Habaayib ready to garner applause

Ed Dunlop-trained filly has strength to add Cherry Hinton victory to Albany Stakes win

This is the time of year, as the late, much-lamented Humph might have said, when racing trots out of the half-time tunnel of destiny having been transformed from the first XI of commercial truth into the gilded youth squad of hopes and dreams. For the older generations, much of the pecking order is in the formbook by now and focus can start to sharpen on two-year-olds.

The Newmarket meeting that opens today is actually where such interest, not initially part of the Turf's fabric, started. Tomorrow's July Stakes is the oldest two-year-old race in the calendar, first run in 1786, six years after the inaugural Derby. It was also once the most significant, but nowadays deals more in colts of classy precocity rather than of Classic potential.

Its distaff equivalent, though, is a different matter. Those lucky enough today to enjoy what must be the sport's most delightful pre-parade ring, in dappled shade beneath a calming cathedral-canopy of trees, will do worse than pay close attention to the fillies competing for the Cherry Hinton Stakes. Over the seasons, the Group Two contest has had a distinguished list of alumni, including Nahoodh, Nannina, Spinning Queen, Attraction, Sayyedati, Harayir, Diminuendo, Forest Flower, Mrs Penny, Mysterious and Pia.

Today's field of 10 looks well capable of containing a future star. Six of the contenders ran with credit at Royal Ascot, none more so than Habaayib, who produced an authoritative performance to defeat well-touted Ballydoyle representative Lillie Langtry and 20 others in the Albany Stakes.

Statistics, as well as visual evidence, say that the daughter of Royal Applause, trained locally by Ed Dunlop, should prevail again, for four times in the past five runnings has the Cherry Hinton winner used the Ascot race as a stepping stone. The one niggle in Dunlop's mind is a possible lack of pace. The Albany Stakes, over today's six furlongs, was a strongly-run affair and Habaayib was able to settle and travel before picking her opponents off.

The other fillies coming on from Ascot – the Queen Mary Stakes second, third, fourth and eighth Misheer, Ceedwell, Capercaillie and Crown, plus Windsor Castle Stakes fourth Little Scotland – are all stepping up from the minimum trip for the first time.

But Habaayib (2.35) is a young athlete whose potential seems hardly tapped and she appeals as being, simply, better than her rivals, however the race is run. "You can't fault the way she won at Ascot," said Dunlop, "but she was hard to assess beforehand because she only ever does enough, and no more, on the gallops. She'll go ahead of her lead horse, but pricks her ears and doesn't go flamboyantly clear."

She sprang a 16-1 surprise at Ascot, but will be a warm order today. Capercaillie may prove the chief threat but those wishing to invest small money at a big price should consider Little Scotland, who has done well against colts and will appreciate the extra furlong.

Today's seven-furlong juvenile maiden also has a rich history. Fourteen years ago Alhaarth beat Mark Of Esteem, and though there has not been a renewal of such gravitas since, talented runners such as Rio De La Plata, Dubai Destination, Arkadian Hero, Rainbow High, Kandidate and Victory Note have emerged. Of those with form, Liquid Asset sets the standard but a chance is taken that Erfaan (3.45) will have learned from his debut.

Today's Group One feature is the Falmouth Stakes, the first inter-generation clash over a mile for fillies and mares, though the occasion is markedly diminished by the absence of the best three-year-old in the division, Ghanaati.

The banner for her age-group has been picked up by Rainbow View (3.10), who was behind her, but entirely undisgraced, in both the 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes. Last year's juvenile champion can get her season back on track at the expense of French raider Goldikova, yet to prove she retains her outstanding three-year-old talent.

Turf account: Sue Montgomery

Nap

Snow Bay (2.55 Catterick) On his first run for 11 months and his first in a handicap, came from off the pace into fourth in a better-class race than today's. Should be sharper physically and more settled mentally this time

Next best

Sand Vixen (6.50 Kempton) Well-bred and from a yard going well, looked babyish on her debut but with experience can open her account.

One to watch

Seven-year-old hurdler Shiwawa defied a double penalty to bring up a hat-trick at Ayr on Sunday.

Where the money's going

Oaks winner Sariska is 11-10 with Ladbrokes for Sunday's Irish equivalent, with her Epsom runner-up Midday at 9-4.

Chris McGrath's Nap: Global City (2.00 Newmarket)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas