Month: July 2017

Tuesday August 1st Goodwood

Monday July 31st 6.30pm

Right let’s turn our attention to the South Downs and the Qatar Goodwood Racing Festival. On a sunny day it is indeed “Glorious” and from the stands to the north you can see the White Horse chalk carving at Westbury and to the south The Solent and the Isle of Wight but mind you I’ve been there on a wet Thursday and the word exposed leaps to mind! It’s a classy five days of racing.

The course is unique with its ups and downs and twists and turns and the chaos on the far rail. Indeed in the BetFred Mile 35% of horses meet trouble in running. That’s about ten every time it’s run! Never my favourite course to have a major punt with luck playing too big a part. Surely a false rail turning for home would make the racing so much fairer?

With tight bends a low draw in races from 7-10F is just about essential. Mind you I see on the BHA site that on the Tuesday on the straight-ish 5/6Fcourse the stalls are stands side which should favour high numbers.

GOING/TRACK Good to Soft. Good in places on the round course (GoingStick: 6.5 on Monday at 07:00)

Rails: Lower bend dolled out 5 yards at the 6 furlong marker to the winning post. Top bend dolled out 3 yards. 2m and 1m 2f race distances increased 10 yards. 7f and 1m races increased by 15 yards

Stalls: Straight course Stand side Round course Inside

WEATHER 12 mm of rain Saturday.Dry for the last 36 hours

Going/Weather/Other last updated @Mon 31 Jul 7:58am

 

It’s hard to see past Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup although Desert Skyline could outrun his odds of 33/1! The 7F Lennox looks a real poser but I’ll put Acclaim and Home of the Brave in the Placepot and maybe play the former each way. I’m put off Spirit of Valour and Librisa Breeze by a worrying stat, “The last 8 winners came from stalls 7 or lower”. The 5F handicap is a minefield but course specialist has bottom weight, a high draw and his last eight runs at Goodwood returned form figures of 11213232. 14/1 1234 1/5 each way could be the way to go? I like Tribute Act in the last the fillies handicap but 5/2 is too short!

 

Tuesdays Lucky 15

Goodwood 1.50                     GARCIA                                   5/1 general

Goodwood 2.25                     MILDENBERGER                     11/2 PP + WH 5/1 general

Goodwood 4.10                     REBEL STREAK                                    4/1 general

Galway 7.40                            GOLD SPINNER                       9/1 general    

and heres why

Goodwood 1.50 No surprises in the first as I make it between three towards the top of the market.

Hugo Palmer saddles Murad Khan and much as the yard is having winners I’m sure Hugo would like a bit more terrestrial TV time. This 4yo could still be improving despite his mark now up to OR103 for this race. Backward as a 2yo with just the one placed effort on the AW at Kempton he won his first three races as a 3yo including beating Nimr at Doncaster and Ballet Concerto at Thirsk in mile handicaps but then disappointed when tried in Listed company. Well fancied for the Hambleton handicap on his first run this season he boiled over in the preliminaries and ran no race. They gelded him and eight days ago he behaved impeccably in a first time hood and won a C2 8F handicap at Windsor beating the likes of Chelsea Lad and Donncha. He races prominently and has a touch of class being a son of Ravens Pass out of a Sadler’s Wells and his half-brother Ascription improved for being gelded.

Another who may have scope within his handicap mark of OR97 is Roger Varians Uae Prince (owner could perhaps be a little more imaginative when naming horses!). He’ another in the yellow with the black spots who started life with Luca Cumani but has only raced for Varian. Unraced as a 2yo on debut he was third over 10F maiden behind Imperial Aviator and Ulysses with Autocratic fourth and Uae prince was sent off 4/5 favourite! Ridiculous. Won his maiden over 12F then went handicapping off OR and was sent off Evens favourite in a C3 12F contest at Doncaster but disappointed in sixth when “struck over head by rival riders’ whip over 1f out”. He opened his 4yo campaign with a C3 10F success on Good to Firm at Ripon, didn’t seem to stay the 12F of the listed Buckhound Stakes at HQ so they gelded this £650K purchase! Amazing. Last time out he was an excellent fourth in the John Smiths at York. He led running to the furlong pole and was only beaten a length. He obviously hasn’t been easy to train and for all his talent I’m not sure he’s mentally mature enough but his prominent racing style should be an advantage here.

Just a neck behind him on the Knavesmire in fifth was Garcia. That was his first run of the season, “He just had a little, niggly problem and we gave him plenty of time to get over it,” and I think he’ll come on a bundle. #FantasticMrFahey has secured the services of Ryan Moore and the 4yo is currently a top priced 9/2 market leader although it being the opening contest we may get longer in the morning, remember to check out the offers with your friendly bookie especially if you are on line with SkyBet!

Impressive winner of the 8F 3yo Silver Bowl at Haydock last season this 10F is his trip, a bit of give in the ground is ideal and the draw in 12 of 18 looks troublesome but 9 of the last 11 winners came from stalls 9 or higher and 8 of the last 11 winners came from a double-figure stall Good news Murad Khan is in 11 with Uae Prince in 15!Wouldn’t dare tell young Ryan what to do but wide, late and handsome please. Two star** win @ 5/1 general

Goodwood 2.25 Nothing would surprise me here as this looks like twelve colts who may or may not take the next step forward in G2 over 7F. May I suggest that Frankie Dettori will be trying harder than most on Sallab for Richard Hannon, who used to be a by word for these five days, and owners Al Shaqab the Qatari’s who sponsor the whole shindig! However Shallab is stepping up from winning in C5 and that’s one of the biggest steps!

I make it between two, Expert Eye and Mildenberger.

Expert Eye was a Stoute winner on debut which is always noteworthy and when put up by Keiron Fallon in the RP Monday Jury as “one to follow” it has to be in the Notebook. Add to that “Newmarket correspondent David Milnes with the two-year-olds to watch 6:00PM, JUL 20 2017 Expert Eye  (c. Acclamation – Exemplify) Sir Michael Stoute He got the Freemason Lodge juveniles on the board when scoring over six and a half furlongs at Newbury in June, a race that is already working out. He has since excelled in his homework and is bred to be speedy, as his dam is a half-sister to 1,000 Guineas winner Special Duty. This colt can be expected to be given entries in all the top autumn juvenile races.”

Mildenberger is a Godolphin home bred son of Teofilio out of a Dubawi mare who will surely stay further. On debut over 7F took trail, green, asked 2F out, got to the front ½F out and pulled clear. Impressive under a penalty at Newbury, C4 7F. Kept it simple, out well, made all, stretched clear from the furlong pole. I think Goodwood will suit his running style and if James Doyle can get his fractions right and an untroubled lead I think Mildenberger will be a tough nut to crack. One star* win @ 11/2 PP + WH

Goodwood 4.10 Not my normal sort of race to play in but Rebel Streak went into my notebook after his last run, “Travelled kindly, progress two out, looking for racing room, turned sideways in run to the furlong pole, straightened out and kept on strongly to the line beaten less than two lengths by Lethal Lunch. This was a promising first run on Turf for this Dark Angel colt. Should get 7F.” This looks an ideal next step with no issues over trip, grade or ground and the Baldings know a thing or two about training winners at Goodwood. One star* win @ 4/1 general

Algam runs for the sponsors and Ryan Moore has “chosen” the unraced Princely of the Hannon pair. Godolphin’s Tribal Quest heads the market.

Galway 7.40 This is more my cup of tea, a mad field of eighteen over 8 ½ F at Ballybrit! Gold Spinner is a lightly raced son of Pivotal, indeed he didn’t see the course until he was a 3yo. Behind Orderofthegarter on debut he won his next two over 8F but didn’t seem to stay the extra quarter of a mile last time. Ground and trip are fine and I like the fact that this prominent racer is drawn 2 and I expect to see Colin Keane make full use of that draw, grab the rail and save enough to see him home on that stiff climb to the line! One star* each way @ 9/1 general ¼ 1234

Riven Light, a winning two mile hurdler for Willie Mullins and Galway stalwart Baraweez sent over by Brian Ellison make fascinating rivals.

 

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Monday July 31st Galway

Posted Monday July 30th 2.30pm

What a feast of racing we have ahead this week with Galway and Goodwood! This blog will be brief with two of interest in Ireland. However I can’t go on without reflecting on Saturday. So close to a big pay day but boy is Stamp Hill “one that got away”!! Had all his conditions plus blinkers on for the first time but he hadn’t lifted a hoof all season. Frustratingly in my notebook I had actually typed “Love him to have a go at one of those big 7F handicaps at Ascot that will feature Heavens Guest!” Doh!! Hanagan riding was perhaps the biggest clue. Withernsea is still improving and what a cracking run from the 3yo Mjjack for Karl Burke. Those two each way eased my pain.

That’s #FantasticMrFahey’s second big handicap of the season. In the first Eastern Impact set it up for Mr Lupton and here it was Heavens Guest for Withernsea for Stamp Hill. Obviously Team Musley Bank needs to have a chat beforehand, seems to work!

Indeed Team Fahey had a good weekend. The Feathered Nest came from last to first to win the 3yo 6F handicap at Newmarket, a race I had put up the yards other one, Private Matter, at 50/1 who finished seventh! Check the replay out because he is murdered 2F out but then still ran on. Would have been close on that softer ground he prefers! Wins for Miss Puddles (a Club horse!!) and the impressive Dan Troop at Chester made it a good Saturday. Gabrial drifted from 13/8 to 11/4 in the Listed race at Pontefract on Sunday but #FantasticMrFahey still collected the prize with Another Touch for whom Custom Cut set it up nicely. That’s probably it for handicaps for Another Touch as his mark will probably be OR110+ tomorrow. Boy was he a good thing for that Ayr nursery off OR85 as a 2yo?? Darkanna finishing second in Deauville G3 for 2yo fillies on Sunday added to their pleasure.

Goddwood isn’t the happiest hunting ground for #FantasticMrFahey although he usually sends a decent 2yo here, who runs poorly! Ribchester will be the major interest and then it will be all eyes on York’s Ebor meeting in three week’s time!

Let’s go to Galway!

