Month: May 2017

Lucky 15 Thursday June 1st

Wednesday 6.15pm Looking forward to the racing tonight at Chelmsford and Punchestown. Maybe an update Thursday morning.

Thursdays Lucky 15

Once again I’ve chosen the races first then looked for the horse.

Wolverhampton 3.50                                    PAVILLON                                         4/1 PP 7/2 general

Hamilton 4.30                                    BILLY BOND                            9/2 general

Chelmsford 7.10                                 CITY OF JOY                            5/2  general

Newcastle 7.50                                   INSTANT ATTRACTION          7/1 general

and here’s why

Wolverhampton 3.50                        PAVILLON This may only be a C4 handicap on the Wolverhampton Tapeta but it is going to take some winning. Possibility of Group horses lurking in this field of improving 3yo’s. Although it’s a handicap there’s only seven pounds from top to Sir Michael Stoute’s bottom weight. Weloof and Mukalal both won their all Weather maidens comfortably although I think the latter may have more size and scope. Dowayla for Godolphin had ground issues last time and this is her seasonal debut wearing first time cheek-pieces. Me Too Nagasaki was a massive eye-catcher on 2yo debut, absolutely flying late into fourth but took three more runs to break the duck and that was a heavy ground Doncaster handicap. The four pound rise may be lenient but I couldn’t back anything Noseda saddles.

The selection went into the notebook after a last to first debut on the sand at Kempton last November and didn’t disappoint first time this season either when needing every yard of the Chelmsford mile to get up to win a C3 handicap. Adam Kirby keeps the ride, Clive Cox is among the winners and I don’t think the five pounds the handicapper has given this strapping young lady will be enough to stop her bringing up the three timer.

Hamilton 4.30                         BILLY BOND Low grade C6 handicap at Hamilton may not be my usual territory, however I think Team Musley Bank may have found the ideal opportunity for one of its lesser lights. My notes say “8/9F, Soft in the going but each way!!” Well he’s down a stone from last July, OR73 to OR59, the trip is 9F and the going is “Good, Good to Soft in places, Overcast Thurs with showers possible through the afternoon (1-3mm)”, he’s well drawn in stall 1 and was staying on well over a shorter trip last time. #FantasticMrFahey has his string in rude health and Tony Hamilton did us a favour on Wednesday! Price is just about OK, 5/1 @ 5.15pm.

Chelmsford 7.10                     CITY OF JOY This is a cracker of C2 3yo 8F contest with top yards putting some Royal Ascot Britannia handicap credentials on the line! I think the early market has it about right and the two to concentrate on are John Gosden’s Tricorn and Sir Michael Stoute’s City of Joy. Tricorn has gone up 11lb for his last win and that might just be too much and it’s City of Joy for me. This horse is a real trier and I wanted to back him last weekend when he was entered for both the valuable 3yo handicaps at Haydock and Goodwood but he has been kept back for this. He won on his 3yo reappearance at Doncaster, 8F Good to Firm, when despite being bumped late on he really stuck his head out to snatch victory. Up five pounds but Ryan Moore is in the saddle I think this gelded son of Elusive City could be a Britannia player with a win here.

Newcastle 7.50                       INSTANT ATTRACTION I picked this race because I wanted to take El Vip on even dropping to C3 as I think he has been grossly over-rated although I could have done without Jamie Spencer taking the ride. This is El VIP’s first go on the Tapeta and Spencer will have to earn his fee as last time out “Frankie Dettori, the rider of EL VIP (IRE), unplaced, reported that the colt ran too free.”

The selection is of the safe, straight bat variety. He’s been to some big parties, seventh in the Hambleton, eleventh in the Lincoln this season and seventh in the Ascot Hunt Cup last season and he may need a win here to get a ticket for this year. The handicapper has given him a bit of leeway down to OR98, he has won on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton, the yard has had a couple of winners in the past fortnight and the last time he was in C3 he won! El Vip makes the market and I just hope Instant Attraction doesn’t just set it up for a Spencer special.


Wednesdays Lucky 15

One from two so far and let’s hope we can top it up tonight!?

Beverley 3.30                         ARCANE DANCER                  4th 5/2F           (4/1 general)

Paul Hanagan had him just where he wanted, although perhaps a little keen early on, just didn’t pick up well enough in the last two furlongs.

Nottingham 3.50                   ANOTHER TOUCH                  1st 9/4 F           (11/4 general)

Hooray I’ve read a race correctly and I have to say an excellent ride from Tony Hamilton, got the horse out, got the box seat with little effort then at the 2F pole just when he could have been caught in a pocket bullied his way out and the horse did the rest. This win will probably get him 5lbs to go up to OR103 and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a spin in the Hunt Cup at Ascot because he can! However the race I really want to back him in is the John Smiths Cup over 10F at York on 15th July.

Kempton 7.50                         KEYSER SOZE                          10/1 general

Kempton 8.20                        DARK DEVIL                            6/1 Coral 11/2 general


The Epsom Derby 2017

Smullen snapped up for Khalidi in Derby as Gosden sorts team Racing Post David Baxter 8:26AM, MAY 31 2017

Pat Smullen will attempt to win a second consecutive Investec Derby after he was booked to ride the supplemented Khalidi for John Gosden. Smullen rode Harzand to victory last year for Dermot Weld, but according to the betting will face a tougher task this time around, with Khalidi a best-priced 25-1 shot for Saturday’s Classic at Epsom. One of five potential runners for Gosden, Khalidi lowered the course record when winning the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood last week, and was added to the field on Monday at a cost of £85,000. He has not been ridden before by Smullen, who told the Irish Times: “It looks an open year and worth taking a shot. It’s about whatever steps up on the day. It will be a big field and a hassle-free run through the race will be a big help.”

Gosden now has jockeys for all five of his runners, with James Doyle stepping in to take the ride on Glencadam Glory. Second to Best Solution in Lingfield’s Derby trial, Glencadam Glory was due to be partnered by Jimmy Fortune, but he ruled himself out on Tuesday as he recovers from back issues. Silvestre de Sousa is on outsider Pealer, while Frankie Dettori rides main hope Cracksman with Andrea Atzeni on Crowned Eagle.

O’Brien to delay jockey decision until Wednesday evening Racing Post Tony O’Hehir 7:32PM, MAY 30 2017

Ryan Moore is expected to partner Dee Stakes winner Cliffs Of Moher in the Investec Derby on Saturday, although Aidan O’Brien is unlikely to finalise riding arrangements for his six runners in the Epsom Classic until Wednesday evening.

O’Brien said on Tuesday: “The plan for the Derby remains the same. Cliffs Of Moher, Venice Beach, Capri, Douglas Macarthur, Wings Of Eagles and The Anvil are all intended runners. We also have Finn McCool left in but it’s unlikely he will run. We’ll be finalising riding plans for the race probably tomorrow evening.”

Moore will partner Rhododendron, who was cut to odds-on with most bookies on Tuesday, in the Investec Oaks on Friday when Seamie Heffernan is likely to be on Cheshire Oaks runner-up Alluringly. We’ll decide in the morning whether we’ll declare anything else for the Oaks but Rhododendron and Alluringly are both in good form,” O’Brien said.

Highland Reel and his brother Idaho, who will be making his reappearance, will line up for the Investec Coronation Cup on Friday. “Both of them will run and it’s quite possible we will also run US Army Ranger,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien has yet to win the Prix du Jockey Club and is planning to run at least three colts in Sunday’s renewal at Chantilly. He said: “We’re looking at running War Decree, Taj Mahal and Orderofthegarter and it’s possible we might run one other – Whitecliffsofdover or Homesman.”


Racing News

RP Twitter “Godolphin’s Bay Of Poets has been supplemented to the Prix du Jockey Club at a cost of €72,000. Al Wukair has been taken out of the contest.”


If there is one trainer who is having a great season it is Roger Charlton and here is what he put on his website after four winners last Saturday May 27th. 28th May 2017   Second Step got back to winning ways with a terrific and valiant success at Goodwood. He is a very tough horse with miles on the clock, and we knew once in a battle he wasn’t going to falter. He travelled too well through the race and we look forward to stepping him up in grade for a better pace, which should play to his strengths. Blakeney Point travelled like the winner in his race over 1m 6f and in the end didn’t get home. He got taken on too early as they turned in and it set him alight. As we had thought at Chester, 2m 2f was too far. He has got a lot faster than he was last year and cruised all over the field. The Ebor looks like the race for him in August and his jockey seemed taken with the idea. At Haydock it was nice to see Stone The Crows run a good race. He is a massive horse who is still weak. He will be a lovely horse next year. He has a wonderful action and just needs to strengthen up.

Silent Echo travelled like a good horse to beat Chessman who had incredible form at Newbury and the much talked about Mojito. He put them firmly in their place with a cruising speed that they couldn’t handle. He still raw and we may just take our time with him. Pow Wow completed the treble at Salisbury for Mr Newton. It was our first winner for him, and it was great to see, as he is a wonderful British Owner Breeder, who does a lot for the breeders in this country. Additionally it was great to see the late Bob McCreery have a second winner (Mark Hopkins) in two days, after we trained Eynhallow to win for him at Goodwood. Pow Wow got the job done nicely and hopefully there are more races to win with him.”


Lucky 15 Wednesday May 31st

Tuesday 6.15pm The Epsom Derby meeting approach’s and I’ve no strong fancy in either Classic but #FantasticMrFahey likes the handicaps, two 25/1 winners in the last four seasons and Atteq goes for the 3yo one that Heavens Guest won at 9/2 back in the day. Indeed Musley bank is in rude health especialy with market leading 2yo’s. Indeed #FantasticMrFahey is currently top UK based trainer for money won, most winners and most 2yo’s winners. Sort the wheat from the chaff and he’s a money factory!

The Epsom Derby 2017

Epsom going turns good to soft following 15mm of rain Keith Melrose Racing Post  9:09AM, MONDAY MAY 29 2017

The band of rain that swept across south-east England on Sunday evening deposited more than half an inch of rain on Epsom, where the Derby meeting begins on Friday. Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper reported on Monday morning: “We’ve just been out for a walk on the course and if we were racing today I’d call it good to soft. The rain started about 4pm yesterday and got heaviest between around midnight and 2pm. It has softened the ground quite a bit, but we were pretty quick before that.” Nearby Windsor, where racing takes place on Monday, reported little more than half the amount (8.7mm) of rain Epsom received on Sunday, but Cooper had no concerns about getting the worst of the weather. “I was pleased to get the rain, it was fairly timely, I was starting to get a bit twitchy yesterday. We were calling it good to firm, but it wasn’t too far off being firm.” The Oaks takes place on day one of the Derby meeting on Friday and Cooper suggested that the weather is likely to be more settled in the days leading up to racing. “We might get a few more showers today, according to the forecast, but we’re due to be dry Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we might get a bit more rain on Friday night into Saturday.”

Gosden supplements Khalidi to take his team to five Racing Post Graham Dench 6:34PM, MAY 29 2017

John Gosden’s addition of Friday’s Goodwood winner Khalidi to the Investec Derby field at a cost of £85,000 caught many by surprise, but while he would have preferred more time between races he feels the colt merits his place in an open race. Gosden, who has never previously had more than two runners, could have as many as five on Saturday, with Windsor handicap winner Crowned Eagle, runaway Southwell maiden winner Pealer, and Lingfield Derby Trial second Glencadam Glory in the mix alongside general 4-1 favourite Cracksman and 25-1 chance Khalidi, who landed the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes last week. Gosden said: “It’s a very open race and it’s a great race, which means people can be bold and have a go. All of mine are in different ownership, and it’s the Derby. We like to be part of it, although we go there more in hope than certainty. It’s a pity Cracksman didn’t get another run, but he goes there with two runs and two wins and he has been to Epsom twice, which helps. He’ll stay well, so he’s a legitimate 4-1 chance. Crowned Eagle comes off a nice win and will definitely appreciate the step up in trip. Pealer has gone very nicely with Cracksman twice, both at home and at Breakfast With The Stars and he’ll stay well too. Glencadam Glory has always had the pedigree of a proper mile and a half horse and has been better at the gate since Lingfield, while Khalidi’s owner [Nizar Anwar] called on Sunday to say he would like to supplement. Although I had been thinking of the King Edward VII, Khalidi is a grand horse who broke the track record, and he has taken his race well.”

Racing Post Maddy Playle 8:22PM, MAY 26 2017

Aidan O’Brien’s Derby team will be minus a member as the Ballydoyle trainer ruled out 12-1 shot Yucatan on Friday evening.  O’Brien, who won the Classic for three consecutive years starting with Camelot’s win in 2012, will not be relying on Flaxman Stables’s colt, who finished a narrow second behind stablemate Douglas Macarthur in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown earlier this month. Following Order Of St George’s win in the Saval Beg Stakes, O’Brien revealed: “Yucatan is going to be left alone. We’ll give him a little break now and hopefully he’ll be back for the autumn and if not he’ll be a smashing four-year-old. Of the horses we were looking at for the Derby, he’s the one we’re going to leave at the moment. We always really liked him and were very happy with him last time and were looking forward to him running, but he just needed a bit of time and we felt it was the right thing to do to give him that time.”

Wednesdays Lucky 15

Little different today in as much as I’ve chosen the races first then looked for the horse.

Beverley 3.30                         ARCANE DANCER                  4/1 general

Nottingham 3.50                   ANOTHER TOUCH                  11/4 general

Kempton 7.50                         KEYSER SOZE                          10/1 general

Kempton 8.20                        DARK DEVIL                            6/1 Coral 11/2 general

and here’s why

Beverley 3.30                         ARCANE DANCER Two to choose from in a race where not many have obvious chances. Some with no ability and those that have the handicapper has by the short and curly’s. As the Racing Post website points out about Arcane Dancer, “Two C&D wins last year and went close back here on seasonal return; major player.” Add to that Paul Hanagan in the saddle and a draw in stall 1 and that’s plenty of positives. The other runner of note for me, at a price, was SpecialV who is down to a winning mark and two runs ago hinted that his turn could be near but that draw in stall 13 will make life tough for Ben Curtis.

Nottingham 3.50                   ANOTHER TOUCH A cracking 8F+ C2 handicap for a Wednesday and plenty of Saturday horses looking to pick up a nice prize on a Wednesday!

Out go;- White Lake won the Convivial at York three years ago but nothing since. Poeta Litta, zilch since arriving from Italy. One Word More, usually good on seasonal debut but this is tough for a 7yo who hasn’t won since April 2015. Dragon Mall, whose only win was two seasons ago as a 2yo. Consistent without winning and getting no respite from the handicapper. Big Baz has done his connections proud, winning two Listed races and this contest two seasons ago but nothing recently to suggest he’s about to return to winning ways although the handicapper has relented somewhat. Kaspersky was a Group 2+3 winner in Italy but seems high in the handicap for the actual strength of that form.

So I’m down to two again. Hamdam al Maktoum’s Algairth was always thought to be better than a handicapper, he was 9th in the Cambridgeshire as a 3yo but has been hard to train and this will only be the 5yo’s fourth race since and in the meantime he has moved yards and been gelded. His last run when fourth in a Listed race at Ascot suggested the fire still burned but is he in the shape to win this?

Another Touch is the selection and is top of my short list for the very valuable 10F John Smiths handicap at York later this summer and a win here wouldn’t go amiss. So far this season he has been second, mugged by Banksea in that very strong Newbury Spring Cup and a running on fourth recently at York in the Listed Hambleton handicap. Up just 2lbs he needs to get his head back in front and Tony Hamilton who knows him well will just want something to shoot at in the last hundred yards, maybe Algaith, maybe Big Baz, maybe both!

Kempton 7.50                         KEYSER SOZE Simply this race revolves around whether Gymnaste can give the weight away? She is another of John Gosden’s excellent team of 3yo fillies and was a comfortable winner over this trip at the recent Chester meeting. I’m taking her on as I think she lacks experience and I didn’t think that Chester race had any depth to it. However I accept this Cheveley Park daughter of Shamardal could be Group class in two races time especially over further.

Keyser Soze is the selection who was placed in two hot 2yo maidens before competing in the two big 6F sales races, both times running on to be just behind the places. Gelded over the winter it was no surprise that he won comfortably over 7F at Thirsk on seasonal debut despite being keen and green. In the hands of new talented kid on the block, Richard Spencer, I think a mark of OR83 seriously underestimates the horse’s ability. Noticeably Stevie Donohoe retains the ride.

Kempton 8.20                        DARK DEVIL Initial thought is that Classic Villager has first run for Dean ivory having left Michael Appleby’s, a trainer who paid Mr Fung Lok Li £110K for him and called him “the best horse I’ve trained” blah blah but didn’t stop him being moved out of the yard!! Barge pole territory.

I put up Dark Devil last week but he was a non-runner because the ground firmed up and I wrote on the blog “Delighted to see he opens his campaign over a mile and I think #FantasticMrFahey has found him a ‘soft’ race, a C4 71-85 8F handicap and he is rated OR86! Hanagan goes to Scotland for just two rides and this is the fancied one. At the start of the 2016 season I blogged “Two promising seconds in C4 maidens before narrowly getting home in a C5 maiden over 7F at Redcar. Travels well and looks a trier. He has already been gelded and 3yo mile handicaps look to be his bag.” Just hasn’t bagged one! C4 stiff 8F or possibly 9F, just doesn’t get 10F. He has now! Nolan gave him a great ride at Goodwood to win a C4 8F on Good ground.” This race is tougher being a C3 76-90 race and it will be first time on the AW for Dark Devil but I think he looks just about the only improver in the field with the possible exception of top weight, Ballard Down, but he has to give the selection six pounds. David Nolan keeps the ride.


Saturdays Lucky 15

Horray a winner! Nothing to go with it sadly but most of our stake back.

York 2.40                                DAL HARRAILD           1st 3/1F            (6/1 PP 11/2 general) (3.85/1 after rule 4’s)

In pouring rain saw it out well coming from off the pace and there is talk of the Ascot Gold Cup.

Haydock 2.55                         MUSTARRID                5th 7/2F           (8/1 PP 7/1 general)

Not sure that Mustarrid stayed the mile although connections blamed the ground “The representative of Richard Hannon, the trainer of MUSTARRID (IRE), placed fifth, was unsuited by the Firm, Good to Firm in places going on this occasion, and would prefer a slower surface.” BHA Stewards. Every chance two furlongs out then hung left.

Goodwood 3.10                     AARDWOLF                10th 8/1           (8/1 general)

Annoyingly the other Mark Johnston horse, Sutter County, doing exactly from the front what I had predicted the selection would do! Fade badly from the furlong pole

Chester 5.20                           OKOOL                                    4th 2/1             (7/4 general)

Quite simply the horse didn’t handle the course, he hung off every bend and there are plenty of those at Chester. Next time back on an orthodox flat galloping track please!

Dr Marwan Koukash old boys

Turned out to be a fun each way bet for the afternoon with Suegioo only just nabbed and Gabrials King coming from out of the clouds to grab third. Seeing the prices were 10/1 and 16/1 no financial damage done.

Chester 3.05                           GABRIALS KAKA            8th 20/1

Connor Murtagh had him in position A throughout, horse just not good enough from the furlong pole. Does he need a bit more rain perhaps.

Chester 4.50                           GABRIALS KING             3rd 16/1

Slow away but travelled then flew around the outside off the home bend to snatch third. BHA Stewards Reports “Adam McNamara, the rider of GABRIAL’S KING (IRE), placed third, reported that the gelding was slowly away.”

Haydock 2.20                         SUEGIOO                     2nd 10/1

Another excellent ride. Held up last but not far away, sneaked up the inside rail from 2F out and I thought he had got it only to be chinned by Yorkidding!

Goodwood 4.20                     ANGEL GABRIAL            6th 7/1

Odd ride Pat Dobbs. Held up out the back, right out the back. Overtook half a dozen in the home straight!

Lucky 15 Saturday May 27th

Friday 6.00pm Winners or not I hope this blog is worth the read. Struggling!?! If any acquaintance of yours has just taken delivery of a new Bentley you either know my bookmaker or a bloke who has been laying all my selections this week! In my current form I’d give Richard Birch and/or @racingblogger a run for their money. Spending too much time reading Stewards reports and not race reports!

BUT last Saturday got me out of a deep hole and let’s hope it can do it again.

What is more I’m giving you two Lucky 15’s!!


Anthea L Morshead‏ @AntheaLMorshead  Clerk of the Course 4.00pm “Sunny @yorkracecourse Going for first Saturday of the season now Good to Firm, Good in places. Will water tonight to replace moisture lost”

Haydock – Good to Firm. Thundery showers forecast for the morning on Saturday, but clearing from midday.

Goodwood –Good  (Good to Firm in Places on the round course).

Chester – Good to Firm (Good in Places) (watered). Sat – Dry morning turning an afternoon of sunshine and showers.


Saturdays Lucky 15

York 2.40                                DAL HARRAILD           6/1 PP 11/2 general

Haydock 2.55                         MUSTARRID                8/1 PP 7/1 general

Goodwood 3.10                     AARDWOLF                8/1 general

Chester 5.20                           OKOOL                                    7/4 general

and here’s why

York 2.40                                DAL HARRAILD Two people I like to stay on the right side of on the Knavesmire are Paul Hanagan and William Haggas and they combine here in what looks to me to be a serious Ebor trial, making it all the more annoying that Wall of Fire is a non-runner with a temperature. Dal Harraild has to concede three pounds or more to all of his rivals but with an extra two furlongs surely in his favour, his prominent style of racing and the fact he’s had a run already are all positives. Is it far enough or soft enough for Clever Cookie? Is it too far for Frontiersman (if not he’s a definite Ebor player)?

Haydock 2.55                         MUSTARRID My early selection was Stoute’s City of Joy who was entered here and in the valuable 7F 3yo contest at Goodwood but runs in neither. So I want to be with the horse he just chinned at Doncaster in a similar event but a class lower. No issues with the draw, the ground, the grade or the trip and as I made Graphite Storm the danger I would simply rather have Jim Crowley in the saddle than Sam Hitchcott. Trainer Richard Hannon is in form as he said on his blog with stanjames, “The horses are absolutely flying and I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going at present.” He seems keen on this one, “This horse has a great chance. He’s in great form and this is a very good race for him. I’m very happy with his draw in 6 and I think there is more to come. He’s classy.”

I have also backed #FantasticMrFahey’s Society Red each way as I think this horse is much better than OR80 and off just 8st could well run into a place or even win! Two others I’m watching closely are Naval Warfare for an in-form Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy and Maths Prize from Roger Charlton’s yard ridden by three pound claimer Keiran Shoemark. I thought the latter wanted to step up in trip and I’m mildly surprised to see him back at a mile.

Race will need watching a few times as should throw up plenty of bets, maybe even at Royal Ascot.

Goodwood 3.10                     AARDWOLF The top weight in this £100K 3yo 7F handicap was beaten just under four lengths when 7th in the 2000 Guineas behind Churchill. That’s real form but he has to give lumps of weight away even with top claimer, George Wood’s five pounds allowance. Aardwolf is improving with every run and although his form is solid I’m persuaded by his running style and the topography of Goodwood tomorrow! The excellent cutaway that has been present for Thursday and Friday has gone and I’m hoping the tactically aware Joe Fanning can bounce Aardwolf out of stall 11 get the lead, stack them up turning for home, then wind it up in the straight with the normal chaos behind!  Will be a little upset if it’s The Wagon Wheel who picks him up for the #FantasticMrFahey!

Chester 5.20                           OKOOL            Second selection for Hamdan al Maktoum and I like this improving 3yo son of Cape Cross from the Charlie Hills stable. Okool ran in some serious maidens as a 2yo often with little luck, he was murdered at Newmarket in the race won by Eminent. An improving 3yo second to Crystal Ocean over 10F at Nottingham before returning three weeks later to get off the mark. The further step up in trip should help further and hopefully Voski will give something for Dane O’Neill to aim at.


This is not my normal modus operandi to put up four horses for either the same trainer or owner but at first glance of the Saturday runners I noticed that maybe the handicapper had given a few of Dr Marwan Koukash old boys a winning opportunity. On deeper research I am even more convinced and I shall play the Lucky 15 each way and definitely do Gabrials Kaka as the biggest single. Last time I did anything like this was when the “Touch’s” went in at Ayr and Innocent Touch would have put us in for £7K off thirty quid, three winners was OK though.

Chester 3.05   GABRIALS KAKA A terrific servant to the yard and I think the 7yo has a great chance in this race and could get Marwan Koukash on the scoreboard for 2017 at his favourite track going one better than his second in this race last year. My notebook says “So when to back him? C2, 8F, OR95 or less, no Soft in going, 8/1 or bigger, each way and as many places as you can get!” Well its 7½F on Good to Firm, he races off OR91, he’s well drawn in stall 3 and Connor Murtagh, on his only ride of the day, takes 7lbs off. He opened his 2017 campaign in the Lincoln Consolation on ground too soft and Adam McNamara took him all over the course and never got the cover he needs. Last time out was more worrying as from the same draw over C&D he “missed” the break although Paul Hanagan wasn’t too busy! Always on the back hoof he started to close at the top of the straight but at the furlong pole had a wall of horses in front of him and wasn’t pursued with. His trainer Richard Fahey says in his blog “To be at his best Gabrial’s Kaka needs rain ahead of the MBNA Handicap. It is forecast to come at some stage on Saturday but Marwan Koukash likes Chester and he’ll run whether it arrives before the race or not.” I’d be happy with the forecast shower but not a thunderstorm! Murtagh just needs to be busy at the start and get on the tail of probable leader Hillbilly Boy, wait for the cutaway and every chance. He is in effect 9lbs lower than that last run a fortnight ago! 6.30pm 16/1 PP 14/1 general

Chester 4.50   GABRIALS KING Another fantastic horse for Dr K and in a C3 over his favourite trip off OR89 with Adam McNamara taking three pounds off must be competitive. He has been fourth in the Chester Cup but in C3 his form is 8231, his form over this C&D is 4221 and all his wins have been on Good ground or faster. He has been second in this race twice before and with trip, grade, ground all in his favour he must go close. He hacked up at Thirsk on seasonal debut off OR86 which is in effect his mark here, was poor at Ripon not staying the two miles, then dropped almost six furlongs here at Chester last time keeping on but getting nowhere near the improving Khairaat. This is much more his cup of tea even from stall 8 of 10 as he’s a hold up horse. Richard Fahey says in his blog “Gabrial’s King is a funny horse who has two ways of running but he’s won here before and would have a big chance in the Mionetto Prosecco Handicap if it was a going day.  He’s in great form at home and looks really well.” 6.30pm 16/1 PP 14/1 general

Haydock 2.20 SUEGIOO Perhaps this selection is a little more adventurous as 8yo Suegioo has only won twice in thirty nine attempts but one of those was a much coveted Chester Cup win for the good doctor! He hasn’t run off OR100 since May 2015 when he was fourth over C&D, such is the horse’s consistency. Trainer Richard Fahey gives cause for optimism in his blog “I thought Suegioo ran well in the Chester Cup – he flew home up the straight that day from a terrible draw. Haydock should suit him and the handicapper has started to give him a chance, I hope he runs well.” Suegioo has been placed thirteen times from 38 turf starts, nine places from twenty nine runs on the forecast ground and eight places from 21 starts in this grade. What really attracted me to him is the fact that dropping to OR100 gets him in this 81-100 contest and probably the weakest opponents he’s faced in a couple of years. Can Tony Hamilton, on his first ride on the horse, nurse him round, get him close enough at the two furlong pole to let his stamina come into play and find space to use his finishing kick? Let’s hope so! 6.30pm 14/1 Ladbrokes + Coral

Talking of Tony Hamilton, it would seem he is the regular morning rider of Ribchester which perhaps sheds a bit more light on his value to the Musley Bank set up. This is the first season for a while, with or without Hanagan, I can remember Hamilton having almost as many outside rides, especially for Derek Shaw and Roger Fell, as he has had for Fahey.

Goodwood 4.20         ANGEL GABRIAL Let’s start with the cold truth Angel Gabrial hasn’t won since he won the Northumberland Plate off OR96 in June 2014, getting on for three years and twenty two runs ago. However he’s been running in the likes of the Goodwood Cup, Chester Cup and Cesarewitch which this race certainly isn’t! Like Suegioo he’s an 8yo with an awful win to run ratio but has landed a biggie. Looking at his recent runs there are two bits of form that suggest he isn’t a lost cause here. Last September off OR98 over this 14F trip in this grade on Good ground he was third having been given a scenic ride by Sophie Killoran and a ton of lead. On seasonal debut this season he was an excellent staying on fourth despite having travelled wide throughout at Musselburgh in C2 off OR96, again over this trip on ground maybe a tad quick for him, suggests he still retains enough ability. As his trainer Richard Fahey points out in his blog “The handicapper is starting to give Angel Gabriel a bit of a chance. While we dropped Suegioo in during the Chester Cup we had to go forward with this fellow and he ended up doing a lot of the donkey work through nobody’s fault. He’s getting dangerously well handicapped now so must have a small chance in the Gentleman’s Measure IMO Phil Wiggins Handicap.” There wasn’t a lot wrong with his run in the Chester Cup. Pat Dobbs is an interesting jockey booking, he certainly knows Goodwood, and if he could pop Angel Gabrial out of stall 4 and grab the box seat just behind the pace he could be a real player. 6.30pm 14/1 Ladbrokes + PP


Fridays Lucky 15

Goodwood 3.10                     ALNAAS                      4th 2/1Fav       (3/1 Ladbrokes + Coral)

Too keen. Ran her race in the first two furlongs not the last two.

Goodwood 3.45                     RAHEEN HOUSE         3rd 6/4 Fav      (15/8 general)

Not good enough. Did he stay?

Haydock 3.30                         DAGONET                   12th 12/1         (6/1 BetFred + PP)

BHA Stewards report “Jim Crowley, the rider of DAGONET (IRE), unplaced, reported that the gelding stopped quickly approximately two furlongs out as though something was amiss. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of the gelding failed to reveal any abnormalities.”

TwitterCallum Connochie‏ @Connochie7  Very poor from Dagonet. Market did suggest he wasn’t fully wound up.”

Haydock 4.40                         IN FIRST PLACE           6th 8/1             (11/1 general)

One pace.


Racing News

Here’s an interesting little stat from geegeez

“Track Bias Diary – Friday 26 May ANDREW MOUNT 10:09am, Fri 26 May 2017

When the field doesn’t stretch across the whole width of the track, it helps to be drawn low-to-middle and race towards the centre of the track in sprint handicaps at Goodwood. Since the draw was reversed in 2011 we’ve had 55 sprint handicaps featuring 12-16 runners and those drawn 11 or higher have a 0-99 record.”

Chris Cook reveals in the Guardian “John Gosden putting Josephine Gordon on a runner at Goodwood tomorrow. First time he’s used a female jockey in Britain for at least 4 years”

Mori to Ribblesdale. Lord Grimthorpe “When she won at Ascot, she was doing her best work in the last furlong and really today it was pretty much the same thing. I think all being well we will head to Royal Ascot for the Ribblesdale and take it from there. On that, you’d be pretty confident she’d have no problems getting a mile and a half. She was green first time out at Newbury, and it was a learning curve at Ascot, but she was quite professional today. She was really well balanced and relaxed.”

Aidan O’Brien – Minding to miss Tattersalls Gold Cup this weekend and Royal Ascot after setback. Aidan O’Brien now planning an autumn campaign.


The Epsom Derby 2017

David Milnes 11:56AM, MAY 26 2017 Godolphin’s Best Of Days, a general 20-1 chance for next Saturday’s Investec Derby at Epsom, will miss the Classic. Speaking on Friday morning, trainer Hugo Palmer said the Royal Lodge Stakes winner needed more time to develop, with the focus switching to targets later in the season. “Best Of Days won’t be ready to run in the Derby in eight days as he just needs more time,” said Palmer after watching the colt work on Newmarket’s Limekilns gallop under Derby-winning rider Michael Hills. “He’s coming along fine but the race at Epsom would come a bit soon for him and we’ll look for something later on.”



Came across this on Twitter written by Kevin Blake (ATR+Final Furlong Podcast) September 2016.

“The betting world has unquestionably undergone significant change in the last 15 years or so, primarily due to the popularity of the internet and online betting. This has made it easier for bookmakers to monitor their customers, but it has also led to bettors becoming more informed and aware of the importance of value. In that time there has also been a notable change in bookmaker behaviour that has led the betting industry to the situation it now finds itself in.

In the past, bookmakers took pride in their bravery in taking on all comers, being willing to take losses from individuals in the hope that they would beat that customer in the long run. However, the modern reality for bookmakers is that the bean-counting accountants have taken over. The type of customer they primarily want to deal with is the small-staking recreational bettor that will bet all day long without any regard for value, strategy or discipline.

How they seek to achieve this is by either closing the accounts or more commonly severely restricting the permitted betting stakes of any of their customers that show competency in their betting.

The danger of this policy should be obvious to all. Horse racing is an incredibly complex sport in which the betting odds are fundamentally fixed in the favour of the bookmakers. Becoming skilled and disciplined enough to have a chance at making a long-term profit by betting on it takes thousands of hours of work and only a very small percentage of people that bet on horse racing make it pay. With the modern reality for successful bettors being that placing meaningful stakes at fair prices is often a bigger challenge than finding winners, one could understand why intelligent, hard-working sports enthusiasts would rather dedicate themselves to getting good at betting on a sport in which they can at least bet in big stakes if they wish to without undue hassle, such as football.”

Contrast with today’s news via the Racing Post.  Bill Barber 1:48PM, MAY 25 2017

“The amount of money lost on betting shop gaming machines increased to a high of £1.8 billion in the year to September 2016, according to the latest statistics released by the Gambling Commission.

The share of betting shop gross gambling yield (GGY) – the amount kept by operators after winnings have been paid out – provided by gaming machines was 56 per cent compared to traditional over-the-counter betting.

Gaming machines, also known as fixed odds betting terminals or FOBTs, are the subject of a government review announced last autumn, the results of which have been delayed by the general election campaign. Both the Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos have called for the stakes on machines to be cut to £2 from the current maximum of £100.

The findings of the government review, which many expect to recommend a cut in stakes, had not been expected to be published until the autumn.

The latest total gross gambling yield (GGY) of the British gambling sector was £13.8bn, up from £13.4bn in the year to March 2016. Remote gambling, mainly made up of the online industry, remains the largest sector in British gambling and constitutes 32 per cent of the overall market with GGY of £4.5bn, up from £4.2bn. Within the remote sector, casino games generated £2.4bn of GGY, while remote betting, including betting exchanges and pool betting, totalled £1.9bn of GGY dominated by football and horseracing.

Racing’s remote GGY increased to £352 million from £342m, while football GGY stood at £619m.

In betting shops, turnover on horseracing, which in March 2009 stood at £5.74bn, fell to £4.6bn in September 2016 from £4.79bn in March 2016. However, GGY increased slightly to £600.5m from £598.6m.

Total betting shop numbers fell again to 8,788, meaning numbers have fallen by one per cent for each of the last three periods covered by the commission’s statistics.

Gambling Commission Statistics Headline Figures

£13.8bn Total GGY of British gambling industry

£4.5bn Total GGY of remote sector

32% Market share of remote sector

106,678 Total number of people employed in the British gambling industry

8,788 Number of betting shops in Britain

1.8bn Total GGY of betting shop gaming machines

56% Share of gaming machine GGY in betting shops compared to over-the-counter”



Station Master sale caps big week for fledgling Fahey

Son of Scorpion provided the trainer with first Rules success James Thomas RP Bloodstock  2:28PM, MAY 25 2017

“By anyone’s standards, the last seven days have been particularly eventful for Peter Fahey, son of leading Flat trainer Richard. Not only did he witness his father’s Ribchester run out a mightily impressive winner of the Lockinge Stakes on Saturday, but less than 24 hours earlier he had saddled the first Rules winner of his own nascent training career – with his very first runner outside of the amateur game.

Station Master, who landed the Aintree point-to-point bumper by no fewer than 11 lengths, also provided jockey Billy Garritty with a first win under Rules. And, in a neat twist of fate, it came at the very same course – and almost ten years to the day – where Garritty’s father Russ had brought down the curtain on his own illustrious riding career, with a third-place finish on Lease Lend.

Nor was this the only time Station Master had provided Fahey with a first, as he provided the 23-year-old with his maiden success as a jockey when landing an Askham Bryan point-to-point back in February. While a first winner would seem assured of an eternal place in the heart of all trainers, there is far less of a guarantee about a place in their stable – especially when they are cut from particularly shrewd cloth. And so it was that Fahey offloaded the six-year-old son of Scorpion during Wednesday’s session of the Goffs UK Spring Sale. The horse was purchased by Aiden Murphy, acting on behalf of Kim Bailey, for £48,000.

“He was bought for me to ride, before my bottle went!” quipped Fahey on how he came to train Station Master. “The Aintree race had always been the plan – point form can be a little hard to weigh up but we knew it would take a fair one to beat him that day. We hadn’t really looked beyond that race, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to sell.”

Thanks to his association with his father’s formidable string, Fahey is no stranger to success. But he says that having his own name in the racecard makes it all the more enjoyable. “It was the best feeling,” he says. “Obviously Ribchester was pretty special too, but it’s nice when it’s in your own name. The plan is to have four or five more pointers next season. I’d like to be competitive in hunter chases before I think about taking out a full license. I’ve had three winners now and hopefully I can have a few more next season, it would be nice to bring a couple back here to sell next year as well.” The boost to the Fahey coffers from Friday’s success and Wednesday’s sale could hardly be more timely. For if the previous week had not provided enough excitement, Donna Mackay will soon be able to call herself a trainer’s wife: the couple’s wedding is scheduled to take place on Saturday.”

Lucky 15 Friday May 26th

Thursday 6.00pm Struggling to pick my nose but patience is allegedly a virtue! Praise to Goodwood with the rail out 6yds to the 2F pole creating a cutaway and great races. “Denied a clear” run a thing of the past! Bet it’s gone for the Glorious meeting! Looking forward to a cracking card at Sandown tonight. Need to get this blog out first.

Here’s one we were looking forward to on Friday but as pointed out on Twitter Liam@RatingTheRaces‏ @RTR_Liam  “Atty Persse looked a horse going places last time. 6/5 at Betfair looks too big. Expect to go off short and odds on tomorrow!”

Fridays Lucky 15

Goodwood 3.10                     ALNAAS                      3/1 Ladbrokes + Coral

Goodwood 3.45                     RAHEEN HOUSE         15/8 general

Haydock 3.30                         DAGONET                   6/1 BetFred + PP

Haydock 4.40                         IN FIRST PLACE           11/1 general

and here’s why

Goodwood 3.10                     ALNAAS Bumped into one at Newbury in the shape of Princess de Lune on debut but went one better at Chelmsford in a mile maiden despite racing keenly. This daughter of Dansili was doing her best work late on and the handicapper may have been generous in his mark of OR79 on handicapping debut. Drawn 4 is spot on for this prominent racer.

Goodwood 3.45                     RAHEEN HOUSE Delighted that Brian Meehan seems to be having a better start to this season than in recent years and I’m also a sucker for a “man with a plan”. The trainer nominated this race immediately after Raheen House had failed by two and a half lengths to give five pounds to Shutter Speed with Enable, the Cheshire Oaks winner, close behind in 3rd. That could look excellent form after the Oaks here and in France. His 2yo form included a fourth in the G1 Racing Post Trophy and that’s as good as anything else on display here. Khalidi has to give him three pounds for winning a Newmarket Listed race, Monarchs Glen has questions to answer after boiling over in the Sandown Derby trial and Fierce Impact, Shymkent and The Grand Vizir will all need to show vast improvement, of which all three are capable. Informative race but up a furlong I fully expect Jamie Spencer to come home first on this son of Sea the Stars.

Haydock 3.30                         DAGONET Just have to put this one up having seen the video of his win at Kempton over 6F last October. He may have beaten trees but it had a bit of Wow about it. He’s gelded, big and scopey and his trainer is bullish. “He won his race over six furlongs at Kempton quite readily and he will always be a sprinter. He is bred to be fast being by Sir Prancealot and he will be contesting the sort of 0-85/0-90 handicaps and he will improve.” Dagonet wears a first time hood and as long as he takes too it, under the capable guidance of Jim Crowley, who rode the horse on debut, he should be too good for these.

Haydock 4.40                         IN FIRST PLACE At first glance he would look exposed but I like the horse and there are loads of reasons to back him here. With the talented Ms SammyJo Bell taking three pounds off he does in effect race off OR76, his last winning mark. He drops in grade to C4 and his last run in C3 behind City of Joy and Mustarrid bears close scrutiny and his defeat of Masham Star as a 2yo last season is rock solid. He’s not ground dependent and a mile looks his trip. Overpriced in double figures!


Thursdays Lucky 15

Just can’t call them right. Selections seem to be running in glue. Going to too many funerals and not enough weddings!

Goodwood 2.40                     SHADY MCCOY              4th 5/1                 (11/2 WH 9/2 general)

Too far back, still came wide and race was over when he got involved. RP analysis suggests “Eyecatcher: Shady McCoy (2.35) kept on well from an unpromising position in a race that wasn’t run to suit”.

Goodwood 3.45                     ELDRITCH                          5th 10/3               (5/1 PP 4/1 general)

Took ages to gather race pace and was too far back. One pace from 2F out, probably needs further.

BHA Stewards The Veterinary Officer reported that ELDRITCH (IRE), placed fifth, trained by John Gosden, finished lame on the right-hind.

Goodwood 4.20                     ICESPIRE                            7th of 7!! 2/1    (6/5 Ladbrokes Evs general)

Market told you everything you wanted to know! Drifted from Evs to 2/1, Friendless. In race too keen, too buzzy, didn’t pick up. Bubble well and truly burst. BHA Stewards – Nothing!!

Sandown 8.40                                    MAZKEEM                        4/1 PP + BetFred

Not exactly over confident!


The Epsom Derby 2017 May 25 2017, 17:27

Mirage Dancer has been ruled out of the Investec Derby but could still bid for Royal Ascot honours.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained son of Frankel won on his only start as a juvenile last year and returned to action with a fair fourth behind Derby favourite Cliffs Of Moher in the Dee Stakes at Chester earlier this month, doing some eyecatching work late on. However, connections of Mirage Dancer believe a trip to Epsom may be the wrong move at present and while the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot next month a possible alternative, the colt will not be hurried in his preparation. “He is fine and it is not that he has been working badly, but going into the Derby you want all the right bells to be ringing. He is still a work in progress and we still hope he will be top class,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah. “I think with a horse like this, you have just got to give them a little bit of space to grow up and mature. It is not impossible he will go to the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot.”

My other Derby ante post ticket follows Sir John Lavery into the bin!!

Lucky 15 Thursday May 25th

Wednesday 6.00pm Need to blog this right now because I think the prices for tomorrow’s Lucky 15 won’t last long. Whether they win is another matter all together!!

Thursdays Lucky 15

Goodwood 2.40                     SHADY MCCOY              11/2 WH 9/2 general

Goodwood 3.45                     ELDRITCH                          5/1 PP 4/1 general

Goodwood 4.20                     ICESPIRE                            6/5 Ladbrokes Evs general

Sandown 8.40                                    MAZKEEM                        4/1 PP + BetFred

and here’s why

Goodwood 2.40                     SHADY MCCOY Solid racehorse who rarely runs a bad race. His Goodwood form is 112, indeed his last win was on the down-land course, a C3 over 7F off two pounds lower. He ran a cracker in the Victoria Cup at Ascot just twelve days ago running on late to grab fourth and off the same mark, with the winning machine Silvestre de Sousa in the saddle Shady McCoy must go close. Stall 8 out of 10 for this hold up horse is fine. High, wide and handsome please SDS.

Goodwood 3.45                     ELDRITCH          Delighted he runs in another C4 handicap having been put up 9lbs to OR86 and this one is red hot with a strong Godolphin representation. I think Eldritch is one of those horses that just does enough, he certainly stays well. Two fears. Will he handle the course and is the trip far enough? Plenty of horses here trying to get a mark high enough for Royal Ascot. I’ll stick with the Dettori/Gosden combo.

Goodwood 4.20                     ICESPIRE Can’t let this young lady go unbacked. I think she is the best of the UK Frankel fillies. Frankie Dettori couldn’t have got into more trouble than he did at Sandown last time! Icespire has real gears and I’m expecting an emphatic display. Slightly disappointed they didn’t keep her for the Sandringham handicap at Royal Ascot, of course they still may do, in which case I hope Frankie gets up by a nose!

Sandown 8.40                                    MAZKEEM        Loads going for him here. Right trip, right grade, ground drying, Ryan Moore rides (5 from 9 for in form yard since Jan. 2016), drawn 7, first time cheekpieces.

Roger Charltons ATR stable tour “He took a long time to break his maiden and kept running in hot maidens. I still hope there is better to come with him. He has had a gelding operation during the Winter. I think a mile/mile and a quarter and, with a bit of luck, at some stage he should win a nice handicap.”

Wednesdays Lucky 15

Need Mr Khalid to do the business tonight! Wish the selections got more mentions in the result section than the Stewards reports!

Lingfield (Turf) 3.10               UNDER ATTACK             7th 4/1                 (7/2 general)

Opened up at 11/2 in the shops and backed to 4/1 second favourite! Fractious in stalls, climbed frame. Last, progress in straight, never competitive, hung left? Running out of excuses, physically talented but mentally weak.

BHA Stewards report “The Stewards noted that TAKBEER (IRE), unplaced, ducked right on the run to the line, interfering with UNDER ATTACK (IRE), unplaced, who in turn interfered with MILROW (IRE), unplaced, but after viewing a recording of the race they were satisfied that it did not involve a riding offence.

Kieran Shoemark, the rider of UNDER ATTACK (IRE), unplaced, reported that the gelding was denied a clear run.”

Ayr 4.20                                  DARK DEVIL                     Non Runner    (9/2 Ladbrokes 4/1 general)

Taken out because of quicker Going. Good (Good to firm in places).

Ayr 4.50                                  ARITHMETIC               8th 13/2               (6/1 general)

Keen early, not a lot of room at the 2F pole, kept on but basically not good enough!

BHA Stewards reports “Ruth Carr, the trainer of ARITHMETIC (IRE), unplaced, reported that she had no explanation for the geldings poor performance. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of the gelding failed to reveal any abnormalities.” Fabulous!!

Kempton (AW) 7.40               MR KHALID                      7/2 general


Racing News

This will probably in Thursdays Racing Post but here’s a heads up.

Find out which horses are catching the eye at HQ  David Milnes 1:44PM, MAY 24 2017

Journey                                (John Gosden)  God was back in his heaven on the Limekilns on Wednesday morning, where it was access all areas for the first time since April. At 6.30am it was so busy that the trial ground, long gallop, canter and round gallop were all in use simultaneously, which was a challenge for workwatchers to say the least. Gosden’s top filly kicked off the action on the latter facility and heads to the Coronation Cup in great order.

Enable                                  (John Gosden)  Just nine days before the Oaks, Khalid Abdullah’s Chester winner enjoyed a leg stretch in traditional fashion with the same owner’s Present Tense on the round gallop. The latter filly, a winner at Yarmouth last time, is shaping nicely as one would expect from a half-sister to the mighty Kingman.

Pleasant Surprise            (Luca Cumani)   Cumani was waiting on Jamie Spencer before commencing his work on the long gallop, but it was Luke Morris who was in the driving seat where the recent Wolverhampton winner was nicely ahead in a four-horse workout. The daughter of Mastercraftsman could be on a workable mark off 80.

Prize Money                      (Saeed Bin Suroor)          The Stanley House troops were in action a day earlier when only the canter and short gallop were available. Despite having only seven furlongs to play with, Adrian McCarthy sent the Coronation Cup candidate towards the Bury Road traffic lights at a rate of knots.

Alabaster                            (Sir Mark Prescott)          The mile-long Al Bahathri Polytrack, which was installed in 1986, isn’t really far enough for the recent Chelmsford winner, who could happily go up it twice such is his stamina. The form of his win at the Essex venue received a boost when the last-placed runner that evening finished third at Beverley last week.


Red Verdon                        (Ed Dunlop) Dunlop’s top work-rider Steve Nicholson was in a hurry on the leading older performer, who needed the run badly at Chester recently after a year off. The son of Lemon Drop Kid may give the returning So Mi Dar something to chew on in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on Thursday night.


The Epsom Derby 2017

24th May, the remaining 26.

Horse Owner Trainer
BENBATL Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
BEST OF DAYS Godolphin Hugo Palmer
BEST SOLUTION (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
CAPRI (IRE) Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
CHURCHILL (IRE) Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
CLIFFS OF MOHER (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
CRACKSMAN Anthony Oppenheimer John Gosden
CROWNED EAGLE Lady Bamford John Gosden
DIORE LIA (IRE) Ms M Todd Jane Chapple-Hyam
DOUGLAS MACARTHUR (IRE) Markus Jooste/Sue Magnier/Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
DUBAI THUNDER Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
EMINENT (IRE) Sir Peter Vela Martyn Meade
FIERCE IMPACT (JPN) Qatar Racing Limited David Simcock
FINN MCCOOL (IRE) Sue Magnier/Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith/AnneMarie O’Brien Aidan O’Brien IRE
GLENCADAM GLORY Angus Dundee Distillers Plc John Gosden
MIRAGE DANCER Khalid Abdullah Sir Michael Stoute
PEALER (GER) Emma Capon, Andrew Lloyd Webber & Rachel Hood John Gosden
REKINDLING Lloyd Williams Joseph O’Brien IRE
SALOUEN (IRE) H Balasuriya Sylvester Kirk
TAMLEEK (USA) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
THE ANVIL (IRE) Derrick Smith/Sue Magnier/Michael Tabor/AnneMarie O’Brien Aidan O’Brien IRE
THUNDER SNOW (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
VENICE BEACH (IRE) Smith/Sue Magnier/Tabor/Flaxman Stables Aidan O’Brien IRE
WALDGEIST Ammerland/Newsells/Magnier/Tabor Andre Fabre FR
WINGS OF EAGLES (FR) Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
YUCATAN (IRE) Flaxman Stables/Sue Magnier/Tabor/Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE


Lucky 15 Wednesday May 24th

Tuesday 6.10pm Think we might have some fun from Thursday onwards. Horrible feeling that Atty Persse may scare the opposition away from Haydock on Friday night but the Silver Bowl Saturday looks ultra-competitive, as does the Sandy Lane and a good friend tells me that if Quiet Reflection doesn’t turn up the Temple is wide open and that’s just Haydock! Juicy handicaps all over Goodwood, York and Chester, three courses that couldn’t be more different! Jockey bookings Saturday could be crucial indicators.

Wednesdays Lucky 15

Lingfield (Turf) 3.10               UNDER ATTACK             7/2 general

Ayr 4.20                                  DARK DEVIL                     9/2 Ladbrokes 4/1 general

Ayr 4.50                                  ARITHMETIC                    6/1 general

Kempton (AW) 7.40               MR KHALID                      7/2 general

and here’s why

Lingfield 3.10                          UNDER ATTACK Far from straight forward, Monty Robert’s rug for stall entry and the hood is retained but this gelded son of Dubawi has ability and it was a pleasing run when he was sixth at Newbury after a year off. Here he steps up a furlong+ but goes down a grade and I like top weights racing off the top mark in a limited handicap, here 66-80. Keiran Shoemark rides, claiming 3lbs, and he is a talented and sympathetic jockey with a good race brain. Roger Charlton Stable tour “He is another horse who is new to the yard and a horse that has, in the past, been a worrier and rather nervous. With his pedigree he is bred to improve and stay well and I hope with patience we can get him back to the races and start picking up races.”

