Hurricane blows Cup hopes off course but Cyclone breezes back

 

Though some European raiders will show the beginnings of a winter coat, the return of the Breeders' Cup to Santa Anita this time entails a still more abrupt change of climate for those arriving from the East Coast of the United States. For while one planeload of New York horses did manage to hasten west today, even as Hurricane Sandy closed in, another seems likely to be grounded today. With bridges in their home city likely to be closed by the Port Authority, several leading fancies in the care of the record-breaking trainer Todd Pletcher are unlikely to make their scheduled departure.

Breeders' Cup regulations require all runners to be on site for 72 hours ahead of the weekend, but officials indicated that an exception will be made in the dramatic circumstances. Arrangements will be made to have all runners under the same surveillance, wherever they are stabled. The bulk of European runners had been flown out ahead of the anticipated disruption, but many horsemen remain uncertain of their own travel options, both on the East Coast and in Europe.

Richard Hughes, who hopes to crown his maiden championship by breaking his Breeders' Cup duck on Sky Lantern in the Juvenile Fillies' Turf, meanwhile kept up his relentless autumn form with another four winners at Leicester. Remarkably, his father, Dessie, was able to match that feat by saddling a winner at Naas and three at Galway. Most notable of the latter was Lyreen Legend, a useful novice hurdler last season, who looked a real prospect for staying chases at the first attempt.

He was just one of several jumpers, either side of the Irish Sea, undertaking preliminary skirmishes en route to major battlegrounds of the winter. Tominator, a smart handicapper on the Flat, made an auspicious start over timber at Bangor, but top billing went to Hidden Cyclone, who is 20-1 from 33-1 with Boylesports for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup after seeing off some useful, race-fit rivals over an inadequate trip at Naas.

Hidden Cyclone had not been seen since his defeat by Sir Des Champs in January – only his second reverse in nine career starts, the other likewise behind a subsequent Festival winner in First Lieutenant. Shark Hanlon, his trainer, has long viewed him as potentially top-class, and will hardly think less of him after ending a nightmare streak exceeding 100 consecutive losers. Though looking a little rusty, both in his jumping and in his focus on the run-in, Hidden Cyclone powered home by a length and a half under Andrew McNamara. "He hadn't run for nine months so wouldn't have been spot on for this," Hanlon said. "Andrew said he was a bit leery after the last, but he had plenty in the tank."

Perhaps the most gratifying spectacle of all, however, was at Galway – where Go Native completed his rehabilitation after injury with a stylish success on the Flat. His trainer, Noel Meade, pronounced the top-class hurdler "back to his best" and will restore him to timber at Punchestown next month.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap: Beyeh (4.10 Yarmouth)

Showed a measure of ability once switching stables and sent over hurdles, and returns to the Flat off a very modest rating.

Next Best: Attain (3.10 Yarmouth)

Has dropped down weights and signs of renewal tried in blinkers last time, travelling well when hampered. Has form over distance and going.

One to watch: Sunbula (Charles Hills) is bred to thrive over middle distances next year, and laid promising foundations in her debut at Newmarket last week.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
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

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

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
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform