Tactical speed can win battle for War

 

Racing Correspondent

Even the bitter certainty that they will occasionally put a rider into intensive care is a reflection on the essential unpredictability of thoroughbreds.

So while the professional community remains preoccupied by the fate of Brian Toomey, the young jump jockey injured at Perth on Thursday, few punters will be relying excessively on the resemblance between the big race at Sandown today and one staged at Ascot 17 days ago.

Yes, three of the seven runners in the Coral Eclipse Stakes filled the frame in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes – over the same distance, on another right-handed track, over similarly fast going. Yet nobody could be surprised if things play out differently today. And that applies even to the trio who reconvene, quite apart from the likelihood that some new opponent will prove competent to intrude.

For one thing, Mukhadram was given an inch-perfect ride from the front at Ascot, suddenly opening up from the last bend after profiting from an artful breather turning in. Even then he was just unable to stem Al Kazeem’s late surge, and he can  hardly hope to be seen to better advantage this time. Having said that, the small field gives Paul Hanagan every opportunity to dominate once again, not least from a draw on the rail; and Mukhadram, still with very few miles on the clock, is plainly improving with maturity.

Al Kazeem, for his part, had been building up to something like that for a good while. The disappointing  performance of Camelot at Ascot put their encounter at the Curragh the previous month in due context, but Al Kazeem has now rewarded the patience of his connections with an unequivocal breakthrough. He also made an impressive reconnaissance of this course and distance in the spring.

The only reservation is the price against a horse contesting his third Group One prize in six weeks. In fact, there is a similar rogue element for all the main contenders, five being obliged to bounce back from a hard race at Ascot and the respected  German raider, Pastorius, returning from a gruelling trip to Singapore a few weeks ago.

The Fugue is very tempting on that account, having been allowed to find her way into her comeback race at Ascot, finishing off strongly for third. She had no chance of winning, given the way the race had been set up, but is entitled to improve for the run and her turn of foot in these conditions makes her look eligible to emulate the success of her stablemate Nathaniel last year.

But the value sooner rests with the fresh blood from Ballydoyle. For one thing, this intermediate trip looks ideal for Mars. He has just lacked the pace to cut down his best contemporaries over a mile, first in the 2,000 Guineas and then in the St James’s Palace Stakes, but shaped extremely well when set plenty to do and then hampered in the Derby. He has already had a tough  campaign for one previously confined to a single maiden at two, but if able to hold his form could make a bold stand for the Classic generation with his weight allowance.

At the odds, however, it is worth stressing that Al Kazeem was not the only one to announce himself as a legitimate Group One performer at the royal meeting. Declaration Of War (3.50) had been backed like one,  before bombing out in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, and showed why with a fine performance in the Queen Anne Stakes. Held up in his run, he burst through late to cut down Aljamaa-  heer and that mile acceleration could just set him apart against these  middle-distance types. He is proven at the extra distance, albeit in lesser grade, and this looks a significant choice of target for a son of War Front with a big commercial future at stud.

As for Toomey, he remains in a stable condition in a Dundee hospital after suffering serious head injuries in a fall at Perth. No further update is anticipated before tomorrow.

Turf Account

CHRIS McGRATH’S NAP

Frog Hollow (8.15 Carlisle)

NEXT BEST

Ashaadd (4.40 Haydock)

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions