The career of the last Triple Crown winner, Nijinsky, ended in anticlimax with defeats in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Champion Stakes for the previously unbeaten three-year-old in the autumn of 1970. The colt who has come closest to emulating him in the intervening years, Camelot, winner of the 2,000 Guineas and Derby in 2012 before being beaten three-quarters of a length in a St Leger which seemed his for the taking, has today been retired days short of a possible appearance in the Champion Stakes. It comes after a largely barren post-Classic campaign which included a lacklustre run in last year’s Arc and only a minor win at the Curragh in the spring before successive defeats behind Al Kazeem in the summer.
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Monday 04 October 2010
There were just inches in it at the line – une tête, to be precise – but the contrast with that seven-length annihilation of his rivals for the Derby in June was instructive of margins that are finer still. Workforce was only confirmed as an intended runner on Thursday morning, but the fact that he had finally satisfied a judgement as fastidious as that of Sir Michael Stoute should have told us all we needed to know. Yesterday, contesting the richest prize on the European Turf, Workforce vindicated his trainer in gripping fashion – and in the process redressed the most painful of the few remaining omissions in Stoute's CV.
Wednesday 29 September 2010
Monday 27 September 2010
Despite the present, witless tendency to treat them as characters in search of an author, men such as Frankie Dettori and Henry Cecil could never be adequately prefigured by a script. Marketing men always promise some kind of Holy Grail – for due consideration, of course – but overlook the paradox of every messianic tradition. A saviour is constantly sought, constantly imagined, but seldom arrives in the manner expected. And that will never be as true as when you depend on the random agency of horses.
Saturday 25 September 2010
Wednesday 22 September 2010
Tuesday 21 September 2010
Friday 17 September 2010
It is only four years since Peter Chapple-Hyam brought a young colt by Montjeu to Newbury for the most historically resonant race of its type in the calendar. Authorized made a promising debut, in third, without suggesting himself an especially obvious heir to such distinguished graduates of the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Stakes as Nayef, Shahrastani, Rainbow Quest, Henbit and Shergar. But Authorized then won the Racing Post Trophy at 25-1, and the following year the Derby.
Thursday 16 September 2010
In the end, even their three-year-olds have redeemed themselves, Arctic Cosmos winning the final Classic of the season at Doncaster last Saturday. There was a time, however, when John Gosden and William Buick were especially grateful that Dar Re Mi had relieved their new partnership of any early pressure, with that spectacular success at Meydan in March. Gosden soon perceived that they would have to wait for the two-year-olds for any momentum on the home front, and told his new stable jockey to show due patience during the summer. Sure enough, the Clarehaven juveniles are now in rampant form, and yesterday he sent out four of them to win at three tracks inside 80 minutes.
Wednesday 15 September 2010
In racing, Europeans tend to discover evidence of parochialism in the United States faster than you can say "Baseball World Series". But the real insularity comes in the failure, this side of the water, to grasp momentous efforts being made by the Breeders' Cup to justify its billing as the World Thoroughbred Championships.
Chris McGrath: Goldolphin pin St Leger hopes on Rewilding to change fortunes and stifle the cheap shots
Saturday 11 September 2010
It is not as if absolutely all their eggs are in one basket. They start the afternoon, for instance, with Saamidd, a princely young colt who annihilated his rivals at Newbury first time out by seven lengths. Yesterday, moreover, White Moonstone was promoted to favourite for the 1,000 Guineas after a runaway Group Two success. Even so, the fact is that when Rewilding goes to post at Doncaster today the stakes for Godolphin are far higher than simply winning the world's oldest Classic.
Tuesday 07 September 2010
Having already pulled off one pretty outrageous stunt with the same mare, Jeremy Noseda yesterday contrived to raise the bar higher still with Laddies Poker Two. The Newmarket trainer wants to give the grey her first race since landing a spectacular gamble at Royal Ascot in June – and, as such, only her second in two years – at the Breeders' Cup.
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