinary race on his belated debut and can be expected to improve from the experience and the step up in trip.

*Next best

Serious Impact (4.30 Windsor) Has more potential than most of these and should pick up his career despite top weight and a four-month absence.

*One to watch

Axiom (Luca Cumani) was fourth in a blanket finish at tricky Chester on Saturday and should prove even more competitive over further and on easier ground, for instance in a race like the Cambridgeshire.

*Chris McGrath's Nap

Cherry Bee (4.00 Windsor)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event
filmBut why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride