Young Hustler can prevent another Sandown grey day at

Grey may not go down well in the opinion polls or with the players of Manchester United, but in racing it has always been attractive.

The most celebrated eminence grise of them all, Desert Orchid, who is now 17 years old, will be in a parade preceding this afternoon's Whitbread Gold Cup card at Sandown, a race he won in 1988. While Dessie is writing his autographs, another of his hue and possessing a similar vaulting flamboyance will be in preparation for the race itself.

Morceli, the gelding who could have a good shot at clearing a pole vault bar, has been confirmed as a runner in the 40th Whitbread despite worries the ground will be too fast for him. The eight-year-old's trainer, Howard Johnson, will not be in attendance, however, as his record when tuning up for big races is almost as disastrous as Emily Davison's. Instead, his wife, Susan, will be there. "I never particularly fancy them and all I want is for him to come back safe," she said yesterday. "But Howard feels that Morceli will never get the chance off a weight like this again.''

Morceli proved at Ascot earlier this month that he can win going right- handed, but he now has two more problems to solve. The good to firm surface forecast for the steeplechase track today is against him and he is going to have to run a mile further than he has managed before. Even his slam dunk jumping may not be enough this time.

The weights are headed by Jodami, who suggested he wasn't quite ready for the zimmer frame when second to Feathered Gale in the Irish National recently.

The winner, like another strongly fancied horse in General Rusty, carries more than his true handicap weight, but still manages to find himself better off with Jodami. With Arthur Moore's string performing as though they are being given a head start, Feathered Gale must go close.

If this is a day when the spirits are going to reward courage and consistency, however, it may be that YOUNG HUSTLER (nap 3.30) will add to his big-race collection. The little horse ran a spanking race in the Grand National until a cruel weight took its toll.

The race could be a trainer's championship decider with Barton Bank running for David Nicholson and James Pigg for Martin Pipe.

Victory for either would leave the other in the position journeymen fighters find themselves on a Saturday night in terms of this year's title.

The preceding contest should go to another grey, Senor El Betrutti (next best 2.50), who will enjoy the ground. Callisoe Bay will be well backed because he looks the part but, unfortunately, he doesn't act it. He's rather like the schoolboy bully who bursts into tears when a girl hits him with her pencil case.

After the National Hunt season has effectively closed the potential Derby horses will emerge immediately for the Classic Trial. Several animals here will go from Classic possibles to underachievers in the space of two minutes. Mons (4.05) disappointed on his final start last season when favourite behind Beauchamp King in the Racing Post Trophy, but he was beaten less than two lengths by the winner, who has proved he is no tram this year. He can account for Silver Dome, who will be attempting to step out from Henry Cecil's chorus line of potential Epsom horses.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Recruitment Genius: Factory Operatives

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer ba...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003