Ayr 4.20                                  DARK DEVIL     Delighted to see he opens his campaign over a mile and I think #FantasticMrFahey has found him a ‘soft’ race, a C4 71-85 8F handicap and he is rated OR86! Hanagan goes to Scotland for just two rides and this is the fancied one. At the start of the 2016 season I blogged “Two promising seconds in C4 maidens before narrowly getting home in a C5 maiden over 7F at Redcar. Travels well and looks a trier. He has already been gelded and 3yo mile handicaps look to be his bag.” Just hasn’t bagged one! C4 stiff 8F or possibly 9F, just doesn’t get 10F. He has now! Nolan gave him a great ride at Goodwood to win a C4 8F on Good ground.”

Ayr 4.50                                  ARITHMETIC sum my thoughts exactly “Just the type that this yard do well with and he shaped well last time out over C&D (Strummer well beaten) showing that he was capable of winning off this mark. Did best of those were positioned close up and off the same mark here must enter the equation.” The yard in question is that of the very different Ruth Carr, they live in a field, and her horses are rarely out of the first four and the long reined James Sullivan is the stable jockey. Her last three winners have been 3/1F, 6/1 and 4/1 suggesting her winners don’t go unbacked!

Kempton 7.40                        MR KHALID      Steps up in grade and trip but I think we are yet to see the best of him and my only fears are he is drawn widest of all and the dreaded ‘bounce’ on a second run back from a long lay-off. When he won he was keen early but quickened in the style of a quality horse at the 2F pole then had a good look around and just got home. Experience can only do him good. Like the top weighted favourite he is still unexposed and the selection in effect gets ten pounds. Keiran Shoemark, claiming 3lbs, makes the short hop from Kempton for hopefully a double on the day. Roger Charlton Stable tour “He is new to us and joined us in the Winter from Marco Botti. He is a rather highly strung horse and he won readily on his second start at Nottingham as a two-year-old and was rated 85. He needs to relax a bit and should stay a mile and a quarter and maybe a mile and a half. He is still a little bit of an unknown quantity to us.” Prior to his win at Windsor on April 12th Charlton put on his website “it appears he is going to stay well, and this is a fact-finding mission for us. He has done plenty of work.” After he said “Mr Khalid defied a long layoff to get his head in front at Windsor, under a good ride from Kieran. He has had a few problems in the past and it’s always nice to see them retain their ability.”

Tuesdays Lucky 15 All four supported at some stage once the markets opened and not one involved at the business end. Excuses for some, others just poor!

Nottingham 2.30                   ABIENTO                            4th 5/1                 (6/1 general)

Unable to use good draw along stands rail. Pulled four wide, didn’t get a racing seam until the race was over! Win is imminent but may need some luck. 0-75 C5 6F+. BHA Stewards reports “Adam McNamara, the rider of ABIENTO (IRE), placed fourth, reported that the gelding was denied a clear run.”

Nottingham 3.30                   CELESTATION                 8th of 8! 4/1      (9/2 general)

Got to the front after a furlong. Led to 3F pole then back pedalled rapidly. Small, lacks scope but surely better than this.

Newcastle 3.10                       BOLLIHOPE                       5th 6/1                 (7/1 general)

Completely missed break giving away the five lengths or so that he was beaten by! BHA Stewards reports “The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination during routine testing revealed that BOLLIHOPE, unplaced, trained by Richard Guest, had spread a right front shoe.”

Newcastle 4.10                       INAAM                                4th 6/1                 (8/1 general)

Midfield and another that didn’t get any room. Don’t think he would have won but would have been placed.


The Epsom Derby 2017 Breakfast with the Stars – ATR Tuesday 23 May 2017

“John Gosden admits Cracksman might lack the requisite experience to win the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 3 – but that the colt is far from alone on that score. With Aidan O’Brien deciding to keep Churchill at home for the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the Derby picture remains a little muddy, with the twice-raced Cracksman and Cliffs Of Moher, who has only had three outings, at the head of the betting.

The son of Frankel was one of a handful of horses to work on the track at the annual Breakfast with the Stars event, a route Gosden took with his 2015 Derby winner Golden Horn. Cracksman, who defeated subsequent Dante scorer Permian in the Derby Trial at Epsom in April, was partnered by big-race jockey Frankie Dettori as the pair worked over a mile in company with the Rab Havlin-ridden Pealer. Gosden only decided to come to the Epsom event after he abandoned plans to run Cracksman in last week’s Dante because he felt it was the right call not to run on soft ground. The Clarehaven handler said: “I’ve been lucky enough to come here and do a nice old breeze with him – not fast, flat-out work, more to get him to see the place again, have a day out. That makes a very big difference and I am pleased we are able to do that. It is a good opportunity but it is not the same as a race. He goes there a fit, happy horse – a touch light on experience, but he is not the only one. I didn’t fancy running him 16 days out in the Dante in testing conditions. The result was positive from our point of view (Permian won), though I was happy with how this morning went and he’s full of himself down at the stables. I think the mile and half will be right up his alley and we didn’t supplement him for fun in April.”

Permian was not at Epsom on Tuesday, but Godolphin racing manager John Ferguson was on hand to watch the action on the track and they may have five runners. While the Mark Johnston-trained Permian does not run in the Godolphin blue, he is owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s son and falls under Ferguson’s remit. Best Of Days, Best Solution, Dubai Thunder and Benbatl are also in the Derby mix. Permian was beaten just a short head by Cracksman in the Derby Trial and has since won a Listed race at Newmarket, as well as the Dante. After his York triumph, connections immediately stated their intention to supplement the horse at a cost of £85,000. Ferguson said: “He’s improved so much from when he ran here. He improved again when he won the Newmarket Stakes and improved again when he won the Dante. I think he’s a horse with a really big chance. At this stage we have five names on the team sheet and we have still got 10 days to go and we will see what happens. All five have genuine legitimate chances.”

Aidan O’Brien expects to be mob-handed in the Derby, with Dee Stakes winner Cliffs Of Moher leading the way. The Ballydoyle handler said: “I think there’s a good chance of having seven runners. The lads (Coolmore) will have to discuss that, but there’s a very good chance that could happen. The next 10 days will be very interesting. They are all on their own separate programmes. There is a programme gone out for each horse, race to race. Some take a lot of work, some take very little work and some take no work. They are all on their programmes. We are all very happy with what we see at the moment.”

Twenty-six horses remain in the Derby, but Dante third Crystal Ocean is no longer involved.


Heres the take on Breakfast with the Stars May 23 2017, 12:23

Moore a ‘definite possible’ for Cliffs “I thought Aidan’s interview was as good as ever, charged with the ministry of disinformation,” joked John Gosden, after the Ballydoyle handler had finished on the phone at the ‘Breakfast With The Stars’ event at Epsom on Tuesday morning. True, we had an understated ‘definite possible’ when Aidan O’Brien was loosely talking about potential jockey bookings for his Derby team and the possibility that Ryan Moore would ride ante-post favourite Cliffs Of Moher. “Ryan will get all the information and talk to everybody, but I wouldn’t say it’s a foregone conclusion, though it is a definite possible,” said O’Brien. That’s about as close as we are going to get to O’Brien admitting Cliffs Of Moher is his number one Derby hope, and the feeling is the son of Galileo has been giving his handler all of the right signals following his victory in the Dee Stakes at Chester earlier in the month. “Before Chester we weren’t even sure he’d get a mile and a quarter. He’s out of a fast mare and we were extra happy with him at Chester as he was relaxed and then went to the line very strong.” As for the rest of his Derby team ‘they should all come forward again’.  As for his Oaks team Rhododendron and Alluringly are the two he is happy with at the moment.

When it comes to actual news regarding O’Brien’s team and Epsom it came when he was discussing the Investec Coronation Cup, as Seventh Heaven, 9/4 favourite in the ante-post betting with Sky Bet, has been ruled out for most of the season. “Seventh Heaven has had a setback so she will be out until the autumn,” said O’Brien. “We’re thinking the brothers Highland Reel and Idaho will go to the Coronation Cup. Idaho is probably stronger and bigger than Highland Reel and we think he is progressing all the time and will progress through the year.”

Cracksman team wary of big field “Ratings have never concerned me,” says John Gosden, when responding to Oli Bell’s question over whether Cracksman could be considered good enough off a rating of 107 going into the Derby. He is up to 109 now, on the back of collateral form following Permian’s Dante win, but if ratings towards the top end don’t bother Gosden perhaps the numbers towards the lower end of the scale do.

Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Diore Lia will become the first filly to run in the race since Cape Verdi in 1992 and is running for charity, as her breeder Richard Aylward is donating any winnings to Great Ormond Street Hospital. She has only beaten four horses in two starts, however, and perhaps she was on Gosden’s mind when he said: “The biggest challenge is for the jockeys to get a clear run. It will be a big field, they’ll be one or two in the field wheeling backwards that probably shouldn’t have been in there and I think the jockeys have a bigger challenge than us trainers.” As far as Cracksman is concerned, though, confidence appears to be growing. “I think the mile and a half will be right up his alley,” said Gosden. “We didn’t supplement him for fun in April, Mr Oppenheimer was in the Galapagos and he gave me permission. We put him in at that stage as it is quite expensive.” Anthony Oppenheimer himself was in more confident mood than he appeared to be pre-Dante and hopes are high Cracksman can give him, Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori their second Derby success in three years following on from Golden Horn in 2015.

“He’ll definitely stay,” Oppenheimer said. “He’s quite laid back, but he’s woken up since Epsom.”

As for Dettori, an appearance on Loose Women later in the day appeared to be the furthest thing from his mind as he reflected on Golden Horn, while reiterating his trainer’s concerns about the large field. “In my 30 year career it’s the biggest emotion I ever had for many reasons [winning the Derby on Golden Horn].  Everybody says is it the best racing day of the year? Well, it’s only the best racing day of the year if you win it.  Epsom is a unique track and it looks like we’ll have a full field this year as well, so we’ll have to take that into consideration.”

Eminent delights Meade If you’ve glanced at Oddschecker on Tuesday morning you’ll have noticed Eminent has been cut across the board for the Investec Derby. Indeed, he’s 8/1 from 10s with Sky Bet. That’s because he was the one that impressed onlookers the most in his piece of work on the Downs before breakfast, and his trainer was delighted with his son of Frankel as well. “I was absolutely thrilled,” said trainer Martyn Meade. “He did exactly what we wanted him to do, it couldn’t have gone any better. It didn’t go according to plan in the Guineas, but I think this is his distance (1m4f). He hasn’t been away from Newmarket in his entire life so I thought it was important to give him a new experience. He’ll have one more small piece of work now.”

Big-race jockey Jim Crowley partnered Eminent in his work on the track and he too thinks the step up in trip will benefit his mount. “Not so much in the Guineas, but in the Craven he was [crying out for step up in trip],” said Crowley. “Coming here this morning, there’s a little bit of juice in the ground and he loved it. He’s a big horse and I think he’s probably best with a little bit of cut.  They always say Guineas form is the best form for a Derby and this horse finished close to the rest of them. I’m pretty confident he’ll stay. I think he’ll go close.”

Johnston: ‘Permian deserves his place’ There aren’t many Derby horses that begin their Classic campaign with a defeat in a Bath handicap in April, but Permian’s rapid rise to towards the top continues to surprise even those closest to him. But while Mark Johnston openly admits he didn’t think he was a Derby horse six weeks ago, he’s convinced he could well be now and says he fully deserves his billing as a fancied Dante winner that sits in the top five in the betting for Epsom. “We started out in a handicap this year and there’s not many Derby horses that do that, but it was a very good handicap and he’s improved since,” said Johnston. “Newmarket was a step up and the Dante was another step up. We deserve to be there and go there with a live chance.”

With just 16 days between the Dante and Derby this year it has been mentioned that the small gap might be a concern for those that ran at York. But Godolphin Racing Manager John Ferguson joked that such a timeframe was a holiday for a Mark Johnston-trained horse and the man himself quashed suggestions that it might not be an ideal gap between races. “Absolutely not,” said Johnston. “We’re a firm believer in galloping our horses on the racetrack and he won’t gallop again until the Derby. Two and a half weeks is perfect. He’s a very straightforward horse. He is absolutely great. He’s taken all races in his stride and lost just 9kgs after the Dante.  At the beginning of the year we were not thinking about the Derby for this horse, but I look at the bare form and the horse has answered every question. He deserves to be there.”

Cooper delighted with the track The jockeys and trainers were universal in their praise for the condition of the track at Epsom and the course seems to have taken the recent rain really well. After a dry spring last week’s rainfall was welcome and, though there’s a risk of more showers early next week, clerk of the course Andrew Cooper is happy in the build up to the Oaks on June 2. “We had 42 millimetres in the period (last week) and then it’s been dry since Friday,” he said.I’d say we’re the slow side of good, or good to soft good in places maybe. I’ve not been in the best form of calling Flat ground this season. April was difficult as it was dry, but the spring meeting was okay. We raced on the fast side of good ground, but getting that rain last week was important.”


