Talking Horses: crash hero 'thrilled' to have Ascot winner named after him

The original Nando Parrado is said to be “thrilled” by the recent success of his namesake at Royal Ascot, where the colt in question was a shock winner of the Coventry Stakes at odds of 150-1. Parrado, one of the survivors of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes whose story was told in the 1993 movie Alive, had given his consent for the horse to be named after him.

The two-year-old’s trainer, Clive Cox, was asked on Wednesday whether Parrado knew of the success of the horse, who is now quoted in betting lists for next year’s 2,000 Guineas. “He most certainly does,” Cox said. “I’ve not spoken to him directly but I know the owners have, Paul and Marie McCarten. He’s thrilled he’s got such a high-profile horse competing with his name.”

Parrado and his fellow survivors endured for more than two months in the mountains after rescuers gave up hope. In perilous conditions, he trekked for 10 days to fetch help, a story he told in a 2006 memoir that is believed to have left a lasting impression on the McCartens.

The equine Nando Parrado will soon get another chance to prove his worth. “Where he goes next, we’ll make that decision after the weekend,” Cox said. “He’s had a bit of time to get over his race at Ascot and he’s still only a baby but a very high-class one.” The Prix Morny, at Deauville next month, is his main target but Cox is considering other races in France and Ireland as well.

More immediately, Cox has high hopes for Golden Horde, the favourite for Saturday’s Darley July Cup, part of the Qipco British Champions Series. “This was always plan A,” the trainer said, “and thankfully things went very well at Ascot. To win the Commonwealth Cup was very special. Hopefully he will continue to thrive.”

Thursday’s best bets

Recent watering and a fair bit of Wednesday rain have ruled out the possibility of fast ground for day one of Newmarket’s July meeting, which is a pity for Enbihaar (4.10), who really bounces off lively ground. Even so, she should prove hard to beat in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes, the highlight of eight races on ITV4.

She started last year in Listed company and ended it with a brave third place in a Group One on Arc weekend on very soft ground and after being bumped several times in the closing stages. Her five-length success at Glorious Goodwood was especially memorable.

Beating male rivals at Group Two level requires another step forward but she is in the right hands. Alounak will have his fans after running second in the Hardwicke but this surface should not be nearly so soft. Old Persian was very disappointing just 11 days ago. Communique, who won this last year, could be the danger.

1.50 Newmarket Lord Campari and Tilsit are both in the “could be anything” folder after impressive novice wins but the well-related Magical Morning looks a more convincing candidate at this level after defying a penalty at Doncaster a fortnight ago. Adam Kirby gets a big chance on the Gosden-trained colt because Frankie Dettori has gone to York.

2.05 York She’s still a maiden but Sardinia Sunset deserves to be a strong favourite, having been fourth in the Queen Mary. The runner-up that day was Sacred, the only horse to beat Sardinia Sunset on her previous start. There are winners in this race with a lot more to prove.

2.25 Newmarket The future looks bright for Dawn Rising after his 12-length maiden success 10 days ago. He has taken a bit of time to progress but, as a brother to the Irish Derby winner Sovereign, is surely worth sticking with for this first foray into Group company.

2.40 York The 4-1 shot Dubai Love showed a lot of progress in Dubai in the spring and ran a huge race when third in a Royal Ascot handicap, giving more than a stone to the others involved in the finish. Her stable is just finding its stride and she can turn over Gosden’s unexposed favourite, Ricetta.

3.00 Newmarket The market reckons this is between two horses that did well at Royal Ascot, Qaader, runner-up in the Coventry Stakes, and Tactical, winner of the Windsor Castle. But Yazaman is fairly priced to turn them over at 6-1. He covered a lot of extra ground before chasing home Tactical, having been switched over from an unfavourable far-side berth, and seems the more likely of the pair to relish this extra furlong. William Haggas’s yard is hotter now than three weeks ago.

3.15 York This belated Dante has the look of a consolation for those that weren’t quite ready for the challenge of the Derby. Encipher and Al Madhar could have more to give but Highest Ground is hard to oppose in view of his impressive Haydock effort.

Tips by Chris Cook


12.10 Miss Jingles 12.45 Woven 1.15 Maydanny (nap) 1.50 Magical Morning 2.25 Dawn Rising 3.00 Yazaman 3.35 Exceptional 4.10 Enbihaar 


12.25 Hartwood 12.55 Fox Vardy 1.30 Ulshaw Bridge 2.05 Sardinia Sunset 2.40 Dubai Love 3.15 Highest Ground 3.45 Desert Caravan 4.20 Nomadic Empire 4.50 Solo Saxophone 5.20 Brian Epstein 


5.00 Burning Cash 5.30 James Watt 6.00 Beauty Choice 6.30 Blairlogie 7.00 Madame Tantzy 7.30 Andaleep 8.00 Night Of Fashion 8.30 Russian Rumour (nb)  

3.35 Newmarket The odds about Exceptional are coming under pressure but she appeals at double-figure odds. She ought to have been a good thing under a penalty last month but ran as though that came a bit quickly and did not seem suited by being held up to get the extra distance. Returned to six furlongs, she can resume her progress. She’s a sister to Don’t Touch, beaten less than two lengths in a Champions Sprint, and could have lots more to offer.


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