5.20 TWOBEELUCKY (de Bromhead) Can we kick the Festival off with a winner? I’ve been impressed with this ex Mark Johnson 4yo in both his hurdle races to date. He jumps slickly, travels and has a turn of foot. Indeed on his first run as a gelded 3yo in a 10F maiden at Doncaster he was second to El Vip no less, who I hope is going to do this blog a favour come Friday! Twobeelucky was blue on Oddschecker this morning, 5’s to 4’s but now they have taken the second favourite, Nessun Dorma, out he’s currently top priced 5/2. He’s already turned over Mullins hotpots Super Bowl and Royal Hawk so let’s see if he can bring up the hat trick by beating Le Richebourg of JP O’Brien and JP McManus! Two star** win

 

7.40 LAGOSTOVEGAS (WP Mullins) I happened to be in a betting shop when I caught sight of this fella winning. He could be called the winner 5F out. He won hard held by 4¼L and 9L and he didn’t hit the front until two out and idled in front! The handicapper had his say and put him up seventeen pounds but it gets him in this 59K handicap and Patrick Mullins does the steering in this Qualified Riders race. He’s won three of his last five Flat races and this is only his third run in Willie Mullins care! At 17/2 with PP he’s surely worth a one star* win!

Monday July 31st Galway

Posted Monday July 30th 2.30pm

What a feast of racing we have ahead this week with Galway and Goodwood! This blog will be brief with two of interest in Ireland. However I can’t go on without reflecting on Saturday. So close to a big pay day but boy is Stamp Hill “one that got away”!! Had all his conditions plus blinkers on for the first time but he hadn’t lifted a hoof all season. Frustratingly in my notebook I had actually typed “Love him to have a go at one of those big 7F handicaps at Ascot that will feature Heavens Guest!” Doh!! Hanagan riding was perhaps the biggest clue. Withernsea is still improving and what a cracking run from the 3yo Mjjack for Karl Burke. Those two each way eased my pain.

That’s #FantasticMrFahey’s second big handicap of the season. In the first Eastern Impact set it up for Mr Lupton and here it was Heavens Guest for Withernsea for Stamp Hill. Obviously Team Musley Bank needs to have a chat beforehand, seems to work!

Indeed Team Fahey had a good weekend. The Feathered Nest came from last to first to win the 3yo 6F handicap at Newmarket, a race I had put up the yards other one, Private Matter, at 50/1 who finished seventh! Check the replay out because he is murdered 2F out but then still ran on. Would have been close on that softer ground he prefers! Wins for Miss Puddles (a Club horse!!) and the impressive Dan Troop at Chester made it a good Saturday. Gabrial drifted from 13/8 to 11/4 in the Listed race at Pontefract on Sunday but #FantasticMrFahey still collected the prize with Another Touch for whom Custom Cut set it up nicely. That’s probably it for handicaps for Another Touch as his mark will probably be OR110+ tomorrow. Boy was he a good thing for that Ayr nursery off OR85 as a 2yo?? Darkanna finishing second in Deauville G3 for 2yo fillies on Sunday added to their pleasure.

Goddwood isn’t the happiest hunting ground for #FantasticMrFahey although he usually sends a decent 2yo here, who runs poorly! Ribchester will be the major interest and then it will be all eyes on York’s Ebor meeting in three week’s time!

Let’s go to Galway!

5.20 TWOBEELUCKY (de Bromhead) Can we kick the Festival off with a winner? I’ve been impressed with this ex Mark Johnson 4yo in both his hurdle races to date. He jumps slickly, travels and has a turn of foot. Indeed on his first run as a gelded 3yo in a 10F maiden at Doncaster he was second to El Vip no less, who I hope is going to do this blog a favour come Friday! Twobeelucky was blue on Oddschecker this morning, 5’s to 4’s but now they have taken the second favourite, Nessun Dorma, out he’s currently top priced 5/2. He’s already turned over Mullins hotpots Super Bowl and Royal Hawk so let’s see if he can bring up the hat trick by beating Le Richebourg of JP O’Brien and JP McManus! Two star** win

 

7.40 LAGOSTOVEGAS (WP Mullins) I happened to be in a betting shop when I caught sight of this fella winning. He could be called the winner 5F out. He won hard held by 4¼L and 9L and he didn’t hit the front until two out and idled in front! The handicapper had his say and put him up seventeen pounds but it gets him in this 59K handicap and Patrick Mullins does the steering in this Qualified Riders race. He’s won three of his last five Flat races and this is only his third run in Willie Mullins care! At 17/2 with PP he’s surely worth a one star* win!

Monday July 30th Galway 

Posted Monday July 30th 2.30pm

What a feast of racing we have ahead this week with Galway and Goodwood! This blog will be brief with two of interest in Ireland. However I can’t go on without reflecting on Saturday. So close to a big pay day but boy is Stamp Hill “one that got away”!! Had all his conditions plus blinkers on for the first time but he hadn’t lifted a hoof all season. Frustratingly in my notebook I had actually typed “Love him to have a go at one of those big 7F handicaps at Ascot that will feature Heavens Guest!” Doh!! Hanagan riding was perhaps the biggest clue. Withernsea is still improving and what a cracking run from the 3yo Mjjack for Karl Burke. Those two each way eased my pain.

That’s #FantasticMrFahey’s second big handicap of the season. In the first Eastern Impact set it up for Mr Lupton and here it was Heavens Guest for Withernsea for Stamp Hill. Obviously Team Musley Bank needs to have a chat beforehand, seems to work!

Indeed Team Fahey had a good weekend. The Feathered Nest came from last to first to win the 3yo 6F handicap at Newmarket, a race I had put up the yards other one, Private Matter, at 50/1 who finished seventh! Check the replay out because he is murdered 2F out but then still ran on. Would have been close on that softer ground he prefers! Wins for Miss Puddles (a Club horse!!) and the impressive Dan Troop at Chester made it a good Saturday. Gabrial drifted from 13/8 to 11/4 in the Listed race at Pontefract on Sunday but #FantasticMrFahey still collected the prize with Another Touch for whom Custom Cut set it up nicely. That’s probably it for handicaps for Another Touch as his mark will probably be OR110+ tomorrow. Boy was he a good thing for that Ayr nursery off OR85 as a 2yo?? Darkanna finishing second in Deauville G3 for 2yo fillies on Sunday added to their pleasure.

Goddwood isn’t the happiest hunting ground for #FantasticMrFahey although he usually sends a decent 2yo here, who runs poorly! Ribchester will be the major interest and then it will be all eyes on York’s Ebor meeting in three week’s time!

Let’s go to Galway!

5.20 TWOBEELUCKY (de Bromhead) Can we kick the Festival off with a winner? I’ve been impressed with this ex Mark Johnson 4yo in both his hurdle races to date. He jumps slickly, travels and has a turn of foot. Indeed on his first run as a gelded 3yo in a 10F maiden at Doncaster he was second to El Vip no less, who I hope is going to do this blog a favour come Friday! Twobeelucky was blue on Oddschecker this morning, 5’s to 4’s but now they have taken the second favourite, Nessun Dorma, out he’s currently top priced 5/2. He’s already turned over Mullins hotpots Super Bowl and Royal Hawk so let’s see if he can bring up the hat trick by beating Le Richebourg of JP O’Brien and JP McManus! Two star** win

 

7.40 LAGOSTOVEGAS (WP Mullins) I happened to be in a betting shop when I caught sight of this fella winning. He could be called the winner 5F out. He won hard held by 4¼L and 9L and he didn’t hit the front until two out and idled in front! The handicapper had his say and put him up seventeen pounds but it gets him in this 59K handicap and Patrick Mullins does the steering in this Qualified Riders race. He’s won three of his last five Flat races and this is only his third run in Willie Mullins care! At 17/2 with PP he’s surely worth a one star* win!

Lucky 15’s Saturday 29th July

Posted Saturday 29th July 12.15pm

Sorry I’m a little late on parade but I expected a glut of non-runners. Could still come after the meetings have run their first race. Two small stakes Lucky 15s to contemplate. One each way at big odds and a #FantasticMrFahey foursome.

Lucky 15 Big Odds

Small stakes each way.

Ascot 2.25                         Cullingworth                       28/1 BetFred 25/1 general

Ascot 3.00                   Mjjack                                   33/1 general

York 2.40                           Flying Pursuit                     14/1 general

Newmarket 4.00           Private Matter                   50/1 general

and here’s why

Ascot 2.25 A 3yo mile on Ascot’s straight course could give a few hints for next seasons big handicaps on this course. Notebook ready. Blogged this fellow earlier in the week, at Newmarket “…was the eye catcher having to go six wide to get a run then flew home. Remains on OR83 and I think the key with him is a strong pace and something to run at, perhaps a Johnston runner. Will win again this season and could be at a price!” Drops from 10F to 8F here on softer ground but I’m bolstered by #FantasticMrFahey’s words in sportinglife.com, Cullingworth has been running well without winning and hasn’t got much in hand of the assessor. However, he’s racing better nowadays, more professionally, and it will be interesting to see how he goes on the soft ground. We think he’ll love it.”

Ascot 3.00 I have already put up Viscount Barfield as the handicapper says he is ten pounds well in! I also have a hunch this 7F cavalry charge will be contested on the stands side on this softer ground and I like the look of a new face in these contests in Karl Burke’s Mjjack. He’s drawn almost next to the stands rail, he’s in form, acts on Soft ground, has bottom weight and looks a lightly raced improver. Hopefully it could be a good hour for Royston Ffrench as he’s on Cullingworth as well.

York 2.40 Flying Pursuit has run well at York before, will appreciate cut in the ground, has a light weight, in form yard of Tim Easterby and I think that drawn 1 is a big plus.

Newmarket 4.00 Private Matter won a Listed race in France on Soft ground at the end of last season and he has run OK at Newmarket before. This is the right trip and ground, Mosse did the yard a favour on Mr Lupton over C&D earlier this season and Private Matter is now ten pounds lower than his French win.

#FantasticMrFahey’s words in sportinglife.com “Private Matter will love the ground in the Adnams Sole Star Handicap. He has been running okay this season but all his best form at two was on a slow surface which he gets here.

 

Lucky 15 #FantasticMrFahey foursome

Chester 2.10                    Dan Troop                7/2 general

Chester 4.20               Powerallied            11/1 general

Chester 4.55                    Monaco Rose         11/2 WH 5/1 general

Newcastle 3.40              Boundsy                   6/1 general

and here’s why

Chester 2.10 Dan Troop has caught the attention of Hugh Taylor, ATR’s top tipster, hence the price shortening. #FantasticMrFahey’s words in sportinglife.com back him up. Dan Troop is a progressive sort and we think the track will suit him in the Sebastian Artois Apprentice Handicap. He won’t mind the juice in the ground, has a good draw and everything in his favour. He should go well.”

Chester 4.20 I think Powerallied can overcome his 9 stall and hopefully last year’s winner Blithe Spirit will ping from stall 2, go lickety-spit and set it up for the selection. He’s done it before although at considerably more favourable weight conditions. #FantasticMrFahey’s words in sportinglife.com Powerallied is doing nothing wrong at the moment and is running well. I’d have preferred a lower slot than nine for him too but ground and track are ideal.”

Chester 4.55 The booking of Franny Norton and stall 5 make Monaco Rose a player and they can put a smile on Dr K’s face. Yet to win here but she has stamina in spades and could she make every yard?

Newcastle 3.40 #FantasticMrFahey  told sportinglife.com “Boundsy has been aimed at the Collingwood Fleet Insurance Handicap for some time – there’s good money on offer and he’s been running well. If he handles the all-weather he’ll go close.” That sounds like a man with a plan! SammyJo Bell’s three pound claim is handy and she’s had a couple of winners recently.

Lucky 15 Friday 28th July

Posted Thursday 27th July 6.30pm

Let’s roll with these four.

Lucky 15 Friday 28th July

Ascot 2.45                         Uae King                               11/8 general

Thirsk 5.05                  Liberatum                            6/1 general

York 7.30                           Aim to Please                     6/1 Coral 11/2 general

York 8.00                           Home Cummins                 8/1 general

and here’s why

Ascot 2.45 Fascinating two mile handicap. The top weight Cosmelli is a five time winner in Italy and ran a creditable sixth in the Northumberland Plate at 100/1. Next on the card is Desert God who is a multiple Group 1 winner in India including their Derby and St.Leger! Nothing in Meydan and nothing to shout about so far in the UK. Isharah and Gavlar both last won on the AW, Wolfcatcher has been running over hurdles, poorly! The handicapper has Mark Hopkins even with the admirable David Egan taking five pounds off and that takes us to the 3yo’s who get a whopping fifteen pounds. Mister Manduro was a commendable if one paced seventh in the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot when only four and a half lengths off the winner, Stradivarius. His eased off last of ten at Haydock last time takes some forgiving but he will enjoy this much stiffer test. The selection has to be Uae King who was in the previous blog, “Handicappers 2017”.

“He is a son of Frankel and a half-brother to Dubawi bred by Darley. Wow. However he is built like a three mile chaser! No gears but as Gosden has observed these Frankels have a real stride on them and Uae King looks a real galloper. Backward as a 2yo, midfield in a maiden. Took him three attempts to get off the mark as a 3yo but won a 12F C5 maiden here at Haydock and the third has already won in a class above at HQ and the second, the US bred Festival of Ages from Godolphin, didn’t look too shabby on debut. Races prominently and will be suited by the course (Sandown) and the extra distance and goes handicapping off OR84 with Andrea Atzeni in the saddle. Ran on the Friday over 14F in a C4 and ground it out to win. Up to OR90 and the trainer thinks he’ll stay two miles.”

Two concerns. Firstly the trainer said on his website, “He certainly has the pedigree and looks to develop into a nice horse in time and so long as Sheikh Mohammed Obaid is in agreement, I would like to keep things low key with him at this stage.” Pretty sure Obaid is in the country as he has a boat load of runners at the moment and I’m not sure this is low key? Secondly the price.

Thirsk 5.05 I can here you all screaming “it’s a C6 5F apprentice handicap!! Boys losing it”! I think shrewd trainer Ruth Carr has spotted an opportunity on three levels. Firstly she picked up, Liberatum, a Hugo Palmer cast off for £5K and had it gelded. Secondly since then the horse has every chance on form alone having finished placed in both his last two races. Thirdly and the reason he’s in here is she has booked the red hot Seamus Cronin whose figures in the last fourteen days are 211101251 (5 from 9). Ridiculous. He is a 22yo from Cork and attached to Kevin Ryan’s yard hence the quiet start to the season. Stalls for this sprint are in the centre and I will be interested to see on Good to Soft ground, drawn 11 of 13 whether he heads for the stands rail. Boy seems to do his homework or he’s being well mentored!

York 7.30 A 10F+ Listed Fillies stakes and the first two I wrote down were Playful Sound for Sir Michael Stoute and Rsental for Luca Cumani. However on closer inspection Playful Sound, who is supposedly “coming to hand” according to the gallop reports, has won three of her five races but the other two were at Listed level and she has only beaten three horses home! Rosental ran in this race last year and was last of seven! She seems to save her best for France. So is it Ajman Princess coming down in trip or Aim to Please going up in distance? John Dance paid £340K for Aim to Please at the Royal Ascot boutique sales out of the Doumen yard and I think it’s time she started earning it back! She was an excellent fifth in the 8F Duke of Cambridge stakes and if she can lay handier at 10F pace on this softer ground I think she wins if she stays. Winning a G3 last season at Maisons Lafitte over 9F gives you every hope.

York 8.00 I am going for Home Cummins to go out in a blaze of glory. She is in foal to Mayson and it will be off to the paddocks after this. What would you like for her finale? 8F at York, C3, Good ground, single figure draw and Hanagan in the saddle. She’s got the lot! I trust stable mate Innocent Touch is on message!

 

Others on Friday I considered were Thirsk 1.20 Rumshak (price), York 6.30 Kibaar (out of form), Newmarket 8.10 Petitioner (Ground and topweight Pouvoir Magique).

Handicappers 2017

Posted Thursday 27th July 3.00pm

I’ve been a busy bunny over the last few days doing the research, just can’t get excited with the plethora of C5/C6 betting shop fodder! So get ready to stand by your in boxes. first up a list of handicappers to go in your Trackers for the next few weeks. Hopefully next will be a Lucky 15 for tomorrow, Friday, then a piece on Apprentices following on from Graeme Rodway and then a stable of 2yo’s you might like to have a look at. As I said I’ve been busy!

Handicappers 2017

ADDEYBB                    (William Haggas) A solid specimen, a 3yo gelded son of Pivotal, whose three runs have been on Soft, Good to Soft and Good and he has won the last two. Having been drawn widest on the round mile Martin Harley chose to go forward and was in the van throughout. Previously at Haydock he had got outpaced, running green, but Harley got him to extend and eventually won by a cosy half length. Obvious improver OR88 93, RPR70,93,98! Martin Harley, a stiff mile and ground no worse than good and he could be a big handicap player.

AZAM                                  (M.Appleby) Sold out of Gosden’s for £50K, was a £260K yearling, to The Horse Watchers. This horse is on my 3yo list and just wants dropping back to 10F, some Soft ground or AW (Southwell?) and possibly gelding! OR87AW OR84Turf. The Horse Watchers also bought Wild Acclaim. OR70.

BLAKENEY POINT       (Roger Charlton) My blog on the C2 12F Old Newton Cup. “This would look on the short side for him having been sent off a well backed 4/1 favourite for the 18F Chester Cup but after an excellent last time out fourth at Goodwood his trainer seems to have a plan. 28th May 2017  Roger Charlton website “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 (Jamie Spencer) seemed taken with the idea.”

Right if the “plan” is the Ebor on the third Saturday in August you may get in off OR98 but you need three figures to be sure. Currently on OR95 a solid run, even a win, here would do the job and give you six weeks to freshen him up!

Blakeney Point has won over 12F and three times over 16F as well with two wins on the AW, with one in C2, suggesting he’ll enjoy a sound surface. Keiron Shoemark has won on him twice and claims three pounds. This is one of two already booked rides at Haydock for the stable jockey so the horse seems sure to line up. The question will be “Is he quick enough”?” Finished well and grabbed fourth. OR95.

CULLINGWORTH           (#FantasticMrFahey) Cullingworth was the eye catcher having to go six wide to get a run then flew home. Remains on OR83 and I think the key with him is a strong pace and something to run at, perhaps a Johnston runner. Will win again this season and could be at a price!

DAIRA PRINCE (Roger Varian) Bred to get 12F+ but doesn’t seem to stay a yard over 10F with a stiff mile probably his best trip. May be a slow learner but won at Leicester off OR80 and looks to be an improver. Up to OR86.

DESERT SKYLINE           (David Elsworth) Desert Skyline, it seems may be heading to the Ebor handicap at York, a big ask for a 3yo! OR100 101 Has an entry in Ebor and 20/1 Ladbrokes, 16/1 general. 3yo’s get 10lb so unlikely to get in, one win 3lb, two wins 7lb penalty. RP Weekender‏ @RPWeekender  July 24th 5pm  “David Elsworth reveals he supplemented Desert Skyline for Gdwd Cup after deciding he wouldn’t get in Ebor (currently 16-1 but 77th on list)”

GALACTIC PRINCE        (Andrew Balding) Back in third behind Bin Battuta was a staying on Galactic Prince. For a 3yo gelding by Dubawi out of Opera Gal (OR105) a Galileo mare, surely Andrew Balding can place him to win another staying handicap 12/14F off OR80. There is an 11F 0-90 C3 3yo handicap that closes the Friday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

GOOD OMEN (David Simcock) Ex-Oppenheimer/Haggas this 3yo colt is by Holy Roman Emporer out of a Galileo mare and at the right level seems to be progressive. Strip out his a 2yo Pontefract Listed race, two runs in Meydan and the King George V handicap at Royal Ascot and his form is 221111. His wins have been in C4, C5, C3 & C2, twice at 8F and the last two at 10F. His last win saw him put up 3lbs to OR96 and surely a shot at a big handicap must be on the cards. Won at Doncaster on the bridle and is ideally suited to Jamie Spencer. The ground was probably a bit quick at Ascot and took a bit longer to get there at Yarmouth. 10F, no worse than Good, Spencer and a 3F+ home straight and he’s a player. Ayr?

LA RAV                               (Luca Cumani) At Newbury Messr’s Cumani and Spencer teamed up to win with the rapidly improving 3yo colt La Rav, making every yard! He cost £120K at the 2016 Guineas Breeze Ups and Cumani’s patience is now paying off. Up eight pounds to OR93 this son of Footstepsinthesand out of an Acclamation mare could have a couple more handicaps in him yet. Ground doesn’t seem to be an issue and 7/8F seems the trip. Cumani website, “La Rav became a dual winner in the colours of Mr Simon Capon when making a winning handicap debut off the back of his maiden win at Salisbury as he took a four runner race at Newbury on Thursday by three and a quarter lengths. He faces an 8 lb rise in the weights after that, but we are really pleased with how he is progressing and hopefully he can stay ahead of the handicapper.”

LOVE DREAMS               (Mark Johnston) The other was Mark Johnston’s lightly raced Love Dreams who was just three lengths away in sixth. Currently OR91, if the handicapper could shave off a pound C3 could beckon over six or seven furlongs. Being gelded may help as he has some growing up to do. Won the following Saturday over 7F very comfortably on Soft ground. OR91 100

MAM’SELLE                     (Haggas) Unraced as a 2yo she was hugely professional on debut this £80K daughter of Teofilio travelled in the box seat over 10F at Salisbury, pulled out 2F from home, green and wandered but put head down and beat Circulation a nose! Second run at Goodwood in a C5 10F apprentice handicap, OR73,  she didn’t seem to enjoy the 3F uphill climb that starts this race and indeed her pilot told the stewards “Georgia Cox, the rider of MAM’SELLE (IRE), unplaced, reported that the filly was never travelling.” Galactic Prince was a couple of places in front with both staying on.

Stepped up 1½F at Lingfield in C5, OR72, the RP analysis says “Chased leaders, clear in leading trio and waiting for gap 3f out, pushed along and quickened to lead over 2f out, clear and in command over 1f out, stayed on readily, comfortably”. Yet to race on anything other than Good to Soft and up eight pounds to OR80, looks progressive and should have a fruitful autumn.

Highclere website “You only have to look at this filly on the move to see what a special individual she is and it is no surprise as she hails from a Classic producing family. She is a half-sister to Jacqueline Quest who was second in The 1000 Guineas (Gr 1) having been demoted from first place after veering across the track. This is a family we are very familiar with, having enjoyed multiple Group success with Regime who is out of this filly’s second dam Juno Madonna. Mam’selle was unraced at two, but was always going to be a filly that will be seen at her best over middle distances, so we eagerly anticipate her debut in the spring.”

MARIE OF LYON            (#FantasticMrFahey) Since winning her maiden at York Marie of Lyon has been asked some pretty big questions. The listed Empress, the G3 Princess Margaret, the big York Sales race and then as a 3yo the Listed Sandringham handicap at Royal Ascot and Saturdays C2 handicap at Newmarket. She’s never run badly and finds herself now with a handicap mark of just OR83 and surely #FantasticMrFahey can find her a 7/8F C3 and build from there. Owned by Clipper Logistics so York would be the obvious venue but I’m struggling to see a suitable race at the Ebor festival.

MOUNT MORIAH       (Ralph Beckett) This is one progressive staying 3yo who made most of the fourteen pounds recieved from the older horses, pulling away from the furlong pole to win by a comfortable four lengths. Needs “softer” ground. Won last three on Soft, Soft, Good over 8, 11 & 14F. OR73 81 93 102. The Mallard handicap, C2 14F, at Doncaster in September could be on the agenda?

MURAD KHAN                (Hugo Palmer) This 4yo could still be improving despite a six pound penalty pushing his mark up to OR104 for this race. Backward as a 2yo with just the one placed effort on the AW at Kempton he won his first three races as a 3yo including beating Nimr at Doncaster and Ballet Concerto at Thirsk in mile handicaps but then disappointed when tried in Listed company. Well fancied for the Hambleton handicap on his first run this season he boiled over in the preliminaries and ran no race. They gelded him and eight days ago he behaved impeccably in a first time hood and won a C2 8F handicap at Windsor beating the likes of Chelsea Lad and Donncha. He races prominently and has a touch of class being a son of Ravens Pass out of a Sadler’s Wells and his half-brother Ascription improved for being gelded.

NAJASHEE                        (Burrows) Hamdan al Maktoum 3yo 700K euro half-brother to Ectot! Unraced as a 2yo, took three goes to break his maiden over a mile but did so at Haydock and supposedly goes handicapping off OR78. Tall, green, easy striding grey with a fast ground action and should get 10F.

NOVOMAN                      (William Haggas) I think Novoman is now starting to deliver what the yard has long suspected. Last season as a 2yo he took three goes to break his maiden and that was in an egg and spoon 7F race at Brighton and he was a 4/11 shot to do so! Then three runs in nurseries, 532, gelded over the winter and sent off 9/2F for the valuable Royal Mile handicap on 3yo debut but well behind Cullingworth. Then ninth to Parfait and sixth to Auberge du Lac in C2 handicaps, then here to York 3.45 race, C4 10F where they have got Good to Firm ground, dropped two grades to C4, stepped up two furlongs and put on Georgia Cox, the stables five pound claimer! Novoman did it well, quickening nicely 2F out and seeing the trip out. As a 3yo his RPR’s have been 62, 80, 87 and 97 whist his handicap mark has gone 90, 88, 86 and now OR94. On his second start as a 2yo he split Salsabeel and Law and Order now rated OR106 and OR100. Suggests there is more to come. I want to back Novoman in a C3 0-95 10F handicap on a flat track on Good ground or better preferably with Ms Cox in the saddle.

OMRAN                      (Marco Botti) The representative of Marco Botti, the trainer of OMRAN, unplaced, reported that the colt was unsuited by the soft ground and would prefer a faster surface.

PEALER                       (John Gosden) At Epsom John Gosden’s 3yo Pealer won a four horse race over 8 ½ F with the RP saying Pealer “was given a positive ride and ran his rivals into the ground”. Put up seven pounds from OR85 to OR92 I think there is still some more to come. He has improved for a tongue tie and he has raced against some top colts like Monarchs Glen, Tamleek and Count Octave and his duck egg was a non-staying last in the Derby!

PETITIONER                     (Roger Charlton) Unraced as a 2yo, made his debut at Wolverhampton and although slow away and green as grass was a creditable staying on third. Stayed on the AW and won a 12F C5 maiden that has worked out well. He has a low head carriage and at times looked to be struggling but when asked in the straight he scythed through to lead at the furlong pole then held the wider finishers including Qaviy Cash, Marine One and the now OR90 rated Cape Coast who has won twice since. Petitioner gets to go handicapping off just OR78, was due to run at Newbury 5.20 C4 12F 3yo, “5:20pm Withdrawn PETITIONER (IRE), trained by Roger Charlton. Going” Clearly needs a sound surface. Entered at 8.10 Newmarket Friday 28th C3 0-95 12F 3yo handicap.

RASHFORDS DOUBLE (#FantasticMrFahey) Latest run at Hamilton when third to Mohab was his first since being gelded. “prominent but niggled (?), took lead inside 2F pole, headed inside final furlong, will come on for run. Dropped a pound to 80 or getting a run in a 0-80 or back at Newcastle would be handy!” Mile seems his trip.

SIX STRINGS                    (#FantasticMrFahey) Lightly raced son of Requinto, 291 as a 2yo with the ninth in the Weatherby’s Super Sprint, then gelded over the winter and two places as a 3yo. His 3yo debut was at HQ when seven lengths behind Parfait in a C2 3yo 7F handicap on Good ground keeping on well for second but had the likes of Omran and Novoman behind him. Then a solid third at Hamilton in the Scottish Stewards Cup and supposedly could next appear in the Stewards Cup Consolation at Goodwood. OR87 looks workable and the horse has Ayr written all over him, probably Silver or Bronze.

SOCIETY RED                   (#FantasticMrFahey) Fahey ran Society Red up in trip for the first time but James Sullivan raced three wide with no cover. Did he stay? Jury’s out. However surely Society Red is a “winner waiting to happen” off OR81. I think he is an OR90+ horse.

SOFIA’S CHOICE            (Mark Johnston) The third, Sofia’s Choice, remains of interest in any 3yo 14F contest which is run on a flat track that suits front runners. The Melrose Handicap at York would seem suitable, C2 0-105 14F 3yo, as long as he stays on OR100!

THUNDERING BLUE     (David Menusier) Basically a galloper. Despite being US Bred for 8F max seems to get 10F, acts on softer ground and enjoys Epsom! Won off OR76 and what will the handicapper do? Up 7lb to OR83. Trainer Menuisier didn’t have a winner this season until Tuesday, then three on the bounce!

UAE KING                    (Roger Varian) He is a son of Frankel and a half-brother to Dubawi bred by Darley. Wow. However he is built like a three mile chaser! No gears but as Gosden has observed these Frankels have a real stride on them and Uae King looks a real galloper. Backward as a 2yo, midfield in a maiden. Took him three attempts to get off the mark as a 3yo but won a 12F C5 maiden here at Haydock and the third has already won in a class above at HQ and the second, the US bred Festival of Ages from Godolphin, didn’t look too shabby on debut. Races prominently and will be suited by the course (Sandown) and the extra distance and goes handicapping off OR84 with Andrea Atzeni in the saddle. Ran on the Friday over 14F in a C4 and ground it out to win. Up to OR90 and the trainer thinks he’ll stay two miles.

Varian website, Roger said: “It was not all plain sailing for the strapping bay with distinctive white markings, who had to be nudged into the bridle by Andrea Atzeni as the tempo lifted down the back straight, but he made up his ground nicely on the climb to the line and always looked to be doing enough. UAE King is still a work in progress and while he has improved with each visit to the racecourse, he is still babyish at times and is learning his trade. He certainly has the pedigree and looks to develop into a nice horse in time and so long as Sheikh Mohammed Obaid is in agreement, I would like to keep things low key with him at this stage.”

UAE QUEEN                     (Varian) She cost £450K as a yearling which is no surprise as she is by Oasis Dream out of a Barathea mare and is guaranteed a future in the breeding paddocks. Unraced as a 2yo she’s had three runs as a 3yo, 371. Last time out at Yarmouth in a 7F C5 fillies maiden Andrea Atzeni, ridden her on all three occasions, bounced her out, made every yard, wound it up from 2F out and won comfortably. Her opening handicap mark of OR77 seems lenient and would be worth following but always a possibility she may go in search of Black Type for which I wouldn’t be so keen.

