The Turf seldom dispenses its favours evenly, but there was unmistakable symmetry yesterday to the latest twists in a topsy-turvy build-up to one of its greatest prizes. First Great Heavens was supplemented to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday, as a replacement for her brother, Nathaniel, who had joined Snow Fairy and Danedream on the sidelines on Tuesday. And then Ryan Moore was given the chance to conjure a happier climax to a saga nearly identical to the one that ended in disappointment in last year's race.
On that occasion, having been absent since a fall at Goodwood in July, he was only able to warm up for the ride on Workforce, the defending champion, with two mounts at Ascot on the Friday. In the event, Workforce was hampered early and never landed a blow. This time round, Moore must again land running after being out since August, when he broke a wrist at Warwick. Remarkably, his only preparation for one of the sport's great tactical puzzles – this time with Sea Moon – will again comprise just two rides, at Newmarket tomorrow.
Moore's status still remained in doubt when he sought medical clearance from the British Horseracing Authority yesterday evening. It is understood that he gained the green light, however, in principle allowing him to ride Sea Moon. Whether connections will be comfortable with him arriving so cold, in such a crucible, is another matter. Moore will have done everything possible to ready himself physically, but jockeys admit that true sharpness is only ever retrieved through match practice.
Great Heavens has herself not been seen since the Irish Oaks in July. As anticipated, connections of Bayrir and Saonois also paid the € 100,000 supplementary fee. Another making a welcome return is Andrew Lynch, who takes his first rides since breaking his leg in May at Gowran today.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Miss Dashwood (8.45 Wolverhampton) Failed in photo on handicap debut over mile at Kempton last time; up 2lb here and bred to relish extra distance.
Rock 'N' Roll (9.15 Wolverhampton) Clear of rest when chasing home a well-treated rival last time. Given break since and goes well fresh.
One to watch
Sheikh Hamdan's trainers will be clamouring for Shababeek (John Dunlop) after present handler retires, such was promise of last-to-fourth debut at Salisbury on Wednesday.
- More about:
- Horse Racing And Harness Racing
- Newmarket Racecourses
- Sea And Ocean