Sarafina proves she belongs at top table
As though goaded by the example of Goldikova, which had registered a 13th Group One success on the other side of Paris the previous afternoon, Sarafina yesterday showed she may also be maturing into a formidable force on Europe's elite stage.
Unlucky in running when third to Workforce in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last season, Sarafina is now 10/1 from 12/1 with Ladbrokes to make amends this autumn following her impressive performance in a Group Two race at Saint-Cloud.
Trained for the Aga Khan by Alain de Royer-Dupre, Sarafina had shaped well on her reappearance and this time smoothly disposed of Announce, a well-regarded filly in the care of Andre Fabre. She will now return to the top grade, with the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud among her options.
Fabre, incidentally, is sending Pour Moi to Epsom on Thursday, with the Derby in mind. On the same afternoon, American ace Mike Smith will be the big draw at Folkestone as he test-drives a potential Royal Ascot juvenile for Wesley Ward.
Smith was due to take five mounts at Lingfield today but was obliged to surrender them yesterday when becoming tangled up in red tape concerning the terms of his visa.
As for Goldikova, Freddie Head indicated yesterday she is almost certain to satisfy a communal hunger to see her meet Canford Cliffs in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.
Amateur rider Isabel Tompsett remains in a "serious but stable" condition in a neurological unit after a terrifying hurdles fall at Fakenham on Sunday.
Sprinter Borderlescott is to undergo X-rays today on a swollen hind leg after appearing to be hit by debris from another runner's tack at Haydock on Saturday. (© Independent News Service)