ULTIMATE AVENUE     (Ed Walker) Ultimate Avenue, stealthily ridden by Jamie Spencer, seems to have a future in these valuable sprint pots for the next few seasons. Raised three pounds for this effort from OR97 to OR100 will guarantee an invite to all the best parties but may need the assistance of Spencer to be seen at his best. Whilst writing the last sentence it has occurred to me he has the perfect profile for a big bucks sale to Hong Kong, mind you he may not go via the sales ring as he is owned by PK Siu (Stormy Antarctic)!

VICTORY BOND             (William Haggas) This horse probably has a bit more class than Another Touch and this race would be only the sixth of his career but he has been on my radar ever since I saw him win his 3yo maiden at Ripon by seven lengths. The notebook says “Group horse in a handicap” and I was mildly surprised to see him gelded at the end of his 3yo season but this season this son of Medicean ran an excellent third in the 8F Listed Hambleton handicap at York and his pedigree suggests 10F will be ideal.

I would expect Victory Bond to be hugely competitive off OR102 IF he lines up in the John Smiths Cup but as ATR’s Gary Nutting posted a quote from William Haggas saying “This has been the plan but we’re dependent on the weather. He needs cut in the ground and I would be reluctant to run him if conditions are too quick.”

Blog July Cup review “At York the form of the C2 10F John Smiths handicap may need to be treated with care. Firstly they went no pace, very unusual for this race, until 3F out and as Jason Weaver pointed out this was an old fashioned York race with the leaders keeping to the far rail turning for home. Neither of these factors helped the hold-up, dropped in horses, so I am upgrading the performances of Garcia, Victory Bond, Another Touch and Central Square. The handicapper has left the first two on OR95 and OR102, dropped Another Touch one pound to OR103 and Central Square two pounds to OR105. They could all be back on the Knavesmire for the opening 10F 0-105 handicap on Ebor day.”

VON BLUCHER               (Rebecca Menzies) I have had one eye on him all season, ever since Rebecca Menzies paid £95K to get the 3yo out of John Gosden’s stables so that she had a Saturday horse, stable profile etc. not that she needs it as she has been among the winners all season. He was a close up fifth in the listed Spring Trophy over 7F at Haydock on seasonal debut, only beat four home in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot when the stiff mile seemed beyond him and then here when having to switch to the stands rail to get a run, staying on for sixth. He’s not in the 7F Gigaset International at Ascot or the BetFred Mile at Goodwood and it wouldn’t surprise me if Ms Menzies, who trains in Co Durham has him pencilled in for the Clipper Logistics handicap over the mile at York during the Ebor Festival.

Gigaset International 7F Handicap Ascot 3.00pm Saturday 29th July

Posted: Monday 24th July 3.45pm

COUNT THE MONEY!

Twenty nine runners spread across Ascot’s straight seven furlongs. Solving that puzzle five days out requires some sweeping assumptions to be made.

Firstly having consulted my seaweed I am putting Saturdays going as GOOD on the straight course with Good to Soft in places on the round course.

Secondly they are all going to race down the centre. Dangerous I know but until we see the racing on Friday it would be impossible to assume otherwise.

Thirdly there will be a strong end to end gallop, sadly lacking recently in these top handicaps.

Finally the race will be won by a 4yo or a 5yo. It’s too tough for the 3yo’s and those 6yo plus have their best days behind them.

Let’s deal with the final statement first because that takes out the likes of Top Score (Won a Listed race in Meydan and well beaten in the G3 Jersey), Sutter County (Well beaten in the G3 Jersey) and Bless Him (Won the Britannia at Royal Ascot over C&D). The first two look harshly handicapped for what they’ve achieved and Bless Him raced in a small group on the far side at the Royal Meeting under a peerless Jamie Spencer but more of him later. Look at the C2 handicap form over the last two seasons of some of the older horses such as Bossy Guest (60057000), Heavens Guest (0902200000700) and even Buckstay (3594500). Yes they have course form but not since the Kaiser died!

The Victoria Cup earlier in the season over C&D was won by Fastnet Tempest who will race here off a mark ten pounds higher but having had a troubled run in the Hunt Cup he comes here as a horse in form and the booking of Josephine Gordon or stable claimer Georgia Cox (gets three pounds) would further bolster confidence. Has to be a player. Another who looks to have a big pot within him is Roger Charlton’s Makzeem who chased home Parfait in the Silver Bunbury Cup having been put up by your correspondent. Racing off his old mark he is a few pounds well in here having been put up for that last effort at Newmarket. His trainer Roger Charlton could also saddle Yuften who on his win in the Balmoral here at Ascot over a mile last October but since being gelded over the winter has been regressive this season having been well beaten in the Lincoln and the Hunt Cup.

7F is a specialist trip and I just can’t get away from the obvious here. When the Official Handicapper tells you a horse is ten pounds well in you have to take notice. When solving these big handicaps I spend hours looking for a horse that is ten pounds well in, scouring the form book, reading the quotes etc. and here is the handicapper flagging it up a week before! VISCOUNT BARFIELD is on a hat trick. He won a C2 handicap at York over this trip, weaving his way through from the back and that isn’t easy on the Knavesmire, then recently repeated the feat at Chester in the Listed City Plate Stakes with the likes of Jungle Cat (won at the weekend), Salateen, Kool Kompany and Jallota behind. The handicapper has put him up thirteen pounds, he gets a three pound penalty here, so is ten pounds well in! He’s in form, he’s a hold up horse, he’s won over the distance, he’s won on Good to Firm, Good and Good to Soft, he’s a Listed winner carrying less than 9st. That is an awful lot to like!!

Earlier I mentioned Mr Marmite, Jamie Spencer, and if he goes to Ascot on Saturday his mount has to be respected over Ascots straight course as he showed at the Royal meeting on Bless Him and Con te Partiro. Will probably be Bless Him here who showed a nice turn of foot and is off a ten pound higher mark here but could be Buckstay, although he hasn’t picked up a hoof yet this season, and I expect at least a couple of trainers may have politely enquired as to his availability!

One who may sneak in at the bottom of the weights is Havre de Paix from the resurgent yard of David Menuisier. She ran a cracker ten days ago over C&D carrying 10st in a C3 fillies handicap. With just 8st 4lb here she’ll think she is running free and she races prominently anyway!

The bet is a two star** win on Viscount Barfield with WH, Ladbrokes or Coral @ 10/1

and we’ll have another look on Thursday at final dec’s time.

Saturday July 22nd Lucky 15 plus some

Friday July 21st 6.30pm

So is this a Standard Saturday. Let’s see what we can find running on Saturday from our recent reviews and try to put up a Lucky 15. Do I look at the summer jumping at Market Rasen? Perhaps it’ll be Skelton Saturday!

Newbury 1.50 Looks like a Bronze Bunbury Cup, C2 7F 0-110 handicap in Berkshire instead of Suffolk. Four that interested me. Remarkable was fifth to Ribchester in last seasons G3 Jersey at Royal Ascot but was gelded afterwards and has been running in all the top 7/8F handicaps, second in the Balmoral, sixth in this years Hunt Cup, he could easily outclass these but I’m not sure he has much in hand and John Gosden has jocked up the one-armed Dettori. On my radar are two 3yo’s, Marco Botti’s Omran and William Haggas’ Executive Force. Omrans two wins have been on the AW at Chelmsford and Newcastle but he was a fine sixth to Parfait over the Rowley 7F and a hard done by seventeenth in the Britannia. Impressive as a 2yo and just the type this trainer can eke improvement from. Wears a first time tongue tie. Executive Force was two places ahead of Omran in the Britannia, he has already been gelded, Shrewd trainer Haggas is another to improve his 3yo’s and has employed the services of Paul Hanagan and Remarkable has to give Executive Force fifteen pounds. However I am swung by the softening ground, the right trip, the right grade, John Gosden booking Adam Kirby and nominate Johnny Barnes as the selection. Have him on a long list for the 6F Ayr Gold Cup but Newburys flat 7F will be fine with a strong pace and the more rain the better.

Newbury 2.25 I watched this years G2 12F Hardwicke stakes at Royal Ascot admiring Idaho’s winning performance but what the hell was Arthenus doing in the field trotting round at the back if not schooling in public? I’ve just about forgiven his run in last years John Smith’s Cup when “dwelt hampered early” killed the chance of a 6/1F I had backed at double the odds. This race is Listed, 10F with give in the ground and those are his conditions. Nothing silly Mr Queally thank you.

Mount Logan is surely having a prep for Goodwood, Thikriyaat is up 3F and wears first time cheek-pieces. The 3yo Best of Days could be the best of these in the long term but Hugo Palmers Godolphin colt has had a troubled preparation and questions over the ground, the trip and Palmer hasn’t excellent been this seasons Saturday go to man!

Newbury 3.35 Got to go with #FantasticMrFahey in a favourite race of his, the valuable Weatherbys Super Sprint over 5F. He runs five and I would love to put up Requinto Dawn who I think is quick but I’m put off by the jockey booking of S.Kelly and the softer ground could stretch his stamina. However the easy going will benefit Maggies Angel who is maybe better at 6F but her seconds in the Empress and the Hilary Needler make her very well in here. Paul Hanagan rides.

Newmarket 2.40 A hugely competitive 3yo+ 12F Aphrodite Listed Stakes for Fillies & Mares on Newmarkets July course and I’m going with the view that this seasons 3yo fillies are a decent bunch and I’ll put forward the class dropping Isabel de Urbina, who was second in the Pretty Polly and sixth in the Oaks. The Beckett yard have always held her in high regard and she needed every yard to win her maiden at Ffos Las on Good to Soft ground. She gets all the allowances and jockey John Egan is in fine form.

 

There’s a Lucky Fifteen then.

 

Newmarket correspondent David Milnes with the two-year-olds to watch 6:00PM, JUL 20 2017

Expert Eye  (c. Acclamation – Exemplify) Sir Michael Stoute He got the Freemason Lodge juveniles on the board when scoring over six and a half furlongs at Newbury in June, a race that is already working out. He has since excelled in his homework and is bred to be speedy, as his dam is a half-sister to 1,000 Guineas winner Special Duty. This colt can be expected to given entries in all the top autumn juvenile races.

Glorious Journey (c. Dubawi – Fallen For You) Charlie Appleby He could be a big ticket item who is actually worth the money after realising 2.6 million guineas at Tattersalls last October. As well as in the sales ring, the gorgeous looker turned heads when he overcame a slow pace to score on his debut over six furlongs at Newmarket in June. Still a work in progress, he may be seen out only once or twice more this season.

Stream Song (f. Mastercraftsman – Montare) John Gosden This filly is bred to be top class as she’s a half-sister to her Group 1-winning stablemate Journey but looks a more precocious type. George Strawbridge’s youngster has shown plenty of her family’s ability on the local slopes in recent weeks and can be expected to have entries in races such as the Fillies’ Mile, a race Gosden won with the same owner’s Rainbow View in 2008.

Mankind (c. Dabirsim – Pastiches) George Scott This powerfully built colt ran a typical race for a Scott newcomer when fourth at Ascot last Friday and is expected to leave that form well behind before the season is out. Scott already has the useful Royal Ascot third James Garfield in his ranks and this youngster could be in that bracket.

Ibraz (c. Farhh – Wadaa) Roger Varian From the first crop of the former Godolphin top-notcher, there was a lot to like about the way Hamdan Al Maktoum’s youngster shaped when fifth on his debut in the second division of a decent maiden at the Newmarket July festival. Green in the paddock, the debutant did not have the best of draws and there should be more to come.

Tranquil Soul (f. Farhh – Peaceful Soul) David Lanigan Lanigan has yet to hit top gear with his youngsters but, while the others play catch-up, this filly has been learning on the job and could be one to be with next time. Staying on from well off the pace when taking second over six furlongs at Wolverhampton only on Monday, she could collect when tackling another furlong.

Littlelordconford (c. Intikhab – Anna Law) Richard Spencer He may not be quite as good as his Royal Ascot-winning stablemate Rajasinghe but he is talked of in the same terms at Spencer’s up-and-coming Albert House Stables. The stocky youngster is certainly bred for the job as he’s a half-brother to rising sprint star Battaash.

Silver Quartz (c. Frankel – Rosamixa) Hugo Palmer Palmer has a few Frankels up his sleeve, including this unraced grey who is coming to the boil if his recent work on the watered gallop is any guide. A racy type, the youngster can be expected to need the experience first time out but is bred to excel later on.

Roulette (f. Poet’s Voice – Unex Mona) Michael Bell She ran a cracking first race when an eyecatching sixth behind Poetic Charm in what is always a high-quality maiden at the July festival. The daughter of Poet’s Voice shaped as though a mile would be well within her compass and should win her maiden next time before stepping up in class.

Thursday 20th July 6pm

No I haven’t been on holiday nor have I retired! Just had a “Lydia Hislop” moment and this blog is 5,500+ words! So make a coffee and get a notepad and pencil because it is packed with future winners!

Review July 13th, 14th & 15th featuring July Meeting at HQ plus Newbury, York and extras!

An enjoyable few days racing but even after forty odd years of watching this game you are never too young to learn. Lesson No.1, the July course at Newmarket is a speed course. Thanks to the ever informative Kevin Blake (ATR & Final Furlong Podcast) in his July Cup blog, “As well as it being the first time that these top-class three-year-old sprinters had met their elders this season, the other big variable change from Royal Ascot was the course and distance. It is underappreciated just how much greater a test of speed the six furlongs of the July Course is compared to that trip at Ascot, with standard times suggesting that Newmarket is approximately 12 lengths faster.” Fact supported by ITV’s Hayley Turner, prompted by the excellent Jason Weaver, when walking the course. She explained the July course is not nearly as undulating as the Rowley version, with a long downhill stretch before that steep rise out of The Dip and the flatter final half furlong, whereas at Ascot you are on rising ground from almost three furlongs out. Am I the only person who thinks that Jason Weaver is the best of ITV’s Flat racing team? An intelligent jockey with a large collection of T-shirts, can read the formbook, excellent paddock judge and understands the betting market. I wish he did every Opening Show as he’s not a bad tipster to boot!

Thursday July 13th. Newmarket’s July meeting opened with the Bahrain Trophy over 14F for 3yo’s and the winner, Raheen House, has stamina in spades with connections suggesting he will be an even better 4yo. Possibly a Cup horse? The second, Desert Skyline, it seems may be heading to the Ebor handicap at York, a big ask for a 3yo! The third, Sofia’s Choice, remains of interest in any 3yo 14F contest which is run on a flat track that suits front runners. The Melrose Handicap at York would seem suitable, C2 0-105 14F 3yo, as long as he stays on OR100!

None of the 2yo colts in the 6F July Stakes set the pulse racing and a case could be made for Rajasinghe still being the best this side of the Irish Sea as he was a staying on third under a three pound penalty. sportinglife.com “Richard Spencer is leaning towards making the Prix Morny at Deauville the next port of call for Coventry Stakes winner Rajasinghe. Although plans remain fluid, the Newmarket handler feels the Qatar Goodwood Festival may come too soon for the son of Choisir and is instead favouring a tilt at the six-furlong Group One on August 20. Spencer said: “It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment. He is entered in the Prix Morny but we have entered him in all the high class races. He has come out of his last race fine. We’ll just see how he is over the next few weeks. I think Goodwood will probably come too soon. We could potentially go for the Morny. It is a Group One and that is the natural progression. I think we would want to step him up to seven furlongs by the end of the year, but we will keep him at six for the time being as he not short of pace as he has won a Coventry.” “

Couple of note in the 3yo 6F handicap. Ultimate Avenue, stealthily ridden by Jamie Spencer, seems to have a future in these valuable sprint pots for the next few seasons. Raised three pounds for this effort from OR97 to OR100 will guarantee an invite to all the best parties but may need the assistance of Spencer to be seen at his best. Whilst writing the last sentence it has occurred to me he has the perfect profile for a big bucks sale to Hong Hong, mind you he may not go via the sales ring as he is owned by PK Siu (Stormy Antarctic)!

The other was Mark Johnston’s lightly raced Love Dreams who was just three lengths away in sixth. Currently OR91, if the handicapper could shave off a pound C3 could beckon over six or seven furlongs. Being gelded may help as he has some growing up to do.

In Spring Cosmos Godolphin have a useful 2yo filly as there seemed some depth to the race. I wouldn’t give up on Maybride as she still has some growing to do into that substantial frame of hers. The one going into the notebook though is the Richard Hannon debutante for Chelsea Thoroughbreds, Toomer. Travelled fine, last 2F out but stayed on really well under hands and heels for eighth but only four lengths off the winner.

Possibly the most fascinating race of Day 1 at HQ was the last one, the Listed race for 3yo’s over a mile and comfortably won by Beat the Bank registering his second win at Newmarket this season and in between he was 10th in what is turning out to be a very warm G3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. He has an entry in the G2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood.

These were eight 3yo’s rated from OR99 to OR107 and it will be interesting to see where they all go next. I am a big fan of Forest Ranger in #FantasticMrFahey’s care and I wonder if the Strensall at York’s Ebor meeting over 9F may be on the agenda?  OR100+ rated 3yo’s are very popular at the sales for Dubai and Far East purchasers.

At Newbury Messr’s Cumani and Spencer teamed up to win with the rapidly improving 3yo colt La Rav, making every yard! He cost £120K at the 2016 Guineas Breeze Ups and Cumani’s patience is now paying off. Up eight pounds to OR93 this son of Footstepsinthesand out of an Acclamation mare could have a couple more handicaps in him yet. Ground doesn’t seem to be an issue and 7/8F seems the trip. Cumani website, “La Rav became a dual winner in the colours of Mr Simon Capon when making a winning handicap debut off the back of his maiden win at Salisbury as he took a four runner race at Newbury on Thursday by three and a quarter lengths. He faces an 8 lb rise in the weights after that, but we are really pleased with how he is progressing and hopefully he can stay ahead of the handicapper.

At Epsom John Gosden’s 3yo Pealer won a four horse race over 8 ½ F with the RP saying Pealer “was given a positive ride and ran his rivals into the ground”. Put up seven pounds from OR85 to OR92 I think there is still some more to come. He has improved for a tongue tie and he has raced against some top colts like Monarchs Glen, Tamleek and Count Octave and his duck egg was a non-staying last in the Derby!

 

Friday July 14th. The Silver Bunbury Cup, 7F handicap, opened Fridays card and the 3yo winner Parfait gave the Jersey form another boost! The winner will stay to 7F but look for a Listed race. The second Makzeem “bumped into one” but surely has a big handicap pot in him. Up four pounds OR94 to OR98. Entered in the Gigaset International 7F at Ascot, number 45 currently, needs sixteen to come out!

The 2yo fillies G2, the Duchess of Cambridge, underlined the Coolmore strength with a comfortable winner in Clemmie.

The 10F 3yo handicap was won by Marzouq for a mildly surprised Jeremy Noseda. Leshlaa ran out of petrol with the line in sight. #FantasticMrFahey’s Cullingworth was the eye catcher having to go six wide to get a run then flew home. Remains on OR83 and I think the key with him is a strong pace and something to run at, perhaps a Johnston runner. Will win again this season and could be at a price! Tracker material.

Roly Poly’s success in the G1 Falmouth paid another compliment to her stablemate Winter and with her stepping up to 10F for the Nassau at Goodwood Roly Poly could have more 8F G1 races at her mercy. John Gosden will however something to say about it with Nathra, Daban and Dabayah, to name but three, in his Clarehaven yard.

I was fortunate to spot the potential of Richard Hannon’s 2yo Tangled prior to his run in the Nursery. Looks like he is heading to the big sales race at York’s Ebor meeting. The Racing Post analysis were spot on, “Held up well in touch in midfield, effort to challenge over 1f out, ridden to lead 1f out, ran on strongly and drew clear inside final furlong, comfortably.” Handicapper was impressed and put him up eleven pounds from OR77 to OR88!

Neither division of the 7F 2yo maidens produced anything to excite me although the fourth, Magnificent, is perhaps one for the tracker. Could take a maiden for Team Hannon but looks ideal nursery material, perhaps over a mile. He met the much touted Expert Eye of Sir Michael Stoute on debut.

York’s Friday card promised lots but delivered little. One Minute won the 6F 2yo novice race for Haggas and Cosgrave and will be back for the Lowther. All the C2 12F handicap reminded me was that you need to race prominently on the Knavesmire and apologies to HM but I couldn’t back Mainstream with stolen money! In the G3 6F fillies Summer stakes was dominated  by the 3yo’s and Queen Kindly showed a return to form, just held here by David Simcock’s 20/1 shot Mystic Dawn. However I think there is one for the tracker from the 3.45 race, C4 10F.

NOVOMAN (William Haggas) I think Novoman is now starting to deliver what the yard has long suspected. Last season as a 2yo he took three goes to break his maiden and that was in an egg and spoon 7F race at Brighton and he was a 4/11 shot to do so! Then three runs in nurseries, 532, gelded over the winter and sent off 9/2F for the valuable Royal Mile handicap on 3yo debut but well behind Cullingworth. Then ninth to Parfait and sixth to Auberge du Lac in C2 handicaps, then here to York where they have got Good to Firm ground, dropped two grades to C4, stepped up two furlongs and put on Georgia Cox, the stables five pound claimer! Novoman did it well, quickening nicely 2F out and seeing the trip out. As a 3yo his RPR’s have been 62, 80, 87 and 97 whist his handicap mark has gone 90, 88, 86 and now OR94.

On his second start as a 2yo he split Salsabeel and Law and Order now rated OR106 and OR100. Suggests there is more to come. I want to back Novoman in a C3 0-95 10F handicap on a flat track on Good ground or better preferably with Ms Cox in the saddle.

The last race the C3 3yo 7F Apprentice handicap was really painful as Silent Echo came out of the stalls like a quarter horse and was beaten by halfway. Pennsylvania Dutch made no show and lost his unbeaten tag whilst #FantasticMrFahey’s promising Sir Reginald Brown finished displaying an abnormal heart rhythm!

Ascots Friday card was fairly mediocre but three horses to note.

Rebel Streak (Andrew Balding) Travelled kindly, progress two out, looking for racing room, turned sideways in run to the furlong pole, straightened out and kept on strongly to the line beaten less than two lengths by Lethal Lunch. This was a promising first run on Turf for this Dark Angel colt. Should get 7F.

Mount Moriah (Ralph Beckett) This is one progressive staying 3yo who made most of the fourteen pounds received from the older horses, pulling away from the furlong pole to win by a comfortable four lengths. Needs “softer” ground. Won last three on Soft, Soft, Good over 8, 11 & 14F. OR73 81 93 102. The Mallard handicap, C2 14F, at Doncaster in September could be on the agenda?

You might want to keep an eye on the placed horses. The third Shabeeb according to Roger Varian his trainer “might have an entry in the Ebor”, although may struggle to get in off OR96. It wouldn’t surprise me if Richard Hughes tried to find another race back at Goodwood for the second Getback in Paris off OR92 over 14F?

Addeybb (William Haggas) A solid specimen, a 3yo gelded son of Pivotal, whose three runs have been on Soft, Good to Soft and Good and he has won the last two. Having been drawn widest on the round mile Martin Harley chose to go forward and was in the van throughout. Previously at Haydock he had got outpaced, running green, but Harley got him to extend and eventually won by a cosy half length. Obvious improver OR88 93, RPR70,93,98! Martin Harley, a stiff mile and ground no worse than good and he could be a big handicap player.

 

Saturday July 15th The first of the Flat seasons genuine Super Saturdays with racing at Newmarket (July Cup), Ascot, York and Chester with the Irish Oaks at the Curragh and a Salisbury evening card.

As is only polite let’s start with a couple of talented young ladies. Enable had no trouble adding the Irish to her Epsom Oaks success and it seems she will head to York next for the Yorkshire Oaks and not the King George at Ascot. She remains an Arc de Triomphe player. RP “Enable is to be given plenty of time before tackling her seniors for the first time on the Knavesmire on August 24, after which a crack at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is not being ruled out. Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to the owner, said: “Enable returned with a small nick to a hind joint after winning in Ireland but she’s sound now and doing well back at Clarehaven. At this point it’s more likely she’ll head to the Yorkshire Oaks next and, as chairman of York racecourse, I’m most pleased about that, although it wasn’t my decision!”

The second young lady is also housed at Clarehaven and needs to go in your tracker!

Standing Rock 3yo filly trained by John Gosden and part owned by his wife! Came to my attention as she has an entry in the Listed Coral Distaff at Sandown on Saturday. Unraced as a 2yo Standing Rock won her only start to date at Newbury in a C4 8F maiden back in May. A solidly built filly she was green initially but once the penny dropped she strode home well from the furlong pole and won “comfortably”. None of those that finished behind her have gone on to frank the form albeit they were a well-bred bunch of fillies. A daughter of Fastnet Rock out of a Halling mare Standing Rock will surely improve in time and up in trip.

Could have run in a C4 handicap at Leicester on 8th July. “Sneaks into this 10F C4 0-80 Fillies handicap off what looks a very workable OR80 and it’s only a lack of experience and running round a bend that would concern me.”

Missed both these engagements to run at Salisbury in a C3 10F Fillies handicap and duly obliged. My notebook says “Tall filly, bounced off ground. Held up, covered up, progress 3F out, led 1½F out, idled a bit, just held on, more to come.”

 

Back to the afternoon and the headline race was the G1 6F July Cup at Newmarket won by Harry Angel under an intelligent Adam Kirby ride. Much of the discussion has been around the lack of early pace in the race so what did Timeform make of it?

Simon Rowlands Timeform “The action could have been expected to be fast and furious, too, but that was true only late on. This was very much a race of two halves, and that is important to understanding what went on and why the overall time of this year’s race of 1m 11.25s was so slow in relative and historical terms. The Timeform timefigure is unlikely to be anywhere near the kind usually associated with top sprinters.  The second half of this year’s July Cup was a good deal quicker than the first half, with the resulting finishing speeds (average speed in the closing stages compared to average speed for the race overall) well above 100%. Limato had won the race 12 months earlier in a quick overall time and with a 35.62s first half and 34.35s second half, resulting in a near-perfect 101.9% finishing speed.

This year’s race was much more tactical, with a steady pace early and a flat-out sprint after halfway. Very few horses break 34.0s for the last 3f at Newmarket under any circumstances: all bar last-placed Tasleet managed that in this race.

As such, a prominent position at halfway will have been an advantage, all other things being equal, and the winner Harry Angel had a prominent position while some of his rivals did not. Then again, he won by a clear-cut margin for a sprint race, so did it really matter all that much?  

In order to unravel the race from a sectional point of view, it is necessary to compare those (fast) finishing speeds with par for the course and distance and to upgrade individual performances according to how near to optimum efficiency they were. The proximity of 100/1 chance Intelligence Cross immediately becomes easy to explain, for he was most favoured by the run of the race having led for a long way at nothing like the “solid pace” some have suggested elsewhere.

Harry Angel, Limato and Caravaggio all get major upgrades, but the horse with the biggest upgrade of all is third-placed Brando, who had a near-impossible task from a position in rear for much of the way.

Brando’s calculated last 3f of 33.10s (40.8 mph) is the fastest at the track in the entire Timeform Sectional Archive, and it suggests he might well have been unlucky on the day. That said, Harry Angel had not needed the run of the race to smash the clock at Haydock in May and run the fastest timefigure of the season so far of 127, and Limato posted a 126 timefigure when winning this race in 2016. Both of them can run faster than they did here, in other words: this looks a missed opportunity for Brando.

Harry Angel is very fast, even as top sprinters go, and a race like this – which tested out-and-out speed and good jockeyship/positioning – played out perfectly for him.

Caravaggio, meanwhile, looks one for whom a good pace at 6f is required, or possibly a step up in distance. His finishing sectional is fast, but not a lot happened with him until the final 1f, which Brando ran faster (almost certainly under 11.0s) in any case.

Every horse in the July Stakes and the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes ran the first half of Newmarket’s 6f faster than every horse in the July Cup, and all of them were juveniles!”

Harry Angel stays at 6F, Carravaggio goes up to a mile (?), I’ve heard the Breeder’s Cup mile being mooted. Tasleet could have his turn on softer ground and will Brando return to Ayr and could Mr Lupton join him? Where’s Lydia Hislop when you need her?

The afternoon had started at HQ with Godolphin and Coolmore facing off with their maiden 2yo fillies. 1-0 Boys in Blue as Poetic Charm beats Sizzling. Question. Were the Godolphin horses trained specifically for this meeting as a show of strength? Big guns on show. Whereas with Coolmore it was part of a process.

Since winning her maiden at York Marie of Lyon has been asked some pretty big questions. The listed Empress, the G3 Princess Margaret, the big York Sales race and then as a 3yo the Listed Sandringham handicap at Royal Ascot and Saturdays C2 handicap at Newmarket. She’s never run badly and finds herself now with a handicap mark of just OR83 and surely #FantasticMrFahey can find her a 7/8F C3 and build from there. As she’s owned by Clipper Logistics York would be the obvious venue but I’m struggling to see a suitable race at the Ebor festival.

The C3 365BetFred mile was a personal nightmare with City of Joy throwing it away at the start (time for some headgear?), Afaak a one paced fourth, Executive Force never competitive and only Maths Prize running in credit in third and I’m convinced he would be better up in trip! Many of these could re-oppose in the 3yo 8F 0-100 handicap on the Friday of the Ebor Festival. The one who would have been best suited by York would have been the front running Masham Star but he’s gone up a pound to OR101. Ten ran in this event and I’ll stick my neck out and say I think that all ten will win again this season!

You could have given me half the field in the C2 7F Bunbury Cup and I don’t think I would have come up with David Barron’s Above the Rest! The obvious eye catcher is David Elsworths 3yo Sir Dancealot, another to have run in the Jersey at Royal Ascot, who was an excellent second. His entry at Goodwood is in the 6F Stewards Cup for which he is ten pounds well in but number 45 on the list with a max of 38 runners! There is a consolation race.

However the horse to leap into my Notebook is the sixth home Von Blucher.

VON BLUCHER (Rebecca Menzies) I have had one eye on him all season, ever since Rebecca Menzies paid £95K to get the 3yo out of John Gosden’s stables so that she had a Saturday horse, stable profile etc. not that she needs it as she has been among the winners all season. He was a close up fifth in the listed Spring Trophy over 7F at Haydock on seasonal debut, only beat four home in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot when the stiff mile seemed beyond him and then here when having to switch to the stands rail to get a run, staying on for sixth. He’s not in the 7F Gigaset International at Ascot or the BetFred Mile at Goodwood and it wouldn’t surprise me if Ms Menzies, who trains in Co Durham has him pencilled in for the Clipper Logistics handicap over the mile at York during the Ebor Festival.

Aidan O’Briens Gustav Klimt became the new 7/1 favourite for the 2018 2000 Guineas after winning the 7F G3 Superlative Stakes. Clearly talented and well thought of but I thought he was outpaced mid race before Ryan Moore switched to the rail and he took off. #FantasticMrFahey has an excellent 2yo in Great Prospector and he will surely be competitive in the G3 7F Acomb stakes at the Ebor Festival at York. The other eye catcher for me was the fifth Zaaki, the only maiden in the field as he was second to the G2 July stakes sixth Enjezaat on debut, who ran on well and being out of a Sadlers Well mare should get further. Zaaki is trained by Mohamed Moubarak who has returned to Newmarket after twenty five years in the US but he has one hell of a CV. Here is some background.

Moubarak looking to rise from the Ashes David Ashforth 6:00PM 4 JAN 2017

THE very last race of an ordinary midweek raceday, the 8.15 at Chelmsford, will pass by largely unnoticed. Yet it sees the appearance of an out of the ordinary figure from the past. The Lebanese trainer Mohamed Moubarak runs Out Of The Ashes. When Warba ran at Lingfield on December 17 it was Moubarak’s first runner in Britain since 1992. In those days Moubarak was Mahmoud Fustok’s British trainer, an enviable job because Fustok, also Lebanese with prosperous Saudi Arabian connections, owned a major international breeding and racing operation. In 1978 Fustok bought Buckram Oak Farm in Kentucky. He was a big player on the European stage, with champion miler Green Forest winning three Group 1 races as a two-year-old in 1981 followed by the 1982 Prix du Moulin. That year Fustok’s Silver Hawk, trained by another Lebanese, Michael Albina, finished third in the Derby then second in the Irish Derby. In 1983 and 1984 Crystal Glitters won the Prix d’Ispahan. That year Fustok sent 60 horses to Andre Fabre, a move said to have influenced Fabre’s decision to concentrate on the Flat. It was in 1988 that Moubarak, then in his early twenties and a family friend of Fustok’s, began training in Newmarket. Between 1990 and 1992 he trained over 50 winners, including Group race winners Green Line Express, Made Of Gold, Forest Wind and Magnificent Star, who won the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks in 1991. In 1992 Moubarak joined Fustok in Florida where he worked for Buckram Oak Farm as a trainer and racing manager. In 2006 – a few months after Silver Train, trained by Richard Dutrow, won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint for Fustok – he was killed in a road accident. The previous year, aged 69, he had sold Buckram Oak Farm for over $17 million. Moubarak, now 50, he has plenty of successful experience and it will be interesting to see how he fares.

Read more: https://www.racingvalue.com/ashforths-angles-moubarak-looking-to-rise-from-the-ashes/

The final race on Newmarkets card was a C3 12F handicap won by Owen Burrows’ Quloob. Hamdan al Maktoums colt showed little as a 2yo but got to start his handicapping off just OR71. He has now won three on the bounce over 10F, 12F & 12F, off OR71, OR75 & OR 87 with RPR’s of 79, 91 and 100! Now off OR94 he can shoot at decent pot. By Teofilio out of a Nayef mare 12F is fine, may even get 14F. Burrows said “Jim Crowley thought they got racing a bit too early for him and my fellow will get further, he’s a bit of a grinder. To be truthful, I thought going up twelve pounds for winning at Brighton may just have got to the bottom of him but he has surprised me. It looked a strong race but we’ll see what the handicapper gives him and go from there. He will definitely stay further, he got a bit fussy before the race but once they get racing he seems to relax and gets going, so I’m delighted with him.”

At York the form of the C2 10F John Smiths handicap may need to be treated with care. Firstly they went no pace, very unusual for this race, until 3F out and as Jason Weaver pointed out this was an old fashioned York race with the leaders keeping to the far rail turning for home. Neither of these factors helped the hold-up, dropped in horses, so I am upgrading the performances of Garcia, Victory Bond, Another Touch and Central Square. The handicapper has left the first two on OR95 and OR102, dropped Another Touch one pound to OR103 and Central Square two pounds to OR105. They could all be back on the Knavesmire for the opening 10F 0-105 handicap on Ebor day.

#FantasticMrFahey ran four in the C3 6F maiden. Most promising was Sands of Mali for the Cool Silks Partnership. A half-brother to Kadrizzi (OR100) he should collect a maiden C4/5, 6/7F. Collateral Beauty is a York nursery project. Lucky Lucky Man and Push’n’Pull needed their debut runs although there was money for the former.

Not sure that the form of the C3 stayers adds up to a lot but there are pointers to take out of the race. Firstly Georgia Cox is well worth her three pounds and an asset to the Haggas yard. Secondly Gabrials King ran creditably and I could be tempted if he ran at Chester in a C3 13½F handicap off OR88. Angel Gabrial ran a solid second recently and top weight in a northern 16F 0-85 maybe a punt. However Gabrials Star has lost the plot on Turf, AW at Wolverhampton only.

#FantasticMrFahey had The Right Choice in the C2 6F nursery and how the hell did Patrick Mathers get him into third beaten less than a length. The horse was slow from the stalls, squeezed at the start, slow to gather pace, pushed for about every yard, ran on then looked to hang left when brought to challenge! Off OR68 a shoo-in for a 0-70 C3/4 nursery. Headgear may be necessary!

At Ascot Owen Burrows had another Hamdam al Maktoum 3yo, Larraib, complete a hat-trick. This son of Pivotal was unraced as a 2yo, won his maiden over 10F at Chepstow, won a C3 10F handicap at Haydock beating Atty Persse off OR83, then 10F here at Ascot off OR95 in the style of a useful horse. Now OR103 and surely will next be seen in Listed/G3 company. Burrows said prior to the race: “Laraaib is a massive great raw horse. There is the three-year-old mile-and- a-half handicap at Royal Ascot, but we decided not to give him an entry there. He will get that trip in time, but I am not sure he has the experience yet for a race like that. He did quite a bit of work last year and he nearly got to the racetrack. He showed greenness when he won at Chepstow. From what he has shown, I would certainly be hopeful he will be up to Group-race level, whether that is this year or next year, only time will tell.”

Behind Larraib were two horses trained by David Menusier, Sinfonietta and Saunter. Based in half of Guy Harwoods old yard at Coombelands in Sussex he is a trainer I really like. Talented young man with an impressive CV. However from mid-May to mid-July he reveals “he’s had a yard virus” and didn’t get his first seasonal winner until the 18th July and doubled his total with his next runner, the talented Make Time. Others from the yard to watch include Corpus Chorister, Sinfonietta, Havre De Paix, Contrapposto, Thundering Blue and Saunter.

In Division II of the 7F 2yo race Richard Hannon introduced a smart type in Tigre du Terre who won comfortably. Speaking at the Qatar Goodwood Festival launch he said “I know he was quite a big price, but I can promise you that we already knew he was quite decent. It was a funny day as we were struggling to get a jockey and we called up Martin Harley, who is a good lad, but he doesn’t usually ride for us and I think people might have thought we didn’t fancy him because of that, but I wasn’t surprised, although there’s no doubt that most of our two-year-olds have really come on for their first starts this season and I wasn’t expecting him to win like that. He’s come out of that well and we’re looking at the Vintage which we won for the same owners (Middleham Park Racing) with Toormore in 2013. It’s going to be much tougher but I think he’s all right – he might just be a Guineas horse next year, but there’s a way to go yet.” However Tim Palin representing his owners Middleham Park Racing had said post-race “He’s a Group horse, it’s just a case of which number Group! We’ll think about either the Washington Singer at Newbury (Listed) or the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at York as targets for him.”

Bin Battuta did me, Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin a favour when defying top weight to win the 12F C2 3yo handicap. Held up, he quickened sharply from the 2F pole, led 1F out and despite first time cheek-pieces hung right, then just held on. Talented but quirky. Does not want Firm in the going. OR93 to OR98. Entries in Goodwood Cup and Great Voltiguer seem a tad optimistic.

Back in third was a staying on Galactic Prince. For a 3yo gelding by Dubawi out of Opera Gal (OR105) a Galileo mare, surely Andrew Balding can place him to win another staying handicap 12/14F off OR80. There is an 11F 0-90 C3 3yo handicap that closes the Friday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival. #FantasticMrFahey ran Society Red up in trip for the first time but James Sullivan raced three wide with no cover. Did he stay? Jury’s out. However surely Society Red is a “winner waiting to happen” off OR81. I think he is an OR90+ horse.

At the end of last week I flagged up seven pound claimer Connor Murtagh having four rides for #FantasticMrFahey at Chester on a Sturday. He returned two winners @ 10/1 and 5/1 plus a 16/1 second. Not bad. His first winner, The Wagon Wheel, may have won by three lengths but she ended up on the near rail! Not surprisingly the handicapper has raised her eight pounds from OR90 and OR98 and it would be no surprise to see her at York in the 7F Fillies handicap on the Thursday of the Yorkshire Ebor Festival with young Murtagh back on board to take seven pounds off!

The other race that has to be reviewed is the 7F listed City Plate stakes won by 20/1 shot Viscount Barfield, trained by Andrew Balding, ridden by Rob Hornby. Pumped along at half way, back on the bridle two out, threaded his way through and held off the wider running Jungle Cat. The handicapper has put him up thirteen pounds to OR107 but he can run in the 7F Gigaset International handicap at Ascot on July 29th off his old mark with just a three pound penalty! So the official handicapper is telling us he is TEN pounds well in. I’ll let you mull over that situation as my blog for that race will be out next Monday evening, 24th July.