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
Travel
travel
Sport
football
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Engineer

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...

Sales Representative, Leicester

£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...

Sales Representative, Birmingham

£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...

HR Administration Manager - Hounslow, West London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Administration Manager...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment