Tag: Luca Cumani

Thursday 28th September Lucky 15

Posted Wednesday 27th September 6.00pm

Plenty to look forward to over the next four days with an informative three day Newmarket card, two days of action at a Heavy ground Haydock, handicap heaven at Ripon and Chester on Saturday and of course it is Arc weekend at Chantilly. Personally I will be trying to concentrate on in form, fairly fresh horses who have form on the prevailing ground! Indeed the Going could be key with Haydock possibly Heavy but HQ could have Good to Firm patches. So what is the latest information @ 6pm Wednesday?

Newmarket    (Thurs. Fri. Sat.) Going/Weather/Other last updated @Wed 27 Sep 3:16pm

Going Good, Good to Firm in places. (Going Stick: 7.5 (Stand Side 7.6; Centre 7.5; Far Side 7.3) on Wednesday at 15:00)

Stalls: Far Side Course 12f and 16f Centre Remainder Stand Side

Weather Wednesday; Largely dry until evening rain. Thursday; Overnight/morning rain clearing to leave a largely dry afternoon. Friday; Morning rain clearing to leave a drier & brighter afternoon. Saturday; Largely dry.

Haydock            (Fri. Sat.) Going/Weather/Other last updated @ Wed 27 Sep 7:53am

GoingSoft, Heavy in Places (GoingStick: 6.4 on Wednesday at 07:30)

Stalls: Centre: 5f, 6f, 1m4f Inside: 1m, 1m2f, 1m6f

Weather Saturday dry. 15mm on Sunday and 3mm on Monday. Tuesday dry. Forecast wet from Wednesday to Friday, with up to 19mm of rain to fall.

Ripon              (Sat.) Going/Weather/Other last updated @ Wed 27 Sep 3:39pm

Going Good to Soft (Going Stick: 7.2 on Wednesday at 15:30)

Stalls: Straight Course – Stand side Round Course – Inside Rail 1 mile 4 furlongs – Centre

Weather 2mm of rain in the week to Sunday 24 Sept 4mm of rain Monday morning Wednesday – Mainly cloudy with rain developing late on and overnight, 1-3mm, 17c Thursday – Rain through the morning, 1-2mm, becoming drier for the afternoon with sunny periods, 18c Friday – Partly cloudy, sunny periods, rain in the afternoon, 2-3mm, 15c Saturday – Partly cloudy, some sunny periods, 15c

Chester               (Sat.) Going/Weather/Other last updated @ Wed 27 Sep 7:25am

Going – Soft (Going Stick: 5.9 on Wednesday at 07:00)

Rails: The rail has been returned to the inside meaning all race distances will be as advertised. (NO CUTAWAY!)

Stalls: 1m 2f – Outside, All other races – Inside

Weather Dry over the past 24 hours. Forecast: Wed – Dry and mild. Thu – Spells of rain (5mm). Fri – Dry morning turning to an afternoon of showers (4mm). Sat – Dry with sunny spells.

Chantilly         (Sat. Sun.)

Henry Candy said when ruling Limato out of the Foret, “It was just because of the ground. We have been very lucky to have two dry Arc days the last two years. Three in a row would have been asking too much. The ground is soft now, not far off heavy, and there are two more days of rain forecast so in my opinion it wasn’t worth staying in.”


Thursdays Lucky 15

Newmarket 2.35                    RASTRELLI

Newmarket 3.45                    ELARQAM

Newmarket 4.20                    UAE KING

Newmarket 5.30                    RIGOLETTO

Thursday Star* Selections (13 stars* Out)

Newmarket 2.35                    RASTRELLI                   Two Star** win @ 4/1 BF 7/2 general

Newmarket 3.45                    ELARQAM                       Three Star*** win @ 9/4 Coral All over the place 7/4-5/2!

Newmarket 3.45                    FORTUNES PEARL      One Star* each way @ 16/1 PP 14/1 general

Newmarket 4.20                    UAE KING                    Two Star** win @ 3/1 BF + Coral

Newmarket 5.30                    RIGOLETTO                 Two Star** win @ 7/2BF 10/3 general

Pontefract 4.40                      ANDOK                       One Star* each way @ 8/1 Lad + Coral

 and here is why

Thursdays Lucky 15

Newmarket 2.35                    RASTRELLI Charlie Appleby/Godolphin improver. French pedigree, 550K son of Siyouni. Talked up prior to running but withdrawn in mid-July, Vets Cert (Fracture) ?!?!, but made a belated debut in August when seeming to know his job was a perfectly respectable staying on fifth in the hot Newmarket maiden won by Vintager. Hector Crouch, claiming three pounds, gave him an odd ride at Goodwood second time up. Raced three wide throughout with no cover, made his ground in the middle of the course to be competitive at the furlong pole, then changed his legs and hung right down the camber and finished an untested fourth. Dropping down to C5 and back to 7F George Wood, claiming three pounds (and worth every ounce!), completed Rastrelli’s education getting him to settle just off the pace, lengthen two out, come between the two leaders and put the race to bed. Rastrelli still showed signs of immaturity, jumped a path early on, idled when in front but this looks an OR100+ to me. Spotted on the gallops early on, Catching Pigeons sportinglife.com July 28th “Provided the ground is not like a swamp, next week should see a couple more highly rated Charlie Appleby-trained juveniles see the light of day for the first time. One of their number, Rastrelli is likely to hold several entries, with the seven furlong novice at Sandown on Wednesday the first possibility. A son of Siyouni out of a Sinndar mare, he has been showing up really well in his recent spin outs on his home turf, and is definitely one to look out for wherever he pitches up for the first time.” I will be amazed if this horse is still on OR85 this time next year. Only concerns would be that “fracture” on this quicker ground and how far he is up that curve? Whatever happens here he is one for the tracker.

The main danger could be Global Conqueror about whom my Notebook says, “A home bred son of Dubawi out of a Listed winner he has plenty of size and should make up into a decent 8-10F 3yo when there is Soft in the going, handicaps probably. Second to a more athletic The Reverant in a decent (?) C4 GS 8F maiden at Haydock. OR82

Newmarket 3.45        ELARQAM Reputations will be made and lost in this Group 3 7F Somerville Stakes. All nine have won this season, three are one from one, and the only thing missing is a Ballydoyle contender. However there could be a superstar in here on his way to Group One glory and that is Elarqam. I was hugely impressed with his debut and the form has been franked since. The Notebook drooled, “This is one serious colt. Hamdam al Maktoum had to go to £1.6million to secure this son of Frankel, out of Attraction a Group 1 winning mare, and he may yet have a bargain. He debuted at York on a Sunday in a C3 7F Novice event on Good to Soft, having declined an opportunity at Ascot in a C4 event the day before because of Soft ground. He was forward enough to win the race comfortably. Having taken a trail early on, Dane O’Neill asked him to win the race approaching the furlong pole and Elarqam did his best work in the last two hundred yards, oozing class. Two horses behind him have run since, both winning. The third, Buckstopper Kit, got up late to nab a C5 Novice at Beverley and the fourth, Flying Irish, stormed home in a C6 nursery at Yarmouth by five lengths off OR77.

Jockey Dane O’Neill said “He’s done it quite well, as the second horse had a bit of experience under his belt and the ground was a bit soft and scrappy. He gave me a nice feel and the further he was going the better he was. I always felt that when I pressed the button he’d go and he’s a big prospect who hopefully will live up to it all. He doesn’t mind a bit of cut in the ground and is versatile, but it being more solid underfoot will help him a bit.”

Elarqam already has quotes of 25/1 for the 2018 2000 Guineas!

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 3:00 Newmarket Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) (7f)

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

The main danger could be the very likeable chestnut colt FORTUNES PEARL. From lowly beginnings he has earned his shot at G3. Plenty of familiar names in his report to date, “David Redvers may have acquired Qatar Racing a real bargain here paying just £30K for this son of Harbour Watch out of a German mare. He is a tall, leggy enthusiastic colt who won on debut at Chepstow in a Good ground C6 Novice Auction and being sent off at 11/2 in this lowly level suggests he wasn’t burning up the gallops! He “travelled, lengthened 2F out, got to the front, hung left, straightened and stuck his neck out. Likeable attitude.” His next race was at York on a murky Friday evening in a C3 Novice Median Auction Stakes but the form is red hot. Fortune’s Pearl was always prominent but didn’t get the clearest run 2F out before keeping on for fourth. Immediately behind him was Dubai Empire who since was fourth in the C2 Convivial at York before hacking up at Musselburgh. The second was Laugh a Minute who finished third in the Convivial before going on to bag the valuable Sales race at the Doncaster St.Leger festival. The winner returned to the Knavesmire and Wells Farhh Go was pretty impressive in once again swooping late to take the G3 Acomb Stakes! The third horse at York on that Friday was the US bred Pacific Fleet for Owen Burrows who was withdrawn at Lingfield on August 17th as he refused to go in the stalls!

Fortunes Pearl himself won a C4 7F Novice at HQ on Good (Good to Firm in places), “prominent throughout, headed in The Dip, back upsides when veered left away from the whip, straightened and showed his determination to hold off an eye-catching, fast finishing Thrave.” The hampered fourth, Al Hajar has since won a C4 Maiden by seven lengths.

So he is an improver, a C&D winner, has form on this quicker ground and is a genuine scrapper!

As for the rest, the proximity of Albishr will tie the form to Expert Eye through Mildenberger. Tangled steps into Group company having run in two Sales races, winning the one at York. Fajjaj, Al Shaqab/Hugo Palmer won the Ascot race Elarqam declined. Morlock won on debut on the AW at Kempton for Godolphin. Roger Teal (Tip Two Win) has a rare stab at Group company and in line with her excellent season Eve Johnson-Houghton has a runner here (Statuario) and Karl Burke (MyBoyHenry) can do no wrong with his 2yo’s, the stable kitten could probably win!

Newmarket 4.20        UAE KING Times are a changing in the staying division with the likes of 3yo’s Stradivarius and Desert Skyline leading the way but I don’t think this one will be far behind. One run as a 2yo this son of Frankel, who is built like a novice chaser, has stamina in spades. Two miles plus on decent ground off a solid pace are his ideal conditions as he doesn’t do anything quickly including stopping! This will be his seventh run of the season and hopefully his defeat last time was due to taking on speedier colts over a shorter trip and not that he had gone over the top.

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

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

Newmarket 5.30        RIGOLETTO It has to be the 3yo’s for me in receipt of the four pounds they get here weight for age. Very few trainers improve their 3yo’s as much as Luca Cumani and he has already taken Rigoletto from OR79 to OR94 and the trainer suggests there is more to come. Luca Cumani latest news “Rigoletto will run at Newmarket on Thursday. Rigoletto ran a career best to win at Chepstow last time, so hopefully he can keep progressing.” Not cheap at £170K this son of Zoffany was unraced as a 2yo but he has won three of his six starts this season and his three most obvious traits, slow from the stalls, travels like a dream and a change of gear make him an ideal ride for Mr Cumani’s regular ally, Jamie Spencer. So this selection does come with a slight wealth warning in that Jamie Spencer likes to challenge between horses on Rigoletto and that won’t work every time! However in my opinion no-one rides a straight 7/8F better than young Frank! It will be interesting to see how they price up Reach High for Godolphin as he hasn’t seen a racecourse for 509 days but the last time he did was over 5F at Ascot and he beat Harry Angel by a nose at level weights! This is a mile so he is stepping up three furlongs. Godolphin also saddle Night Circus who won over C&D back in April and although he probably has his ideal conditions he gets beaten a little too often for my liking. Via Serendipity was in the Notebook from his 2yo days but he is just too headstrong and like Hugo Palmer I got rid of him, he is now with Stuart Williams.


Thursdays Lucky 15

Newmarket 3.45                    FORTUNES PEARL (See 3.45 above)

Pontefract 4.40                      ANDOK This is now a well handicapped horse with regard to his 2yo form. Slow to get going this season, #FantasticMrFahey had him gelding and he showed some of his old spark when third at thirsk last time out. Drawn three here at Pontefract with stable mate Carnageo, a hold up horse in two and in stall one is a Mark Johnston runner who could ping to give Andok a tow in to the race but last time refused to race. That would be ideal! I expect Andok to make use of the five pounds he gets weight for age, be prominent throughout and C3 10F on Soft ground is just the job.


Saturdays Lucky 15

Great start and as you all got on at 4/1 its £13 back for our £15.

Newbury 2.50            JAMES GARFIELD                          1st 10/3

Great start for us, George Scott and Mr Dettori. Thoroughly deserved victory now for G1, here or Breeders Cup?

Newbury 4.35             GALACTIC PRINCE                  7th 5/1

Strong market support. Held up, progress 2F out but one paced final furlong. Disappointing.

Newmarket 5.30        DUBARA                                  3rd 5/2

Just never got competitive as pointed out by the trainer. Luca Cumani latest news “At Newmarket, the race tactics were not ideal for …. Dubara, who was held up in a steadily run five runner affair”

Catterick 4.45             MONACO ROSE                      6th 4/1

Every chance, didn’t see the trip out in C2 on Soft ground.


Saturday Star* Selections (12 out 25.2 back)

Good afternoon, at £5 a star that’s a tidy £66 quid profit!

Newmarket 2.00                    CITY OF JOY                4th 9/1             Two Star** win @ 3/1 general

The market told us all we needed to know, 3’s to 9’s! Time to admit, he’s a rogue!

Newbury 2.50                        JAMES GARFIELD          1st 10/3           Two Star** win @ 4/1 general

Newbury 3.25                        BROROCCO                 1st 8/1             One Star* each way @ 11/1 PP 12345 1/5

Did it nicely. Cambridgeshire? Not for me.

Newbury 4.35                         GALACTIC PRINCE      7th 5/1             Two Stars* each way @ 9/1 BF+PP

Newmarket 5.30                    DUBARA                      3rd 5/2             Two Star** win @ 11/4 PP 5/2 general

Wolverhampton 7.40            STAUNCH                    3rd 9/4             Two Star** win @ 3/1 general

Not good enough. The 4/9 Godolphin shot was too good. Spencer tried most of his tricks!


Saturday 23rd September Lucky 15

Posted Friday 22nd September 6.30pm

Ayr’s abandonment is frustrating but I’m looking forward to going on Mastermind with the specialist subject “6F Soft ground sprinters 2017”! Move on.

Newbury’s card tomorrow is excellent but now I’ve got to get my head round Good/Good to Firm in places and it is late September. I had a few pencilled in for tomorrow then sportinglife.com puts up a weekend each way lucky 15 on Thursday and nicks two of them!

Saturdays Lucky 15

Newbury 2.50            JAMES GARFIELD

Newbury 4.35             GALACTIC PRINCE

Newmarket 5.30        DUBARA

Catterick 4.45             MONACO ROSE


Saturday Star* Selections

Newmarket 2.00                    CITY OF JOY                Two Star** win @ 3/1 general

Newbury 2.50                        JAMES GARFIELD          Two Star** win @ 4/1 general

Newbury 3.25                        BROROCCO               One Star* each way @ 11/1 PP 12345 1/5

Newbury 4.35                         GALACTIC PRINCE      Two Stars* each way @ 9/1 BF+PP

Newmarket 5.30                    DUBARA                      Two Star** win @ 11/4 PP 5/2 general

Wolverhampton 7.40            STAUNCH                    Two Star** win @ 3/1 general

and here is why

Saturdays Lucky 15

Newbury 2.50 JAMES GARFIELD  Second in the Acomb, second in the Gimcrack or second in the Richmond? All solid form and I would expect one of James Garfield, Invincible Army or Nebo to take this. I believe the selection has the best back up form. A winner over 6F on Good to firm, in front of Seahenge (G2 Champagne winner) when fourth to Expert Eye in the Vintage and third to Sound and Silence in the Windsor Castle. Drops back from 7F last time and I think this strong traveller can collect here and be rewarded for his consistency.

George Scott FRI 22 SEPTEMBER 2017 “I have been very pleased with James Garfield since his terrific effort in the Acomb, where he was just collared under the shadow of the post. Since then I believe he has strengthened up, and having always thought he wanted better ground, it appears that he will get that tomorrow at Newbury. The drop back to 6f won’t be a problem as he possesses a huge amount of natural speed. The race in the previous two years has been won by exceptional horses, and there is every chance that there might be a similar horse lurking in the field tomorrow in what looks like an above average renewal of the race. Whatever happens, James has been a tremendous flag bearer for the yard this year having been 3rd in the Windsor Castle, 4th in the Vintage stakes, and 2nd in the Acomb. He has not put a foot wrong all season and I don’t envisage him doing any different tomorrow. All being well, he will then head to California for the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf.”

Newbury 4.35             GALACTIC PRINCE Notebook says, “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. Andrew Balding ATR Stable Tour “He is a consistent handicapper and he runs at Chester this week. You can forget his last run at Goodwood, he hated the (Soft) ground, and he should run better at Chester.” Personally I don’t think Chester would have suited this galloper either!

12F on good ground and the stronger the pace the better are ideal for this stamina laden 3yo, he gets seven pounds weight for age, and goes to post carrying just 8st 6lb’s which is pretty close to jockey David Probert’s minimum!

Newmarket 5.30        DUBARA This is a tight five runner fillies handicap but the selection is an improver and Panova whom she beat a neck at Goodwood re-opposes despite being worse off. Keiran Shoemark takes the ride and like trainer Luca Cumani is in fine fettle. Cumani was bullish on his chances on his website, “Dubara, who ran a career best when winning at Goodwood last time”, surely trainer talk for “progressive”? This stiff mile should suit and her second to Billesdon Bess and third to Tricorn over C&D read well.

Catterick 4.45             MONACO ROSE I should think #FantasticMrFahey is seething with Ayr being abandoned but this filly could improve his mood. I am going to try to be clever by suggesting that Franny Norton who is jocked up could be replaced by one of the yards claimers? This filly has only been to Catterick once before and she won over course and distance! She is a galloper who stays so won’t want to be far off the pace. Slipping down the handicap if MacNamara claimed three pounds she would be below her last winning mark.

Saturday Star* Selections

Newmarket 2.00                    CITY OF JOY Regular readers would be disappointed if I didn’t put up my “cliff” horse of the year. Notebook after the York Ebor Festival said, “To put it mildly, he is a bit of a monkey! He’s finished fifth to Mojito at York having walked out of the stalls and giving five lengths or more away. If he got out on terms he’s a player off OR94, he’s already been gelded so that’s not an option! Headgear? I can see this one at the Sales and rocking up next year with David O’Meara or Michael Appleby.”

Drops to C3 in a smaller field. Get him out Ted!

Newbury 3.25                        BROROCCO Notebook says, Brorocco (Andrew Balding) I am a little nervous putting this one as a horse to follow because he is a battle hardened handicapper who has run in plenty of C2’s and has a habit of finding trouble BUT he is really unlucky at York being “done” more than once. Slowly away probably intentionally, got rail and travelled, rear turning in, nowhere to go 2F out when absolutely tanking, recovered to finish fourth! Remains on OR89.

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

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

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

Has to be a player here.

Wolverhampton 7.40            STAUNCH Jamie Spencer going to Wolverhampton for one ride on a Saturday night! He rode this $200K US bred colt on debut on turf at Lingfield and after walking out of the stalls he gave him an “educational” ride staying on well for second albeit five lengths off the useful Radio Source from the Stoute yard. Staunch is clearly talented and his pedigree suggests Wolverhampton should suit and I expect Mr Spencer to be a lot busier here.

Friday 22nd September Lucky 15 or not!!

Posted Thursday 21st September 6.30pm

Rain stopped play! Ayr’s abandonment is a headache, punting there Friday and Saturday will be tentative at best. More attention to be spent on Newbury (Friday & Saturday) and Newmarket on Saturday. There is going to be Heavy in the Going description at Ayr but the further South you go the quicker the ground gets.

Newbury Going/Track Good/Good to Firm in places (Going Stick: 6.4 on Thursday at 07:45)

Rails: The inside rail on the 5f & 7f bend is 4yds from the inside line.All round course races will be 14.5yds longer

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

Weather Last 24hrs Dry Thurs Overcast with rain late morning into the afternoon Fri Misty start dry and bright later Sat Misty start dry and bright later Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 21 Sep 7:49am

Newmarket Going/Track Good to Soft (Going Stick: 6.5 on Wednesday at 17:00)

Stalls: Stand Side Course 12f and 18f Centre Remainder Far Side

Weather 33mm of rain Friday-Sunday. A further 3.5mm of rain on Monday. Dry on Tuesday & Wednesday. Thursday; Dry for much of the day followed by approximately 2mm of late afternoon/early evening rain. Friday & Saturday; Largely dry & with sunny spells. Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 21 Sep 8:01am


It is a real blow with Ayr going the same way as Goodwood and what should have been a few days enjoyable punting is now a lottery! For what it is worth, at Ayr I couldn’t back anything at a short price, if at all, and the only interest I have personally had is a small one in the Bronze Cup.

Ayr 3.50 KHELMAN He is inconsistent and he is really a C4 sprinter but he has form on heavy ground and he stays 7F. The fact that Sam James rides him suggests I have more confidence than the yard! However at 25/1 I think it’s worth the chance he is on a going day!


So what is on offer at Newbury? The first two races are 6F 2yo maidens and the second division looks deeper to me, Notebook at the ready. The Nursery has disappointingly only seven runners, Dragons Tail is a Dascombe runner a fair way from home but I’ll pass.

Newbury 2.55 WILD HACKED Maybe he saves his best performances for the AW but on better ground here I think this is his trip and grade and off OR100 I think he can be competitive and trainer Marco Botti has secured the services of fellow countryman Frankie Dettori. One star* win @ 11/2 PP.

I would be stronger on him but there are two other runners in here very much on my radar. Blakeney Point tops my list for next seasons Ebor but this 12F test looks on the short side, and the other is Dance the Dream who was at one stage my idea of this year’s Ebor winner until Marcus Tregoning told me she wouldn’t be ready and was having an Autumn campaign. She probably wants Soft in the Going description and a bit further, so not here.

Again just seven in the C2 2yo Conditions event that normally throws up a good horse or two. White Mocha is on my list of 2yo’s to back as a 3yo but easily could put his experience to good use here. 5/2 seems skinny.

Newbury 4.00 PRINCESS DE LUNE I have waited 154 days for this young lady to reappear. She was massively impressive when winning a maiden at the Greenham meeting back in April. Won without doing anything, just galloped! She gets all the allowances as a 3yo filly in this Listed race and isn’t going unbacked! One star* win @ 7/1 WH.

Newbury 4.00 DREAM OF DREAMS Reviewing last weekend I put him in the Notebook, “ Lingfield 3.40 C3 7F Soft. Tanked through the race, looked in trouble running to 1F out but found plenty and won by five lengths. Now I remember the horse! Ex Kevin Ryan and this was second start for Stoute, flashy chestnut who made an amazing debut as a 2yo behind Sutter County at HQ, finishing like a train. 7F with Soft in the going looks his bag and as he is now on OR109 looks destined for Group company. Friday, 22 September 2017 – 4:00 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Cup Stakes (Listed Race) (7f) Right race but ground may be a bit lively.” Another Stoute backs up quickly, unlike him, and the ground maybe a tad lively but like Dance the Dream destined for the winners enclosure before the season closes.

I am not inspires by the 7F C2 2yo Fillies Conditions stakes, not as a betting medium anyway. I think a 3yo will win the closing C4 10F handicap but no idea which one!


The only other horse to be backed is in the opening race on the Newcastle tapeta.

Newcastle 5.45 CHOCOLATE BOX Luke Morris partners this Luca Cumani 3yo colt and he is all about stamina and should relish this step to 16F. Her trainer seems bullish on her chances, “Chocolate Box got off the mark at Chelmsford earlier this month, running a career best when pulling well clear of the rest of the field with the second placed horse. He is up 7 lb in the weights, but should have more to offer, especially at two miles considering the way he saw out a mile and three quarters that day. He has options at Newcastle and Wolverhampton this week.” C4 0-85 looks well within his scope!

One star* win @ 11/2 Ladbrokes + Coral.

Cambridgeshire Handicap Ante Post Newmarket 3.35 Saturday September 30th 2017



Posted Wednesday September 6th 5.00pm

As handicaps go they don’t come any harder than the thirty five runner Cambridgeshire over the odd nine furlong trip on a course that doesn’t suit every horse! I don’t expect the race to look any easier three minutes from the off as it does three weeks away! So why now? Well the weights are out today and Tom Segal (Pricewise) will have his say tomorrow in the Racing Post and so this blog needs to be on line by 6pm tonight when a couple of lines of blue on Oddschecker will tell us all Tom’s selections! So I’m suggesting you have a look at three horses now and when the final declarations are out we’ll look to top up and go each way, if there is any value.

To win the first leg of the Autumn Double I’m looking for a horse no older than six and it would have to be a very special 3yo to be recommended. I like some course form, I like a horse that has won somewhere over ten furlongs, I quite like a sparse campaign with at least one piece of form to recommend their selection, should be able to operate on Good to Soft ground and be with a trainer who is “a man with a plan” and could easily have targeted this race.

DOLPHIN VISTA                             (Martyn Meade) Regular readers won’t be surprised at the selection but may be at who trains him. Now a four year old, at the end of last season I had concluded, “Top performer winning three handicaps this season and going up from OR83 to OR99 in the process. 8/10F on Good ground or softer.”

Up until May of this year he was of course trained at Musley Bank by the #FantasticMrFahey who prepared him for the Lincoln when he was an excellent fifth off OR99 with the likes of Zhui Feng, Eddystone Rock and Withernsea behind. He was prominent early but with little cover, he was outpaced over 3F out then rattled home suggesting the Cambridgeshire’s nine furlong trip was spot on. He was then a last of nine to Playful Sound on ground too quick for him.

Next thing you know he has been moved to Newmarket! Martyn Meade has plateaued at best this season and could be seen as a one-horse yard with his Group 1 winning Frankel colt, Eminent. Just fifty seven runners in 2017 with nine winners suggests all has not been well at the yard. Back in April he told Chris Cook of the Guardian “We had a torrid time with it (dose of the virus)” said Martyn Meade, whose 50-box Sefton Lodge yard on the Bury Road is close to Newmarket’s heart. “When I ran Ernststavroblofeld the second time, he seemed to be completely clear and everything but he ran a stinker and it can only be the virus. It was one of those things that didn’t show up on the blood tests, didn’t show up on a scope and the only thing you can put it down to is a low-grade infection.”

Dolphin Vista reappeared three months later and clearly needed the run having travelled well before not picking up out of The Dip in the race Thundering Blue crashed into Eddystone Rock and those two have recently won big C2 handicaps!

I think he is well handicapped on OR96 and he is number 46 on the list and has an excellent chance of getting in.

One star* win @ 50/1 Ladbrokes & Coral 40/1 WH

 GM HOPKINS                                  (John Gosden) Just looks his race. Backed him in this last year when running off OR112 and his race lasted about two yards as he reared as the stalls opened and he was always on the back hoof! Indeed getting started is his Achilles heel but when he gets out anywhere like on terms he is a class act as he showed when winning the 2015 Hunt Cup at Ascot and twice this season he has rattled home from unpromising positions in the Coral Challenge and the Hunt Cup and the 9F of this race should be ideal and this season he turns up on OR107 and I wonder if Ryan Moore will ride him again? Cut and paste for the Balmoral at Ascot in October!

One Star* win @ 25/1 everyone!

WEEKEND OFFENDER                        (Kevin Ryan) Last October Weekend Offender beat Another Touch a neck in a 3yo C2 handicap at York and I put in my notebook, “Long term, John Smiths at York—Cambridgeshire 2017? Similar to Weekend Offender/Kevin Ryan”. Well for the John Smiths Weekend Offender was in quarantine and Another Touch ran on well having been drawn in the car park for a race with no pace and they stuck to the far rail at York!!

(Another Touch has since won a Listed race at Pontefract and I expect the 10F Listed Doonside Cup on Day one at Ayr’s Festival is top of his agenda.)

Weekender Offender gets in here on OR98 and at number 29 is guaranteed a stall if declared. After his unplanned mid-season break Kevin Ryan is right back in the winner producing swing! Weekend Offender bolted up at Ayr in a C3 10F handicap on Good to Soft ground and with the handicapper putting him up six pounds to guarantee his place in this field it was no surprise to see him run flat at York just twelve days later!

One Star* win @ 33/1 SkyBet 25/1 Ladbrokes & Coral

Others I considered,

Leshlaa                                               (Saeed bin Suroor) Of all the 3yo’s entered I think this one has some cracking form in the book and is probably a Group horse waiting to happen. Fourth in the Listed Fairway Stakes on this course, fifth in the Brittania to Bless Him and most recently winner of an AW Listed race in Turkey! Number 31 on the list so guaranteed a run if they want, indeed only top weight Carry on Deryck is in that position for the “Boys in Blue”.

El Vip                                                   (Luca Cumani) He will win one of these Heritage handicaps at 8-10F and Jamie Spencer will be in the saddle. Ground would be my biggest concern in the Cambridgeshire, can’t have Soft in the going and I think he’s best coming late off a rapid mile. Please can I have a price for 2018 Hunt Cup on Good to Firm, single figure draw and “Frank” riding?

Uae Prince                              (Roger Varian) After his run in the first race at the Goodwood Festival I had him down as a winner without a penalty but he was disappointingly flat at York and maybe the handicapper has him? OR97 and another who would prefer Good ground or better.

Qassem                                   (Hugo Palmer) Ran a cracker in the Clipper Logistics over 8F at York and in my Review of the meeting I wrote “Owned by Al Shaqab Qassem was originally with Andre Fabre in France, unraced as a 2yo, ran five times (22123) at three from 6F to 8F then transferred to Hugo Palmer stepped up to 12F and was a 14/1 eighth of fifteen in the November Handicap, OR95!  Over the winter he was gelded, pretty big shout for a €300K yearling, and this season has been fifth in a York 10½F C2 handicap OR94, won at Chelmsford in C2, OR93, dropped again back to a mile and second to Flaming Spear in the C2 8F Clipper Logistics at the York Ebor Festival off OR98. The last run was terrific as he was in the van throughout, the handicapper has put him up just one pound OR99.

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

I think 8F will suit him better and I’ll pass here.

SimpleSimonSays Review York Ebor Festival 2017 Part 2

Posted Wednesday August 29th 6.00pm

The fun part of these Festivals is always the handicaps and those at York are no exception. There is always more form in the book here than at Royal Ascot and York is a much fairer course than Goodwood. I want to concentrate on two handicaps in particular. The 8F 3yo handicap that closes the Friday because many of those taking part have a high enough handicap mark to make them big players in the major handicaps from 7-10F next season when they are those very attractive 4yo’s. I will profile thirteen that took part with a long term view.

The other handicap is of course the Ebor itself. Get the winner in this is a major target of the four days every year and there were lessons to be learnt from the 2017 edition.

I would then like to make some observations about the draw on the Knavesmire.

Next it will be Looking Forward its Tracker Time! A series of prospective winners from the other races except the 3yo handicap covered earlier. I am writing this section deliberately without reading the “eye catchers” from other on-line journalists. I expect they may similar but the following are MY observations.

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

So let’s get cracking.

Friday 4.50 Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap 1m, Class 2,

Obviously I love watching this race over and over again as I put up Mojito as my four star**** nap of the meeting who did everything I had written in my review and William Haggas has an improving 3yo on his hands who will surely have a go at Group company before the end of the season. In the race itself Kings Gift has set the solid fractions and kept on strongly with only Mojito and his stable mate Battered, who had come from nearly last, getting past him. The winner had travelled powerfully throughout, if a little keen early on, just behind the pace and quickened going to the furlong pole and put the race to bed. Plenty of others just behind ran perfectly well but it was really only the front three involved in the final furlong.

Before I profile this Bakers Dozen of prospective C2 4yo handicap winners I need to put in some small print! You will need to keep an eye on the upcoming Horses in Training sales as3yo’s rated close to OR100 are very attractive propositions to race in Dubai and the Far East not to mention possible targets for the NH fraternity. So these profiles will be fairly brief and those that get through to April 2018 I will expand upon.

Mojito                         (William Haggas) Now won three on the bounce and his handicap mark has gone from OR83 to OR104. He has won at 7 & 8F on all types of ground. What next? Well I found a 2016 interview in the Irish Field with the owner. She had Toronado (sold to Al Shaqab), Havana Gold (sold to Qatar Racing) and Ivawood who now stands at Coolmore Stud. Mojito was not cheap at €320K and although the owners are not short of a bob or two, Jersey residents and they have a “small plane”, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see Mojito in new colours once he steps up to Group company.  Fiona and Ian Carmichael-Jennings strike me as lucky owners. They also have Wall of Fire and Alba Power (in the 2yo section of Review Part 1) with Hugo Palmer, a gelded colt with Gay Kelleway, Uber Kool, who has won his last two and Signe who has recently moved from Haggas to Jesse Harrington supposedly en route to a visit to Ivawood. The interview mentioned previously revealed “We have got into the breeding side of things now…”.

Battered                     (William Haggas) Gelded early and owned by the trainers dad. Unless they get offered silly money I think this one will be about next season and having won his maiden at Yarmouth and 7F handicaps at York and Goodwood and as he stayed on well here you could see him being a player off OR98 in the 8F Hambleton handicap back at York, not to mention the likes of the Bunbury Cup and the Gigaset International on a stiff 7F.

Kings Gift                          (Michael Dods) Stays on OR100 and I would love to see him at Haydock or Chester over 8F, a course that suits a front runner. Remember he was fourth in the G3 Greenham at the start of the season just six lengths behind Barney Roy off levels! Has an entry in the Cambridgeshire but that would be up a furlong and a tough place, HQ, to make all. Could see this one going East.

Medahim                          (Richard Hannon) Stays on OR100 and two observations on Al Shaqab’s Kodiac colt, firstly it looks like he’s best on quick ground and the AW and secondly the handicapper probably has him on his current mark. Could see him wintering in Qatar and Dubai.

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

City of Joy                  (Sir Michael Stoute) To put it mildly, he is a bit of a monkey! He’s finished fifth to Mojito at York having walked out of the stalls and giving five lengths or more away. If he got out on terms he’s a player off OR94, he’s already been gelded so that’s not an option! Headgear? I can see this one at the Sales and rocking up next year with David O’Meara or Michael Appleby.

Zymyran                            (David Simcock) OR85 Interesting horse. Nurlan Bizakov owned and bred (under his Hesmonds Stud banner) but he couldn’t sell him so put him into training with Mr Simcock. Won three out of seven as a 2yo, gelded prior to his 3yo campaign which didn’t seem to be going anywhere so put him in the July Horses in Training sale and he went for £20K to the Khat Partnership who put him in training with, you’ve guessed it, Mr Simcock! On goes the hood and bang he wins a C3 at Newmarket. Then at York behind Mojito he’s been held up right out the back but kept on really well in the straight. Probably best with some give in the ground, in C3 and possibly 10F?

Syphax                                    (Kevin Ryan) Won the G3 Acomb at this meeting last season, promptly bought by Godolphin, but hasn’t really run to that level since, although trainer Kevin Ryan’s yard hasn’t had the healthiest season, closed for six weeks. Syphax was a solid second to Forest Ranger on seasonal debut, unsighted in the G3 10F Dante, last of eight to Beat the Bank in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil stakes at HQ and this looks a more realistic level. At York he was ridden to be prominent from stall 10, led early, headed on home turn, every chance two out, faded. Won the Acomb with a hold up ride which probably suits him best. If he was mine I would geld him, give him a couple of goes on the AW or in Meydan, then have a go at all those Ascot straight 7/8F handicaps under hold up tactics!

Areen Heart                    (Richard Fahey) OR88 87 At York on his latest start he gave up the outside to nobody and ran the whole turn for home three wide, perhaps not a lot of choice as he was drawn widest in stall 15! Never runs badly and he’s kept some decent company but only won one in eight. I expect to see him in the sale ring as the owner is a glory seeker! If he was mine I would geld him, put him away from the winter, drop into C3 and then try to get into the best 7F handicaps I could especially at Haydock and Chester.

Wahash                              (Richard Hannon) OR90 98 94  Let’s be honest they haven’t got a clue with this horse. Took seven goes to break his maiden as a 2yo and that was at Lingfield over 8f on the AW and the handicapper put him up eleven pounds to OR90!! Started his 3yo season with a cracking fourth to Middle Kingdom in that C3 10F handicap at the Craven meeting. Since then he’s been all over the place racing on ground from Good to firm to Heavy, from 6F to 10F and finds himself up four pounds courtesy to a second at Epsom in a 7F C2 handicap. Basically the handicapper has him, still.

He was a £150K yearling and as he’s by Dark Angel shouldn’t get a yard over 7F. Would be an ideal Dr. Koukash horse! Geld him, Chester/Epsom 7F, try to get a soft lead off a low draw, then kick two out!

La Rav                                 (Luca Cumani) OR94 Trust me, this is a winner waiting to happen. He’s run a cracker at York behind Mojito as Jamie Spencer told the Stewards, “the colt ran too free and stumbled approaching the line.” Trainer Cumani said on his excellent website, “La Rav gave himself no chance in his race on Friday considering how hard he pulled in the early stages.” Absolutely no surprise to see he has entries over further.

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

Starlight Romance     (Richard Fahey) OR89 She’s had a cracking 3yo campaign and has gone up a stone and is finding life difficult in C2 but once she gets back into C3, 7-8F, any ground she’ll be back in the winners enclosure and one more win could see her have a go at some decent C2 fillies handicaps as a 4yo.

Appointed                        (Tim Easterby) OR92 91 This daughter of Delegator is probably best in C3 over 10F with a bit of cut in the ground and the handicapper may have her at the moment. In Mojito’s race she travelled then made a promising move 3F out and looked dangerous 2f out but needed to come later.

Horoob                       (Roger Varian) OR93 90 In his last run at York behind Mojito was always among horses and although keen got a rough trip, travelling two out but didn’t get the gap when he wanted then got into more trouble than Denis the Menace, Jack Mitchell eased him off. Maybe he’s best on the AW or in fields of twelve or less but I would persist with him in these big field C2 8F handicaps, he has the ability.

Saturday 3.55 Betfred Ebor Handicap  1m6f,

Fabulous race but watching live it looked carnage between the 2F and 1F poles and at the time I could see suspensions all over the place and a lengthy Stewards Enquiry! However on replay when Nakeeta comes through he squeezes a few to his left, Flytothestars (who has run a cracker for a 3yo!) makes his own gap but a lot of the trouble is Lord Yeats running out of petrol and falling back into the lap of those behind! Clever Cookie seems to be hanging left all the way up the street and Wild Hacked didn’t get the clearest run and the only horse I can see with a genuine hard luck story is the third, Natural Scenery, who I will cover below in Looking Forward its Tracker Time!

Two points of note on the Ebor. Firstly you needed to be on OR101 to get a run in this year’s event and secondly as pointed out by a senior rails bookmaker to Matt Chapman on ITV,  the value of an apprentices claim can be the difference between winning and not!

Finally a horse who missed the cut by two was Blakeney Point, currently on OR97, and one more win should book his ticket for 2018 and as long as Firm isn’t in the going I think he is a major candidate for next years Ebor!

The Draw

Wiser men than me have said that if the horse is good enough you can win from anywhere. Well for me at York over 5F, 6F & 7F I want to be drawn in a single figure stall, from 8F to 10.5F I want 4-12 and any further I don’t think it makes a blind bit of difference. It’s all about getting the position you want, however it’s worth noting in the 2m handicap, the 14F Melrose and the 14F Ebor the winners all came from way off the pace!


I’m running short of time so I’m going to post this blog now (6pm Wednesday) and put Looking Forward its Tracker Time! and “Twilight” Horses, Stuck in the middle? In a Part III I’ll post tomorrow, Thursday August 30th.

Thursday August 24th Day 2 York Ebor Festival

Posted Wednesday 6.30pm

Wednesday on the Knavesmire was a fabulous day’s horse racing. Like all Festivals I will do a big review of all four days at the beginning of next week. Thursday is all about the fairer sex with four of the six races restricted to Fillies and Mares.

So this blog is:-

Reviews of the G1 Yorkshire Oaks and Listed Galtres Stakes, tomorrows two 12F races.

Tomorrows selections and why!

How we did punting on Wednesday.

Brief review of Wednesdays Juddmonte International and Great Voltiguer.

A rant about the rain! Going-gate!!

Odds and sods to assist your pin sticking!


York 3.40 Yorkshire Oaks G1 12F 3yo+ Fillies & Mares.

This won’t take long. Enable. There you go. Kettle on, watch the race. No betting medium.


York 3.35 British EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes Listed 12F 3yo+ Fillies & Mares.

Mori was second in the 12F G2 3yo Ribblesdale at Ascot, beaten just a neck by Coronet, who runs in the Group 1 race! Me, the handicapper and most of York think she has upward of 8lbs in hand of her opposition. Couldn’t back her at odds on (Ground, York, inexperience, she’s a mare) but wouldn’t wish to oppose her either.

The clue is in the title of the race, British EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes1 Mori is owned and bred by Juddmonte, her mum is Midday and her dad is of course Frankel! How henry Cecil do you want??

Even the opposition fancy Mori. Cumani Latest News – Aljezeera another for Al Shaqab Racing, also missed Goodwood due to the ground and will take her chance at York in the Listed British EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes over a mile and a half also on Thursday. She should be suited by the extra two furlongs and is well within herself at home, although the race is likely to be a competitive one with the likes of Ribblesdale second Mori in opposition.


Thursday Lucky 15

York 1.55                    GREAT PROSPECTOR             @ 7/2 WH + Coral 3/1 general

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE                 @ 13/2 general

York 3.00                    EL VIP                                      @ 10/1 general

York 4.50                    CARIDADE                               @ 11/1 Coral 10/1 general


Thursday Star* Selections (9 Stars)

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

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE                 Two star** win @ 13/2 general

York 3.00                    EL VIP                                      One star* each way @ 10/1 general (5 places WH/PP/BF)

York 4.50                    CARIDADE                               One star* each way @ 11/1 Coral 10/1 general


and here’s why


York 1.55                    GREAT PROSPECTOR  If he handles the ground he wins. I think the handicapper would have him about OR107, third in a G3 to Gustav Klimt and Nebo last time at HQ, massively impressive on debut. I have Great Prospector ten pounds well in here. I had him pencilled in for the G2 7F Acomb but as the excellent Richard Hoiles pointed out you couldn’t run in that race if you had won prior to July 15th. Wootton Bassett MkII?

sportinglife.com Richard Fahey blogGoffs Premier Yearling Conditions Stakes has been the target for Great Prospector since he won on debut at Nottingham. He went to Newmarket for the Superlative Stakes and ran a big race there and we’ve been very happy with him since. If he runs his race he’s got a favourite’s chance.”

SkyBet Ebor Preview Night Great Expectations Sadly Richard wasn’t at the preview evening on Wednesday as he was at Deauville, but Tony Hamilton stepped in as Musley Bank representative and if he did have a similar golden nugget I missed it. He did, however, say the yard’s best chance of the week, by far, was Great Prospector in the Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes, the opening race on Thursday. Third in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket’s July Meeting last time, Great Prospector will have a great chance on ratings and he’ll be relatively short in the betting as well. And Hamilton reports the Fahey team are happy with him at home. “He’d have a really good chance,” said Hamilton. “I’d be a little bit worried about the drop back to six, but staying further can be a good asset if they go fast so it might not be a bad thing at all. Richard targets these races 100 per cent as they are valuable and he’d have a good chance.”

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE An unbeaten William Haggas 2yo filly with form on the soft just has to be of interest and she ticks every box at the top of the trends list. 14/15 – Won by a Jan, Feb or March foal 14/15 – Had won over 5 or 6f before 14/15 – Had won at least once before 14/15 – Had 2 or more previous runs that season 13/15 – Had not run at York before 12/15  – Drawn in stall 4 or higher 12/15 – Returned 11/2 or shorter in the betting 12/15 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out 11/15 – Won last time out. Roll the dice!

York 3.00                    EL VIP Off OR99 he has every chance of picking up one of these Heritage handicaps. When he’s good he is Group class! The ground will be the issue but I thought they went through it OK today and I’ll take a chance that Jamie Spencer can right the wrong that was the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot when they ALL came across to the stands rail! Would have need a helicopter after two furlongs. Surely they’ll race up the middle here at York. Just a hunch Spencer will hold him up and might track Ryan Moore through on Ronald R, then pounce!

Cumani Latest News –El Vip was taken out a Glorious Goodwood due to the wet conditions but should be able to take his chance this week in the Clipper Logistics Handicap over a mile on Thursday. He is in great form at home and is working well, so provided he gets luck in running and with the draw, he should give a good account of himself.

York 4.50                    CARIDADE Haggas and Moore combining on a class dropper will make the market but I fancy one further down the handicap. Kevin Ryan paid just £20K for this Godolphin cast off who was unraced as a 2yo. Just had the three runs, won on Good to soft, 7F looks her trip and Jimmy Quinn can weigh out at just 8st 2lbs and Caridade looks an improver to me with the yard now rocking!                       


Wednesday Lucky 15

Not a great start with just a quid back for our £15, little more if you played each way!

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS                     2nd 6/1F           (8/1 general)

Best of the closers but Desert Law had first run. First four home drawn 8-5-2-9. Last four 12-20-13-18! Time 62.4 seconds suggest no worse than Good to Soft.

York 2.25                    ZAAKI                                      4th 20/1          (One Star* each way @ 18/1 PP 14/1 general)

Held up, progress two out, couldn’t quite get to first two. Super run.

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY                      Non runner!   (Two Star**win @ 7/1 general)

York 4.50                    KALAGIA                                 9th 16/1           (14/1 general)

Outpaced early, progress halfway but never competitive, looked after. The amount of morning rain did for us here.


Wednesday Star* Selections (11 Stars out 22.5 stars in +11.5 stars)

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS                     2nd 6/1F           (One Star*win @ 8/1 general)

York 2.25                    ZAAKI                                      4th 20/1          (One Star* each way @ 18/1 PP 14/1 general)

York 2.25                    WELLS FARHH GO                  1st 10/1           (One Star*win @ 16/1 general)

sportinglife.com “Tim Easterby looks proud as punch and rightly so, he’s got a good one on his hands here. He says: “He could go for the Royal Lodge next, or he could run in France. He’s a got a great temperament. He’s a proper horse. He had a hard race though, I won’t be pushing him. I bought him at the sales, at Tatts, and he’s just a big, nice horse. The type of horse I like to buy. I could’ve easily cut him and put him away but he showed me a lot of speed early on. Next year’s his year. He’s very exciting.”

BHA Stewards reports “The Stewards held an enquiry into the use of the whip by David Allan, the rider of the winner, WELLS FARHH GO (IRE), from 1 ½ furlongs out. Having heard his evidence and viewed recordings of the race, they found him in breach of Schedule (B)6 Part 2 in that he had used his whip above the permitted level. The Stewards suspended Allan for 7 days as follows: Wednesday 6 to Tuesday 12 September 2017. Under Rule (B)54 the Stewards also fined the rider £700.”

York 3.00                    MIRAGE DANCER                   3rd 5/1           (One Star*win @ 11/2 Ladbrokes 5/1 general)

Not ready for this level yet. Tried to follow the excellent Cracksman through but not good enough. Could have done without the morning’s rain. Did he actually stay 12F? Eclipse 2018? Juddmonte International 2018?

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY                      Non Runner   (Two Star**win @ 7/1 general)

York 4.15                    MY REWARD                          2nd 11/1           (One Star*win @ 14/1 PP 12/1 WH)

Poo! No complaints though, horse and jockey did exactly what I expected, just one too good!

York 4.50                    KALAGIA                                 9th 16/1           (14/1 general)

York 4.50                    AREEN FAISAL                                    3rd 10/1         (One Star* each way @ 11/1 WH 10/1 general)

Excellent run from stall 18. Winner just wasn’t for catching!            


Brief Wednesday review

York 3.35        Juddmonte International G1 10F

Review – Well done Jim Crowley. I don’t understand the rides on Cliffs of Moher or Barney Roy. The 3yo’s beat each other up and Crowley ended up with TWO to aim at?

Preview – “Fantastic line up but a mine field of a race. Who leads? This race could be won by the jockey as much as the horse. I want to take the 3yo’s colts on. I am not convinced Churchill’s form adds up to a lot and I don’t think Barney Roy is as good as Richard Hannon does! Shutter Speed is quality but she isn’t Enable! Either Decorated Knight or My Dream Boat would constitute a surprise but not a shock. Recent money suggests Cliffs of Moher is a player not a pacemaker and Eclipse winner Ulysses needs something to aim at, which brings me back to “where is the pace”?”

Ulysses next target is the Breeders Cup Turf and they will work backwards from there.

York 3.00        Great Voltigeur Stakes G2 12F 3yo colts & geldings

Top performance from Cracksman. Gosden says: “Whether he runs again, I’ll discuss with the owner. His main programme is next year and that’s really what it’s about. He may well run in the autumn, we will see. He was only a shell of a horse when he ran in the Derby. He has two engagements and they’re only possibilities at this time, not probabilities.” Arc de Triomphe candidate?



It was Goodwood all over again! How can these Clerks of the Course get it SO wrong? Surely they pay for professional meterological advice? OK so it’s the British Weather bur 15mm is not under 5mm!

Here’s a time line for my rising anger!

sportinglife.com Ebor Festival blog 10.29am: At the York preview evening last night our editor Dave Ord unwittingly had a pop at clerks of the courses up and down the land, not knowing that York supremo William Derby was still in attendance. Dave said something like, and I am paraphrasing here: ‘They always play it down, there will be more than 5mm tomorrow.’

Derby asked Ord to clarify his comments at half-time, and, to be fair Dave, he didn’t back down. A friendly £5 wager between the two followed, with Dave cheering on more than 5mm and Derby 5mm or less.

York Races Clerks‏ @YorkClerk  10.47am 6mms rain to 10.45am @yorkracecourse Going now Good. Thunder showers continue to noon. Will update Going again when rain through

TurfTrax‏ @TurfTrax

1107am Going update @yorkracecourse is now Good following 10mm rain this morning to 10:45

Totepool Racing‏ @TotepoolRacing

11.35am #EborFestival 12mm of rain in last hour – going now Good – stopped raining – talk of Sunshine later !!!

Racing Post‏ @RacingPost 

11.45 am “It feels like the track has taken the rain very well but we will make an assessment and issue an update at 12.30” – York’s William Derby

York Races Clerks‏ @YorkClerk 

Going @yorkracecourse at 12.20pm Good to Soft, soft in places after 15mm of rain. Now stopped and cloud lifting.

Simon Rowlands‏ @RowleyfileRRR

Around 64.2s for opener at York          Soft side of Good?

Wouldn’t be surprised if they water Friday night!


Odds & Sods

This came through on my Twitter during Wednesday

FlatStats‏ @FlatStats   Mark Johnston at the York Ebor Meeting:

Wins: 4 Runs: 141 Win%: 2.8% A/E: 0.31 ROI: 66% loss That’s a Stokell sized strike rate there.

Didn’t do much on Wednesday to improve it either!

Lucky 15 Saturday June 17th

Friday 5.15pm Just can’t beat racing on the Knavesmire in the summer. Must get up there in July. Royal Ascot is steaming towards us and for once I’m quite hopeful as home work has gone well and feel up to speed on many form lines. As always I’m quite prepared to be totally wrong but I think the key to a profitable Royal Ascot 2017 can be summed up in three words. John Gosdens Fillies. So I’ve backed big Johnny G (Thanks M.Chapman) at 6/1 to be top trainer. Sorry Aidan who? Daban wins the Jersey, Coronet wins the Ribblesdale (G1 horse in a G2), Dabayah gives Winter a fright, with no Icespire it’s Gymnaste for the Sandringham (and if she does you’d better check out Keyser Soze in the Britannia!) and of course after the Duke of Cambridge we should all be able to Laugh Aloud!

More articles on the way.

Saturdays Lucky 15

Prayer mats at the ready!

Sandown 2.40                        BATTAASH                                        9/1 Ladbrokes + WH 8/1 general

York 3.30                    DANIELSFLYER                                    12/1 PP 10/1 WH 8/1 general

Sandown 3.50                        TAUREAN STAR                      8/1 general

Sandown 5.35                        VUELA                                    7/4 general

and here’s why

Sandown 2.40                        BATTAASH                        Not my type of race normally, a 3yo Listed event over Sandown’s awkward 5F, but let’s do something different! This will be the selections first run of the season and the form book says he was third to the rapid Mrs Danvers in the G3 Cornwallis Stakes at HQ the last time we saw the gelding last October. That reads well in this Listed event. However it is the fact that ten days ago Charlie Hills said in his Weekender column that Battaash “had done a scintillating bit of work”. Now if one trainer knows his sprinters it is young Charles, Supposedly has the worst draw but I’m not convinced the rail is where you want to be unless you’re leading! It’s 4/1 the field and at double that Battaash may offer some value.

York 3.30                    DANIELSFLYER                        Comfortable winner of a strong C2 3yo sprint at Newmarket on his only run this season he looked just the type for this valuable race. Solid 2yo form, second in the Listed Woodcote Stakes at Epsom, he’s an improver (forget his run over C&D he was drawn 18!), ground, trip and grade are fine, the booking of SDS for Brian Ellison is a definite plus and I’m more than happy with stall 8. Dangers all around but the winner will be in a single figure draw.

Sandown 3.50                        TAUREAN STAR             This is the horse I was all over for the Victoria Cup over Ascots straight 7F when this hold up horse had no luck as to my amazement and I’m sure jockey Jamie Spencer’s, the whole field, all 23 of them, crossed to the Stands rail! No chance from 3F out but he kept on. Normally runs in a straight line but came round Lingfields bends OK and Spencer will need to box clever from stall 5. Drop him in, not drop him out, then find a seam to come home strongly in the final furlong. The grade and the ground are fine as should be the trip unless he gets lit up. This doesn’t look a strong C2 to me.

Sandown 5.35                        VUELA                                 If you only saw the form lines you would have known it was trained by Luca Cumani! He is so patient with these home bred staying types. This daughter of Duke of Marmalade out of a Wildenstein mare was always going to need a trip and I expect further improvement as she steps up to 14F in the hands of the always patient Jamie Spencer. This could well be her last handicap as she will probably go in search of Black type next and I wouldn’t be surprised if something like the Park hill Stakes at York in September is on the radar. The trainer won it in 2014 with Silk Sari.


Fridays Lucky 15

Fingers crossed!

York 2.20                    BURGUILLOS                                                    2nd 4/1                 (11/2 PP 9/2 general)

Beaten a neck. Not the smoothest passage through but beaten on merit.

York 3.30                    GOD WILLING                                     13th 14/1         (20/1 general)

Nibbled at. Close up, weakened final furlong.

York 4.40                    MONJENI                                            3rd 10/3JF        (11/2 general)

Goodwood 7.40         WAR AT SEA                                      8/1 PP 7/1 general


Royal Ascot 2017

Charlie Appleby picks out 5-star Royal Ascot team Friday 16 June 2017 At The Races

Blessed this year with a with a team of smart two-year-olds and talented older horses, Appleby exclusively reveals five Royal Ascot horses to follow to Press Association Sport:

AQABAH (Coventry Stakes) “He won his maiden at Ascot then went to the Curragh and finished fourth on soft ground there. On his American pedigree that didn’t suit him, but he gained good experience there. He will be suited to a quicker surface and his work has been good since that race. He will now head towards the Coventry.”

FRONTIERSMAN (Hardwicke Stakes) ” He put up a great performance in the Coronation Cup. He has come out of that race very well. All the signs have been good since Epsom with him and the plan is to head to the Hardwicke. His run at Epsom didn’t surprise me as his home-work had been so good. It was a big jump, stepping up from handicap company to Group One company, but his home-work had been good and we went there confident of a good run. That’s why we supplemented him for that race.”

GRECIAN LIGHT (Sandringham Handicap) “She danced every dance last year at the top table and she was always very competitive. I was pleased with her first start of the season in France. She finished third on soft ground which would probably not have been ideal. I purposely put her away for the Sandringham. Her work has been nice and I feel that she is off a competitive mark.”

SECRET ADVISOR (King George V Stakes) “The King George V Handicap is a race I like and we tend to have three or four runners in there. The one for this year could be Secret Advisor. He is stepping up in trip and I think that will suit him. I don’t think he has met his optimum trip yet. He was a winner over a mile in his maiden. He then stepped up to a mile and a quarter at Windsor, where he met a nice horse on the day. We then dropped him back at Goodwood and again he ran a creditable race, but crying out that stepping up was only going to suit him. I feel he is a horse that going up to a mile and a half, he will find more improvement.”

SOUND AND SILENCE (Norfolk Stakes or Windsor Castle Stakes) “He is a horse that broke his maiden on his debut at Newmarket then he finished fourth in the National Stakes at Sandown. He has come out of the race well. He did scope a bit dirty after the race, but that has cleared up well and his work has been good. I feel that he will potentially head towards the Norfolk Stakes at this stage.”


June 16 2017, 10:22 Mirage Dancer is set to contest the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot next week. The son of Frankel made a successful start to his career in a Doncaster maiden last October and was far from disgraced on his seasonal reappearance when fourth behind subsequent Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher in the Dee Stakes at Chester.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “I would say he’s more likely to go for the Hampton Court than the King Edward. We’ve always said he’s very much a work in progress. He caught the eye at Chester and that was only his second lifetime start and his first of the year. We hope he’ll improve from that. He’s coming on all the time.”

Lucky 15 Friday June 16th

Thursday 5.45pm Just caught some live action in the shop and well!! George Bowen drops grade and hacks up by 4 ½ lengths but he’s just not the horse you can back at 2/1! Gosden 3yo fillies are rock solid. At Newbury his debutante, Standing Rock wins 3yo maiden, then he has first and third in the Listed race. Shutter Speed on Sunday and the rest of the A team are at Ascot. Shop punters told me to look at the 2yo’s earlier so I have done and Stoute’s Expert Eye has a big future and Fahey has an above average colt in Great Prospector!

Now after serious counselling and a week on emergency rations it is time once again to delve into the murky waters of the Lucky 15. Last Saturday my biggest investment was the 5/4 about #FantasticMrFahey getting four winners from his thirty two runners. Three up with sixteen to run, happy days. Then two fourths, a third and five seconds!! The final runner was beaten a short, short head. All my selections ran OK for ninety five per cent of their race but just couldn’t get over the line and just to rub salt in a gaping wound I couldn’t see Scotland scoring a goal against England. Not a sniff for eighty seven minutes then twice in three minutes! I need to lie down again.

Fridays Lucky 15

Fingers crossed!

York 2.20                    BURGUILLOS                                                    11/2 PP 9/2 general

York 3.30                    GOD WILLING                                     20/1 general

York 4.40                    MONJENI                                            11/2 general

Goodwood 7.40         WAR AT SEA                                      8/1 PP 7/1 general

and here’s why

York 2.20                    BURGUILLOS                    Just doesn’t know how to run a bad race. Will come from off the pace, trip looks ideal, ground should suit, draw is workable and there are questions to be answered for most of his rivals. Mythical Madness, Big Country, as good on grass as sand?  Innocent Touch, in handicappers grip? Stipulate, Just Hiss, Madroos, stay the trip? Euchen Glen could be the danger.

York 3.30                    GOD WILLING             Doesn’t look good on current form but in four runs this season only got his conditions once, 7F Good to Firm, and was a running on fifth having been held up on the rail. Already down below his last winning mark, September 2016, and in the following race was second to El Vip giving him six pounds! The yard is two from twelve in the last fortnight and hopefully stall 12 of 18 will be OK for him. Might get a price here?

As for the rest; Firmdecisions and War department look AW horses to me, Penwortham needs Chester, Bertiewhittle is pensionable, the handicapper has Classic Seniority, Moonlightnavigator needs some rain. Sun Lover on seasonal debut for Varian and Atzeni will be the popular selection as the lightly raced 4yo gelding looks to repay his £360K price tag. Never come onto any radar of mine. Perhaps Ruth Carr has the danger in Chaplins Bay now he is back to the same mark he’s won off the last twice, OR74.

York 4.40                    MONJENI                           Since leaving Sir Mark Prescott’s yard Ian Williams has got Monjeni to win three out of his four races, two on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton and one at Haydock. His defeat was here on the Knavesmire over two furlongs further than he had been winning at. Monjeni is a giraffe of a horse with a daisy cutter action and despite Sir Mark thinking the horse need to go as far as possible it seems 14F on good to firm ground is the ideal. At Haydock Monjeni showed a change of gear, not easy for a gangly type and there could be more to come. I’ll forgive him his last run on grounds of trip and going. Plenty of likely opponents especially Theydon Grey for William Haggas who comes here instead of Musselburgh on Saturday for a race he’s been ante post favourite all week! Paul Hanagan rides On Fire for James Bethell and they will be trying to repeat their last time success over this distance at Nottingham. Hanagan rode Monjeni last time but I think here is a case of Atzeni getting the ride and not Hanagan having a choice.

Goodwood 7.40         WAR AT SEA   Fascinating C4 12F 3yo handicap. Let’s remove the chaff, Koeman, Galactic Prince and Fields of Fortune don’t look ready to win, 0-7 0-8 1-8, if they ever do! Road to Dubai has won two of his last three and has SDS in the saddle but has been operating at a lower grade and didn’t seem to stay when stepped up to 12F. Duke of Bronte won a dodgy Newbury maiden at 50/1 for the Millmans and the handicapper probably has him. Twenty Times, trained by Richard Hughes and owned by Sir Alex Ferguson is the sexy horse. The recent C5 soft ground 10F Chepstow handicap he won looks distinctly egg and spoon to me but hopefully he’ll make the market for the two I fancy. Luca Cumani is a trainer of patience and his 3yo’s improve with time and trip. His City Limits, by Nathanial, looks a likely time but as with many from this yard first time out is not the best time to back them. So it’s War at Sea for me. Went in the notebook when beaten by John Gosdens Garrick at Newcastle with the front two six lengths clear of the third. By Mastercraftsman out of a Galileo mare he cost Qatar Racing £105K and I’m sure David Simcock sees war at Sea’s future over middle distances, its 12F here, and with Jamie Spencer in the saddle we can be sure of a patient ride!


Saturdays Lucky 15

Not pretty reading!

Catterick 3.25             GABRIAL THE TIGER                                   8th 12/1           (25/1 PP 14/1 Skybet)

Check that price. Did exactly what I wanted him to do, got out, got the rail, led into straight then at the furlong pole fell in a hole. Jockey said he hung left!

Newmarket 4.50        REALLY SUPER                                                4th 2/1F           (15/8 general)

Travelled like a dream then when push came to shove. Zip. She was the Nap of the day.

Haydock 4.05             SO BELOVED                                       3rd 8/1             (15/2 PP general)

No complaints every chance just finished third beaten less than a length.

Chester 4.55               POWERALLIED                                   6th 16/1           (16/1 general)

Midfield, midfield, midfield. Get the drift?


Royal Ascot 2017

Latest going news Stickels said: “It certainly looks like it is going to very warm weather this coming weekend. At the moment, high pressure is dominating and is set to do so through next week. There is a small chance it could break down by the end of next week on Friday/Saturday but at the moment we are pretty settled. Temperatures this weekend should 27 or 28 degrees Celsius. It should cool down by Tuesday, with temperatures of around 24 degrees and towards the end of next week are forecast to go down to the low 20s.

At the moment, we are Good, Good to Firm in places. We are watering at the moment – we put seven millimetres on the round course overnight and are putting 10 millimetres on the straight today. The plan is not to water tomorrow and then review the situation. It is likely we will need to water during the meeting to maintain Good to Firm ground as the week goes on. The track is looking in great shape. We had a dry spring and 10 days’ ago we had 20 millimetres of rain which really helped us. I am really looking forward to next week.”

Ger Lyons Ascot plans – Irish Times June 14th The impressive Navan winner Treasuring could bid to follow in Elletelle’s hoof-prints next week by tackling the Queen Mary. “She reminds me of Elletelle a lot in that she has the speed for five, gets six, is very hardy and doesn’t show me anything at home. They’re very similar so maybe it’s written in the stars!” Lyons said. Provisional plans for next week also include the Irish Guineas fourth place Glastonbury Song running in the Jersey Stakes while the stalwart handicapper Sea Wolf is set to line up in the Royal Hunt Cup.

Up to five runners owned by Qatar Racing could go from Lyons’s Glenburnie Stables with Black Sails a possible for the Chesham, Savannah Storm going for the Duke Of Edinburgh, Lightening Fast in the Britannia and Gold Spinner a possible to join him or take in the Hampton Court instead. “Gold Spinner is very ground dependant and will probably only run if there’s soft in the ground description,” said Lyons who may also run Percy in the King George V handicap.


American Patriot is aiming to be the second successive American-trained winner of the G1 Queen Anne Stakes, run over Ascot’s straight mile, on the first day of Royal Ascot, Tuesday, June 20, following Tepin’s victory in 2016. The four-year-old War Front colt is trained by Todd Pletcher, the most successful handler in prize money terms that the USA has ever seen. American Patriot comes to Royal Ascot on the back for a first G1 victory, achieved with a late run in Keeneland’s Maker’s 46 Mile on turf on April 17. Ginny DePasquale, an assistant trainer to Pletcher, commented: “That was an absolutely amazing win – we were so thrilled.

 “We did not think he was going to win until the last few strides when he made up a lot of ground. Todd and the owner came up with the Royal Ascot plan after American Patriot ran the way he did, coming from far off the pace, European-style. We were 20/1 in the morning line at Keeneland, but we have always thought a lot of this horse from the time he was a two-year-old. He has still got to prove himself a little bit and we are hoping for the best. We have learned to bring the right horse over – one you really think can do well and compete in the prevailing conditions. American Patriot has been training and breezing very well since his Keeneland victory. He went off for a canter this morning and dealt with the open spaces very well. Winning the Kentucky Derby, which is the real premier race of the United States for three-year-olds, and then the Belmont Stakes means it has been an amazing six weeks for the stable. We are hoping American Patriot runs the best he can. Winning at Royal Ascot is very prestigious – the ultimate racing in the world as far as we are concerned – so it would definitely be a feather in our cap. This is our second trip to Royal Ascot – we came with two horses six years ago – and we will give it a shot when we have the right horse or horses.”

sportinglife.com Thursday 15 June 2017 Across The Stars will be joined at the meeting by his hat-trick seeking stable mate City Of Joy, who is on course for a tilt at the Britannia Stakes. Raymond added: “City Of Joy has done well winning his last two races and goes for the Britannia. As he is trained by Sir Michael Stoute, I am sure he will be one of the favourites.”

Harry Herbert, who is racing manager for the Royal Ascot Racing Club “Another runner for the Royal Ascot Racing Club is Projection (Roger Charlton) in the Wokingham Handicap. He is a really tough sprinter and loves the hustle and bustle. He had a good season last year without winning then went wrong. He ran a perfectly decent race at Newmarket first time out and then had a minor setback again. Hopefully, he will get a clear run with his last two pieces of work and is the sort of horse that should run very well in the Wokingham.”

McErin – G2 Norfolk Stakes. Wesley Ward declared: “I knew from the start that he would be a Norfolk contender. He has shown a lot of speed in everything he has done at home. He is a compact sprinter type of horse. He has an all-dirt pedigree but he has been much better on the grass. I think he has a really big chance.”

David Redvers, racing manager to owner Qatar Racing Limited, talked about the chances of Sheikh Fahad Al Thani’s operation at Royal Ascot. Redvers said: “We have some very exciting two-year-olds plus our old stagers as well. I am particularly looking forward to the two-year-olds although we are going to have some stiff competition – I see Twitter is alive with Mr Ward’s horses! We have some talented two-year-old fillies – Natural looks very good for Richard Hannon as does Out Of The Flames. Ger Lyons has two lovely fillies as well – Black Sails, who was very impressive in Ireland as was Treasuring, a daughter of our own Havana Gold who I think is set to have six runners at the meeting.”

Lucky 15 Friday May 18th  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going at NEWBURY – Good to soft, Soft in places

(GoingStick: 6.1 on Thursday at 15:45)

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


Fridays Lucky 15

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

Newbury 2.35            SCRUTINEER                                   14/1PP 12/1 general

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

Newbury 4.45            WASATCH RANGE                       11/4 general

York 5.35                    BEDOUIN                                        6/1 PP 5/1 general

and here’s why

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursdays Lucky 15

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

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

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

Looks like Father Time has caught up. Disappointing.

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Epsom Derby 2017

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

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

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

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