Updates from the jockeys and some general musings.
Additional Saturday Single
Ascot 2.40 MUTARAKEZ One star* each way @ 11/1 PP + WH 10/1 general
Went into my notebook at the Craven meeting, “Mutarakez (Meehan) Late progress in the mile handicap behind Next Stage (Godolphin) having been held up but travelling well but the 7lb claimer couldn’t find a racing seam. Ex-Hamdan Al Maktoum horse, sent to the sales and bought for £28K by Sam Sangster (Meehan’s landlord) before being passed on to the current owners. Has ALWAYS been trained by Meehan. Needs a mile on good ground, buried away, settled and a late surge. Has been as high as OR101, went off just 15/2 in the Britannia as a 3yo, but now just OR89. Still only a 5yo and has won three from nine on Turf.” He has been busy since running in C2 8F handicaps with moderate success, 8383, ridden by professional jockeys. However the aforementioned claimer was back on last time at Sandown on his first try at 10F when a solid third behind Eugenio. The attraction of Mutarakez is nicely summed up by sportinglife.com on their race card, “Without a win since his promising juvenile days. Last run at Sandown indicated he may have found his level and trip. Looked a shade unlucky that day and the stable have been in good form lately.”
Jamie Spencer 32Red blog July 14
3.25pm Newmarket Buckstay “He may not have got the run of the race in the Wokingham last time but it was still disappointing that he only beat one home. Peter has put blinkers on him for the first time here and hopefully that will galvanise him. If it does, he is weighted to go well – he is 2lb lower than when not beaten far at Ascot two starts ago – and hopefully he can run a better race than he did when ninth in this race last year. 7f on decent ground in a strongly-run race is what he wants.” So that’s Spencer on a hold up horse in a straight course handicap!
4.35pm Newmarket Mr Lupton “A mark of 112 tells you what a classy sprinter he is, and he put up some handicap performance when winning at Newmarket off a mark of 107 in May. But this just happens to be one of the hottest July Cups in recent times and if he finishes in the first six he will have done remarkably well. I fancy the 3yos in the race, and I think the front-running track style should make it closer between Caravaggio and Harry’s Angel. I don’t think the older sprinters are as good.” So that’s Spencer on a late-as-you-like horse he’s won on before!
Paul Mulrennan Racing UK Blog 14 July 2017 I’m very hopeful that Kings Gift will get my day off to a great start at York in the John Smith’s Racing Handicap. He has been highly-tried this season, having finished fourth in the Greenham and ninth in both the French 2,000 Guineas and Hampton Court Stakes last month. He ran better than that last run at Royal Ascot suggests as he didn’t get a clear passage and would have finished closer. He’s now dropping down into handicap company, he’s drawn well in six and the track will suit him. He’s got a massive chance. My second best chance of the day, after Kings Gift, lies with John Kirkup in the John Smith’s Nursery Handicap. He’s done nothing but improve this season, building on a promising debut to win his last two runs and this step up to six furlongs will bring out further improvement. Looking back at the last week, Rumshak was a very impressive winner for me at Carlisle. He was a cheap purchase by Michael Dods and his winning time was faster than that of the three-year-old handicap that day. He looks very useful indeed.
Ryan Moore Betfair Blog 14 July 2017 “14:50 – City Of Joy He was another horse not to show his best at Royal Ascot but we certainly didn’t get the run of the race there and I’d be inclined to put a line through that run, and move on. The form of his earlier wins at Doncaster and Chelmsford stands up to inspection, and I think he can be competitive off his current mark of 94. There could well be more to come from him.
SDS gets a four day holiday for two whip offences at Ascot!
Ascot – 2:50pm THE KNIGHTS 1759 NURSERY HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 3)
The Stewards held an enquiry into the use of the whip by Silvestre De Sousa, the rider of the winner, RUFUS KING, inside the final furlong. Having heard his evidence and viewed recordings of the race, they found him in breach of Schedule (B)6 Part 2 in that he had used his whip in an incorrect place. The Stewards suspended De Sousa for 2 days as follows: Friday 28 and Sunday 30 July 2017.
Ascot – 4:35pm THE LONG HARBOUR DEREK LUCIE-SMITH MEMORIAL HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 3)
The Stewards held an enquiry into the use of the whip by Silvestre De Sousa, the rider of HAKAM (USA), placed second, from one and a half furlongs out. Having heard his evidence and viewed recordings of the race, they found him in breach of Schedule (B)6 Part 2 in that he had used his whip above the permitted level. The Stewards suspended De Sousa for 2 days as follows: Monday 31 July and Friday 4 August 2017.
Royal Ascot Handicap winners running today
Rare Rhythm won the 12F Duke of Edinburgh steps up 2F and moves into Listed company taking on G2 Hardwicke second, Barsanti, in the York 2.30.
Snoano won the 10F Listed Wolferton Handicap and has a six pound penalty in the John Smiths over the same trip at York 3.05. Remember what the trainer, Tim Easterby, said after Ascot, “It was a nice surprise because he if it had been softer ground I’d have been fairly optimistic. It was fast so I was a bit iffy. He runs in the John Smith’s Cup. That’s been his aim all year. This was a bonus.”
Out Do won the 6F Wokingham and drops a furlong to take in a Listed race, the Chester 3.00.
I don’t know if I feel any better having read the Stewards report! I still think Silent Echo came out of the stalls like a US quarter horse in a 2F dash! Took that long to put his head down!
Race 7 – 5:30pm THE WINGATE CENTRE CHARITY SUPPORTED BY SUGRO APPRENTICE HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 3)
The Stewards gave permission for SILENT ECHO, trained by Roger Charlton, to wear a hood in the Parade Ring and noted that PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH, ridden by Georgia Cox and trained by William Haggas, would wear ear plugs which would be removed at the start.
Kieran Shoemark, the rider of SILENT ECHO, unplaced, reported that the gelding hung right and ran flat. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of SILENT ECHO during routine testing failed to reveal any abnormalities.
Georgia Cox, the rider of PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH, unplaced, reported that the gelding was never travelling.
The Veterinary Officer reported that during a post-race examination, SIR REGINALD BROWN, unplaced, trained by Richard Fahey, was displaying an abnormal heart rhythm.