Toller's form evokes stardust memories
Friday 18 July 1997
This unprovoked attack did not appear to earn Desert Orchid any enemies (in fact the contrary seemed, strangely, to be the case) as he first alerted the nation to the bewitching nature of his premises. The Majors captured another major earlier this month when Compton Place popped up at 50-1 in the Group One July Cup and there are expectations that the current incumbent, James Toller, will collect the richest race to be run in Britain this weekend.
The Weatherbys Super Sprint, at Toller's favourite course, Newbury, will by no means feature the best two-year-olds in the land as it is designed to attract the more cheapely-bought animal. This factor, however, will have no bearing on the post-race celebrations.
Toller's representative is the filly Petarga, who already has winning form, at Bath, to her name. "I'm very pleased with her and it's the obvious race to go for," the trainer said yesterday. "Both times she has run at Bath she has had a terrible draw and managed to overcome it.
"With these sort of horses you don't get too many shots at a pounds 50,000 race. We can always look at nurseries and that sort of stuff later, but she's won her race so we've got to go for it. It's a race you can only approach with a degree of confidence if you have got an outstanding two- year-old and I can't say I've got that, so I'm not exactly bullish. But she's half useful and she's been working well."
Compton Place proved himself wholly useful at Newmarket and even a disbelieving trainer now considers the chestnut belongs in Group One company. "I keep looking at the race and trying to find some way it was a fluke, but I'm sure now it just wasn't," Toller said. "Royal Applause looks to have run up to his Cork & Orrery form with Indian Rocket, and while I didn't expect mine to win I knew he'd run a good race. Now that we've found the key to him in holding him up off a fast-run pace I'm sure he will continue to show his form."
The first venue for this conviction is Deauville and the Prix Maurice de Gheest in three weeks' time, although York's Nunthorpe Stakes stands as an alternative if the umbrellas start going up in France. The autumn target is the Haydock Park Sprint Cup.
As he navigates the halls of Chatsworth in Derbyshire, the Duke Of Devonshire, Compton Place's owner, does not consider for one moment another tantalising event, the Breeders' Cup Sprint in America. The Duke's chestnut bullet is to be kept in training for another season at least and so he is leaving Hollywood Park to its own stars this year before testing the Majors Farm stardust once again in 1998.
Yesterday's results, page 31
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Transfer deadline day: The best memes and tweets, featuring Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Bart Simpson
Radamel Falcao analysis: Manchester United have signed a top talent yet to hit his stride
Danny Welbeck signs for Arsenal: Gunners confirm signing of striker from Manchester United
Radamel Falcao to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal takes transfer spend beyond £140m - SIXTH most of any Premier league manager
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-Office D...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, WPF, WCF, ASP.NET, Prism...
£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Creche Assistant to start asap ...