Noseda stakes all on Cup with Laddies Poker Two

Having already pulled off one pretty outrageous stunt with the same mare, Jeremy Noseda yesterday contrived to raise the bar higher still with Laddies Poker Two. The Newmarket trainer wants to give the grey her first race since landing a spectacular gamble at Royal Ascot in June – and, as such, only her second in two years – at the Breeders' Cup.

Few trainers would have had the audacity to bring Laddies Poker Two back from an absence of 18 months in a race as competitive as the Wokingham Handicap – never mind the expertise to get the job done, or the confidence to encourage her owners that she could win. But she coasted through from nearly last place to win easily, leaving no doubt that her future lay at a higher level.

Unfortunately, the same fragility that had caused her to disappear for so long means that Noseda is once again relying on the fact that she demonstrably goes very well fresh. Laddies Poker Two suffered another setback after Ascot and Noseda has resolved to make the most of such opportunities as she gives him.

"If I can get her there, I'd love to run her in the Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs," he disclosed. "The trickiest part is just that – getting her there. If I can do that, I know she has the talent. It's safe to say she's not the soundest, and sustained an injury in her last piece of work before the Hackwood Stakes [at Newbury in July], which was her next target after Ascot. It's always something different, too. She really is a bit of a nightmare.

"But every time I see one of these top sprints, I find myself wishing that she could be there, because I know she'd be competitive. It was pretty ambitious to go for the Wokingham, and I think we should stay ambitious. She is hugely talented."

Noseda's more immediate priority is the Ladbrokes St Leger on Saturday, albeit he acknowledges that Theology will go to Doncaster with far less obvious credentials than Sixties Icon, his 2006 winner. "But I'm sure he's worth his place," the trainer said. "I feel he's approaching the race in top shape, and he'll love the trip. The stiffer the test, the more chance he'll have."

Theology was one of a dozen five-day acceptors yesterday, four of which are trained by Aidan O'Brien, Midas Touch and Joshua Tree being his most likely representatives. Flying Cross, an unexposed, superbly bred colt who only resurfaced at Tipperary a few days ago, is instead likely to take on Rite Of Passage in the Irish St Leger at the Curragh on the same afternoon. "We haven't really looked under his bonnet yet," O'Brien said.

As for the other pair, he remains optimistic that they can get closer to Rewilding, hot favourite since thrashing them into second and third in the Great Voltigeur Stakes last month. "We gave Midas Touch a break after the Irish Derby, and viewed York as a prep for the Leger," O'Brien said. "He was giving Rewilding 3lb and we were very happy with his run. We think he's still on the upgrade. Joshua Tree got held up in the spring, and was just ready to start at York. We told Jamie [Spencer] to take his time early on, and he came home very well."

Rewilding, however, is unmistakably the one to beat as Godolphin seek their sixth win in the oldest Classic – and the first supervised by Mahmood al-Zarooni, in his rookie season. Simon Crisford, the Godolphin manager, raised the intriguing possibility that Rewilding could yet enter the equation for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. "But he has got to win on Saturday first," he emphasised. "Mahmood's very happy with him, and he has a fantastic profile for the race. In my view, the Leger is all about class – and he's got it. He's from a fabulous family, he's going to get better as he gets older and next year he will be campaigning over shorter."

Corsica, trained by Mark Johnston but owned by Sheikh Mohammed's son, is able to run primarily as a pacemaker for Rewilding, who is 13-8 favourite. The sponsors then bet: 7-1 Arctic Cosmos, Dandino, Midas Touch, Snow Fairy, 8-1 Joshua Tree, 14-1 Ted Spread and 25-1 bar.

Turf account

*Chris McGrath's Nap Aragall (2.0 Goodwood)

Still in the early stages of his career here, the German import was beaten off this mark last time but remains well worth another chance after bumping into an unexposed rival that day. Has already won under amateur steering and will relish the extra furlong.

Next best Fault (3.55 Lingfield)

Seemed to have lost his way but artfully rekindled by a couple of wins in lesser grade, suggesting that he might yet prove well treated restored to handicap company today.

One to watch

Gouray Girl (W R Swinburn) had shaped nicely on her return from a long lay-off at Wolverhampton and failed only in a photo at Goodwood last week.

Where the money's going

Paco Boy, unlucky in France on Sunday, is 7-1 from 8-1 for the Breeders' Cup Mile with William Hill after Richard Hannon suggested he could finish his career at Churchill Downs in November.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission, Benefits, OTE £100k: SThree: ...

Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine