Tag: David Simcock

Wednesday October 25th Yarmouth is Great again?

Posted Wednesday October 25th 6pm

In May of this year Jane Carley wrote an article for the Pitchcare magazineGreat Yarmouth Racecourse looking forward” about the recent renovation work at Great Yarmouth racecourse and the aim to return the Norfolk track to its role as the nursery for stars of the future.  Here are the racing bits with the help of “cut and paste”!

“The seaside track moved to its current site, a stone’s throw from the bustling promenade, almost 100 years ago and gained a reputation as an ideal ‘nursery’ for flat racing’s future stars. Track improvements at Great Yarmouth have been given the thumbs-up by trainers and jockeys and are starting to attract increased numbers of runners back to the Norfolk course. “Leading Newmarket trainers like to bring their two-year olds to Great Yarmouth for their maiden races,” explains Clerk of the Course Richard Aldous. “We have a mile straight which is regarded as an honest galloping track that allows horses to get into their stride. It’s a very fair track now – the best horse generally wins.”

But, in recent years, the land on the straight mile had started to move and undulations appeared on the racing surface.

“It could be unbalancing for inexperienced horses and, by 2012, we were starting to get negative feedback, whilst runners also dropped off,” explains Head Groundsman Richard Bradley. In spring 2014, a survey of the course found that some of the undulations were two to four inches in depth. “It doesn’t sound much,” says Richard Aldous, “until you consider that the horses are travelling at 35mph and that the going tends to be good to firm. We observed that the running line had also changed over the years as jockeys sought the best ground, moving from the stand rail to the middle of the track.”

On 20th September 2014, work began to strip the turf, “We got to a furlong from the end towards the back of October 2014, then the heavens opened, and the track flooded,” says Richard Aldous. “It was a very difficult and frustrating time,” recalls Richard Bradley. It was not until the beginning of March 2015 that the job was completed.

Great Yarmouth was back in action in August 2015. The main concern was whether the course was able to withstand the extremes that the elements could produce, and it was not to be. A significant amount of rain fell between races then, due to an incident where two horses slipped and jockeys were unseated because of standing water, the final day and a half of the September Festival was abandoned.

Racing recommenced at Great Yarmouth on 8th June 2016 and Richard Aldous says that the track enjoyed a very good season – despite a blip when an irrigation pipe from the golf course burst under the track during the September Festival.

“The track was finally standing up to racing well. More experienced jockeys were trying different running lines, familiarising themselves with the new surface,” he comments. “The development has been appreciated by trainers and jockeys who acknowledge that we were trying to do our best for horse welfare. We would like full fields and competitive racing, and it is certainly looking up since the development. Runners are increasing all the time and feedback is good, so we are looking forward to the season.””


With the powerful Newmarket yards of John Gosden, Sir Michael Stoute, Charlie Appleby and William Haggas now sending plenty of runners I believe the form of these maidens is strong and in some cases exceptional.

Back in September after their Summer festival I profiled two Yarmouth maidens that I felt were laden with future winners, well I thought I saw another strong C4 fillies maiden over 8F on Tuesday.

(I will tack on the September blog to the end of this one in case you missed it)

There were two divisions of this fillies maiden with the first division comfortably by Dramatic Queen on her second outing for William Haggas with James Doyle keeping it simple by making every yard and lengthening 2F out to put the race to bed. John Gosden’s Heather Lark was a solid second on her third outing and will now get a handicap mark and an indication of how the Official Handicapper views the race. Behind, the good sized Frankel filly, Qazyna, was taken all over the place but kept on whilst the H-a-M/Burrows/Crowley Anaakeed was clueless and can only improve.

Prior to racing I thought the second division looked the deeper and indeed the second division was run almost a second quicker, equating to five lengths, with Dramatic Queen Division I winner, strictly on the clock finishing fifth in Division II, although there are some mitigating circumstances.

The race itself Celestin’s was well away but Gerard Mosse clearly had a flight to catch and burnt through the early fractions on Star of Sienna, Celestin’s, Glitterdust and Goldspun towed the main pack along down the centre of the course. The leader was spent at the 2F pole and four went past, the three who were chasing the pace and stand side an ice cold James Spencer on Lady of Shalott who was galloping all over this field. Come with Me, a George Strawbridge owned daughter of Dansili, followed her home under a busy Rob Havlin.”

Lady of Shalott is a big scopey daughter of Camelot, she has won comfortably despite looking around in the final furlong. She is surely Group class and I think the next six home will all win next season at different levels and different trips.


2:00 Yarmouth 24 Oct 2017 Breeders Backing Racing EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Div II)

(Class 4) (2yo) (1m3yds) 1m Good To Soft

POS. (DRAW)       HORSE / SP                           JOCKEY / TRAINER                             AGE        WGT       OR          TS            RPR

1 (9)                        Lady Of Shalott 12/1   Jamie Spencer/David Simcock         2              9.0          –             –             79

Held up, headway over 2f out, led over 1f out, ran on well

2 (6) 2¾                 Come With Me 20/1         Robert Havlin/John Gosden             2              9.0 t1    –             –             71

Mid-division, headway over 2f out, ridden, every chance over 1f out, stayed on same pace well inside final furlong (op 16/1 tchd 22/1)

3 (7) 1¾ [4½]        Glitterdust 16/1                 Ted Durcan/Sir Michael Stoute       2              9.0          –             –             67

Chased leaders, ridden and every chance over 1f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong (op 14/1)

4 (8) ½ [5]              Celestin’s 7/4                      Martin Harley/William Haggas       2              9.0          –             –             66

Chased leader who went clear over 6f out, closed to lead over 1f out, soon ridden and headed, no extra inside final furlong (op 6/4)

5 (5) ½ [5½]           Hameem 6/4F                     Jim Crowley/John Gosden                2              9.0          –             –             65

Slowly into stride, soon pushed along in rear, headway over 1f out, not reach leaders (op 2/1)

6 (10) 1 [6½]         Hourglass (IRE) 7/1           Andrea Atzeni/Marco Botti             2              9.0          –             –             62

Slowly into stride, ran green in rear, ran on inside final furlong, never nearer (tchd 5/1)

7 (1) ¾ [7¼]           Goldspun 28/1                   Fran Berry/Ed Dunlop                        2              9.0          –             –             61

Chased leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened final furlong (op 25/1)


LADY OF SHALOTT     (David Simcock) £80K yearling who caught the eye of Marten Julian who made her a dark 2yo to follow in his Autumn Update, “Third foal and a half-sister to 1m 2f winner Harold Lloyd out of a middle-distance winning

full sister to two winners including US Grade 3 winner Roman Dynasty. Second dam a US Listed stakes winner and a half-sister to seven winners. A scopey filly but very stoutly bred on her distaff side, so one for the longer term.”

Surely an Oaks filly, whether it’s the Epsom variety or something more regional only time will tell.

COME WITH ME         (John Gosden) Wears a black noseband and had a first time tongue tie. Made her debut in the hot HQ maiden won by Wild Illusion, then had a troubled passage at Nottingham over 8½F on ground surely too soft. She is by Dansili out of a Sadlers Wells mare who was G3 class on Good to firm ground at around a mile. Quick ground, 8-10F and a year older she could be useful, especially if she appears on the AW in a handicap (?) or is shipped to the USA.

GLITTERDUST              (Sir Michael Stoute) A Cheveley Park home bred daughter of Intello who has taken a big step forward after running green behind Bye Bye Baby at HQ. She’s a tall leggy filly who did best here of those that chased the pace early on. 8/10F fillies handicap would be the least of her aspirations considering her connections.

CELESTIN’S                 (William Haggas) Not the biggest but a battler who will surely improve for quicker ground, a handicap mark and maybe 7F will be her trip.

HAMEEM                    (John Gosden) €500K yearling purchase at Arqana sent off 6/4 favourite here on debut and must have been impressing on the Gosden gallops. Breeding suggests she won’t be se seen at her best until she races over 12F. Slowly away here but travelled OK, green when asked to pick up but kept on. Definite “first day at school”! Hameem is owned by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum’s 19yo daughter, Hissa. The Dubai clan are certainly getting the kids involved!

HOURGLASS               (Marco Botti) After the winner probably the second most interesting horse to take from the race. I don’t associate Marco Botti with M Tabor, D Smith & Mrs J Magnier and especially with a daughter of Galileo who is a half-sister to Shamardal! On debut here, bustled along in the rear, progress under hands and heels but when Atzeni gave her a tap she whizzed home! Oodles of promise.

GOLDSPUN                 (Ed Dunlop) Another debutante who chased the pace, every chance two out but pretty clueless and looked after, the “educational” introduction. As a daughter of Nathanial I am sure trainer Ed Dunlop can place her to good effect up in trip but there is plenty of mile pace on the dams side so finding her trip may take a couple of runs.


Get them in your trackers!


Previous blog – Yarmouth 20 Sep 2017

As I keep hearing whispers from the Sir Michael Stoute yard that “he has at least two as good as, if not better, than Expert Eye” from the September 15 2017 Catching Pigeons column on sportinglife.com I made a note of “One for next week to keep tabs on is Regal Reality from the Sir Michael Stoute yard. The son of Intello, out of Regal Realm, has a couple of entries at Yarmouth and while he’s likely to come forward for his initial racecourse experience, his homework suggests there’s a lot to look forward to in the long term.”

It’s great to see all the top Newmarket yards sending their better 2yo’s to Yarmouth once again. Not only is it flat again but they race down the centre of the course more often than not, with few hard luck stories. Any first time winner from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard has to go in the notebook.

 “Of the first four home only the third, Godolphins Dream Warrior, had run before when third to Elector (another Stoute 2yo debut winner) at Ascot. Regal Reality was out well and made every yard, lengthening at the two furlong pole and seeing the 7F out well. Rich Identity came from midfield with a change of gear to get within half a length of the winner and looks a real prospect. Dream Warrior sat on the leader’s quarters but when asked to challenge was still green and found little. Grandscape had the “educational” ride having settled and travelled well he stayed on with purpose without getting competitive.”


Hobgoblin Legendary Ruby Ale / EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Div II) Class 4 2yo 7f3yds Soft

POS. (DRAW)       HORSE / SP                           JOCKEY/TRAINER                                               AGE        WGT       OR          TS         RPR

1 (4)                        Regal Reality 9/4                Ryan Moore         Sir Michael Stoute              2              95           –             32          78

Made all, ridden 2f out, found extra over 1f out, kept on well under pressure when pressed inside final furlong, ridden out (op 15/8 tchd 7/4 and 5/2)

2 (7)        ½             Rich Identity 11/2             Andrea Atzeni     Roger Varian                       2              95           –             30          77

Dwelt, soon in touch in midfield, closed to chase leaders over 1f out, switched left and chased winner 1f out, strong challenge inside final furlong, kept on well but always held (op 13/2 tchd 7/1)

3 (2)        2¼ [2¾]  Dream Warrior EvensF     Colm O’Donoghue Charlie Appleby                2              95           –             23          71

Took keen hold, pressed winner, ridden well over 1f out, lost 2nd and unable to quicken under pressure 1f out, outpaced but held on to 3rd inside final furlong (op 7/4)

4 (8)        nk [3]      Grandscape 33/1               P J McDonald       Ed Dunlop                             2              95           –             22          70

Held up in touch in midfield, effort over 1f out, chased leaders 1f out, kept on same pace, no impression inside final furlong


REGAL REALITY           (Sir Michael Stoute) A Cheveley Park home bred son of German sire Intello, out of Regal Realm who won two 7F G3’s at Goodwood. Could be a cracking 3yo, 8-10F. No Group entries.

RICH IDENTITY            (Roger Varian) Home bred Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum colt by Dubawi out of a Daylami mare suggests he’ll be wanting 10F+ further down the line. Showed a turn of foot on debut at Yarmouth having raced keenly to get within half a length of Regal Reality.

DREAM WARRIOR       (Charlie Appleby) Two runs, twice finished third to a Sir Michael Stoute debutante winner, Elector at Ascot and Regal Reality at Yarmouth. Son of Dubawi out of a Group 1 “Beverley D” winning mare, I’m a Dreamer. Should have no issues with 10F next season, just immature and could be one to improve through handicaps although of course Godolphin seem to have some larger targets.

Saturday, 26 May 2018 – 4:10 Curragh Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies) (1m)

Saturday, 02 June 2018 – 4:30 Epsom Investec Derby (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies) (1m4f)

GRANDSCAPE                         (Ed Dunlop) US Pedigree, £72K son of Lemon Drop Kid. On debut respectable fourth to Regal Reality in a C4 7F maiden. Settled, travelled and stayed on. Looks a handicap project, probably on Good ground or better or maybe the AW?



2:30 Yarmouth 21 Sep 2017

“Yarmouth September 20th C4 6F 2yo fillies maiden. I like the look of this race, so much so that I have put the first five home in my tracker. Flying Sparkle was one from one having beaten Hunni (Won a C2 6F nursery at HQ next time) on debut over 5F in a C5 at Windsor and had to give three pounds to the other four. Flying Sparkle was prominent throughout, quickened approaching the furlong pole and the other four all made up ground to varying degrees. Beauty Filly picked up in the style of a useful filly to win by a length in the hands of Ryan Moore. Left Alone running in the second colours of Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum, he also owns the winner, came from further back and had to weave his way through, so a creditable third. This was Rozanne’s third run, having run in two strong maidens behind the likes of Teppal and Dark Rose Angel, and she showed a turn of foot without troubling the front three. Bidding War had the educational, hands and heels ride, travelling in the back three, making her ground up under hands and heels on the far side and got close enough without Martin Harley getting busy. The time wasn’t earth shattering, Topspeed 46, the RPR for the winner was 79, so it will be interesting to see if the form is franked.”


Ken Lindsay Memorial/EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Class 4) (2yo) (6f3yds) 6f Good To Soft

POS. (DRAW)       HORSE / SP                                           JOCKEY /TRAINER                              AGE        WGT       OR          TS            RPR

1 (10)                     Beauty Filly 6/4F                Ryan Moore         William Haggas   2              90           –             47          79

Held up in touch in midfield, effort entering final 2f, ridden to challenge over 1f out, led just inside final furlong, ran on well, ridden out (op 13/8 tchd 11/8)

2 (1)        1              Flying Sparkle (IRE) 11/4                 Jamie Spencer     Michael Bell         2              93           –             46          79

Led until over 2f out, chased leader until ridden to lead again over 1f out, driven and headed inside final furlong, stayed on same pace final 100yds (op 4/1 tchd 5/2)

3 (11)     nse [1]   Left Alone 5/1                                     James Doyle        Hugo Palmer        2              90           –             42          76 Held up in touch towards rear, not clear run and switched right over 1f out, headway and switched left inside final furlong, ran on strongly final 100yds (op 4/1)

4 (9)        ½ [1½]    Rozanne (IRE) 33/1                           J F Egan                 Jeremy Noseda   2              90           –             40          74

Held up in touch, ridden and headway entering final furlong, switched left inside final furlong, stayed on well (op 28/1)

5 (3)        1¼ [2¾] Bidding War 20/1                               Martin Harley      James Tate          2              90           –             35          71

In touch in last trio, ridden and headway over 2f out, chased leaders over 1f out, unable to quicken and kept on same pace inside final furlong (op 16/1)

PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY The market suggested Beauty Filly was the one to beat in the six-furlong fillies’ novice stakes and so it proved with the William Haggas-trained daughter of Invincible Spirit registering a length success on what could be the start of a bright career.

BEAUTY FILLY                  (William Haggas) A £280K daughter of Invincible Spirit who was expected on debut and duly obliged at 11/8. Well regarded by connections.

FLYING SPARKLE           (Michael Bell) Cost £70K and looks money well spent as she did well to beat Hunni at Windsor and could well have “bumped into one” at Yarmouth although with her penalty would come out as the best horse in the race. Thoroughly deserves a step up in grade with Redcar a suitable target.

Saturday, 07 October 2017 – 3:20 Redcar totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy (Listed Race) (6f)

LEFT ALONE                    (Hugo Palmer) €120K daughter of first season sire, Reckless Abandon. Good size about her and certainly made her ground up comfortably. Her dam was a 10F winner with plenty of form on the AW. Should get a mile in time.

ROZANNE                         (Jeremy Noseda) Home bred daughter of Canford Cliffs who with hindsight taken part in three strong fillies maidens. Could go handicapping off OR75 and I would be disappointed if that wasn’t a winning mark.

Friday, 06 October 2017 – 6:15 Chelmsford (AW) Bet toteJACKPOT At betfred.com Nursery Handicap (6f)

BIDDING WAR                            (James Tate) £110K daughter of Champs Elysses who will want all of 10F as a 3yo and if her siblings are anything to go by she should be an OR90+ rated filly. On debut was rear early but made her ground up well on the wing, far side, all hands and heels to finish a close up fifth. Tate seems to have a yard improving in quality and trains this filly for his main patron Saeed Manana.


SimpleSimonSays Review York Ebor Festival 2017 Part 3

Posted Thursday August 31st 5.30pm

So what horses can we take from the York Ebor Festival that could find the winners enclosure before the season ends and maybe a 2018 target. Unlike Goodwood York doesn’t throw up a zillion hard luck stories but I thought a few didn’t get the rub of the green and/or took a major step forward. I am writing this section deliberately without reading the “eye catchers” from other on-line journalists. I expect they may be similar but the following are MY observations.

Finally I have a whole list of “twilight” horses and I would love your opinions on them.

So open up your Trackers and let’s go.

Looking Forward its Tracker Time!

I’ll do them in alphabetical order.

Brorocco                           (Andrew Balding) I am a little nervous putting this one as a horse to follow because he is a battle hardened handicapper who has run in plenty of C2’s and has a habit of finding trouble BUT he is really unlucky at York being “done” more than once. Slowly away probably intentionally, got rail and travelled, rear turning in, nowhere to go 2F out when absolutely tanking, recovered to finish fourth! Remains on OR89.

Saturday, 23 September 2017 – 3:25             Newbury Dubai Duty Free Handicap (1m2f)

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 3:35             Newmarket Betfred Cambridgeshire Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (1m1f)

Both targets are possible especially the Newbury race. The Silver Cambridgeshire would be very feasible but he could sneak into the main event.

The Stewards have a fairly large file marked, “Brorocco”.

BHA Stewards Report @ York “Jimmy Quinn, the rider of BROROCCO, placed fourth, reported that the gelding was denied a clear run between the final 2 furlong and 1 furlong markers.”

BHA Stewards Report @ YorkTHE bet365 OLD NEWTON CUP HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 2) .. SHRAAOH (IRE), placed third, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, had interfered with BROROCCO, unplaced, ridden by David Probert …. David Probert, the rider of BROROCCO, unplaced, reported that the gelding slipped on the bend turning into the home straight.”

Plus getting to the start with him isn’t easy, “Jimmy Quinn, rider of BROROCCO, placed fourth, reported that the gelding was upset going to the start.” “David Probert, the rider of BROROCCO, unplaced, reported that the gelding ran too free.” “David Probert, the rider of the beaten favourite, BROROCCO, unplaced, reported that the gelding stopped quickly having been fractious in the preliminaries.”

Caridade                            (Kevin Ryan) OR83 80 I can’t believe the handicapper has dropped her three pounds. Her yard missed a major part of this season in quarantine and Caridade seems to have benefited. Kevin Ryan paid just £20K for this Godolphin cast off with an American pedigree who was unraced as a 2yo. Just had the three runs, won on Good to soft and 7F looks her trip. Gutsy run at York behind Lincoln Rocks. Moved to the inside, they were always going just a stride too quick for her but she has kept on well. Indeed they went flat out the whole trip here. Looks a winner waiting to happen to me.

El Hayem                           (Sir Michael Stoute) Remains on OR96 and surely has another big 8F C2 handicap in him although I suspect he will need to have Firm somewhere in the going, indeed earlier in the season his trainer told the Newbury Stewards “that the gelding was unsuited by the soft, good to soft in places, ground and would prefer it faster.”

At York a rotten draw in stall 13 and Dettori has chosen to take a pull and drop him in at the rear, last turning in, rapid progress down the middle of the track at the 3F pole but little left in the final furlong and lost fourth on the line. El Hayem is no easy ride but he has a few gears, hence the need for ground he can accelerate on.

Declared for Saturday September 2nd on Chelmsford’s mega bucks evening card in a C2 0-105 7F handicap but Dettori will need to perform miracles to win from the widest draw, stall 16!

Saturday, 02 September 2017 – 7:50 Chelmsford (AW) Chelmsford City Cup Handicap (7f)

Saturday, 23 September 2017 – 3:25 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Handicap (1m2f)

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 3:35 Newmarket Betfred Cambridgeshire Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (1m1f)

Euchen Glen                    (Jim Goldie) Remains on OR91. This horse is in cracking form and 2m+ on Good to Soft ground is ideal. Since being stepped up to 16F he has got up late to win the Shergar Cup Stayers and ran a cracker to finish third to Magic Circle at York. On the Knavesmire Paul Mulrennan had trouble getting him to settle, still full of beans after a mile, tanking 2F out when faced with a wall of horses, kept on well to nab third.

BHA Stewards report “Paul Mulrennan, the rider of EUCHEN GLEN, placed third, reported that the gelding ran too free.”

Out of a winning 5F sprinter but sired by Derby winner Authorised he is a long, rangy type. Still has improvement in him over these extended trips and I give him a squeak in the Cesarewitch. I’ve had one star* each way @ 25/1 WH 1234 ¼.

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 3:40 Newmarket Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (2m2f)

John Kirkup                (Michael Dods) Remains on OR92. Ran in the C2 6F Nursery at York that closed the Wednesday card on the rain softened Good to Soft ground. Odd race in a way because the winner has blitzed out of stall 5 to make every yard, with those drawn low unable to lay up with him, as Demon Rocks drifts towards the stands side in the final furlong it is the high numbers who have something to run at. John Kirkup is well thought of by the Dods yard and he is murdered here 2F out having been held up off the pace from stall 16 with the door closing on him twice at least as he tried to make his run between horses.

BHA Stewards report “Paul Mulrennan, the rider of JOHN KIRKUP, placed fourth, reported that the gelding was denied a clear run approximately 2 furlongs out.”

Some give in the ground, 6F or a stiff 5F, C2 or possibly Listed. Cost just £16K and I think he would make a lot more than that in the sale ring even as a gelding!

Saturday, 07 October 2017 – 5:40 Redcar totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy (Listed Race) (6f)

Kalagia                                                (Mark Johnston) I watched this young lady quite closely in the C2 6F Nursery at York as she carried my money as I thought “Mark Johnston’s runner is bred to be quick being by Kodiac out of a Whipper mare! Joe Fanning should be able to get her prominent from stall 2 and just like her win at Hamilton make every yard. She hasn’t been stopping over 5F and carrying just 8st 1lb, close to the jockeys minimum, hopefully she’ll see the extra furlong out!” Wrong! She was totally outpaced early on, improved at halfway amongst horses, kept on to finish 9th. She is a full sister to the rapid Prince of Lir and she wasn’t cheap at €105K, which makes her poorly treated in the Sales race at Doncaster.

The handicapper has kindly dropped her three pounds OR77 74. Any nursery over 6F, preferably fillies only, 0-75 and she has to be worth a second look.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – 3:35            Doncaster Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes (6½f)

Natural Scenery         (Saeed bin Suroor) The one “unlucky” horse in that messy part of the Ebor handicap around the 2F pole and Ed Greatrex ended up having to go round the houses to get a run and she flew to grab third. The handicapper has put her up three pounds OR104 107 and it will be interesting to see where Godolphin go with her. The obvious long term target would be back to the AW Stayers Championship at Lingfield next Easter, she was sent off 4/1F last April but had a troubled run there last year. Typical of Godolphin her current entries are “ambitious”.

She has many options, UK All Weather, Dubai, Australia (?) or the breeding paddocks?

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 3:40                  Newmarket Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (2m2f)

Saturday, 21 October 2017 – 1:25                  Ascot Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2) (2m)

Saturday, 21 October 2017 – 2:35                  Ascot Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1) (1m4f)

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 – 4:00               Flemington Emirates Melbourne Cup (Group 1) (3yo+) (Turf) (2m)

Ouja                                     (John Gosden) This is the trouble with lightly raced fillies who look to be well handicapped! Handicap snip on OR77, she runs a cracker to finish fourth in the 12F Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at the York Ebor Festival and is put up 18lbs, yes eighteen, to OR95. However she has run well enough to suggest she can make an impression at Listed or possibly Group level. Beautifully bred by Sea the Stars out of a Danehill mare, that’s £200K beautiful, 12F is her trip and as York was only her fifth start and with a patient trainer, there could be loads more to come. Where next Mr Gosden? She could be a cracking middle distance 4yo.

Qassem                               (Hugo Palmer) Owned by Al Shaqab Qassem was originally with Andre Fabre in France, unraced as a 2yo, ran five times (22123) at three from 6F to 8F then transferred to Hugo Palmer stepped up to 12F and was a 14/1 eighth of fifteen in the November Handicap, OR95!

Over the winter he was gelded, pretty big shout for a €300K yearling, and this season has been fifth in a York 10½F C2 handicap OR94, won at Chelmsford in C2, OR93, dropped again back to a mile and second to Flaming Spear in the C2 8F Clipper Logistics at the York Ebor Festival off OR98. The last run was terrific as he was in the van throughout, the handicapper has put him up just one pound OR99.

Hugo Palmer on Betfair prior to the York run, “Qassem is a bit of a conundrum in that he arrived from France as a prospective lead horse for Galileo Gold, but does nothing quickly at home and wasn’t suited to that role, and I ended up aiming him at the November Handicap as he needs ease in the ground and shaped like a stayer in his homework.

In the end, we had the unusual scenario of a slow-run race on fast ground for that contest which was completely unsuitable. He ran perfectly well here over the extended ten furlongs here in May, but the drop back to a mile was no inconvenience to him at Chelmsford last time when he won well despite being messed around on the home turn, showing his versatility in the process. There are very few opportunities for horses with his rating on the All Weather, so he’s back on turf and is another of mine for whom the rain is a plus. He’s well drawn to take a handy position, although I’d not be keen to make the running on the round course at York, so hopefully he can get a good lead into the contest.”

Why is this horse screaming Balmoral to me? That is the £150K 8F handicap on Champions Day, Ascot October 21st!

Shymkent                   (David O’Meara) I don’t know if a non-runner counts but I had Shymkent down as a major player in the 14F C2 Melrose 3yo Handicap until the trainer withdrew him, “Self Cert (Bad Scope)”. Had one disappointing run for Roger Varian as a 2yo, sent off just 9/2, was then gelded and moved to David O’Meara. Won on debut for the yard in a Good ground C5 10F maiden at Wetherby getting up late at the amazing odds of 50/1! Then outclassed in the Listed Cocked Hat at Goodwood, won an 11F C4 handicap on Soft ground at Carlisle off OR86, a staying on tenth beaten just over seven lengths to Atty Persse in the King George V C2 12F handicap on Good to Firm (too quick) and then a hampered running on fourth to Walton Street over 11F in a competitive C3 handicap at Goodwood off OR90. This horse was crying out for 14F on soft ground in a C2 with a decent gallop, last week was not the time to scope badly! By Pivotal out of a Sadlers Well mare whatever he does this year he is going to be a cracking staying 4yo. OR90.

Spring Offensive           (Richard Fahey) This is not an easy horse to win with but he ran really well at York in the 10F C2 handicap behind Eddystone Rock on his first attempt at the trip. He had the worst of the draw out in stall 20, dropped in behind, all that was behind him and Paul Hanagan straightening for home was the ambulance. Never competitive he has run on strongly to the line under nothing but hands and heels. The handicapper has dropped him a further two pounds OR88 86 and he is now below his last winning mark.

Three thoughts occur to me. Firstly he could be a candidate for the Silver Cambridgeshire but that race attracts improving 3yo’s! Secondly is there a C3 8-10F contest at the Ayr Gold Cup meeting? Thirdly, let him go. He doesn’t win often enough. He has appeared in James Pyman’s Friday RP eye-catchers before now.

Conclusion I want to back him at a double figure price in a competitive handicap whilst he is on OR86.


That lot were hard work and time consuming. Let’s hope they pay off!


“Twilight” Horses, Stuck in the middle?

Now time for you all to contribute. A constant theme to me, especially during the summer Flat Festivals, is the number of “Twilight” horses who really have little chance of winning, stuck between top weights in a handicap and not good enough for level weights. So could you tell me under what circumstances YOU would consider backing the following?

Alpha Delphini              (B Smart)              6yo         OR108

Returns to Beverley on Sat. in the “Bullet”, the last race he won twelve months ago!

Certificate                        (Varian)                 6yo         OR104

Now down to just a pound higher than when he won a Goodwood 7F C2 handicap over a year ago.

Desert Encounter      (Simcock)              5yo         OR114

Won a Listed 12F at Ascot in May but struggling in G1 since.

Final Venture                 (Midgely)              5yo         OR110

Won a Soft ground 5F Listed sprint at Haydock in May. Just biding his time until he can get back to Meydan?

Gabrial                                (Fahey)                  8yo         OR107

Has career earnings of £750K+, two thirds of which is place money! Hasn’t won since June 2016 in a 8F Listed race on the Soft at Windsor.

Glass Office                      (Simcock)              7yo         OR100

Missed 2016 and his OR is down eight pounds in three runs this year. Last race he won was 6F G2 Duke of York June 2016.

High Jinx                            (Tim Easterby)     9yo         OR109

Not won since the G1 Prix du Cadran back in 2014.

Jallota                                 (C. Hills)                6yo         OR110

Last won a G3 7F at Chantilly a year ago.

Jungle Cat                         (C.Appleby)          5yo         OR112

Won a C3 7F Conditions at Haydock in July. Another waiting to get back to Meydan?

Mondaliste                 (O’Meara)            7yo         OR113

Not won since the G1 Arlington Million a year ago. Probably the answer!

My Dream Boat            (Cox)                      5yo         OR113

Not won since the Soft ground 10F G1 Prince of Wales 2016. When will he lose that G1 penalty?

Polybius                             (Simcock)              6yo         OR106

Not won since a Listed 6F race at HQ back in August 2015! Another Meydan candidate?

So Beloved                 (O’Meara)            7yo         OR111

Not won since a Haydock 7F Listed event in May 2016, losing sequence of fifteen since!

Sheikzayedroad            (Simcock)              8yo         OR114

Won the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup Ascot Oct 2016. Third in the G1 16F Dubai Gold Cup in March. Earned close on £300K for those two alone but unsighted in three runs this summer.

Suedois                       (O’Meara)            6yo         OR112

Not won since joining current yard, that is seventeen months and twelve runs. Been second/third eight times out of twelve!

Toscanini                           (Fahey)                  5yo         OR110

August 2016 he won a G3 6F on the Curragh. Relieved of his pacemaking duties for Ribchester, went very close in the recent G3 7F City of York under a hold up ride!

Tupi                                      (Hannon)               5yo         OR109

Won the Listed 6F Cammidge Trophy on the opening day of the 2017 season but that is his only win in the last two seasons and seventeen runs.

Viscount Barfield         (Balding)               4yo         OR105

Won a C2 handicap off OR90 and a Chester Listed both over 7f and went up fifteen pounds in four weeks but where now?


Phew! I’m done!!

Royal Ascot 2017 Review Part 2 Wednesday June 28th

The handicappers – Gimme the money!

I think it would be fair to say the bookies got the better of the handicaps last week at Royal Ascot with victories for 25/1 shots Bless Him, Snoano and Feng Zhui 20/1 Con Te Partiro and Rare Rhythm with Atty Persse at 7/1 and the well backed Thomas Hobson the only favourite to oblige courtesy of the omnipresent Willie Mullins and a super-patient Ryan Moore.  These are the handicappers that went into my Notebook.

Wednesday – Hunt Cup

GM HOPKINS There is life in the old dog yet! Recently been having problems rearing as the stalls open but they seem to have sorted that and he flew out here, got outpaced but nothing was finishing stronger on the Stands side. Currently on OR104 I could see him running a big race in the Cambridgeshire if he hasn’t landed one of these big handicaps before then. (John Gosden)

FASTNET TEMPEST Remains on OR99 and I’m not sure the handicapper has him fully yet. Hold up horse so you are always a hostage to fortune but surely the total lack of pace that allowed Feng Zhui to make all put paid to all the “something to aim at” horses. Preference for a fast 7F over 8F, has to be a player in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket on July 15 and/or the Gigaset International at Ascot on July 29. (William Haggas)

ANOTHER TOUCH Rather ran away with Connor Murtagh and was front rank for the first 6F then hung right under pressure. I’m dead keen on this horse for the John Smiths over 10F at York on July 15th, just think York and 10F will be right up his street. Horse is in form this season and never thought I would write this but Tony Hamilton might be the man for the job! (#FantasticMrFahey)

EL VIP Jamie Spencer got off Banksea to ride this one who’s mark of OR99, down from the OR102 he has in the John Smiths, looks workable. Never involved here as he had a ‘Taurean Star’ experience namely two thirds of the field came across him and Spencer could never find a racing seam until it was all over. (Luca Cumani)

Wednesday – Sandringham

DANCING BREEZE Solid effort here having been drawn on the wing with little cover on the far side when the race was down the middle and her OR drops from 90 to 87. Her turn isn’t far away. Might be worth a try in a C3 10F 3yo filly’s only handicap? (John Gosden)

Thursday Britannia

Love this race and there will be a shed load of winners coming out of it which I hope will include the following!

The first three were three lengths clear of the rest and the handicapper has punished them accordingly.

BLESS HIM Quite sure this was a case of Jamie Spencer being in the right place at the right time with this winning reserve. Up ten pounds from OR90 to OR100 and if he was mine I would be touting for a Far East purchaser whilst here I would put him in Group company just in case he was that good! No bet for me. (David Simcock)
Wrong race to bump into one and is now up to 104 which could spell the end of handicaps. However down to run at Yarmouth in an 8F C2 (0-105) on Friday and surely has to take part as he is nine pounds well in! Non-runner! (Michael Bell)
Just doesn’t know how to run a bad race. In his six races his Racing Post Rating has gone 72-76-90-100-101-107 suggesting he could improve further and make into a Group horse. Now rated OR105 on Turf only OR99 on the AW so is there a handicap at Chelmsford? (John Gosden)
In real time I never saw this horse fly from last to first on the stands side to finish fourth overall. However when you sit back and watch the replay objectively he is the first horse you notice! Handicapper has put him up one pound to OR93 and he has gone into many notebooks, to the point where he will be too short next time because everybody saw the last run! Currently 10lbs above his last winning mark, beware. (Marco Botti)

SENATOR Cracker of a run on only his second outing of the season, in the van throughout on the favoured far side and only faded in the final furlong. Handicapper has dropped him a pound to OR90 which should provide a winning opportunity knowing his shrewd connections. York in a couple of weeks? (#FantasticMrFahey)

The next three all stay on what I believe are winning marks, just didn’t happen for them at Ascot, close but no cigar!

AFAAK OR92. Still raw, seventh here and room for one better handicap prize before he goes into Group Company. Probably wouldn’t want to go further than a mile. (Charles Hills)
OR94 Mile on Good ground or better looks ideal and just like Afaak room for one more good handicap prize before he goes into Group company. (Saeed bin Suroor)
Remains on OR94. He was my nap of the meeting and in hindsight could have been beaten before the race started. Did the preliminaries upset him? He was certainly more than awkward at stalls entrance. Held up as expected but Ryan Moore just couldn’t find any racing room on the stands side until the race was over. Certainly not giving up on him yet. (Sir Michael Stoute)


Friday – King George V

ATTY PERSSE Kicking myself, wrote in Fridays blog Wanted desperately to put up Atty Persse but concerned that 3lb claimer, Keiron Shoemark, rides for Godolphin? He’s drawn 22 and as one of the smallest Frankels I’ve seen he could get bashed about and he’s Favourite!” He may not be the biggest in stature but he’s a fighter. Overcoming Stall 22, over racing early on but still enough to repel all comers! Goes up from OR93 to OR102 and wouldn’t be surprised if Frankel’s first Royal Ascot winner was pointed towards the Great Voltiguer at York’s Ebor meeting and a tilt at the St. Leger. (Roger Charlton)

DROCHAID Probably too keen early on but still full of running in the home straight but just couldn’t get through when he needed to but did run on well for fourth. Up two pounds to OR95 and there is a good 3yo C2 12F handicap at Newmarket I would be keen to see him in. (Andrew Balding)

SOFIAS ROCK Remains on OR100 and had no sort of run here. Taken left out of the stalls, always travelling three wide then bounced around in the straight. Line through race and move on. Went off at just 7/1 here so front runners track like Haydock, Chester, Musselburgh etc. under the same conditions. Just needs to have a chance to lead. (Mark Johnston)

Friday – Duke of Edinburgh

RARE RHYTHM Some performance this. This was only the 5yo’s sixth appearance on a racecourse, he hadn’t been out since this race twelve months previously and in between this £650K son of Dubawi had been gelded. Drawn with just two horses outside him on ground probably quicker than ideal William Buick gave him a masterful ride. Though Buick had already displayed his ‘winning from a wide draw over 12F’ skill on Space Age two years ago!

Charlie Appleby declared: “Rare Rhythm has been off a long time, but we knew we had got him right. I was confident coming into this race last year coming off another layoff but it didn’t pan out for us as it was a bit of a messy race. I thought the ground was key for this horse and that he would like decent ground. He met with a soft tissue injury after last year and it knocked us out of running him in the November Handicap at Doncaster. He has twice been to Chelmsford (Racecourse) for a gallop recently and he has also been gelded which has helped him get fitter. It was a great performance from the team and it is a big team effort – these are the days we are all here for, we haven’t thought of any races for him beyond this stage.”

 William Buick added: “This was a very good training performance. Rare Rhythm has always had the engine but he got gelded and it’s ended up lighting the horse up a little bit. He just seems more athletic after it. He was fit and well coming in to the race and they didn’t go an awfully strong gallop either so I suppose we were in the right place.”

Rare Rhythm has an entry in the two furlong shorter John Smiths Cup for which he gets a five pound penalty but as the handicapper has put him up eight pounds he would in effect be three pounds well in. Looks a better horse over 12F and I wouldn’t be surprised if Godolphin move him into Group company over that trip, he certainly looks capable of winning at least a G3. (Charlie Appleby)

WADIGOR Backed off the boards into 4/1 favourite, SDS riding for Roger Varian. Dear Silvestre, not sighted at Ascot in nineteen rides, held up the inexperienced but unbeaten Wadigor way out the back and at the 2F pole just as he was about to ask for his finishing kick Adam Kirby on another punted horse, Sixties Groove, turned him sideways and it was race over. The culprit ran on strongly but was a rapidly closing fifth and I wonder how many more rides will Adam Kirby have for Mr Noseda? Wadigor remains on OR104 and has to be given another chance under similar conditions. (Roger Varian)

Saturday  – Wolferton

SNOANO The Wolferton handicap was odd in as much that the strong pace looked like it collapsed at the furlong pole then parted like the Red Sea for David Allen on the winner followed through by a grateful Jamie Spencer on runner up, 7yo Majeed. Not sure how much I trust this form.

One of my favourite handicappers but as I have more than one quote from young Mr Easterby stating that “it just can’t be soft enough” for this horse, on quick ground I just didn’t have a penny on! Another who could show up in the John Smiths at York off OR102+5lbs penalty, although the handicapper has only put him up three pounds to OR105. (Tim Easterby)

“He’s come out of it good. I’ve had winners at Royal Ascot so I know what it takes. I won’t run them unless they have a chance,” said Easterby. “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.”
Opportunist ride by Spencer who got on the quarters of the right horse and nearly stole the main prize. So was he flattered or is Majeed back in business going up just two pounds to OR102? I’m definitely with the former as his highest winning mark is OR97 a year ago and his form figures with a three figure handicap mark are 9983204802. Has to be opposed. (David Simcock)
Another Godolphin horse back from a break not having been seen since Meydan in February. Mildly surprised at his position in the market, second favourite, however this was a highly meritorious run as he was in the van throughout and saw it out very well. His mark remains on OR104 and he’s an interesting Godolphin horse as they paid €130K for him as a twenty times raced 3yo! Entered in the John Smiths and the G3 9F Meld stakes at Leopardstown. Will surely appreciate a bit of cut in the ground and I thought up in trip from 10F? (Charlie Appleby)

Found this on line from last Augusts Thoroughbred Owner and Breeder 16 August, 2016

Europe’s busiest horse gears up for raid on Autumn showpiece

Three-year-old colt Kidmenever has been making a striking impression on the continent since his move from the UK at the end of last year. Now racing in the colours of Gerard Augustin-Normand, owner of Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and Prix de Diane heroine La Cressonniere, Kidmenever has raced no fewer than 11 times since February, almost twice a month for two different trainers. The son of Baltic King’s progression reach a high point on June 12 in the €69,000 Swiss Derby at Frauenfeld when trying a mile and a half for the first time. Under former Italian champion jockey Cristian Demuro, Kidmenever galloped to a comfortable two and a half-length victory over the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Black Sea.

Kidmenever was first picked up at the Goresbridge Sales by Lambourn-based trainer Stan Moore for what would turn out to be a bargain price of €10,000. After two starts at Salisbury and Lingfield, Moore decided to take his charge across to Deauville and won on what was to be his fifth and final start for the yard on Deauville’s polytrack, with none other than Christophe Soumillon on board. He was claimed after that race by Xavier Nakkachdji for a sum of €34,500. The Chantilly-based trainer stepped him up to Listed level straight away which proved a step too far at that stage. He ran a further five times, which included a win and two seconds, before being sold once again in March to Augustin-Normand. Since joining his current trainer Fabrice Vermeulen, Kidmenever’s form has hit a new level. Last time out in the Listed Prix Frederic de Lagrange at Vichy at the end of July, he finished a creditable second to Al Shaqab Racing’s smart performer Doha Dream, trained by Andre Fabre. Two runs prior to the Swiss Derby success, he was a close third in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe behind Robin Of Navan and Godolphin’s Cloth Of Stars, when he was supposedly the stable’s pacemaker for Apilobar, who finished behind him in fourth. The Kidmenever story is far from over as Vermeulen has now entered him in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly on October 2.

Stan Moore, who continues to make profitable excursions across the Channel, has not been surprised by his former inmate’s recent upsurge. The handler felt he would be more of a 1m1f type – Kidmenever’s unraced dam, Pepys Tillergirl, is a daughter of the smart miler Tillerman – but believes the style of French racing has helped him to stay 12 furlongs. “He was always going to be a better three- and four-year-old than a two-year-old as he was a big horse,” reflected Moore. “He’s been quite a busy horse, the man said on the racing channel the other day he’s the busiest horse in Europe! We’re all dreaming of getting a Group horse, so I didn’t think he’d be a Group horse, but he is there, anyway.”

AYRAD Considering this was his first run of the season and Ryan Moore has come widest of all to make his challenge he has performed creditably to finish fifth beaten just two lengths in his first ever handicap. 10F was the distance here but is his trip 12F? Listed is his level but are they aiming the 6yo for a big handicap? The 12F G3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood in which he was second last season would be a more obvious target but keep an eye on his entries.

In the early season ATR stable tour trainer Roger Charlton said “He just lost his form a little bit towards the end of last year having been pretty consistent in listed and Group 3 races up to a mile and a half. He has been gelded over the Winter and I hope we can resume sometime in May.” (Roger Charlton)

Saturday – Wokingham

The Wokingham sadly did split into two races sadly won by the far side.

AMAZOUR Everybody’s idea of an eye catcher but to me he looked like a horse that gets outpaced mid-race then keeps on strongly as this isn’t the first time he has looked an “eye-catcher”. However having looked at his dance card the place TO back him is over 6F at Newcastle on the Tapeta and lo and behold he is entered in two 6F races there this Saturday, Northumberland Plate Day. The 1.50 is the 6F C2 handicap off OR98 down a pound from Royal Ascot but just two pounds above his last winning mark here over C&D, then thirty five minutes later in the 6F G3 Chipchase stakes. Backable in the handicap and he’s currently 25/1 for the Group race! (Ismail Mohammed)

RAUCOUS William Haggas had a frustrating week epitomised by this chap. Having secured the services of the peerless Ryan Moore and wearing blinkers for the first time Raucous was backed in to 11/2 favourite. As expected he was held up and from 2F out every avenue he went down was closed up and when he did get room he flew home to grab third. Sadly that was on the slower side and he finished eighth overall! The handicapper has dropped him a pound to OR104 and you would have to think the gelding will be back for the Stewards Cup on August 5th at Goodwood where he was third last year off two pounds lower as a 3yo. He has a very interesting entry in the Gigaset International handicap back at Ascot on July 29th which is over the straight 7F! (William Haggas)

Lucky 15 Saturday May 6th

Friday 6.00pm This Guineas weekend has plenty of quality about it with a cornucopia of horses I want to back. Loads from the Notebook, #FantasticMrFahey has a few with real chances and Saturday evening we have a super sneaky special running! Indeed Doncaster’s Saturday evening looks like it will make or break my weekend punting fortunes.

Gutted! All that hard work, all that research, all that hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! New World Power was put in at 5/2 with PP. It lasted all of 11 minutes. Currently top priced 9/4 with PP, Ladbrokes and BetFred. That price is really skinny. Stick it in your multiples maybe but hard to recommend as a single that short.

Saturdays Lucky 15

Newmarket 1.50        NEXT STAGE                                    7/2PP 3/1 general

Thirsk 3.40                  MUTARAKEZ                                   12/1 Betfred 10/1 general

Doncaster 6.50           GALLIPOLI                               4/1 general

Doncaster 7.50           NEW WORLD POWER                        9/4 general

and here’s why

Newmarket 1.50        NEXT STAGE Rapid improver who is lightly raced. Won a mile handicap at the Craven meeting comfortably and although up a furlong and 6lbs not surprised that Godolphin think he can take this handicap off his current mark before this Dubawi colt, who cost £800K as a yearling, steps up further in trip and into Group company. Dolphin Vista is very much on my radar but as his trainer says in his blog on sportinglife.com “we’ll monitor the weather with the owner as he’s definitely better with a bit of cut.”

Thirsk 3.40                  MUTARAKEZ   Notebook handicapper “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.” Drawn widest in 18 which should ensure a price! Paul Mulrennan rides and he needs to find a position prior to leaving the back straight and then a seam in the home run.

Doncaster 6.50           GALLIPOLI  Think he may have found his trip and ground shouldn’t be an issue.

My Notebook says “Had hoped for lots more. C3 6F+? Put in my Unofficial Stable Tour back in April 2016 “This son of Dandy Man looks every inch a sprinter and won well, if a little wayward, on debut over 5F on Town Moor before running on well to be 4th in a C2 novice stakes around a tricky Beverley in late May. Not seen since, #FantasticMrFahey reasoning “He has always been a big horse and we’ve given him time to fill into his frame. Gallipoli is a work in progress but he has done very well over the winter.” Began his 3yo campaign in a C3 6F at Doncaster. Bit keen early then Tony Hamilton found every cul-de-sac available. Then ran well in a serious C2 3yo 6F handicap at Newmarket (Mr Lupton was third!!). Dropped to C3 6F at Beverley Hamilton just couldn’t get the clean run up the rail when he wanted it but rattled home beaten just a neck. Stepped up to 7F at Chester and didn’t stay! Not seen since 25th June 2016.”

Reappeared in December on the AW at Lingfield and kept on in a C3 7F handicap, then this April back on Turf Paul Hanagan got him up in a C4 Leicester 7F handicap off OR86, seeing his race out well. He’s up 3lb here to OR89 and David Nolan takes over in the saddle. If he has now strengthened up he is probably still well handicapped.

#FantasticMrFahey says Gallipoli is progressive and a horse I’ve always liked. He got it all together to win at Leicester last time and while he had been a hard horse to train, having been weak, he’s a lot stronger now. I think he’ll run a big race in the Water Aid Handicap.” That’s good enough for me!

Doncaster 7.50           NEW WORLD POWER            Some of you may already have seen these words by e-mail earlier today! This horse is bred in the purple by Japanese super sire, Deep Impact, out of Listen, Sadlers Well mare, who was second in the G1 Moyglare and won the G1 Ascot Fillies mile. NWP is owned by Qatar Racing Limited, a fact that is going to prove hugely relevant.

The form book, Racing Post on-line, says that he didn’t run as a 2yo but as a 3yo when trained by Roger Varian he ran in three maidens, was a beaten favourite in the last two, and has since moved to the Simcock yard and goes handicapping off OR81.

On debut he was an 8L staying on second to no less than Ulysses over 10F on Good to Soft at Newbury. He was then a one pace third behind Autocratic at Sandown over 10F on Good to firm and finally a disappointing 5th in a C5 10F maiden at Salisbury on Good to Soft again looking one paced.

David Simcock in his recent Racing Post Stable Tour he said about NWP “New horse to us, a good galloper who starts at the right end of the handicap. We’ll find out if he stays and hopefully go down that route with him.”

So why all the excitement? Well courtesy of Sandown Park I received a tweet showing the finish of a Charity Flat race ran at Cheltenham over 1m5f during their April meeting. It shows a horse overtaking about a dozen others up the hill but finishing second. The jockey was Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani. He owns Qatar Racing. The horse was NWP. This is the same Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani that Gordon Elliott tweeted about “Gordon Elliott Racing 24 October 2016 • Labaik – a runaway winner of the Corinthian Challenge Charity Race at Leopardstown yesterday under Sheikh Fahad Al Thani.” Yes that Labaik! The Sheikh got him to start!

So we know NWP HAS had a run this season. If you stay on up the Cheltenham hill over 13F you should stay 14F at Doncaster. As a hold up horse there is no better man to ride him than Spencer, on whom the Sheikh clearly models himself!! The horse that finished 11th in that Charity race was Miss Inga Sock who won a C6 handicap at Brighton earlier this week.

Here is the Sandown Park link https://twitter.com/CheltenhamRaces/status/855474859714912260

Thursdays Lucky 15

Now that’s more like it. Three winners and a fourth beaten less than a couple of lengths! If you were on at SP then your £1 Lucky 15 returned £71.19. If you got on at recommended top prices the night before your return was £117.40. Personally I got two at 2/1 and a 9/2 with a 10p in the £ Rule 4 that returned £95.80! Happy days.

The pessimists among you will have noticed that Battered winning as well would have made it a £750+ ticket.

Lingfield 2.10              MUKALEL                                          1st 6/4             (2/1 general)

Racing Post “Taken down early, chased leaders, went 2nd over 4f out, ridden to lead over 1f out, soon in command and pushed out final furlong”

Redcar 4.00                TEODORO                                       1st 7/2             (6/1 PP)

Racing Post “Dwelt and towards rear, headway over 4f out, chased leaders on inner over 2f out, not clear run and switched right to outer just over 1f out, soon ridden, driven inside final furlong, stayed on strongly to lead near line”

Lingfield 4.10              BATTERED                               4th 7/1             (7/1 Coral 6/1 general)

Racing Post “Held up in touch, not much room entering final 2f, switched left and headway over 1f out, chased leaders and edged left under pressure inside final furlong, kept on same pace final 100yds”

Redcar 4.30                GILGAMESH                            1st 7/4             (2/1 general)

Racing Post “Held up in touch, headway 2f out, switched left and ridden just over 1f out, driven inside final furlong, kept on well to lead towards finish”


#FantasticMrFahey sportinglife.com May 05 2017, 10:17

I’d love some rain at Newmarket for Dolphin Vista ahead of the Spring Lodge Stakes. He’s definitely a better horse on slower ground but ran well in the Lincoln. He’s stepping up in trip here which will suit but we’ll monitor the weather with the owner as he’s definitely better with a bit of cut.

Kimberella is in great order going into the Longholes Palace House Stakes. This is the next step for him following his win in the All-Weather Sprint Championship on Good Friday. It’s very competitive as they’ve all turned up – which is understandable as there’s nowhere else to go with a good five-furlong sprinter right now – but the trip and fast ground will be fine for our fellow. He’ll need a lifetime best to win this but goes there in great form, we’ve been very happy with him since Lingfield.

The Wagon Wheel is a filly we like and reappears in the Hot Streak Handicap. Her brother won a Listed race this week and we don’t feel she’s badly handicapped on her form at two. We’ll find out here though, as it’s a warm race.

Andok is a horse we really like. I was a bit disappointed when he was beaten on his final start at two – but it can happen to them all – and he is a progressive sort. We think he’s gone on again over the winter but he’ll need to have as the QIPCO Racing Welfare Handicap looks a tough heat.

We’re double handed in the opening totescoop6 Play For Just 2 Today Novice Auction Stakes at Thirsk. Danehill Desert and Guzman are both okay colts who will improve for the run and experience. I couldn’t split them going into it – we don’t have a first and second string here – but we have plenty of two-year-olds ready to run and this is a good place for this pair to start. If either won I’d be delighted.

Spring Offensive ran okay in the Irish Lincoln and has been kept back for the totepool Thirsk Hunt Cup Handicap since he’s best when fresh. On his best form he’d have a small chance.

Our final runners are all at Doncaster.

I’d imagine Tatlisu is as high as he’d want to be going into the Black And Veatch Handicap. He decides when he’s on a going day and I’d just worry if the ground was too fast that he might not let himself down on it. We’ll let him take his chance.

Bengali Boys and Sinaloa both run in the Mott MacDonald Bentley Novice Stakes. The former isn’t a star but did well to win from a bad draw at Beverley and there’s not a lot between him and his stablemate who was third on debut at Pontefract. It will be interesting to see how warm this race is – my pair won’t be winning Group races – but are fit and well and ready to go again.

Gallipoli is progressive and a horse I’ve always liked. He got it all together to win at Leicester last time and while he had been a hard horse to train, having been weak, he’s a lot stronger now. I think he’ll run a big race in the Water Aid Handicap.

In First Place will probably be outsider of the lot in the Stonbury Handicap. He is what he is, but is a good, hardy horse who never lets you down. He’ll run his race.