Tag: Jim Crowley

Friday October 27th 

Posted Thursday October 26th 6.40pm

Three fascinating cards with Newbury and Doncaster on the Flat and for the winter fans the first days racing of the season at Cheltenham. I think I can see a definite each way Lucky 15 and probably a win Lucky 15 as well! As usual it will be selections first then the here’s why but that part might have some different headings! Clear as mud.

First though some general observations.

Cheltenham – Good (watered). (Going Stick: 6.6 on Thursday at 15:00) Watering: Have applied up to 180mm of irrigation since the end of August. Rails: All hurdle and chase bends dolled out 7 yards. The 2m 5f hurdle start has been moved forward 25 yds to improve the start. Distances as follows: Races 1 and 3 2m 5f 63yds Race 2 2m 21yds Race 4 3m 164yds Race 5 3m 1f 84yds Races 6 and 7 2m 129yds Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 26 Oct 3:09pm

The handicaps have large fields but the ground has reduced the level weights fields. Wouldn’t be too keen to take a short price! Small stakes, big prices may be the way to have an interest. Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell are in attendance!

Newbury – Soft (Going Stick: 5.3 on 26-10-2017 at 07:45) Stalls: Centre of the course straight course

Rails: The 7f and 5f Bends are set on the inside lines so all round course races are standard distances. Rail will be moved after racing on Friday to give fresh ground for Saturday.

The maidens are essential viewing, debutantes especially.

Doncaster – Straight Good Round Good, Good to Soft in places (Going Stick: 7.5 on Thursday at 06:30)

Stalls: Straight course stands side Round course inside

This quicker ground could see some upsets.


Each way Lucky 15

Doncaster 3.35                       OUTBACK TRAVELLER                               8/1 PP and shortening!

Newbury 4.35                        REPTON                                              12/1 general

Doncaster 4.45                       ANDOK                                                               11/1 WH

Doncaster 5.20                       HAWRIDGE FLYER                                        11/1 general

Win Lucky 15

Doncaster 1.20                       DUBHE                                                5/2 WH + Ladbrokes

Newbury 1.40                        GEORGE OF HEARTS                                   2/1 general

Doncaster 2.25                       GRANDSCAPE                                     7/2 general                            

Newbury 3.25                        DUKE OF BRONTE                              5/1 general


Horses on my Radar with an eye for next season (2018)

Newbury 1.10 BLUE MIST This gelded son of Mafki was an impressive winner on the Aw at Kempton on debut but now on Soft ground and with a three pound penaly I’ll pass. Handicaps next season.

Doncaster 1.15 DUBHE Three runs and into a handicap. Fourth on debut in a hot maiden at Newbury won by Mildenberger, won well at Sandown and then derailed by the heavy ground behind Chilean on heavy in a Listed race at Haydock. Being by Dubawi out of a Galileo mare suggests he’ll want further next season but I think the handicapper has been lenient starting him off on OR90 and on this better ground for the in form Charlie Appleby yard looks good.

Newbury 1.40 GEORGE OF HEARTS Richard Hughes has a smart 2yo on his hands in the shape of Glendevon and he mentioned this fellow in the same sentence in the Racing Post at the weekend. George of Hearts was fourth on debut here at Newbury and goes a hundred yards further this time. The second from that maiden finished an excellent third in the Listed totepool 2yo Trophy at Redcar giving the form some substance. Nothing too scary in the newcomers.

Doncaster 2.25 GRANDSCAPE Oh I really hope he runs well! He was fourth in one of my favoured Yarmouth maidens behind a horse I have real high hopes for, Regal Reality. My thoughts on James Tate’s US bred son of Lemon Drop Kid on debut was “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?”. Since then the horse a neck in front of him has won at Chantilly and I am happy to support Grandscape in a maiden especially on this quicker ground. Tate is one of two trainers who I think have a better than expected set of 2yo’s, the other is Robyn Brisland but I digresss.

The Price is Right!

Newbury 3.25 DUKE OF BRONTE Love this horse and I just think he is the wrong price here. Only the three runners for this 13F C2 Conditions race but surely all three are destined for Group success next season. This year’s Mallard winner, Time to Study, will set the fractions with the Messrs Dettori and Crowley sitting behind. This is a step up for Royal Line who is two from two and will need every yard of this trip, I just think Duke of Bronte will have too much speed and he loves upsetting the odds!

Doncaster 3.35 OUTBACK TRAVELLER I backed him last time and due to SkyBet’s generous place terms I collected at 33/1 when he was fifth! He won the Wokingham at Royal Ascot last year but since then he’s tumbled down the weights and has found his way to the King of Sprints, Robert Cowell. This quicker ground will suit him better and who has Cowell booked for this definite hold up horse? The best in the business, Jamie Spencer! I can’t resist. Top weight is the Stewards Cup second Shanghai Glory,  owned by Fitri Hay but NOT ridden by Spencer. A clear message.

Plenty of old friends in opposition. Who’s brave enough to back Hoof It, George Bowen, Naggers, Aeolus, the first time blinkered Al Qahwa etc. etc? Mind you that 50/1 Kickboxer is too big.

Newbury 4.35 REPTON He’s been playing with the big boys in C2 recently without pulling up trees but dropping a grade here I think he can be competitive here. Thought good enough to run in a G3 as a 2yo, he just about gets 7F and on Soft ground over 6F from the Hannon yard that is finishing the season strongly at the price I think is worth a shot.

Doncaster 5.20 HAWRIDGE FLYER Stays 10F, won on Good ground, ridden by the seasons leading amateur Patrick Millman, trained by his super-shrewd dad, gets three pounds as a 3yo, the draw is a nightmare but Hawridge Flyer is a hold up horse and it’s a long straight on Town Moor and at the price I’ll take the chance!



Doncaster 4.45 ANDOK I don’t think the master of Musley Bank expected getting this far into the season without Andok having won! He was sent off at just 8/1 to beat Defoe in the C2 London Gold Cup off 7lbs higher! I think he’s running better now and C3, 10F, Good ground and off OR80 tick all the boxes for me! Happy to take on an inexperienced favourite who is yet to run on ground this quick and whose only win was a C5 maiden on heavy ground at Epsom! If soft ground loving Red Society beats Andok keep me away from high buildings and sharp knifes!

Newbury 2.50 PRYING PANDORA Twice second this season in a grade higher and I believe what she wants is a long straight to organise her challenge and Newbury fits that bill. I’m tempted at the price but the jolly may not have been out for getting on for a year but she could be Group class and you never know where you are with fillies at this time of year.

Newbury 5.10 GABRIALS STAR Seventeen pounds lower than this time last season, ran his best race for ages last time and the vastly improved Connor Murtagh takes the ride in this C5 16F apprentice handicap. Surely it’s now or never!


Lay of the day

Cheltenham 4.55 SLATE RIVER Been hyped up all over the place and Colin Tizzards good horses have all needed the run.


Friday 6th October Lucky 15

Posted Thursday 5th October 6.15pm

Ascot’s Friday card looks worth a go featuring the Noel Murless Stakes for 3yo’s over 14F. With four races over the straight course and Jamie Spencer in attendance I really wanted to back at least one of his mounts but they either need quicker ground or couldn’t win if they set off now and I’m keen to take on Raheen House! Like Spencer Ryan Moore rides here although both of them are at Newmarket tomorrow. Jim Crowley rides at Ascot both days and he could have a profitable 48 hours.

As always heading into the weekend what are the goings and other track details?

Ascot Friday Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 05 Oct 9:08am

Going/Track Straight Course: Good to Soft, Soft in places. Round Course: Soft, Good to Soft in places

(Going Stick: Straight: 6.8, Round: 6.4 on Thursday at 08:30)

Rails: The rail on the Round Course is positioned 3yds out from its innermost position from the 1m 4f Start increasing to 14yds out at the home straight where the rail finishes with a cutaway. Increasing distances by the approx following: 1M 4F: 25yds 1M 6F & 2M: 33yds The Straight Course has been divided in two with a rail in the middle of the course form the 1m Start to 2.5F from the winning line. The stands side will be used for this meeting.

Stalls: Straight Course: Stands side 1m 4f & 1m 6f: Inside 2m: Outside

Weather Less than 0.5mm of rain recorded in brief heavy shower at about 8.40. Now expected to be mainly dry to Saturday when showers are again possible.

Newmarket Saturday Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 05 Oct 7:52am

Going/Track Good (Going Stick: 7.7 on Wednesday at 16:00)

Stalls: Far Side Course 12f Centre Remainder Stand Side

Weather 0.5mm of overnight rain Thursday; Overnight/morning rain clearing mid morning to leave a dry remainder to the day. Friday; Largely dry and with sunny spells. Saturday; Showery rain at times.

Redcar Saturday Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 05 Oct 7:40am

Going/Track Good to Soft, Soft in places (Going Stick: 7.6 on Wednesday at 14:00)

Stalls: Straight – Centre Round Course – Inside Rail

Weather 10mm rain on Thursday 28th September but then generally dry, with strong winds, through to until yesterday evening. 2mm rain overnight. Forecast is generally settled with the exception of a couple of mm of rain on Saturday.


Fridays Lucky 15

Ascot 2.00                               SHADY MCCOY

Ascot 2.35                               ZWAYYAN

Ascot 3.45                               MOUNT MARIAH

Ascot 4.20                               GRAPHITE STORM


Friday Star* Selections (5 stars* Out)

Ascot 2.00                               SHADY MCCOY           One Star win @ 5/1 general

Ascot 2.35                               ZWAYYAN                   One Star win @ 7/2 general

Ascot 3.45                               MOUNT MARIAH       Two Star win @ 9/4 general

Ascot 4.20                               GRAPHITE STORM      One Star win @ 10/3 Ladbrokes 3/1 general

 and here is why

Fridays Lucky 15

Ascot 2.00                               SHADY MCCOY I am aware that he hasn’t won since July last year but he has been to most of the big Class 2 gig’s over 7 or 8 furlongs since and as a hold up horse he has often run in an eye catching manner finishing fifth to tenth. This is a big class drop to Class 4 and an in form Ian Williams (8 from 22 in the last fourteen days) has acquired the services of Ryan Moore, more likely his agent rang up for the ride! They are drawn one off the stands rail which is fine unless they all come across but we will trust young Ryan to find a seam. The ground is fine, even better if it dried out a tad. Down to two pounds below his last winning mark, time to get his head in front again.

Main danger could be the Shadwell 3yo, Alaadel, for William Haggas and Jim Crowley. Connections would probably like to see a heavy shower or two before the Off but by Dubawi out of a Pivotal mare Alaadel should enjoy the Soft, will probably get further and seems to be improving. Tongue tie and blinkers is a little concerning.

Ascot 2.35                               ZWAYYAN Some old friends in this C3 8F Classified Stakes and I had a shortlist of four, Heavens Guest, Taurean Star, Golden Goal and Zwayyan. Heavens Guest loves Ascot and loves Soft ground and has shown signs of a revival after a wind-op but does he get the mile? Taurean Star with Spencer in the saddle over a straight 7F on a horse back to his last winning mark is mouth-watering but surely they need quick ground? Golden Goal has won three of his four starts to date and five pound claimer Paddy Bradley keeps the ride for Godolphin, is an unexposed type at this level but all his runs have been on the AW. Zwayyan ticks all the boxes. Won in the grade, over the trip, on Soft ground, Frankie Dettori rides and William Haggas trains and to top it all off Zwayyan wears first time blinkers.

Ascot 3.45                               MOUNT MARIAH Jamie Spencer was furious to miss the ride on Raheen House in the St.Leger when claimed to ride Deauvuille in the states, Meehan wasn’t too chuffed either! Raheen House finished in front of Enable first time out when they were both behind Shutter Speed, third in the Cocked Hat, fourth in the Royal Ascot Derby and winner of the Bahrain Trophy before seventh in the St.Leger. Top table stuff but does he stay a stiff 14F on Soft ground giving weight? I don’t think so and I’m happy to take him on despite the confidence of trainer Brian Meehan, “He came out of the St Leger well and is in good form. This looks a nice race for him and I am confident of a good run. Jamie Spencer rides.”

Mount Mariah has been on my radar for a while. He will love Soft ground, 14F is no problem and last time was a distant third to Order of St George in the Irish St.Leger but that was a Group 1 contest! When he went in my Notebook I wrote “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.” Trainer Ralph Beckett said: “He ran very well in Ireland and we’ve been happy with him since. He’s a course and distance winner, so we know the track is no problem and the ground should suit him. I’m hoping he’ll run a very good race.”

Ascot 4.20                               GRAPHITE STORM Has come to my attention more than once this season and although up five pounds for his last time out victory I think these are his ideal conditions, a straight 7F on Soft ground. He has run well in better races than this and off OR94 in a 0-95 Class 3 he could be shrewdly placed. Clive Cox and Adam Kirby are having a good season and this grey son of Delegator can give them another winner. Graphite Storm is a hold up horse and it will be harder for Kirby to find cover than find racing room late on in this field of just eight.

The biggest danger could come from another in form yard, Andrew Balding’s Bengal Lancer. He certainly “bumped into one” when beaten by Lahore as he attempted a hat-trick at Doncaster. Manuel Fernandes may have had his claim cut from seven pounds to five but he keeps the ride here.


Been busy this week sorting out my 2yo’s with the intention of backing them as 3yo’s. I thought there were two races at Yarmouth’s three day Festival last week that could throw up some winners in the next twelve months. Opinions always welcome especially if you were there last week or if they have come up on your radars. My profiles are below.


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, 07 October 2017 – 3:15 Newmarket 1st Security Solutions EBF Stallions Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (1m)

Monday, 09 October 2017 – 3:15 Windsor British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (1m)

Saturday, 28 October 2017 – 4:00 Doncaster Racing Post Trophy Stakes (Group 1) (1m)

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.

Thursday 14th September Doncaster St.Leger Festival Day 2

Posted 5.45pm Wednesday

Nice start and then downhill! Ground seems to ride OK to me. Lahore looks better than a handicapper. Quiet start to the Festival but it will hopefully build to Saturday!

Doncaster Going

Soft, good to soft in places (GoingStick 6.9 at 6.30am on Wednesday).

Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said at Wednesday 7.25am: “We had just 2mm of rain last night but we’ve had phenomenal winds all through the night. You could nearly walk round without getting your feet wet this morning – it’s drying. They’re not going to break any records today because this wind is blowing straight down the straight but it will be drying it.” Spoke today (Wednesday) to Simon Rowlands of Timeform about Going based on times of first two races and he replied, “No softer than “good to soft” Simon Rowlands‏ @RowleyfileRRR  Replying to @mooresthepity


I’m spitting feathers! What has happened to the field sizes at Doncaster, especially in the handicaps? Forced to take to Twitter “Simon Moore‏ @mooresthepity  @itvracing @SimonMapletoft What’s happened to the field sizes at Doncaster especially the handicaps? Thurs, Fri C2’s have 6-5-6-7-9!! #poor

 Simon Moore‏ @mooresthepity  @AtTheRaces @DoncasterRaces So why are the fields so disappointing? Frustrating as a punter but could trainers explain why the Class 2 handicaps aren’t maximum fields?

Not a dicky-bird in reply!!!


Thursday Lucky 15

Doncaster 1.20           HOOFALONG              @ 11/2 general

Doncaster 3.00           NATURAL SCENERY    @ 9/2 general

Doncaster 3.35           GREAT PROSPECTOR @ 9/2 general

Doncaster 4.05           EUGENIO                     @ 10/3 WH 3/1 general


Thursday Star* Selections

Doncaster 1.20           HOOFALONG              One star*win             @ 11/2 general

Doncaster 1.50           CLUBBABLE                 Two star** win          @ 5/2 general                       

Doncaster 2.25           DARK ROSE ANGEL    One star* win             @ 11/1 PP+Coral

Doncaster 2.25           TAJAANUS                  One star* win            @ 5/1 PP 9/2 general

Doncaster 3.00           NATURAL SCENERY    One star* win            @ 9/2 general

Doncaster 3.35           GREAT PROSPECTOR Four star**** win      @ 9/2 general

Doncaster 4.05           EUGENIO                     Two star** win          @ 10/3 WH 3/1 general


and here are my thoughts race by race


1:20 DFS Silk Series Lady Riders’ Handicap (For Pro-Am Lady Riders) Cl3 (3yo+ 0-90) 6f2y ATR

This type of race wouldn’t normally be of any interest to me under normal circumstances but there are fifteen runners in a handicap at Doncaster and I can’t let Hoofalong go un-backed.

HOOFALONG Basically he is a Class 2 horse in a Class 3 handicap. He may be a 7yo but his last run has lots to like about it. In the 5½F Symphony on Good to Soft at York behind Desert Law, the apprentice riding was slow to get the hood off (“the friction on the gelding’s blinkers had made it difficult to remove on the first attempt.”), slow away, one behind at halfway and he ran on strongly to the line finishing a closing seventh. He runs here as he is down to OR90, he won off OR94, should get away with the ground, drawn 10 and he should get a tow down the stands rail and he is ridden by the very able Joanna Mason, who is of course grand-daughter of trainer Mick Easterby.

There is a 5lb claim if any lady hasn’t ridden five winners, so jockeys such as Hayley Turner and Josephine Gordon ride on a level playing field and their mounts could be upgraded.

1:50 EBF British Stallion Studs “Carrie Red” Fillies’ Nursery Handicap Cl2 (2yo) 6f111y ITV4

When you write in your notes “Every chance, couldn’t get to winner. Fillies nursery?” and the horse turns up in a fillies nursery over 111 yards further she cannot be ignored.

CLUBBABLE The comment was made after finishing second in the £20K Foodservice Final at Hamilton on a filthy night and this Cheveley Park daughter of Musley Bank favourite, Mayson, will love the ground and trip and the last run was in this grade. She is progressive and OR75 looks lenient.

The danger looks to be The Mums for Gosden and Dettori who is going the right way but has to give the selection ten pounds.

2:25 William Hill May Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 1m ITV4

This looks a fine renewal of this Group 2 over a mile and could produce a serious 2018 Oaks contender. A case could be made for most of these but I like two in particular. I was very impressed with Dark Rose Angel over C&D and she could be special and I will have a smaller bet on the improving, form in the book, Tajaanus.

TAJAANUS Clearly the best filly in the G3 7F Sweet Solera but this was an odd race as in The Dip the whole field was across the track and two lengths front to back. That would make me doubt the strength of the form but it has been franked, not at Group level, but Tajaanus looked physically ahead of her rivals and she had the run of the race up the Stands rail. As in Ireland there is no standout 2yo filly, Billesdon Brook, Nyaleti and Tajaanus are much of a muchness.

Hannon/SJames blogThis filly (Tajaanus) will love any give in the ground and stays very well too. I loved her attitude at Sandown last time when she won her Listed race and it’s hard to knock what she’s done so far.”

DARK ROSE ANGEL Simon Crisford trains this £60K yearling daughter of Dark Angel. Visually impressive winning over 8F C5 good to firm at Doncaster. “Out well, settled, led. Quickened, lengthened, to win by four lengths and two lengths.” Topspeed 66, form yet to be franked. On debut had been an educational fifth to Dathanna at Newmarket 7F C4 on Soft in a novice event.

RP Keith Melrose, Doncaster “It is probably unusual for a trainer in their third season to have had more than a third of their winners come from juveniles, but Simon Crisford is no ordinary trainer. Godolphin’s former racing manager has enjoyed excellent patronage but has more than repaid his investors so far. All he needs now is a Group horse for his yard to really break through, and it could just be that Doncaster winner Dark Rose Angel is the filly to do it. There were a couple of well-touted fillies from big yards against her on Town Moor and, while there is reason to think neither put their best foot forward, it would also be reasonable to say Dark Rose Angel could have been more emphatic had Paul Mulrennan asked her. A step up in grade beckons, maybe even back here for the May Hill at the St Leger meeting.”

3:00 DFS Park Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m6f115y ITV4

Had Coronet pencilled in for this for a while but looks like she’ll take on the boys in the St. Leger itself. Ten go to post and can the 3yo’s make use of the ten pounds they receive from the older mares? I don’t think so and with the Lillie Langtry at Goodwood a reliable signpost for this race I’ll go with two who ran there before they both took part in the Ebor handicap, Dubka and Natural Scenery, just favouring the latter.

DUBKA She was my Ebor selection but I’m not sure she got the trip. This race won’t be as helter-skelter, she’ll relish this softer ground and was only beaten a neck in the 14F G3 Lillie Langtry. She has twice been second at G3 level and has won on Town Moor on Soft ground over 12F and has the valuable assistance of Ryan Moore.

NATURAL SCENERY Is she could enough to win a Group 2? Second in the Northumberland Plate, fourth in the Lillie Langtry and a desperately unlucky third in the Ebor when I put in my Ebor festival review, “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 to 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”.”

As for a bet and it’s 9/2 the field, it’s Natural Scenery to get a clear run and outstay them all with Jim Crowley doing the business for Godolphin.

3:35 Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes Cl2 (2yo) 6f111y ITV4

GREAT PROSPECTOR He was my next best bet for the whole York Ebor Festival when in my opinion he was a desperately unlucky second in the Sales race there. As I whinged in my Ebor review, “Right, now the valuable 6F Sales race. Tangled beat Great Prospector and Hey Jonesy a neck and half a length. The fourth Alba Power a length and a half away and a further three lengths to the fifth, the filly Darkanna. I am convinced Paul Hanagan has been blind-sided here! He straightens Great Prospector up a furlong out and to him it’s just the rapid and unfortunately high drawn Hey Jonesy he has to pick up and he feels quite happy about that so delays his attack and drifts towards the stands side. Meanwhile Tangled has burst between horses and nicked a length and Great Prospector now has to chase him down on the far side and fails by just a neck with the pair of them beating Hey Jonesy. The Official handicapper has given the first three marks of OR102 (up a stone since winning his nursery), OR105 and OR103 and that would have put all three right in the thick of the action in the G3 Acomb and with the time quicker than Threading’s victory in the Lowther half an hour later if the first five in the Sales race met the first four in the Acomb I would be all over Great Prospector.”

I am convinced this horse is Group 2 material, he has an extra half furlong here and he is drawn next door to Tangled this time. Not surprisingly Great Prospector heads the market and with Tangled and Alba Power next in I have Great Prospector as a good thing!! I think he will be even better over 7/8F and it wouldn’t surprise me if he wins this race he appears in G1 PRIX JEAN-LUC LAGARDERE (GRAND CRITERIUM) at Chantilly on Arc weekend!

4:05 crownhotel-bawtry.com Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m2f43y ATR

EUGINIO Thought this looked an ideal race for Euginio who has really strong form in the book and was looking forward to getting stuck into him at 6/1 and upwards. I can’t believe there is a field of just FIVE for a C2 handicap!

Euginio was second to the classy but currently AWOL Middle Kingdom at HQ on seasonal debut, won well at Sandown in this grade over today’s trip, a solid third to Frankuus in the G3 Rose of Lancaster when Frankuus nicked it off the front and most recently a hampered fifth to Thundering home back at Sandown. Hopefully the ground will keep drying as Euginio was withdrawn at the Goodwood Festival for “unsuitable ground”. Town Moor specialist Andrea Atzeni rides and I’m sweet on their chances but the iffy ground and a five runner field mean a reduced stake.

4:35 Breeders’ Series EBF Fillies’ Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m3f197y ATR

No play. Now down to just six runners I just can’t have any enthusiasm for the contest with no Notebook/Radar entries.



Doncaster 2.20           SHABAABY                  1st 13/8           Two star** win          @15/8 Lad+Coral

Travelled easily on the ground (Favourite Demons Rock didn’t), led two out and hacked up. John Kirkup ran on to be a distant, seven length, second and we open the Festival with a 1-2, £8.53 sfc.

Doncaster 2.50           GUZMAN                    4th 8/1                         One star*each way    @ 9/1 general

Probably just needs to grow up mentally. Still too keen early, even in the hood, one pace final furlong, should have grabbed third. Maybe the ground wasn’t ideal, stays firmly on the radar! BHA Stewards “ Following the race, the Veterinary Officer reported that GUZMAN, placed fourth, and TOOMER, unplaced, had both lost right fore shoes”

Doncaster 4.20           HYDE PARK                 5th 11/2           One star* win            @13/2 BF +PP

Every chance 2F out but one pace. Winner, Lahore, clearly useful.

Doncaster 4.20           SIX STRINGS               7th 6/1             One star* win            @ 8/1 general

Lost race in first two furlongs when just didn’t settle and although every chance 2F out fuel gauge was on red! Better ground, bigger field? Winner, Lahore, clearly useful.

Doncaster 4.50           MIRAGE DANCER       4th 11/10F       Two star** win          @15/8 BF+Coral 15p in £ R4

Small field nightmare! Oisin Murphy may not be “strong enough” but here he’s done Ryan Moore up like a kipper!

(8 stars out – 5.75 stars back)


Saturday September 2nd Lucky 15

Posted Friday 6.30pm Its not a Super Saturday but it’s not bad. Keen on a couple at Chester and Chelmsford’s evening card celebrating BetFred’s 50 years should be fun.

Best Bet of the Day but too short for the Lucky 15!

Sandown 4.45                        NAJASHEE Been waiting for this chap for a while. Notebook “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.” Ground is the only issue but hopefully Sandown is drying out to be Good tomorrow. Four star**** win @2/1

Jim Crowley Coral Blog4.45 Najashee This is a good horse. We thought Najashee ran a big race first time out but he blew the start. Then he was third and it took a while for the penny to drop. But he won last time out and he is developing into a nice horse. He’s well drawn in one and I would be very hopeful of a big run from him. Owen’s horses are going really well.”


Lucky 15

Chester 2.45               PENWORTHAM                      10/1 general                           One star* each way

Sandown 3.35                        THUNDERING BLUE                15/2 PP + L 7/1 general         One star* win

Chester 4.30               BOUNDSEY                             7/2 general                             Two star** win

Chelmsford 4.25         OMRAN                                  12/1 C 10/1 general               One star* each way  

and here’s why

Chester 2.45               PENWORTHAM I know he let us down last week with a flat fifth but I’ve just got to go in again! He is 8lbs+ better on the Roodeye than anywhere else, indeed his RPR’s are 88, 94 & 95, even 87 when running poorly. He has struggled to beat 90 anywhere else. Definitely horses for courses! The stronger the pace, the better for him and this is a competitive C2 and although a pound out of the handicap, with just 8st he gets 24lb’s off stablemate Gabrial back in a handicap for the first time since he was fourth in this years Lincoln off a pound more.

Sandown 3.35                        THUNDERING BLUE No easy ride this chap but he is some galloper. Pat Dobbs got two days for excessive use of the whip early in his career and last time out poor Keiran Shoemark picked up three days at HQ for not keeping him straight as this was the combination that broad-sided Eddystone Rock, who did us a 20/1 favour last Saturday! The handicapper put him up a lenient four pounds for that victory and the trip and ground are fine and I think he will relish that Sandown hill. Jim Crowley gets down to within a pound of his minimum to take the ride on the bottom weight and trainer Monsieur Menuisier are currently “chaud”.

I’m a big fan of Euginio but I’m not sure the ground is quick enough for this useful 3yo.

Jim Crowley Coral Blog3.35 Thundering Blue I’m riding at 8 stone 8 pounds which is my lowest riding weight now. I won’t be having any breakfast in the morning. Thundering Blue is bottom weight and looks like he has a really good chance. He won at Newmarket last time and appears very progressive. I’ve ridden him before on his first ever start in the Wood Ditton and I liked him a lot that day. He lost his way for a while but he’s back to form now. I wouldn’t be doing my minimum weight on him if I didn’t think it was worth it. It’s a £50,000 race and we are hopeful of a good run.

Chester 4.30               BOUNDSEY It’s hard to disagree with the trainer, #FantasticMrFahey, I think Boundsy is one of our better chances on the day in the Stella Artois Handicap. He likes the track, is in great order and has a good draw.” He is in excellent form, doesn’t know how to run a bad race, has won in this grade, acts on the course and is drawn in stall 4 in this maximum field of 12. Even the Racing Post has spotted his obvious chance! RP comment “Improver who has form figures of 221 here and is strongly respected dropped back to 5f.”

Chelmsford 7.50         OMRAN Excellent night card on the Polytrack at Chelmsford and in their feature I’m really keen on this lightly raced 3yo son of top Australian sire Choisir. He won his maiden at Chelmsford and his other win in seven starts was on the artificial surface at Newcastle. His recent form figures don’t look too rosy but last time out he hated the ground at Newbury and before that he was drawn next to the stand rail in the Britannia at Royal Ascot when the race was on the far side. Before that he had run a cracker at HQ when sixth to Parfait, sent off at 4/1, when again done no favours by the draw. I like the Botti/Atzeni combination, the draw in 9 is fine with the front running Masham Star drawn immeadiately on his inside, and he gets weight from all his rivals. Double figure price is a bonus.

(Total Stars 11)

Plenty of others I’m watching carefully.


2.25 7f G3 Solario 2yo Colts Top heat but as I have Masar, Purser, Romanised and Vintager all in the Notebook it should be a great watch. At the prices possibly a good day for the Menusier Pulborough yard and Vintager as his 33/1 HQ victory has already been franked?

3.00 Big field for the Atlanta. G£ Fillies 8F Stoute (Intimation) doesn’t run many on a six day turnaround. Aljazzi is the class act. Lincoln Rocks at a price?

3.35 Abdon back in a handicap on the mark he won off when last seen in a handicap OR102! Monarchs Glen, son of Frankel, has been gelded!

4.10 Fahey employs SDS and Jamie Spencer in the Nursery. The Spencer/ Jedi Master looks a good fit.



2.10 My Reward or Cape Coast, either would have been interesting but can see them taking each other on up front!

3.21 Powerallied Groundhog Day! Can he get going quickly enough. Will win at Chester.

On line quotes

BetBright Solario Stakes – 2.25 Sandown

Charlie Appleby on Masar: “We purposely gave him a break after Ascot and physically he’s done very well. He got the seven furlongs well in the Chesham and it looks as though he’ll have conditions to suit. He’s a next year horse on pedigree, but he’s come on a lot physically since his last run and we’re going into Saturday full of confidence. I can’t find any negatives.”

Khalid Abdullah racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe on Purser: “He’s been straightforward and I thought he was given a super ride by Ryan when he won at Newbury. One would hope he learnt a bit from that. This is a big step up, so we’ll see how he goes. I wouldn’t have thought he’d want the ground too soft.”

David Menuisier on Vintager: “How good is he? We really don’t know at the moment, but we will find out on Saturday. We always liked him, but to see him win the way he did at Newmarket was a bit of a surprise. Not many of our horses would win first time out, but he did the job and did the job well. He’s a good-moving horse, so if the ground dries out a bit, it would not be a concern. We feel we have nothing to lose.”

Ken Condon on Romanised: “Dropping him into Group Three level and stepping up to seven furlongs, hopefully we might see where he fits. He’s rated 107. For a two-year-old, that should give him a good chance at that level. We’ll see how that works out, but he’s still growing and maturing.”


A confident Spencer in his 32Red blog!

4.10pm Sandown Jedi Master

He looked to be well suited by stepping up to this 7f trip at Goodwood last time and, if anything, I think this stiffer track will suit him on the evidence of that fourth. He has a 1lb pull for the head and a neck he was beaten by the runner Cheeky Rascal, who re-opposes here, and I think he has a fair chance in a typically competitive nursery.


Jim Crowley Coral blog – He could be in for a good day!!


1.50 Shamshon Shamshon won at Newmarket but has been a bit disappointing since. He missed the kick at Ascot and then they went very fast at York and they took him off his feet a bit. He ran well in this race last year and has a chance. He’s reasonably well drawn in stall four but he will need things to fall his way. He doesn’t have bags of early speed, and being drawn on the rail at Sandown means he’s going to have to get a bit of luck.

2.25 Vintager I rode in the maiden that he won at Newmarket and it was a good maiden. He’s well thought of by connections and I think he will have a really good chance. I know his trainer is quite sweet on him.

3.00 Dancing Breeze She’s one of three that John Gosden has in the race. Dancing Breece was placed in two listed races recently and will have to step up on what she has done so far. But that’s quite possible.

4.10 Alkhalifa Alkhalifa won at Newbury and then went up to Ripon and came third. He won when there was a bit of juice in the ground and the ground should be to his liking at Sandown. He’s a horse I like and I think he can run well.

4.45 Najashee This is a good horse. We thought Najashee ran a big race first time out but he blew the start. Then he was third and it took a while for the penny to drop. But he won last time out and he is developing into a nice horse. He’s well drawn in one and I would be very hopeful of a big run from him. Owen’s horses are going really well.

Friday August 25th Day 3 York Ebor Festival

Posted Thursday 6.30pm

Tough day in the office. Financially damaging. The good news is they are racing at York again tomorrow but my it is a trappy card with a capital T!! It’s drying out on the Knavesmire. “Good, Good to Soft in Places” and the clerk of the course has just tweeted “A lovely sunny evening to end Day 2”.

Memo to ITV racing – 2.55pm That Oaks countdown is totally unnecessary and irrelevant. ITV sticking Enable on a pedestal. Nasty feeling of “tall poppy syndrome”!


York 3.35 Nunthorpe Stakes G1 5F 3yo+

This won’t take long. Blink and you could miss them. Great to watch just loath them as a betting medium! I’ll be cheering on Lady Aurelia as I enjoy Wesley Wards efforts in supporting the British summer Festivals!


York 4.15 C2 7F Convivial Maiden Stakes 2yo.

Probably my favourite race of the meeting as it will be packed with future winners and I will probably watch it twenty times. Gabr was a big Notebook horse on debut a HQ but will be in the place pot only. That noise you can here is me sharpening half a dozen pencils!


Friday Lucky 15 (probably e/w)

York 1.55                    LANDSMAN                @10/1 WH 8/1 general                    

York 2.25                    DARTMOUTH              @9/2 WH 4/1 PP      

York 3.00                    MUBTASIM                      @ 14/1 WH + PP Both also 4 places!          

York 4.50                    MOJITO                       @3/1 general


Friday Star* Selections (14 Stars)

York 1.55                    LANDSMAN                One Star* each way @10/1 WH 8/1 general

York 2.25                    DARTMOUTH              Two Star** win @9/2 WH 4/1 PP

York 3.00                    MUBTASIM                      Two Stars** each way @ 14/1 WH + PP Both also 4 places           

York 4.50                    MOJITO                       Four stars**** win @3/1 general

York 4.50                    KINGS GIFT                 One star* each way @ 25/1 Betfred + 4 places!

 and here’s why

 York 1.55                    LANDSMAN    History says the winner will be carrying 9st 4lbs or less, had three runs this season, winning form and be in Stall 8 or wider. Landsman is trained in Ireland by tony Martin who knows all about winning on the Knavesmire and I like his jumpers when they’ve had a reconnoitre, at Cheltenham for example, and Landsman ran here last October when not seeing out the 14F trip. He is good form, drawn 9, ground and trip look fine and Paul Hanagan has been booked. Solid each way material!

York 2.25                    DARTMOUTH  Has to give weight to the rest of the field, with reason because he is the best horse in the field or more to the point he has won a Group Two. Won over 14F here at York earlier in the season, will appreciate the ground and Ryan Moore does the steering.

Of the others the ground is too tacky for Dal Harraild, Sheikzayedroad and High Jinx probably have their best days behind them, Higher Power and Montaly are good handicappers which means the dangers are that man Mullins with Ascot Stakes winner Thomas Hobson and the possible improver, 4yo St. Michel, for Sir Mark Prescott. I’ll stick with the Royal runner.

York 3.00                    MUBTASIM The form of the G3 7F Jersey at Royal Ascot has been well franked since and I’ve been waiting to back the third horse there, Mubtasim, for a while. Love the draw in four, David Allen riding is a curious booking but he is in form, love the price and just hope the ground keeps drying. Started the year as a sprinter but to me 7F looks his trip.

At 7/1 the field you could make a case for most but I’m not sure Daban has trained on and was two and a half lengths behind the selection in the Jersey, Suedois and Tupi are drawn in the car park and like So Beloved are nearly horses. I’m with Mubtasim, it’s about time William Haggas came to the party!

York 4.50                    MOJITO Right here we go, NAP of the meeting. Been following this horse for a while and I think he is a Group horse waiting to happen. I have no worries with the grade, the trip or the ground. Indeed I think York will be ideal as he is a prominent racer, drawn 4, and he doesn’t quicken he just grinds it out from the furlong pole as he has done at Newmarket and Sandown most recently. Jim Crowley is riding on the crest of the wave and Haggas is due! I have to admit the price is currently skinny and I fear the other Haggas runner Battered, Luca Cumani’s La Rav and of course I personally will be having a saver on my cliff horse of the season, City of Joy, but with absolutely no confidence! As outlined below I also don’t think Kings Gift is a 25/1 shot either.

York 4.50                    KINGS GIFT Connections I like of Michael Dods and Paul Mulrennan and this horse was fourth in the G3 Greenham at the beginning of the season just six lengths off Barney Roy! Ninth in the G1 French Guineas and then occupied the same position to Benbatl in the G3 10F Tercentenary at Royal Ascot. He then had his sights lowered and ran a cracker when third to Chiefofchiefs over course and distance before having no chance at Goodwood drawn widest in their C2 10F handicap and being eased. This race is a much more feasible option and he starts from an ideal stall 2.


Thursday Lucky 15

Ticket is in the bin!

York 1.55                    GREAT PROSPECTOR             2nd 9/2          (7/2 WH + Coral 3/1 general)

Well away this time, on the job, every chance, beaten a diminishing neck, probably better at 7F. More on this race in next week’s Review as I think Paul Hanagan was blind-sided!

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE                 5th 6/1           (13/2 general)

Bounced around among horses early on, not as big as some of these but kept on well. More to come especially if she grows. Not sold on the form of this race but the winner, Threading, is clearly useful.

York 3.00                    EL VIP                                      17th and last (One star* each way @ 10/1 general)

Too keen early on. Needs Firm somewhere in the going description and probably best on a straight mile.

BHS Stewards Report – “The Stewards considered the running of EL VIP (IRE), ridden by Jamie Spencer and trained by Luca Cumani, which finished unplaced. They noted the trainer’s explanation that the colt was unsuited by the going which was described as Good to Soft, Good in Places, and EL VIP (IRE) would prefer a faster surface.”

York 4.50                    CARIDADE                               5th 14/1         (One star* each way @ 11/1 Coral 10/1 general)

Gutsy run. 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.


Thursday Star* Selections (9 Stars out 0 Stars back)

York 1.55                    GREAT PROSPECTOR             2nd 9/2          (Three star*** win @ 7/2 WH + Coral 3/1 general)

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE                 5th 6/1                         (Two star** win @ 13/2 general)

York 3.00                    EL VIP                                      17th and last 10/1       (One star* each way @ 10/1 general)

York 4.50                    CARIDADE                               5th 14/1         (One star* each way @ 11/1 Coral 10/1 general)



Brief Thursday review

Terry Norman‏ @tjnnorman   Interesting that Tangled clocked a faster time than Threading. Hannon’s horse capable of winning listed race #York

Simon Rowlands‏ @RowleyfileRRR 

 …which happened only twice in the previous 7 years…


York 3.35        Yorkshire Oaks G1 12F 3yo+ Fillies & Mares

Well no surprises. Gosden 1-2 and Enable goes to the Arc!

York 4.10        Galtres/Sir Henry Cecil Stakes 12F 3yo+ Fillies & Mares

Mori is a major disappointment for everyone except the bookmaking fraternity and Team Fanshawe!

The Stewards considered the running of MORI, ridden by Ryan Moore and trained by Sir Michael Stoute, which started favourite and finished unplaced. They noted the trainer could offer no explanation for the filly’s performance. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of MORI, during routine testing, failed to reveal any abnormalities.

I refer you to my opening piece yesterday. Mori “Couldn’t back her at odds on (Ground, York, inexperience, she’s a mare) but wouldn’t wish to oppose her either.”

Wednesday August 2nd Goodwood

Posted: Tuesday August 1st 6.30pm

Never easy on the Downs! I’ll give a brief summary of the Festival each day then a more detailed report post-Festival. Goodwood Tuesday. First race was classic Goodwood. Total mess. Expert Eye looked the real deal in the 7F 2yo Vintage. 50/1 wins Lennox, nuff said! Nice run from Desert Skyline third in the Goodwood Cup.


GOING/TRACK Good (Straight Good to Soft in places) (GoingStick: 7.2 on Tuesday at 11:30)

Stalls: Straight course Stand side Round course Inside except 1m 4f which is outside. 2m 5f race flip start.

WEATHER Dry over the last 48 hours. A dry day forecast today. Rain moving into the area late morning tomorrow.

Going/Weather/Other last updated @Tue 01 Aug 12:04pm


Ribchester will need to bring his ‘A’ game to Goodwood if he is to give seven pounds to dual Guineas winner and four times G1 winner Churchill in the Sussex Stakes although the 3yo has a few questions to answer after Royal Ascot. Come on #FantasticMrFahey!

Fahey on sportinglife.com “Everything has gone according to plan since Royal Ascot, there haven’t been any hiccups at all and we have no excuses. He was very good in the Queen Anne and I hope he’ll be just as good. He was touched off in the race last season and that means I’m confident he’ll handle the track perfectly well. We’re in a privileged position regarding the ground too – there are no worries on that front. If there’s more rain he’ll handle the cut – if it dries out he’ll be fine too. It’s very rare a trainer can say that about any horse – let alone a top-class one. This is a big test for him though and I have an awful lot of respect for Churchill.”


Wednesdays Lucky 15

Goodwood 2.25                     WOLF COUNTRY                     16/1 WH + Ladbrokes               

Goodwood 4.45                     EBBESBOURNE                       6/1 general                  

Goodwood 5.50                     SUN LOVER                             5/1 general                  

Galway 5.35                            SANDYMOUNT DUKE             14/1 PP 12/1 general    


and heres why


Goodwood 2.25                     WOLF COUNTRY Plenty of horses I’m Tracking run here.

Sofia’s Rock Mark Johnstone/Ryan Moore. I think he wants further and quicker ground although Goodwood is a front runners track. “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!”

Galactic Prince Andrew Balding/David Probert I’ll bet connections are delighted to have squeezed into this race and although four pounds wrong in the handicap only has 8st on his back. However I think there is a bit too much class in opposition for him in this race. “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.”

The one I like is Godolphins Wolf Country. Went on my “2yo’s to follow as 3yo’s list” when he hacked up in his maiden on easy ground at Yarmouth last backend. He was fifth in the 13F G3 Bahrain Trophy at HQ, fifth in the G2 10F Dante at York and opened his 3yo season with a Listed 10F win on Good to Soft at Saint Cloud. As a front runner he has the plum draw in stall 1. Adam Kirby has an excellent record in Goodwood handicaps, won this year’s Festival opener albeit with the assistance of the stewards! This is Wolf Country’s trip, he’ll act on this slower ground and this stoutly bred son of Dubawi makes his handicap mark off OR103. Every post a winning post please Adam.

One star* each way @ 16/1 with WH + Ladbrokes

Goodwood 4.45                     EBBESBOURNE Lightly raced, home bred daughter of Teofilio out of an Oasis Dream mare who has won two of her four starts and as a 2yo who won on debut for this yard makes her of particular interest. Not the biggest but a talented filly who sits off the pace and finishes strongly. Won well at York in a C3 10F fillies handicap in a first time hood and was a tad unlucky when she had her run checked when second to Newbury in a fillies listed race over 10F. She goes back into handicap company for an all aged fillies C2 10F handicap with Jim Crowley riding and they come from stall 2. That’s an awful lot to like.

Two star** win @ 6/1 general

Goodwood 5.50                     SUN LOVER £360K yearling out of Tatts Book 1 by Oasis Dream out of an unraced dam, herself bred in the purple albeit US influenced,and now owned by Obaid. Lightly raced, twice as a 2yo then moved from Cumani to Varian, then twice as a 3yo. Gelded then twice second this season, he may have only won once but he’s consistent, 62-21-22. He started handicapping off OR85 and is currently on OR89. He is a barrel chested, enthusiastic unit and seems to be strengthening up. Ground doesn’t seem a concern, C3 7F seem within his scope currently so no surprise to see him entered in the 5.50 at Goodwood on Wednesday in a C3 7F 3yo+ handicap (3yo’s get 6lb), Atzeni is jocked up. He doesn’t do anything quickly, when he won he made all, so ridden prominently from a low draw would be ideal.

Two star** win @ 5/1 general

Galway 5.35                            SANDYMOUNT DUKE This is a fantastic race over a tough track, last two fences close together in the dip on the home turn and none in the straight! I am going for the class angle with sandymount Duke who thrives in the summer, has won on his last three visits to the racecourse, he’s won a novice hurdle at Galway, he was good enough to finish third to Bellshill in the G1 3m hurdle at the Punchestown Festival, he’s won four of his seven chase starts, this is his best trip and Danny Mullins rides. Here’s what mercurial trainer said after his prep race win in a Flat maiden!

“Jessica Harrington has set her sights on the Galway Plate with Sandymount Duke after he claimed a third win on the bounce at Leopardstown on Thursday evening. The eight-year-old, who races in the colours of owner-breeder Ronnie Wood (Yes, that one! Ed.), made a successful switch to the Flat to win in the hands of Harrington’s daughter Kate, supplementing recent chase victories at Punchestown and Down Royal. Sandymount Duke triumphed by five lengths and Harrington is now looking forward to the feature event at Galway on August 2. She said: “I thought a mile and seven (furlongs) might be a bit short for him and the only way to ride him is to bowl along. I think he got such a fright coming out of the stalls that it took a little while to get in front, but she said he was super all the way. He loves that ground and bounces off it. It’s the Galway Plate now and we’ll see what happens. He won’t mind if the ground is a bit slower. He’s won 10 races now – a flat race, bumper, hurdles and chases. He’s become a part of the furniture. I think Ronnie is going to come to Galway. I was talking to him there (by phone) and he’s thrilled.”

One star* each way @ 14/1 PP 12/1 general


TOOMER            (Richard Hannon) In my Newmarket July review “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.” Runs in the 6F 4.10 fillies maiden and @ 16/1 general is worth one star* each way.

Wednesday July 12th 12.30pm

Two important factors for finding winners this Friday and Saturday will be the Going and jockey bookings. Below are the current going reports and some key indicators on jockey bookings.



Stalls: Stand Side Course 12f and 13f Centre Remainder Far Side

Watering: 10mm applied to the course on Friday.

WEATHER 16.5mm of rain on Tuesday & overnight. Wednesday; Overnight rain clearing to leave a largely dry day. Thursday; Sunny spells and light afternoon/evening showers 22C. Friday; Largely dry 20C. Saturday; Largely dry and warmer 25C. (Going/Weather/Other last updated @Wed 12 Jul 7:11am)



(Going Stick: 6.9 overall. Home Straight; Far Side: 7.0 Centre; 7.0 Stands Side; 6.8 on Wednesday at 08:00)

(Last updated @Wed 12 Jul 8:07am)


GOING Straight Course: Good to Soft Round Course: Good to Soft, Soft in places

(Going Stick: Straight: 6.5, Round: 5.9 on Wednesday at 08:15)

(Last updated @Wed 12 Jul 8:17am)


The Sheikhs are in town because it is “Europe’s Premier Midsummer Sale, July 12-14, Numbering 910 lots, the Tattersalls sale comprises 747 horses and fillies in/out of training and 163 broodmares, 10 of which have foals at foot. Taking place Wednesday 12th – Friday 14th July, the three-day sale features high quality consignments from many of the world’s leading owner/breeders including Cheveley Park Stud, Godolphin, Juddmonte Farms and Shadwell Estates.” Their trainers will be out to impress! Get a few winners this weekend and you may get that million quid yearling next season!

Jockey Bookings Friday & Saturday

Summary – Crowley going to Ascot on Saturday for Mutakayyef in the Group 2? Could have had Tasleet in the G1 July Cup or Tashweeq or Tabarrak in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket?

Atzeni is interesting if he turned up at Salisbury Saturday night for Jumira Prince having been at York in the afternoon!

Buick’s lack of booked rides for Saturday suggests Godolphins plans are up in the air!

Who will Haggas use at York on Saturday? Hanagan, Tudhope, Gordon, Cosgrave?

Ryan Moore

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 1:50                Makzeem             Newmarket (July), bet365 Handicap (Silver Bunbury Cup)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:00                Titi Makfi              Newmarket (July), bet365 Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 2:15          Gymnaste             Newmarket (July), Spa At Bedford Lodge EBF Stallions Fillies’ Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 2:50          City Of Joy            Newmarket (July), bet365 Mile Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:25          Tashweeq             Newmarket (July), bet365 Bunbury Cup Handicap

Aiden O’Brien has entries at Newmarket on both Friday and Saturday

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 2:25                Actress                  Newmarket (July), Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 2:25                Clemmie               Newmarket (July), Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:35                Roly Poly               Newmarket (July), Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (Group 1)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:35                Rain Goddess      Newmarket (July), Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (Group 1)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:45                The Pentagon      Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:45                Mendelssohn       Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 1:45          Sizzling                  Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:00          Gustav Klimt        Newmarket (July), bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:35          Washington DC   Newmarket (July), Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:35        Caravaggio          Newmarket (July), Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:35          Pedestal                Newmarket (July), Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:35          Cougar Mountain Newmarket (July), Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:35          Intelligence Cross Newmarket (July), Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:35          Peace Envoy         Newmarket (July), Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1)

Jim Crowley

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 2:25                Mistress Of Venice Newmarket (July), Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes  (Group 2)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:45                Ibraz                      Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 2:40          Laraaib                  Ascot, Playboy Club London Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:15          Shaaqaaf               Ascot, Trant Engineering Fillies’ Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:15          Hadeeqa               Ascot, Trant Engineering Fillies’ Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:50        Mutakayyef        Ascot, Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes (Group 2)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:25          Alfarris                  Ascot, Woodford Reserve Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:25          Mudaarab            Ascot, Woodford Reserve Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 5:00          Saluti                      Ascot, GL Events UK Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 6:50          Waqt                      Salisbury, CPA Scaffolding Maiden Stakes

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 6:50          Mohsen                 Salisbury, CPA Scaffolding Maiden Stakes

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 7:20          Mamdood             Salisbury, Total Decor Ltd Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 8:50          Hadeeqa               Salisbury, British Stallion Studs EBF “Ladies’ Evening” Fillies’ Handicap

William Buick

Friday 14 July 2017 – 2:25 Nyaleti                   Newmarket (July), Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:35                Wuheida               Newmarket (July), Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (Group 1)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:10                Gold Town            Newmarket (July), Price Bailey Nursery Handicap

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:45                Being There         Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:45                Stage Magic         Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 1:45          Poetic Charm       Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Andrea Atzeni

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 2:25                Mamba Noire      Newmarket (July), Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:10                Red Roman          Newmarket (July), Price Bailey Nursery Handicap

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:45              Global Conqueror Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 2:30        Barsanti                York, John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes (Listed Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:05        UAE Prince           York, 58th John Smith’s Cup Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 7:20        Jumira Prince      Salisbury, Total Decor Ltd Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 8:50          Prosper                 Salisbury, British Stallion Studs EBF “Ladies’ Evening” Fillies’ Handicap

Jamie Spencer

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 1:50                Realize                  Newmarket (July), bet365 Handicap (Silver Bunbury Cup)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 2:40                Oasis Fantasy      York, Unibet Handicap

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 2:40                Good Omen          York, Unibet Handicap

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:45                Rockwood             York, Cakemark Handicap

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:00                Turning The Table Ascot, Cushman & Wakefield EBF “Breeders’ Series” Fillies’ Handicap Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:45                Drill                        Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:55                Majestic Hero     York, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 1:45          Quargent              Newmarket (July), EBF Stallions Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:05          Majeed                  York, 58th John Smith’s Cup Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 5:05          Batts Rock            Newmarket (July), John Banks Renault Sport Trophy Handicap

Paul Hanagan

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:15                Queen Kindly        York, Unibet Summer Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:45                In First Place        York, Cakemark Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:15          Kimberella            York, John Smith’s City Walls Stakes (Listed Race)


An habitual winner at York is William Haggas and he has a glut of entries on Friday and Saturday!

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 2:05                One Minute          York, Irish EBF/ROA RP Owners Jackpot Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:15                Gheedaa               York, Unibet Summer Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:15                Isabel’s On It       York, Unibet Summer Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:15                Gravity Flow         York, Unibet Summer Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares)

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 3:45                Novoman              York, Cakemark Handicap

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 4:55                Lapilli                     York, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Handicap

Friday, 14 July 2017 – 5:30                Pennsylvania Dutch York, Wingate Centre Charity/Sugro Apprentice Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 1:55          Zwayyan               York, John Smith’s Racing Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:05          Victory Bond        York, 58th John Smith’s Cup Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:05          Zwayyan               York, 58th John Smith’s Cup Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:40          Mosalim                York, John Smith’s Novice Median Auction Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 3:40          Awesometank     York, John Smith’s Novice Median Auction Stakes (Plus 10 Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:15          Gravity Flow         York, John Smith’s City Walls Stakes (Listed Race)

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 4:45          Theydon Grey      York, John Smith’s Stayers’ Handicap

Saturday, 15 July 2017 – 5:15          Validator               York, John Smith’s Nursery Handicap

Perhaps he shouldn’t be ignored either?

Sunday, 16 July 2017 – 3:45              Mubtasim             Curragh, Qatar Airways Minstrel Stakes (Group 2)

Saturday July 8th ITV7 Preview Part I

Tuesday 5.30pm.You won’t mind it raining this Saturday as ITV have some belting racing on the telly. Many of these races are already priced up and there could be some value in getting on early.

1:50     Coral Charge (Group 3) (Registered As The Sprint Stakes) Cl1 (3yo+) 5f10y

Not everybody’s favourite 5F as it runs up the middle of Sandown Park and drawn low then bagging the far rail is the normal route to success. As I haven’t got access to the draw I will try to find the quickest horse!

One is immediately drawn to the two Hamdan Al Maktoum horses Muthmir and Battaash. The former rather lost his way last season but has been back in the winner’s enclosure this season beating Mr Lupton at Bath in a Conditions contest and then picking up a G2 at Chantilly and his last time fourth to Lady Aurelia in the Kings Stand is pretty close to a career best. Battaash on the other hand comes here after winning a 3yo Listed contest over course and distance in a quick time and he showed an explosive turn of foot in doing so despite having been drawn furthest from that rail and over racing in the first two furlongs. Battaash would receive ten pounds from Muthmir though I think it unlikely they would both run.

Aidan O’Briens Washington DC would be a player if put on the plane with their Eclipse runners. His form in Listed races is 2111 whereas in Group company it is 27235202277260 and therefore he would be un-penalised in this race.

The 7yo Line of Reason is in cracking form and Paul Midgely has already booked Oisin Murphy, who won on him last time, but the horse has shown nothing out of handicaps in the past.

Clive Cox’s 3yo Tis Marvellous has been mixing it in hot company this season with the likes of Caravaggio, Blue Point and Harry Angel and getting the allowance here could well be competitive at Listed level with the assistance of Gerald Mosse.

One star* win Washington DC @ 8/1 WH + PP One star* win Tis Marvellous @ 9/1 WH + Coral

2:25     Coral Challenge (Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+) 1m

The top half in the weights were Hunt Cup candidates at Royal Ascot whereas those at the bottom were balloted out plus a sprinkling of 3yo’s getting nine pounds! Looking back at the last five runnings of this event suggests you don’t want to be too far back, prominent or midfield, the 3yo’s struggle to be competitive, keep an eye out for Mark Johnston runners and you need to be drawn in the lowest six stalls! Indeed you could back stall 4 blind as it housed the winner for the past three seasons! Nothing special last time out and if it was Royal Ascot just as likely to be the Wolferton as the Hunt Cup, any price, a mark around OR99 and a previous run at Sandown is useful.

All that said there looks a standout horse here. Greenside won over course and distance last time out with Ryan Moore in the saddle. They won a little cosily as a little keen turning for home they had to bide their time but when the gap came they were away and gone. Up five pounds to OR99 Henry Candy has booked Moore again and in a well-timed At the Races stable tour the trainer says “He is a very admirable horse and although he hasn’t been the soundest over the years, he is maturing now at the ripe old age of six. He was unlucky not to win first time out at Sandown and then won very nicely on his return visit when Ryan Moore rode him. He is a beautifully bred horse with a lot of ability and he is going to run in the big open handicap at Sandown this weekend.”

Greenside one star* win @ 6/1 general. I’m in again on Thursday if he is drawn 1-6.

3:00     Coral Distaff (Listed Race) (Fillies) Cl1 (3yo) 1m

The market for this race is wide open as I write with the 5/1 favourite having only won a C5 maiden on Turf although Amabilis ran close to some useful fillies as a 2yo. As a Listed race for 3yo fillies my first stop has to be with John Gosden and he has two entries in Dancing Breeze, with William Buick already jocked up and Standing Rock who has won her only start to date.

Runners from the Sandringham handicap at Royal Ascot often make their next appearance here, although the form is rarely backed up, and from this year’s race Dancing Breeze was one of my Royal Ascot eye-catchers, “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 obviously disagrees over trip and grade!

She takes on two fillies who finished ahead of her when seventh in the Sandringham Handicap in Paco’s Angel who was third and Queen of Time who was fourth. The official handicapper says Paco’s Angel is seven pounds well in with the other two but I’m not convinced she truly stays a mile. The whole field came stands side and went too fast early on and the pace collapsed at the furlong pole with those horses coming from way back filling the frame and the improving Queen of Time didn’t have the clearest of runs having started in stall 13 and raced on the slower middle part of the track, a view backed up by trainer Henry Candy in the ATR stable tour, “She is a very progressive filly and a half sister to Bounce. I thought she ran a cracking race in the Sandringham and she will probably be going off to Sandown for the distaff which is the mile listed for three-year-old fillies on Eclipse Day on Saturday.”

Standing Rock won her C4 maiden at Newbury three weeks ago despite running green but when the penny dropped she powered home. Nothing behind her has in any way franked the form so she has to remain “could be anything”.

One star* win Dancing Breeze @ 16/1 WH One star* win Queen of Time @ 7/1 WH + Coral

3:35     Coral-Eclipse (Group 1) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m1f209y

The afternoons feature but to me a real conundrum. It’s the first Group 1 race of the season where the 3yo’s take on their elders and they get a very handy ten pound allowance BUT I thought we all agreed this year’s 3yo colts are modest at best and very much of a muchness so I’m mildly surprised they occupy the top three places in the market with Cliffs of Moher, Barney Roy and Eminent. Whereas Decorated Knight and Ulysses were only just over a length behind Highland Reel over this 10F trip in the G1 Prince of Wales at the Royal meeting.

Barney Roy has never raced further than a mile and beating Lancaster Bomber doesn’t up to a fat lot! I don’t think Eminent is as good as Martyn Meade thinks he is! Too many questions over both for me. Cliffs of Moher is a different kettle of fish as this is surely his best trip, he didn’t go to Ascot and Coolmore are not to be trifled with. However if Highland Reel was in here he would be a 2/1 favourite at best and I’m with the older horses and going for form in the book. It’s a toss-up between Decorated Knight and Ulysses. Trends for this race suggest “10/12 winners had at least 1 previous Group 1 win” suggesting Roger Charlton’s Decorated Knight but the ground looks to be firming up and regular pilot Andrea Atzeni is booked to be at Haydock whereas Ulysses keeps his jockey from the Prince of Wales, Jim Crowley, so I’m going for Sir Michael Stoute to get another Eclipse victory with Ulysses and the horse to win the Group 1 the trainer always felt he would.

One star* win Ulysses @ 8/1 general

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)

Royal Ascot Day 5 Saturday June 24th

Friday 6.30pm Smart 3yo’s double for O’Brien with Caravaggio and Winter. Silvestre de Sousa has had 19 rides at Royal Ascot and the closest he has got is fifth! 10-18-7-7-8-16-11-14-9-14-6-8-7-5-13-8-11-5-16. Just saying!

To me the Saturday card is the least inspiring of Ascot’s five day festival with the exception of the excellent puzzle that is the Wokingham handicap and the other five races at first glance look like it could turn into a Ryan Moore bonanza.

(11am) Just found out there is no sectional timing at Ascot despite that bloody great unnecessary Longines clock of a finishing post! Amazed. Hopefully in their meeting review the likes of Timeform and stopwatchracing will be able to come with something as the pattern and rhythm of the race is essential in summing up the strength of the form.

Martin Dwyer made a very interesting point after winning the Hunt Cup that there are so few front runners in the big handicaps, many got their marks with a hold up ride, that he was able to get a soft lead then nick a couple of lengths a furlong out and hold on. Of course the clock boys will hopefully confirm this. Surely an opportunity for Hamdam al Maktoum and/or Mark Johnson horses, both like them ridden prominently. Plenty of suitable races at Goodwood, would get messy for the hold-up horses in behind, and at York where it is notoriously difficult to come from too far back anyway.

Saturdays Lucky 15

Let’s see if we can finish off in style.

Royal Ascot 3.05                    KHAIRAAT                               4/1 general

Royal Ascot 4.20                    THE TIN MAN                             13/2 PP 11/2 general

Royal Ascot 5.00                    PROJECTION                           9/1 Coral + WH 8/1 general

Royal Ascot 5.35                    FUN MAC                                10/1 general

and here’s why

Royal Ascot 3.05                    KHAIRAAT                   4yo’s are starting to dominate this race and Sir Michael Stoute has an in form improver in the shape of Khairaat who looks to have the ideal credentials for this contest having hacked up at Chester last time out. Will probably go off favourite and I didn’t really want to put him up but at 4/1 I think he represents excellent value as I expected nearer 5/2. Being a Hamdan Al Maktoum owned horse I expect Jim Crowley to ride him prominently and stall 3 should be ideal.

Royal Ascot 4.20                    THE TIN MAN                 The Tin Man won the G1 Champions Sprint at Ascot last October and just isn’t the same horse with Soft in the going description. Always held in high regard by trainer James Fanshawe and he knows a thing or two about Group 1 sprinters. This could be The Tin Man’s summer as for once his preparation seems to have gone smoothly.

Royal Ascot 5.00                    PROJECTION               Surely this hold up horse will get the breaks sooner or later and land one of these big pots. Since being gelded he’s run four excellent races, three of them at Newmarket, with form figures of 453-6 which may suggest he’s a nearly horse so why this race. Paul Jones sums it up perfectly in the Stats Guide on the excellent At The Races Royal Ascot 2017 microsite “Roger Charlton’s record catches the eye having supplied a winner, second and four other top-six finishes in recent seasons and his Projection will be a leading fancy running in the colours of The Royal Ascot Racing Club”. His run this season was behind Mr Lupton in a really hot handicap at HQ and that should put him spot on here as he didn’t look too busy to me.

Royal Ascot 5.35                    FUN MAC                    In 2015 Fun Mac was beaten just half a length by Clondaw Warrior in this contest on Good to Firm ground and last season was deemed good enough to have a go in the Gold Cup itself but this season returns to the Queen Alexandra. One run this season when an excellent third in the Chester Cup and Jim Crowley can win the lucky last for Marcus Tregoning.


Fridays Lucky 15

Don’t go crazy, not my strongest selections of the week, possible each way?

Royal Ascot 2.30                    BLACK SAILS                           11th 8/1           (10/1 general)

Every chance at the furlong pole but not good enough.

Royal Ascot 3.05                    CRYSTAL OCEAN                        3rd 9/4Fav          (11/4 general)

Remains a work in progress and I’m not sure Atzeni’s sweeping move around the outside on the home bend was a wise manoeuvre but wouldn’t you love to own a horse like Permian.

Royal Ascot 5.00                    COUNT OCTAVE                     2nd 8/1             (11/1 Lads 10/1 Coral 7/1 WH!!)

Chinned. Box seat, every chance, great run.

Royal Ascot 5.35                    WADIGOR                               16th 4/1F         (13/2 BetFred + PP)

Richard Hoiles put it in a nutshell “has run no race at all”. Cheers SDS!

Friday Recommended single bets

2.30 Black Sails            11th 8/1           One star* each way @ 10/1 general See above

3.05 Crystal Ocean      3rd 9/4Fav          Two star** win @ 11/4 general See above

5.00 Count Octave      2nd 8/1             One star* each way @ 11/1 Ladbrokes 10/1 Coral 7/1 WH!! See above

5.35 Wadigor             16th 4/1F            Two star* win @ 13/2 BetFred + PP See above


Saturday already Recommended single bets

3.05 Poets Word                     Two star** win @ 7/1                   Non Runner

3.05 Journey                            One star* win @ 10/1                   Non Runner

5.00 Projection                       Two star** each way @ 14/1

5.00 Eastern Impact                One star* each way @ 25/1

5.00 Normandy Barriere        One star* win @ 20/1


Saturday Recommended single bets

2.30 Optimum Time     One star* each way @ 16/1 general especially if four places (PP in shop?)

3.05 Khairaat              Two star** win @ 4/1 general

4.20 The Tin Man        One star* win @ 13/2 PP 11/2 general

4.20 Growl                   One star* each way @ 25/1 Lads + Coral especially if four places (PP in shop?)


and here’s why


Saturday 2.30pm Chesham Stakes Listed 2yo 7F

When September won her one race to date many were talking in terms of Group 1 with Tom Segal (Pricewise) leading the cheerleading. Timeform think “Bred in the purple and looked something a bit special as she became the first Aidan O’Brien-trained juvenile to win on debut this season at Leopardstown (7f) a fortnight ago. Obvious claims.” I don’t think putting up a 5/4 shot is big or clever so let’s find an each way poke at a decent price.

Mark Johnsons filly, Nyaleti, like September gets 5lb from the colts and she battled well to win on debut over 6F at Salisbury outstaying Billesden Brook but the one that went into my notebook in big letters is Optimum Time. The bare facts, he has just won a Windsor C5 6F maiden weren’t what sparked my interest but his connections and visually how he won. He’s trained by Eve Johnson Houghton and ridden by Charles Bishop who are together having a splendid season and this cheap 18K purchase son of German sire Manduro is bred to get a trip and on debut he travelled well but running to the furlong pole was caught in a pocket and in a professional manner pulled round two horses and galloped away to a three length victory.

One star* each way Optimum Time.

Saturday 3.05 Wolferton Stakes Listed handicap 11F 4yo+

4yo’s are starting to dominate this race and Sir Michael Stoute has an in form improver in the shape of Khairaat who looks to have the ideal credentials for this contest having hacked up at Chester last time out. Will probably go off favourite and I didn’t really want to put him up but at 4/1 I think he represents excellent value as I expected nearer 5/2. Being a Hamdan Al Maktoum owned horse I expect Jim Crowley to ride him prominently and stall 3 should be ideal.

I’m really struggling to see an obvious danger though Central Square and Dragon Mall would have chances.

Saturday 3.40pm Hardwicke Stakes G2 12F 4yo+

This is what I wrote in the blog on Monday 19th June “I believe this is the race that should have seen Highland Reel and Jack Hobbs in as they built up for a clash in the King George. So how much is it going to take to win this?

Dartmouth returns to defend his crown for HM the Queen and you can be sure Sir Michael Stoute will have him trained to the moment. Dartmouth obviously gets the trip, acts on the course, is up to the grade but the question is the ground. So is he “value” currently priced at a general 3/1? Maybe. Probably. Opposition looks thin on the ground with those two big guns missing.”

However since then Frontiersman is out injured and neither Poets Word nor Journey have deemed to turn up!

The stars are aligned Dartmouth for the Queen, Sir Michael Stoute and young Ryan.

Saturday 4.20pm Diamond Jubilee Stakes G1 6F 4yo+

Looks to concern Limato and The Tin Man who will both enjoy the ground and have the form in the book at this level. If Ryan Moore rode The Tin Man I wouldn’t have a decision to make as I’m not Tom Queally’s biggest fan. Neither horse is bombproof so we need to consider a few others.

Limato when he got his fast ground in last season’s G1 6F July Cup he hosed up. Likewise in the summer of 2015 he was second in the G1 Commonwealth Cup over C&D to the outstanding Muhaarar.

The Tin Man won the G1 Champions Sprint at Ascot last October and just isn’t the same horse with Soft in the going description. Always held in high regard by trainer James Fanshawe and he knows a thing or two about Group 1 sprinters. This could be The Tin Man’s summer as for once his preparation seems to have gone smoothly.

Tasleet could be the new kid on the block who showed a sparkling turn of foot to win the G2 City of York stakes when reverting to sprinting on Soft ground with first time cheek-pieces and had The Tin Man back in fifth. Is he best at York and with some give in the ground?

Aclaim was behind Ribchester in the 8F Lockinge on his seasonal debut. Here he drops two furlongs back to sprinting and Martyn Meade’s speedy Acclamation colt had Tasleet back in 8th when he won the Dubai Challenge 100 over 7F at Newmarket. Jamie Spencer rides so will try to pounce late but looks a big leap forward to me?

Growl was a huge improver last season and on the G1 Champions Sprint form from last October he only has a length to find with The Tin Man. I think he’s best on this fast ground but since that Ascot run he’s been to Hong Kong (disappointed) and this season they’ve tried to make him a 7F horse with little success. These are his best conditions, stiff 6F on fast ground, but my notebook says “..surely all the big gigs are on their agenda! My opinion is G3 at best but never say never.”

Librisa Breeze loves this course and has a remarkable finishing kick but in my book is still a handicapper and if Dean Ivory can have him ready to win a Group 1 on seasonal debut, I doff my hat! Finished sixth in the Champions Sprint.

At the prices it has to be The Tin Man one star* win and Growl one star* each way especially if you can get four places.

Saturday 5.00pm Wokingham Stakes handicap C2 6F 3yo+

This is what I blogged ten days ago, “The Wokingham is run over Ascot’s stiff 6F and I expect the ground to be Good to Firm (watering to maintain) by the time we get to Saturday. Identifying where the pace is going to be is probably more important here as you have two furlongs less to get in the right position. Once again we are looking for an upwardly mobile 4yo with Group potential who can handle a big field, quick ground and may have a few pounds in hand. There would seem to be many routes to getting to the Wokingham looking at those most likely to run with hardly any form tying in so I’m going straight to my three selections and then having a look at those who could be dangers.

I really fancy PROJECTION. Surely this hold up horse will get the breaks sooner or later and land one of these big pots. Since being gelded he’s run four excellent races, three of them at Newmarket, with form figures of 453-6 which may suggest he’s a nearly horse so why this race. Paul Jones sums it up perfectly in the Stats Guide on the excellent At The Races Royal Ascot 2017 microsite “Roger Charlton’s record catches the eye having supplied a winner, second and four other top-six finishes in recent seasons and his Projection will be a leading fancy running in the colours of The Royal Ascot Racing Club”. His run this season was behind Mr Lupton in a really hot handicap at HQ and that should put him spot on here as he didn’t look too busy to me. Two stars** each way @ 14/1 with BetFred 1234 ¼

My second selection is EASTERN IMPACT who was of course second, having done all the hard work, in that race at Newmarket Projection ran in. I wouldn’t normally consider backing Eastern Impact at anywhere but Newmarket as he’s a ten pound better horse in Suffolk. However the more I think about it the more I’m warming to his chances. He handles quick ground, he’s a course and distance winner, he needs a stiff course, he’s finished sixth and third in the last two runnings of the G1 July Cup, he ran a cracker last time out setting it up for the now OR113 rated Mr Lupton and he runs here in a handicap off just OR103 (..put on either Adam MacNamara and claim three pounds or even Connor Murtagh and claim seven pounds I wouldn’t be disappointed..) in a race #FantasticMrFahey mentioned as a target two months ago. One star* each way @ 25/1 Ladbrokes 1234 ¼

My final selection is NORMANDY BARRIERE purely based on the fact that he wants rattling quick ground and he runs this 6F brilliantly. Trainer Nigel Tinkler is bullish, the gelding is guaranteed a run and William Buick in the saddle would be a real bonus. One star* win @ 20/1 general.

As for the others:- William Haggas has Squats entered who has solid course form but probably wants a seventh furlong. The highly tried but out of form Birchwood for what would be his first handicap off OR105, he’s down nine pounds. Last year’s winner Outback Traveller is another out of form and six pounds higher. 3yo Top Score was beaten less than four lengths in seventh behind Churchill in the 2000 Guineas. This is very different! First Selection and Steady Pace haven’t raced since Meydan in February but both have solid Group form as two year olds. Culturati burst into the market with a win at Newmarket last Saturday after eighteen months off. Bounce? He and the rapidly improving Naggers, both need a few to come out to get a run. This race looks to be Plan B for Fastnet Tempest.

Otherwise it’s a case of familiar faces aged six or older! I’ll stick with my three.”

Since then Keiron Shoemark is no longer a Royal Ascot virgin after his win on Atty Persse and he takes three pounds off Projection. Culturati is out injured. Fastnet Tempest ran in the Hunt Cup.

To repeat myself I’ll stick with the three. Projection, top price 9/1 Betfred drawn 28. Eastern Impact (Paul Hanagan), top price 20/1 Paddy Power drawn 8. Normandy Barriere (William Buick), top price 12/1 general drawn 26.

Saturday 5.35pm Queen Alexandra 21F 4yo+

Has no place on the Royal Ascot card in my opinion. Run the race at Ascot by all means but not the Royal meeting, let’s have the 7F Buckingham Palace handicap back please. However as it’s here certain horses are made for the races. In 2015 Fun Mac was beaten just half a length by Clondaw Warrior in this contest on Good to Firm ground and last season was deemed good enough to have a go in the Gold Cup itself but this season returns to the Queen Alexandra. One run this season when an excellent third in the Chester Cup and Jim Crowley can win the lucky last for Marcus Tregoning.

Opposing a Willie Mullins horse is a short cut to the poor house but Thomas Hobson repeating Simenon’s feat is too much to ask and as for Coolmores massively disappointing US Army Ranger well surely this will be just another stepping stone to a Thurles novice hurdle.