Rose ready to turn on the heat

RACING: A trainer who has built up his stable the hard way takes on the Americans with a remarkable filly

Shortly after teatime on Saturday we will be able to pass judgement on the 1995 Breeders' Cup meeting, and if recent history is any guide, there are but two possible verdicts. It will be racing's Olympiad, a true and valuable test to find the world's best horses. Or it will be an unrepresentative, drug-fuelled circus which does nothing to benefit the sport in Britain.

Ladbrokes make the second option an odds-on chance, with their offer of 10-11 that the British-based runners will return from Belmont Park empty-handed. In theory, there is no reason why a racing follower's allegiance should extend any further than the latest horse to carry their money, but when the Breeders' Cup comes around, we get just as tribal as football fans.

Never mind that the logic which makes some of them "ours" is of a sort which Jack Charlton might recognise, or that in view of Britain's past record - three winners, countless disappointments - a dispassionate approach might be easier on both the wallet and the spirit.

Everyone knows that beating North American horses on their own turf - not to mention their own dirt - requires a final, exceptional effort from animals which have already spent many months racing against the best. Yet still we back them, just in case. But when the team contains horses like Hever Golf Rose, who can resist? Hard at work since April, the winner of eight races in five countries, she has secured the growing reputation of Joe Naughton, her trainer, and offered a reminder that there is more to Epsom than just a racecourse.

Lake Coniston, who will join her in the field for the Breeders' Cup Sprint, is another local resident, at Geoff Lewis's yard, and as Naughton said: "it will be good if people start to realise that there is life beyond Newmarket and Lambourn. Big business people in London have got a great training centre right on their doorstep and it's nice that they are waking up to that.''

Certainly, they are waking up to Naughton, thanks principally to Hever Golf Rose, who provided his first Group One succes in the Prix de l'Abbaye earlier this month. "She's defintely been a big help," Naughton said. "I had about 40 horses at the start of this year, but next season I'll be up to 60 or 65."

Hever Golf Rose will leave for New York today, but the travelling, at least, is something which Naughton does not need to worry about.

On Saturday morning the filly had gentle spin around a bend on Lingfield's all-weather track, starting about a furlong from the winning post and travelled around the turn out into the back straight. This was another side to her preparation, but the effects of her long campaign are harder to quantify.

"She's giving all the right indications, she's nice and bubbly," Naughton said. "She really thrives on racing and she travels brilliantly, she settles in to a new environment straight away. But it's the end of a long year, and I think she'll either be very good or simply say she's had enough.''

Naughton has held a licence for just five years, having spent the previous seven working for Barry Hills at a time when Peter Chapple-Hyam was also an assistant trainer.

Chapple-Hyam then started at the top as the master of Manton, but Naughton's progress has not been so smooth. "When I started I only had six horses and a run-down yard and I take a lot of personal satisfaction in what I've achieved. Obviously Peter's done brilliantly, but I'm getting there, even it if has taken me a little more time.''

Chapple-Hyam has already been to Epsom and returned home with a Derby winner, but now it may be Naughton's turn. Young, easy-going and with more than a hint of south London in his accent, he has all the makings of a people's champion. A final 60 seconds of effort by Hever Golf Rose on Saturday could take him into the big time.

Unlike Lake Coniston, Hever Golf Rose will not run with the assistance of either Lasix or Bute, the permitted performance-enhancing drugs. "It's not a moralistic thing, I just don't see the need," Naughton said. "She's always gives me everything anyway." Perhaps, for once, Ladbrokes have got it wrong. If they have, we'll make them pay.

Suggested Topics
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Bruce, left, with Cream bandmates Ginger Rogers, centre, and Eric Clapton in 1967
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker