McMahon relies on Temple to stay on track

Though Ed McMahon could saddle his first Group One winner at Newmarket on Friday, he may face a still more momentous challenge when he gets home to Lichfield that evening. Win, lose or draw in the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes, McMahon will head straight to a public meeting against a proposed high-speed railway – scheduled to slash through the heart of his gallops. One way or another, it promises to become a day of fresh perspectives on 17 years of family graft and achievement.

The black humour is not lost on McMahon that the colt who could consummate five seasons as a trainer in his own right, and many more as assistant to his father, Bryan, should bear the name of a railway station. Temple Meads has shown express speed to win three of his four starts, notably the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury earlier this month. Remarkably, given his limited resources, McMahon promptly won another Group prize on the same card, with Astrophysical Jet. These horses are stabled in buildings that lay derelict before the McMahons arrived in 1994. Here was a harvest to raise the stakes for Friday's meeting, to be attended by two local MPs.

"I just hope we can get them to put their foot down, regardless of pressure from down south," McMahon said yesterday. "They were elected to represent their constituents' wishes. Admittedly we would be greatly affected, here, but there are thousands of other households along the line. The only people who would benefit are in the radius of the cities – there are only four stops on the line – and it could blight the whole of middle England. If I felt it was for the good of the country, I would hold my hand up. But I feel it's a waste of public money."

No such charge could ever be levelled at the McMahons, father or son, in their spending on behalf of patrons at the yearling sales. Bryan still works closely with John Fretwell, who owns a dozen of the 42 horses in the stable – including Temple Meads, bought for just 16,000 guineas.

Fretwell runs a candidly commercial operation, but is yet to be offered a profit he can't refuse for this colt. McMahon is perfectly reconciled to that possibility. "He has a price, and if it's acceptable, that's his business," he shrugs.

What he would love to see, however, is a league table of bloodstock agents, based on their ratio of investment and dividends. "If an owner gives me a budget to work to, I'll try to save them a few bob," he said. "Certainly I'd never rip anyone off. The game is expensive enough as it is. It's nice the owners are spending the right money, picking the right horses. We're slowly on the upgrade. It was nice to get the two Group wins, but every milestone you pass, you look for the next one."

McMahon applies the same forbearance to developing horses as in finding them. For instance, he has resisted the temptation to fast-track Astrophysical Jet to the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp on Sunday. "If you get a horse to the top level, doing her best, then you don't want to send her over the top and bottom her," he said.

Temple Meads, equally, has been spooled out with care. "The thing you have to remember with these two-year-olds is that a lot of them have been on the go since last October, when the yearlings are broken," he said. "To keep them bouncing towards the end of the year is a training feat in itself. He seems very well. But then I try never to get them to the point where a horse's head is on the floor. He's only run four times."

After the colt's choke-out defeat over six furlongs, at York, many would have taken the softer option and reverted to five. "I didn't need to shout it from the highest steeple," he said. "The horse proved he got six at Newbury. And looking at the race you'd say he might even get seven. You can understand my frustration at York. I don't blame Jimmy [Fortune]. The horse just bounced out, saw a bit of daylight, got too free. But Richard Mullen knows the horse, buried him at Newbury, and you could see the difference. It'll take a good one to lower his colours on Friday."

Turf Account

*Chris McGrath's Nap

Regal Park (6.0 Newbury)

Blossomed on return from a break at Goodwood last time, trying this trip for the first time, and the narrow margin of his success – though taken literally by the handicapper – disguised his true superiority, as he idled in front.



Next best

Clockmaker (5.30 Newbury)

Having raced too freely in his early days, consecutive strong finishes over a mile suggest that he may now be ready for this extra distance.



One to watch

Dream On Buddy (B W Hills) was second again at Beverley last week, this time by just a nose, but the way she gradually wound up through the gears confirmed that she simply needs a step up in trip.



Where the money's going

Sarafina, third in her trial behind Midday in the Prix Vermeille, is 8-1 from 10-1 with Totesport for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
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

IT Support Technician (2nd Line / Server Support) - Bedford

£24000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: 2nd line IT Support Techn...

Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...

Year 3 Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 TeacherWould you like ...

Science Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified science t...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments