Palavicini tries to follow in famous hoof prints

Perhaps it is something to do with those cases of claret waiting on the podium at Newbury today. The sponsors, after all, are a firm of wine merchants. For one reason or another, anyhow, over the years trainers have carved a special frieze for the Haynes, Hanson and Clark Stakes in the pantheon of Flat racing.

Previous winners include Shergar, Rainbow Quest, Shahrastani, Henbit, Unfuwain and Nayef, while other top-class horses have announced themselves more discreetly. Two years ago, for instance, Authorized began his journey to the Derby by finishing third here on his debut.

Just in front of him, incidentally, was Aqaleem, who would go on to finish third when they met again at Epsom. His trainer, Marcus Tregoning, is obviously fond of claret, having won the race three times and habitually tested his nicer middle-distance prospects here. Tregoning feels that the conditions of the race – confined to horses that have not won before mid-August – protect maturing talents from precocious bullies, and instead enable them to measure themselves against similar, slow-burning types.

The man who rode Authorized here, Eddie Ahern, again partners an interesting prospect today in Palavicini, a Giant's Causeway colt trained by John Dunlop. Palavcini made a remarkable debut at Newmarket last month, hopelessly gawky in the early stages before taking off dramatically and all but running down Delegator – who had himself finished second on his debut to Wingwalker, an impressive winner at Sandown on Wednesday.

"He's a very nice two-year-old," Ahern said yesterday. "He was green first time out, but once he got into his rhythm and hit the rising ground he ran on really well. And it is turning out to have been a really good maiden. I'm sure he will have learnt a lot from the experience, and apparently he has come on a lot for the run." Ahern believes that a young horse's first experiences of the racecourse provide the foundations for much that follows, for good or ill. "Authorized had a nice introduction and went on to win a Group One next time out," he said.

"I remember riding work on one of Peter Chapple-Hyam's best two-year-olds, and telling him how well the horse had gone. I couldn't believe it when he said he had an even better one. 'Yes, I have,' he said. 'And you're riding him at Newbury tomorrow.' That was Authorized."

Ahern's career has since progressed to the point where he can hope not just to ride Classic horses, but to ride them in Classic races, as well. Last Saturday he rode Look Here with his customary cool in the St Leger, settling her off the pace, but in the end she could only plug on for third. "She probably didn't get home in the ground," Ahern said. "She gave me a lovely ride into the race, and going to three out was still on the bridle. But once she came under pressure she couldn't pick her feet out of the ground."

The opposition today includes Full Toss and Aurorian, two of the 56 individual juvenile winners already sent out by Richard Hannon, and Souter Point, from a stable that also houses one of the more exciting British two-year-olds in Cityscape.

It is one of the charms of the Flat season that it seldom whets the appetite more than in its final weeks. So many young horses are now being introduced that all seven races at Newmarket today are confined to juveniles. And somewhere out there is the horse that will win an unprecedented concession next year at Kempton on 18 March.

Yesterday its managers announced that Churchill Downs will grant an automatic starting place in the Kentucky Derby to the winner of a new £80,000 race, the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes, over nine furlongs on the all-weather surface at Kempton. Previous European challengers have had to gain their berth according to stakes earnings, historically placing them at a depressing disadvantage.

With Aidan O'Brien contemplating a Breeders' Cup warm-up at Great Leighs tomorrow week for no less a horse than Duke Of Marmalade, it seems that the all-weather entrepreneurs were not exaggerating the opportunities they always promised for closer alignment with the American sport.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Absent Pleasure

(Newmarket 3.05)

NB: Los Nadis

(Ayr 5.45)

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own