Lucky 15 Tuesday May 23rd

Monday 6.10pm Ambition this week is to crack the top 3yo handicaps at Haydock, 5.40 on Friday C3 over 10F and the Silver Bowl on the Saturday C2 8F at 2.55. Loads of good racing from Thursday onwards, love that Sandown Henry II night card! Let’s kick off the week with a jolly Lucky 15.

Tuesdays Lucky 15

Nottingham 2.30                   ABIENTO                            6/1 general

Nottingham 3.30                   CELESTATION                 9/2 general

Newcastle 3.10                       BOLLIHOPE                       7/1 general

Newcastle 4.10                       INAAM                                8/1 general

and here’s why

Nottingham 2.30                   ABIENTO No concerns putting a Fahey horse up as the yard is banging in good priced winners and Abiento has plenty going for him. He’s better than an C5 horse, Soft (Good to soft in places) is ideal and an in-form Adam McNamara claiming 3lbs can use his high draw to get on the stands rail. He didn’t stay 7F last time and is better suited to this drop to 6F.

Notebook says “40K euros purchase out of the same dam as Grandads World and Gin in the Inn suggesting 80ish 6F , bit of give? Promising debut 3rd over 6F at Carlisle, then beaten in three warm maidens won by South Seas, Lockheed and Rivet (Convivial at York, no less). Won on the 5th attempt, a C5 6F maiden at Chester on Good to Soft, despite hanging left all the way up the straight and not handling the bends very well. “Green but scopey”. Well beaten on quicker ground in the Listed Redcar Champion Trophy. Has the size and enough talent, just needs to mentally mature, settle, put his head down and he could be a OR90+ animal.”

Nottingham 3.30                   CELESTATION As is their want I expect Mark Johnston’s to make every yard of this 10F trip. She will appreciate the softer ground and her fourth to Rivet in the C2 Convivial Maiden at York as a 2yo shows her level of talent. The favourite is a once raced 20/1 winner of a C4 maiden at Newbury as a 2yo and has a lot of question marks about her, much as I like Ed Walker and Thomas Brown.

Newcastle 3.10                       BOLLIHOPE At the price I’m going with the horse with the form on the Newcastle Tapeta. A C&D winner and really unlucky when second on his last visit. I feel the Varian/atzeni top weight may easily be overbet. Too sexy!

Newcastle 4.10                       INAAM Let’s top and tail the Lucky 15 with another Fahey winner. Paul Hanagan’s only ride of the evening speaks volumes. Notebook says “Has really taken to the Tapeta and the straight course at Newcastle, form figures 415112, and Hanagan has won on him the last twice in C4. Nolan looks after the “nutters” and seems to have done a good job here as last time they even dispensed with the hood. Don’t expect to see him until late in the race. Can he transfer this progression onto Turf? Does he need to?” Way over priced!

The Epsom Derby 2017

Derby bid ruled out as Churchill takes aim at 2,000 Guineas double

Tony O’Hehir (Racing post) 8:19PM, MAY 21 2017

Churchill is set to bid for a Guineas double at the Curragh on Saturday, according to trainer Aidan O’Brien, seemingly ending any lingering hopes he could be aimed at the Investec Derby. The Newmarket hero can now be backed at 10-1 to complete a Classic double at Epsom next month, and is no longer quoted by William Hill. Instead his Classic double bid is set to revolve around the Curragh, for which assignment he is a best-priced 4-11 shot with Sky Bet.

But O’Brien could yet have up to seven runners in the Derby, he said on Sunday, with Dee Stakes winner Cliffs Of Moher his number one according to the market, the colt sharing favouritism with Cracksman at 4-1. Churchill’s fellow Newmarket Guineas winner Winter is also set for a follow-up bid at the Curragh, and with Minding also due to run next Sunday it could be quite a weekend for the Ballydoyle juggernaut.

Giving his clearest message yet that the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas, rather than the Derby, would be Churchill’s next race, O’Brien said: “It looks like Churchill will be going to the Curragh on Saturday, and that Winter will run in the Irish 1,000 Guineas on Sunday. Both are in good form. Lancaster Bomber (fourth) and Spirit Of Valor (eighth), both of whom ran behind Churchill at Newmarket, will probably join him in the line-up again, while Hydrangea, who was behind Winter in the 1,000 Guineas, will probably take her chance in Sunday’s Classic.”

O’Brien confirmed seven-time Group 1 winner Minding, who made a successful reappearance when landing the Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes at Naas this month, an intended runner in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on Sunday. “Minding came out of her Naas win well and the plan is to run her on Sunday,” O’Brien said.

Regarding plans for his attempt at a sixth Derby victory a week on Saturday, O’Brien said: “We have seven colts in the picture for Epsom – Cliffs Of Moher plus Venice Beach, Wings Of Eagles and The Anvil, who were the first three in the Chester Vase, and Douglas Macarthur, Yucatan and Capri, the first three in the Derrinstown Derby Trial. They’re all in the mix. We’ll wait until next week before finalising plans, but it’s quite possible they could all run.”


Racing News

Gerald Mosse signed up by Phoenix Thoroughbreds May 22 2017, 12:01

More is set to be seen of Gerald Mosse in Newmarket after the Frenchman was signed up by Phoenix Thoroughbreds as a retained rider. Mosse, 50, will link up with the new Luxembourg-based investment group, which has been active at the recent sales with purchases being sent to Bob Baffert and Jeremy Noseda. “I am very pleased and grateful to have the opportunity to become part of the Phoenix Thoroughbreds team,” said Mosse. “It is a very exciting project and one that I will be very committed to. We have bought some very nice-looking individuals at the sales during the spring and I look forward to getting know the horses over the coming months. And, of course, I hope that this season and beyond that I can play a part in delivering success to Phoenix, both with the work I will put in with the horses at home and on the racecourse.”

Phoenix is in the process of becoming the first regulated thoroughbred investment fund in the world and already has operations in six countries with a number of partners, including individuals and businesses. Kerri Radcliffe, Noseda’s wife, and the Europe and USA bloodstock and racing advisor for Phoenix Thoroughbreds, said: “We are so fortunate to have Gerald Mosse joining us. He is a top-class rider and his skills on the racecourse and also feedback from the gallops will be invaluable to Phoenix Thoroughbreds. He has already been a massive help over the last couple of days, riding out in Newmarket, and I look forward to working closely with him in the future.”



#FantasticMrFahey updates

Trying to profile the Musley Bank entries and update the files as we go along!

Musley Bank 2yo’s 2017

Shazzab                  2yo filly                  (Darren Barton)                                                    4              (-)                            OR??

Cheap £10K purchase. Foaled 10 Mar. Half-sister to Chester’slittlegem, won twice at 6f and 7f.

22nd May 2017 Plenty of scope, signs of ability. Finished 8l behind Emilia James when fourth of 10 at 6-1 on her racecourse debut at Beverley over 5f (good to firm) last month. Timeform says “showed ability when fourth of 10 in minor event at Beverley (5f, good to firm) on debut 25 days ago, making late headway after slow start. 6f should suit. Open to progress for her leading stable.”

Suanas                    2yo filly                  (Nick Bradley Racing 3)                                       97           (-)                            OR??

£12K daughter of society rock. Not very big and all over the place on debut.

Ventura Dragon   2yo colt                  (Middleham Park Racing XLII & Partner)         3              (-)                            OR??

Foaled 19 Apr. £60K yearling. Full brother to Lady Beware, won at 1m. Third of 8 behind Brandy Station beaten 3 1/2l at 2-1fav on his racecourse debut at Pontefract over 5f (good to firm) earlier this month. Slow into stride, kept on well, WWTH. Timeform says “Promising type. Third of 8 in minor event at Pontefract (5f, good to firm, 2/1) on debut 19 days ago, caught further back than ideal. May well do better.”

Danehill Desert    2yo colt                  (Percy.Green Racing)                                          4              (-)                            OR??

Foaled 30 Mar. £14K yearling. Half-brother to Mistaken Identity, won three times at 1m and 1m 1f.

Finished 1l behind Guzman when fourth of 9 at 11-1 on his racecourse debut at Thirsk over 5f (good to firm) earlier this month. BHA Stewards “Sammy Jo Bell, the rider of DANEHILL DESERT (IRE), placed fourth, reported that the colt stumbled approaching 3 furlongs out.” Promising debut.

Timeform says “Promising individual. Fourth of 9 in minor event at Thirsk (5f, good to firm, 11/1) on debut 16 days ago, nearest finish. Should have more to offer.”

Guzman                 2yo colt                  (Merchants and Missionairies)                          1              (-)                            OR??

Just £25K yearling but from regular supplier the Yeomanstown Stud.

Won on debut with the money down. Clearly talented, travelled well but green when asked to go and win the race. Entries in the valuable Sales races.

Darkanna               2yo colt                  (The Cool Silk Partnership)                                 9              (-)                            OR??

£205K daughter of Dark Angel who just didn’t settle on debut.

Timeform says “Easy to back and finished nearer last than first on debut at Doncaster (5f). However, she was too keen on that occasion and this well-bred filly will be more street-wise this time.”

Richard Fahey 22nd May

Yarmouk                                3yo colt  (Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah) 75424      7-5          (-)                            OR69 70 69 68 67

I am sure this horse was a £165K purchase at the Tatts Guineas Breeze Up’s when he was called “Tumbulgum”! French pedigree by Siyouni. Taking time to get the hang of racing but a good second to the improving Mutahaady on handicap debut. OR70 probably underestimates his talent. Could be a progressive, gelded 3yo.

Timeform says “respectable fifth of 11 in handicap at Pontefract (6f, good to firm) 19 days ago, needing stiffer test. The return to this longer trip should suit.”

Right Action                          3yo gelding            (MPR LVII & Partner)            90425-1V464       (?)                           OR82 78 74 73 72 71

Already gelded. Nothing special. C5 6F? Expect Middleham Park to sell him. Won his maiden on AW debut at Wolverhampton C6 6F. Been handicapping since. Probably need C6 and down below OR70, 6F.

Flyboy                                    4yo gelding            (George Murray)                  3-231849345500-8     (79) OR79 82 81 80 79 77 75

Same owner had Flyman that he transferred from Fahey to O’Meara, this one travels the other way. One win in fourteen, they’ve tried pieces and a visor, perhaps change of scenery will do the trick? Not convinced!

Luna Mare                             4yo filly  (Andrew Tinkler)                                  53-129-5                               (?)           OR75 78 82 76

A valuable young lady, a winning daughter of Galileo. China Horse Club paid 260K euro for her full brother Achiever (unraced 2yo gelding with A.P.O’Brien!) in Sept.2015. She was unsold at 130K euro the year before so I’ve no idea how the Tinklers got her. Would be mildly surprised if she is kept in training. I’m mildly surprised! Is she in foal? Not beaten a rival in last two starts!

Softer ground may help.

Mr Lupton                             4yo gelding            (N D Kershaw)                       33150559-21       (107)      OR102 111 109 107 113

Brilliant winner of the Charity Sprint handicap at York off OR102 and now plying his trade at Listed/Group level. 6F, cut in the ground, breakneck gallop and Jamie Spencer may be the ducks that need to be aligned to land a Group race!

On seasonal debut ran an excellent second to Muthmir in a Conditions event then topped that by winning a C2 handicap on Good to Firm ground at Newmarket to chin stablemate Eastern Impact under Gerard Mosse no less! That suggests he isn’t ground dependent and the world is his oyster. Mosse said: “I rode him very confidently. I was just waiting for my time.The gap came and it was over. He did a job for me.” Fahey said: “It was a good race for a trainer to watch. I didn’t mind which one won as long as one did. It was nice to see Eastern Impact bounce back. They’ve both run well. I thought the ground would be quick enough for Mr Lupton, but he came up the hill well and it was a great run. He just struggles in the Group races for some reason and he’s one of those horses that’s a twilight horse, but he’s a good one. We’ll see what the handicapper does, but I was thinking along the lines of the Wokingham at Royal Ascot and the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood, races like that.”

Lucky 15 Saturday May 20th  

Friday 6.10pm Tough to find winners with Wednesdays deluge causing havoc with the ground conditions especially when one is trying to find winners at the 48 hour declarations stage. So I’m passing on tomorrow’s Lucky 15 and will post another Monday night for Tuesday when the Goings may have stabilised.

Fridays Lucky 15

Simply hopeless!

Newbury 2.35            SCRUTINEER                                   11th Last! 8/1      (14/1PP 12/1 general)

Effort 1F out, weakened just beating the ambulance home!

York 4.05                    GIBBS HILL                                      3rd 15/8 Fav      (2/1 PP 15/8 general)

Slow away, progress at top of straight but an impossible task in this ground.

Newbury 4.45            WASATCH RANGE                       8th 5/2 Fav        (11/4 general)

The Stewards considered the running of WASATCH RANGE, ridden by Frankie Dettori, and trained by John Gosden, which started favourite and finished unplaced. The Stewards noted the trainer’s representative’s explanation that the colt was unsuited by the soft, good to soft in places, ground and would prefer it faster.

