Guarantee surges into Leger form

The son of Authorized sweeps to victory in Melrose Stakes and lines up a challenge to Camelot

York

Racing is currently doubly blessed, and now that the rare brilliance of Frankel is back under wraps until its owner's autumn swansong, the focus can sharpen on this season's less dazzling, but no less compelling, entry in the sport's history books. In 19 days' time another unbeaten colt, the 2,000 Guineas and Derby hero Camelot, will contest the St Leger, and with it the opportunity to become only the 16th Triple Crown winner, and the first since Nijinsky 42 years ago.

Camelot is long odds-on to succeed but – as was demonstrated in Wednesday's Juddmonte International, when rivals from four other stables were deployed to take on Frankel – a kernel of hope must always exist. Here yesterday Guarantee became the latest to present his credentials as a challenger with a clearcut success in the Melrose Stakes, a high-grade handicap over the St Leger mile and three-quarters.

The son of Authorized, trained by William Haggas for one of the upmarket Highclere ownership syndicates, did not make his debut until the middle of June this year, when he finished second. Since then he has not been beaten in three runs, with yesterday's effort – a step up in class and distance – confirming his rapid progress.

Ridden by Philip Makin, Guarantee swept from the back of the field to lead inside the final furlong and stretch three-and-a-half lengths clear of another upwardly mobile type in Biographer. "My gut reaction is to go for the Leger," said Haggas. "Why not? He's come a long way since June, and although he'll probably have to come on further to trouble Camelot, he's an improving young horse and a good strong stayer. And he's owned by a group of 20 people who want to enjoy the game, and you so rarely get a shot at a Classic." Guarantee is judged a 16-1 shot – to Camelot's 1-3 – for the St Leger by sponsors Ladbrokes.

As the oldest, toughest and longest Classic approaches, one essential quality for victory, stamina, will come under the microscope. But grit is an asset long prized in this county, once the cradle of the thoroughbred, and thoroughly examined in yesterday's programme.

The day's classiest senior contest, the Lonsdale Cup, produced a welcome victory for John Dunlop. The veteran trainer has had a lean season: Times Up, the 11-1 winner of yesterday's two-miler, was only his seventh success of the domestic campaign.

With the 13-8 favourite Saddler's Rock winding the tempo up from halfway after a slow early gallop, and several of his fancied rivals likewise committing early in the straight, the contest was set up for a challenge from off the pace. As Saddler's Rock went backwards, Times Up, a chance mount for the meeting's leading rider, William Buick, duly charged through to lead inside the final furlong, chased home by High Jinx and Godolphin stablemates Lost In The Moment and Cavalryman.

Though the most prestigious prize on offer yesterday, the Group Two race was not the richest. The mile- and-three-quarter Ebor Handicap, with £140,000 to the winner, is the most valuable of its kind in Europe but is won not necessarily by the best horse, but the best at the weights. Yesterday that was Willing Foe, who gave the Godolphin team compensation for their places in the Cup, and filled in a rare blank on Frankie Dettori's CV as he prevailed by a neck from Royal Diamond.

The five-year-old, a 12-1 shot trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, was a willing partner as the Italian galvanised him from a wide draw to grind down Irish raider Royal Diamond, with another 16-1 chance, Number Theory, third and the well-backed 7-2 favourite Motivado fourth.

"It's taken me 25 years to win this," said Dettori, bouncing back in style from a fall the previous day, "but at last my day has come. I know it's only a handicap, but it's one of the most important of the season." Now that he has won the top staying handicap in these parts, Willing Foe may join the Godolphin team for the world's most famous, the Melbourne Cup.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

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

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...