York 5.35                    BEDOUIN                                        4th 9/1                             (6/1 PP 5/1 general)

Friendless in market. Held up. Progress 3F out, never competitive.


#FantasticMrFahey Saturday runner’s courtesy of  May 19 2017, 13:59

It’s a busy Saturday for our star columnist Richard Fahey, including Ribchester’s bid for Lockinge glory at Newbury.

I’m very happy with Ribchester going into Saturday’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury. He did great over the winter and ran really well in Dubai. His preparation since has gone without a hitch, he’ll handle the ground and I just hope he runs his race as he’s in with a real shout.

We also run Toscanini who is primarily in there to make sure they go a nice even gallop. That said if he handles the ground he wouldn’t be without a chance of grabbing a place.

Private Matter will love the ground in the Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes – the slower, the better for him. He’s in good form but has a 3lb penalty to contend with and that makes things tougher.

I was disappointed with Andok at Newmarket on his reappearance. We’re stepping him up in trip for the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap and hope that does the trick as he’s a horse I like.

Withernsea is what he is and didn’t run badly in the Victoria Cup last week. A mile on decent ground will really suit him in the Toronado Handicap. I’ve said before I think he’s going to pop up and win a nice pot one day but I’m struggling to predict when with him at the moment.

We’ve three runners at Newmarket.

Queen Penn never rose a gallop at all first time up at Nottingham which was very disappointing. We don’t know what happened but she never took part. I hope she’ll bounce back in the Betway EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes as she’s quite nice. We like her.

Seven furlongs in this ground will be absolutely ideal for Ballymore Castle in the Betway Download The App Handicap. I’d love to see him get his head in front again for the owners.

I fell out with Paddy Power some time ago. He’s the definition of a morning glory and has been very disappointing. We’ve decided not to over-race him now and he ran okay at Newcastle on his reappearance. He’s been freshened up since and on what we see at home it wouldn’t be a surprise if he won the Betway Handicap but he just keeps disappointing on the track.

We run three in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Thirsk. Ajwan goes well at home, her work is good, and she’s ready for her debut. Collateral Beauty probably needs to go down the handicap route but is ready to run now as is Foxxy Brown, for whom similar comments apply.

Carnageo doesn’t have a great draw in the Marion Gibson Brown Memorial Handicap and doesn’t have much in hand of the assessor which means he’ll find it difficult, for all he’s in good form.

Full Of Promise has been disappointing. He works as though he should be winning more races and on ability would be capable of landing something like the Book For Ladies’ Day – Saturday 9th September Handicap but needs to put his best foot forward.

Monaco Rose worked extremely well this week. She’s got stronger and won well at Catterick last time. She should run a big race in the opening Apprentice Handicap at Doncaster.

Flo’s Melody hadn’t shown a lot at home prior to her debut at Ripon but ran well to finish third. She seems to have come forward for the experience and is one of three runners for us in the Howcroft Industrial Supplies Ltd Novice Auction Stakes. Jedi Master has been disappointing on both his starts as he shows ability at home. Hopefully he’d have place claims here. Our final runner is Mabo, a newcomer who should improve with experience. He could be one for handicaps later on.

Imshivalla hasn’t really hit form yet. She runs herself into it every year. She’s always been like it, she decides when she’s going to fire and we’ll see what happens in the EBF Breeders’ Series Chase Medical Fillies’ Handicap.

Party Tiger has been a little disappointing, as he has always gone nicely at home. On his best form he’d have a chance in the Bet 5 & Get 10 Handicap but needs everything to drop right. We also run Lady In Question who has been working extremely well. She’s really strengthened up over the winter and I’d expect to win races this season – and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her go very well here.

Our final runner is Khelman in the closing Bet & Watch At Handicap. He is what he is and it’s all there to see in the formbook. He’s another who decides when and where he does it but he likes the track here which offers hope.


I know he is not everybodies favourite but Jamie Spencer’s blog with 32Red is always worth a read. May 19, 2017

2.20pm Newbury Visionary I wouldn’t read too much into the fact that he has been racing on the all-weather of late and, being a Dream Ahead, I think conditions will suit him here. I rode him when he won on his debut at Brighton last season on good to soft ground and, although it will be more testing here, I have ridden him at home in more testing conditions and he is a big, strong horse who will go through it. It’s a competitive race and Koropick and Private Matter are the form horses, but my colt is improving on the evidence of his good second at Lingfield last time and he doesn’t have that much to find to have a winning chance in an open contest.

2.55pm Newbury Glorious Forever He has won on good to soft but, on pedigree, I am not sure about him in ground this testing, and he could be badly drawn in 13. But, while this is obviously very competitive, this is not as strong a race as we have had in the past – Al Kazeem, Time Test and Cannock Chase have won this in recent years – and my colt comes here on the back of a good second on his return at Doncaster. He has chances but I think Century Dream could prove tough to beat. He raced too keenly on the lead at Sandown last time and, if he proves more amenable, I think he has the potential to progress a fair bit in ground that may suit him.

3.30pm Newbury Aclaim The fact that he has won over Ascot’s stiff 1m, albeit on fast ground and only off a mark of 97, gives me hope that he can see out this trip in this company. And he will handle the ground. He lost his way a little bit in the middle of the season but he won well for me at Ascot and over 7f here in the soft for me in September, and ended off his campaign strongly with a defeat of Lumiere in the Challenge Stakes. He needs to have progressed 7lb over the winter to make himself competitive in this company, but soft ground is a big plus and I give him an each-way chance in a race in which a few won’t find the ground ideal. Lightning Spear may be one of those, for all his Queen Anne third came in the soft, and while Somehow has won on heavy her most impressive performance to date came on fast ground last time. I definitely think Ribchester is the one to beat. I’ve always rated him and he has form on course and on the ground, and his second to Minding, after proving keen early on, in the QEII on Champions’ Day makes him the one we all have to fear.


The Epsom Derby 2017

Racing Post Lee Mottershead and Lewis Porteous 8:20PM, MAY 18 2017

O’Brien’s comments came after stablemate Exemplar had finished eighth in the Dante Stakes at York on Thursday, the last key trial before the Classic in 16 days’ time. O’Brien has Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial principals, Douglas Macarthur, Yucatan and Capri, Chester Vase 1-2-3 Venice Beach, Wings Of Eagles and The Anvil, plus Dee Stakes winner Cliffs Of Moher, in the mix for the Derby, in addition to the exceptional Churchill.

“The lads will decide,” said O’Brien of his possible Epsom team. “We’ve got the seven horses from the trials – the three from Leopardstown, the three from the Chester Vase and Cliffs Of Moher. The eighth would be Churchill, but there’s a big chance the lads will keep him at a mile. He has a lot of speed and is very comfortable at a mile. He relaxes so well you’d think he would have no problem getting a mile and a quarter, but you never know about a mile and a half.”

While Churchill still heads some Derby markets, stablemate and Dee Stakes winner Cliffs Of Moher is a shorter price elsewhere and O’Brien did nothing to dishearten his supporters. He added: It’s going to be very interesting, especially if the lads decide to keep Churchill at a mile. The way I saw it, the three Leopardstown horses progressed from their first run to their second. The three Chester Vase horses were horses we always thought would stay very well. Going into Chester, Cliffs Of Moher was probably the rawest of ours. He was just ready to start and we felt if he did win we’d be very happy. Although he was very green that day he went to the line really well and probably learned a lot. Ryan [Moore] felt there could be a lot of improvement to come after Chester. He’s started working again and everything looks lovely. I don’t think there’s any doubt there’s great room for improvement with him.”

Lucky 15 Friday May 18th  

Thursday 6.10pm Tough day trying to find winners at York but I’m looking forward to doing the meeting review as the boys with the stopwatches are suggesting some of those times today were pretty decent so how much are we going to be able to blame on the ground?

Pretty sure I saw the winner of the Ascot Royal Hunt Cup and the John Smiths today! Watch this space.

Going at YORK – Good to Soft, Soft in Places.

(GoingStick: 6.2 overall. Goingstick readings in home straight: farside 6.3; centre 6.2; standside 6.3.)

Stalls: Stalls positions for Friday 19 May: Race 1 5f – stand side rail Race 2 7f192yrds – inside rail

Race 3 1m5f188yrds – inside rail Race 4 1m3f188yrds – centre Race 5 7f – far side rail

Race 6 5f – centre Race 7 1m3f188yrds – centre. Interesting, they’ll be all over the course tomorrow!

Going at NEWBURY – Good to soft, Soft in places

(GoingStick: 6.1 on Thursday at 15:45)

Stalls: Centre of the course straight course. Inside rail round course.


Fridays Lucky 15

Let’s finish the Dante meeting with a few winners!

Newbury 2.35            SCRUTINEER                                   14/1PP 12/1 general

York 4.05                    GIBBS HILL                                      2/1 PP 15/8 general

Newbury 4.45            WASATCH RANGE                       11/4 general

York 5.35                    BEDOUIN                                        6/1 PP 5/1 general

and here’s why

Newbury 2.35            SCRUTINEER Perfectly capable 6F sprinter who has spent much of his time in Listed company or better, indeed this is only his fourth handicap and much the easiest. All his best form for this hold up horse has come on Soft ground, hopefully Newbury has had sufficient rain to bring the fliers back to him. Scrutineer has a bit to find with Captain Colby on Cammidge form from six weeks ago but he didn’t get the clearest run that day. John Egan rides for the first time and will probably need to bring Mick Channons charge stand side to make his challenge. Off OR98 with his favoured ground he should be competitive.

York 4.05                    GIBBS HILL      I like the profile of this horse. A progressive son of Mastercraftsman who seems to be getting better the further he goes. Given time to develop he is now up two grades and up 9lbs but in his last race he showed a nice change of gear when trying this trip for the first time. Messrs Varian and Atzeni are in fine form, the horse has soft ground form and I could see Gibbs Hill developing into an Ebor candidate.

Newbury 4.45            WASATCH RANGE Came from way off the pace to win a 10F C5 maiden at Windsor under hands and heels from a confident Robert Tart. It’s no surprise that this son of High Chaparral is improving as he steps up in trip and the extra furlong here can only help. He makes his debut in a handicap off a lenient looking OR85, gallop reports are good, Messrs Gosden and Dettori are hardly strangers to the winners circle and the only question mark would be the softer ground. Plenty of other improvers, indeed over the field won last time out, and the race could through up plenty of future handicap winners. Outcrop should ensure a solid pace and I’ll have one eye on Richard Hannon’s Whip Nae Nae who went in my notebook at Chester wanting this sort of trip.

York 5.35                    BEDOUIN Another improver as he steps up in trip as becoming a son of High Chaparrel. Gelded at 2yo before getting to the racecourse he showed midfield promise in three warm maidens as a 2yo and went 3yo handicapping for Luca Cumani off a very workable mark of just OR72. Over 10F at Nottingham he was a staying on second to Outcrop, for which he has gone up 3lbs, for today’s jockey Jamie Spencer and it’s no surprise to see first time blinkers as he wasn’t the easiest conveyance that day although clearly has an engine. Probably needs to grow up mentally more than physically, that’s the horse not the jockey!


#FantasticMrFahey Friday runner’s courtesy of May 18 2017, 16:57

“Maggies Angel is our first runner at York on Friday in the Langleys Solicitors British EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes. The form of her maiden at Ripon hasn’t worked out well but all they can do is win and she absolutely trotted up. This is a great race to be involved in but any one of seven or eight could win it.

I’m a little worried about the going for Shypen in the Irish EBF Frank Whittle Partnership Fillies’ Handicap, she doesn’t have any form on it. It’s very frustrating as on quick ground I’d have given her a big chance.

We’re double handed in the Yorkshire Equine Practice Handicap. Boundsy ran well on his reappearance at Nottingham and has come out of it well. The ground won’t bother him either.

It is a bit of a concern for Megan Lilly who I thought ran ok at Chester last week. She just half missed a beat at the start that day but still finished third and is in good form if handling the surface.

We also run two in the closing 7IM Supports Cystic Fibrosis Care Handicap. We’ve had discussions over whether Lord Commander is going to stay the trip but we’ll find out here and he’s in good order. Sue’s Angel can be very funny in the stalls but the step up to a mile-and-a-half here is going to really suit her. I’d love her to run a big race for her owner and she is one who won’t mind the ground.”

No winners for Musley Bank at Chester but at least he has one on the board at York with Zap in the 2yo maiden but I think he’ll be gutted by Brian the Snails performance. BHA Stewards “The Stewards considered the running of BRIAN THE SNAIL (IRE), ridden by William Buick and trained by Richard Fahey, which started favourite and finished unplaced. They noted the trainer could offer no explanation for the colt’s performance. They ordered BRIAN THE SNAIL (IRE) to be routine tested.”


Thursdays Lucky 15

“A HUGE payout on @Betfred Dante Day at @yorkracecourse! Six placed horses today paid £10,865 to a £1 stake!”

Tells you how hard it was finding winners on the Knavesmire yesterday. My selections basically ran to their price and position in the market.

York 2.20                    MOVE IN TIME                       10th 17/2            (20/1 WH 16/1 general)

Looks like Father Time has caught up. Disappointing.

York 3.30                    FOREST RANGER                    6th 8/1                 (20/1PP 16/1 general)

Either he didn’t stay or that’s as good as he is in what was a “hard to get a handle on” Dante. Plans going forward will be interesting.

York 4.05                    BRAVERY                                8th 20/1           (16/1 PP+Coral 14/1 general)

Too far back for me in a hot handicap, progress running to the final furlong got hopes up but got no closer.

York 5.35                    GRACELAND                           2nd 4/1Fav         (3/1 general)

Led inside final furlong but didn’t quite see it out on the rain softened ground. How annoying!


The Epsom Derby 2017

Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson confirms they will pay the £85,000 to supplement Permian for the Derby. He told ITV Racing: “It was a genuinely-run race. William (Buick) was keen to make it on Wolf Country and gave Franny a chance to sit in. Permian finished it off really well, with Benbatl at his girths all the way down the straight. We’re delighted with the two horses there. I’ve already spoken to Sheikh Mohammed and he is as thrilled as we are and is very keen to have this horse supplemented for the Derby. Permian will be supplemented. Saeed (Bin Suroor) had Best Solution win the Lingfield Derby Trial and Benbatl finish second in the Dante so we have to sit down, think, decide and talk to Sheikh Mohammed about that and what he thinks is the right thing to do.”

 “With the way Benbatl has run on there, there’s every chance (could go to the Derby). The Epsom Derby is the Epsom Derby. If you look at the form leading up into this race, there’s a lot of respect for Aidan’s (O’Brien) horse who won the Dee Stakes (Cliffs Of Moher) and he was followed home by Bay Of Poets, who wasn’t far behind this horse and Cracksman at Epsom. Luckily there are still cards, not to play, but to analyse. It’s just great to be in a season where so many three-year-olds have a live chance and no doubt in time we will find out exactly where they stand. If Churchill stays the mile and a half he is going to be a very tough nut to crack, but these horses all deserve to take their chances and it’s just great to be going to the party.”

Bin Suroor: “It looks like a 1m2f may be the best trip for Benbatl. He needs to relax more in races for a 1m4f.” Seems unlikely for Derby.

Stoute expressed doubts about Crystal Ocean’s Derby claims before the race and when asked about Epsom, he said: “I wouldn’t (run), but he has an owner that might want to.”

Lucky 15 Thursday May 18th  

Wednesday 6.10pm Soft ground on the Knavesmire. Not sure how this form will hold up during the summer unless Soft ground reappears! Difficult to punt with confidence.

I thought Shutter Speed was impressive but connections confirmed she’s out of the Oaks and will go to Chantilly for the 10F Prix de Diane instead. Dettori said: “We got away with it. The ground is very soft and she didn’t like it and it dented her turn of foot, but she was much the best horse in the race. It was hard work for her. We got away with that and I think you will see a better horse on better ground on a better day. She is top draw. She has got a lot about her and everything she does is very classy. I would say that a mile and a quarter is just about right for her.”

Gosden confirmed the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on June 18 is the target for Shutter Speed. He said: “Before racing the ground was in pristine condition. The ground staff have done the most wonderful job. It was beautiful grass with great depth to it, but sadly we had a mass amount of rain. It was only because it was in great condition before that we decided to run. She hated it. It was too soft and she was not happy at all, but she had the class to win. She will go to the Prix de Diane which is just over a month’s time. It gives her a month to get over the race.”

York Stewards reports reveal excuses for some of the days better backed disappointments.

2.20 The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of LOVELL, which started favourite and finished unplaced, trained by Charlie Appleby, during routine testing, found the gelding to be lame on its left fore.

3.30 The representative of Charlie Appleby, the trainer of JUNGLE CAT (IRE), unplaced, reported that the gelding was unsuited by the Soft going, and would prefer a quicker surface.

Daniel Tudhope, the rider of SUEDOIS, unplaced, reported that the gelding hung right from approximately half way.

The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of BRANDO, which started favourite and finished unplaced, trained by Kevin Ryan, during routine testing, revealed the gelding had bled from the nose.

5.35 Jamie Spencer, the rider of RED RANNAGH (IRE), unplaced, reported that the colt ran too free in the first furlong and hung right throughout.

So onwards and upwards for Dante day.

Going at YORK – Soft (GoingStick: 6.6 overall. Going stick readings in home straight: farside 6.4; centre 6.4; standside 6.5. Wind – Westerly 2mph on Wednesday at 08:00)

Thursday – brighter day and mainly sunny and dry. Friday – mixture of sunshine with the chance of passing showers.

Newbury and Newmarket are both currently Good for Friday and Saturday. Newbury will probably stay that way but Newmarket could get softer.

Thursdays Lucky 15

Like yesterday at these rather exciting prices you may want to play half stake each way? Get shopping!

York 2.20                    MOVE IN TIME                       20/1 WH 16/1 general

York 3.30                    FOREST RANGER                        20/1PP 16/1 general

York 4.05                    BRAVERY                                           16/1 PP+Coral 14/1 general

York 5.35                    GRACELAND                               3/1 general

and here’s why

York 2.20                    MOVE IN TIME Possibly Father Time has caught up with him at the age of nine? If he hasn’t then this previous G1 winner is really well handicapped on OR100. I think the ground is key and he is one that will really appreciate this rain softened ground. Trainer David O’Meara was bullish in his recent stable tour, stall 5 is a bonus and stable jockey Daniel Tudhope rides. With these 5F handicap sprints you rarely get consistency so most have a chance of some sort. Keeping a very close eye on Snap Shots on only his second run for Tony Coyle as the horse had some solid form with Tom Dascombe and is only a pound above his last winning mark.

York 3.30                    FOREST RANGER Sometimes you just have to go with a hunch. This horse is huge and he is firmly in the ‘Could be anything’ basket. When he won at Newcastle in an 8F C2 Conditions event despite being the 25/1 he could be called the winner two and a half furlongs out and galloped all over a decent field. It’s the Group 2 Dante but the form is mainly maiden and C2 with just Permian winning a Listed event and I think Forest Ranger is value at a double figure price.

York 4.05                    BRAVERY A really difficult handicap because it is top heavy with quality, ten horses OR100 or higher. Struggling to get my head round Thikrayaat in an 8F soft ground HANDICAP!

I’m sticking to the top of the handicap in going for this seasons Lincoln winner, Bravery. Ground is fine, he stays further, he’s in form, O’Meara and Tudhope had a winner at meeting already and I’m happy with stall 11 (more of an issue on the straight course). Another Touch was second in the Newbury Spring Cup which is throwing up loads of winners but I’m not sure he’s good enough amongst this lot even off OR97. Fahey’s Home Cummins runs this track well but this is a big ask. I’ll have a close eye on seasonal debutantes Victory Bond, Murad Khan and Can’t Change It who could all pick up a race of this nature as the season progresses.

York 5.35                    GRACELAND Would love to put something up at a price but Graceland stands out like a sore thumb. In form, no penalty, soft ground form and if she stays she wins. As I thought the two main dangers were the two top weights, Parliamentarian and Paris Protocol, who are both non-runners Graceland it has to be. Lots of uninspiring horses lower down the handicap.

Wednesdays Lucky 15

A second and the Nap of the day a non-runner!

York 2.20                    SAUNTER                    10th 11/1            (12/1 PP 11/1 general)

Horse needs stoking up to get to race pace. Never competitive but not giving on him yet.

York 2.50                    MUNTADAB                    2nd 6/1                 (9/1 Coral? 13/2 Ladbrokes+WH? All over the place!)

Sadly my nagging doubt was correct!! Yesterdays blog “..I have a nagging doubt that he could set it all up for a finisher…” Update your notebooks! Horse clearly has ‘issues’. BHA Stewards “Race 2 – 2:55pm THE INFINITY TYRES HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 2)  Kevin Ryan, the trainer of RIDE LIKE THE WIND (IRE), unplaced, reported that the gelding had a breathing problem. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of RIDE LIKE THE WIND (IRE) failed to reveal any abnormalities.” Update your notebooks! Horse clearly has ‘issues’.

York 4.35                    MAZYOUN                        6th 7/1                 (16/1 WH 14/1 general)

Odd ride Frankie. Took pull at start, held up last, progress in straight but never competitive.

York 5.35                    ST MALO                     Non-Runner    (11/2 PP+WH)

Pity, would have been Nap of the day. Put him in your tracker.

The Epsom Derby 2017

Dante preview

Sir Michael Stoute reveals Crystal Ocean concerns May 17 2017, 15:50

Sir Michael Stoute admits he doubts his Betfred Dante Stakes runner Crystal Ocean will be ready to mix it with the leading players in the Investec Derby. The Sea The Stars colt, winner of a Nottingham maiden last month, halved in price for the Classic earlier this week, seeing his odds for the notable Derby trial tumble as a result. However, Stoute is sceptical about how many people actually backed his horse and in his own style, he is thinking long-term. “I don’t know how many tenners constitute a gamble!” said Stoute. “We have been bringing him along steadily and I doubt he is a Derby horse.”

John Gosden is slightly concerned about the proximity between the Dante and the Derby as he lets Cracksman loose.

The unbeaten colt races in the same Anthony Oppenheimer colours as Golden Horn, who pulled off the Dante-Derby double in 2015. However, there was a three-week gap between the races two years ago and this season it is just over two.

“Cracksman has only had two runs in his life,” said Gosden. “The Dante is closer to the Derby than usual due to a late Easter. We’ve lost a week, which is not helpful. On the other hand, he needs the experience to race if we are even to consider Epsom. It’s the smartest trial, but I still see it as a trial. He came out of his last race and he learnt a lot. He has been in good order since.”

Joseph O’Brien never won the Dante as a jockey but he has a sound chance as a trainer with Ballysax scorer Rekindling, who was with David Wachman last season. “We were delighted with his reappearance on his first run for us. He’s a quite laid-back horse so it’s very hard to know how good he is,” said O’Brien. “He won one of the Derby trials in Ireland. At the minute, he has all the credentials to be an Epsom Derby candidate. I suppose he has to go to York and show us that he is.”

Richard Fahey’s Forest Ranger won the £100,000 Burradon Conditions Stakes at Newcastle, denting some lofty reputations.  “It has been the plan all year for Forest Ranger to go to the Dante,” said Fahey. “We’ve got a small outside chance. I’m a fraction worried about the trip because he’s a horse with plenty of pace,”

Second at Newcastle was Kevin Ryan’s Acomb winner Syphax, who also lines up at York. Ryan told At The Races: “We intended to start in the Dante, but when the Newcastle race came up we decided to go and I’m glad we did because he ran like it was the first run of his life. He came out of that brilliantly and his work has improved since. It’s a really good Dante, but we’re really looking forward to it.”

Syphax is one of four runners in the Godolphin blue, with Benbatl, Swiss Storm and Wolf Country also set to take their chances. The Mark Johnston-trained Permian represents Sheikh Mohammed’s son. Godolphin racing manager John Ferguson said: “They are with five different trainers and, at the end of the day, it gives us the opportunity to work out whether or not we are going to go to Epsom. All the trainers are happy with their horses or else they wouldn’t be going to the Dante, which is the premier Epsom trial. You’ve also got the Hampton Court over a mile and a quarter, the King Edward over a mile and a half and the Queen’s Vase over a mile and six (all at Royal Ascot), so you can use the Dante to sort out where you go with these horses.” Godolphin bought Swiss Storm after the Frankel colt won a Newbury maiden in fine style for David Elsworth, but he was forced to miss the Guineas. Ferguson said: “David is very happy with him and feels it’s the right thing to do to run the horse. He’s an interesting horse. He’s plenty of speed on the dam’s side, but these Frankels seem to be staying well.”

Martyn Meade confident Eminent will run ‘big race’ in Derby PA SPORT 5:13pm, Tue 16 May 2017

Craven Stakes winner Eminent will head to Epsom for the Breakfast With The Stars morning next week in preparation for the Investec Derby. The Frankel colt finished sixth in the Qipco 2000 Guineas, when trainer Martyn Meade felt he was unsuited by the slow pace. Meade decided to skip the Dante this week given its proximity to the Derby and is happy with what he has seen at home since the Newmarket Classic. “We’ve kept him ticking over and I think he’ll go well in the big one,” said Meade. “He’s been doing everything right, but obviously it was hugely disappointing what happened in the Guineas. It just wasn’t run to suit him, there was no pace and as soon as I saw there wasn’t he was doomed because it turned into a sprint. It didn’t reflect his true ability, but I’m pretty confident he’ll run a big race.”

He went on: “Nothing has come out in any of the trials to scare us and the Dante just came a bit too close to Epsom for me. He should cope with the track and we’ll take him to Breakfast With The Stars to make sure. We’re still learning about the Frankels, ours isn’t a miler, I always said it was a minimum for him. He’s got a huge stride and just bowls along.”