Tag: Lucky 15

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.


Saturday 7th October Lucky 15

Posted Friday 6th October 6.45pm

After Last Saturday’s heady success seven days on I’ve gone for singles in the totescoopp6 Challenge Cup at Ascot and the totepool 2yo Trophy at Redcar with a Lucky 15 elsewhere and a little each way single.

Ascot 3.35 totescoop6 Challenge Cup C2 7F Handicap

Right let’s get stuck into this tasty puzzle. First glance says we are dealing with a bunch of old friends! Plenty with “chances” but who can actually win it? Second thought was I want a high draw as they are only using half the straight course and the quickest way home will be up the stands rail. BUT using only half of the straight course (stands side) only applies to 2.5F from home and then it is full width and watching today they raced down the middle then could challenge anywhere but shied away from the stands rail.

Top of the market are two horses who could easily be Group horses masquerading in a handicap. Makzeem won comfortably last week but is up 6lbs, Shoemark replaces Moore and it was only seven days ago. Mojito is definitely a Group horse and this is his first go against his elders but if you are happy with 5/1 don’t let me put you off.

Birchwood has Mosse not Spencer but doesn’t look a winner, Arcanada’s best form is on a flat track like York and I’m no fan of Paddy Pilley even claiming 5lbs, Mjjack will be thereabouts but has gone up without winning, it’s not wet enough for Mitchum Swagger nor far enough for Withernsea so I have come up with a short list of three.

It has to include Mojito, then secondly Firmament. He has run well all season over C&D coming late for somewhere around fifth BUT he remains on a high mark of OR109 whereas those around him have risen up the weights. Just wish it was Tudhope not Makin but if the cards fall right and he gets going a little earlier?? However the selection is STRAIGHT RIGHT. A relative new kid to these events he represents the Leicester FC chairman (Beat the Bell, Donjuan Triumphant etc.) and an in form Andrew Balding. His running on third to Johnny Barnes at Goodwood on only his second start for the yard since transferring from France, where he had run Al Wukair to less than four lengths in a G3, really caught my eye. Oisin Murphy has ridden him in both his UK starts and will know what he has got and Ascots stiff 7F on Good to soft ground is ideal.

Straight Right Two Stars** each way @ 12/1 general BF 5 places


Redcar 3.20 totepool 2yo Trophy 6F

Big field, big prize, few contenders!

According to the official handicapper this should be all about Richard Fahey’s Darkanna but she has just looked to be crying out for 7F and even on Good to Soft the race could be over before she hits top stride. Musley Bank also has Crownthorpe but is another stepping back in trip. I don’t think De Bruyne Horse has improved but a case could be made for Never Back Down and Red Roman but both have to give twelve pounds to the filly FLYING SPARKLE and I think that is a big ask.

On yesterday’s blog I tacked on profiles of two 2yo contests run at Yarmouth’s three day Festival that I thought would throw up some winners. Well here is the first opportunity to test the fillies form Flying Sparkle was beaten a length by Beauty Filly who trainer William Haggas rates highly and I think could be an OR90+ filly. She will race prominently, she will go on the ground, she will get 6Fand the icing on the cake is a recharged Hayley Turner in the saddle, as she was for the filly’s winning debut. Why isn’t she working for ITV on a Saturday?

Flying Sparkle Two Stars** each way @ 12/1 general PP 5 places WH 4 places

Saturdays Lucky 15

Newmarket 2.40                    PERSUASIVE                           @ 11/4 BF 5/2 general

Redcar 3.55                            LAHORE                                  @ 15/8 BF+PP

Redcar 4.30                            RASHFORD’S DOUBLE                @ 7/1 general

Newmarket 5.35                    EBBESBOURNE                       @ 7/2 PP 3/1 general

Saturday Star* Selections ( 17 stars* Out)

Newmarket 2.40                    PERSUASIVE                           Three Star*** win @ 11/4 BF 5/2 general

Redcar 3.55                            LAHORE                                  Two Star** win @ 15/8 BF+PP

Redcar 4.30                            RASHFORD’S DOUBLE                        One Star* win @ 7/1 general

Newmarket 5.35                    EBBESBOURNE                       One Star* win @ 7/2 PP 3/1 general

Redcar 3.20                            FLYING SPARKLE        Two stars** each way @ 12/1 general PP 12345 WH 1234

Ascot 3.35                               STRAIGHT RIGHT        Two Stars** each way @ 12/1 general BF 5 places

Newmarket 4.25                    SOUL SILVER                           One Star* each way @ 16/1 PP 14/1 general


and here is why


Fridays Lucky 15

Newmarket 2.40                    PERSUASIVE I think this is a Group 1 filly, she was hugely progressive as a 3yo and I think she has improved each run this season, especially using Roly Poly as a guide and it seems they won’t be leaving anything out on the track if this is to be her last hoorah. 8F and Good ground are ideal and no reason Newmarket shouldn’t suit.

Chris Richardson (owner Cheveley Park managing director), Persuasive: “It’s been a little bit frustrating with her, but she goes there in great form and we’ll roll the dice. We felt she was a bit unlucky because of the draw and the slow pace in Ireland last time. This race gives her one last opportunity to get that Group One win on the board. Mr and Mrs Thompson (Cheveley Park owners) will make the final decision on whether this will be her final run, but I suspect it will be and it would be great if she can go out in a blaze of glory.”

Redcar 3.55                            LAHORE Anyone who saw Lahore win at Doncaster will know that this horse is no handicapper! Held up in rear with the handbrake firmly on, when de Sousa offered him some daylight he scythed through the 3yo field, led at the furlong pole and was gone! Won by four lengths eased down. Trainer Roger Varian makes a solid case for sticking with his charge “Lahore was most impressive when winning at Doncaster last month and while this requires another step forward, he is lightly-raced with a progressive profile. These conditions – a flat, straight 7f with some ease in the ground – are virtually identical to those under which he won at the St Leger Meeting and I would expect him to put up a bold show on his first run at this level.”

However he has some interesting rivals today. Don’t Touch hasn’t followed up his stellar 3yo season and trainer Richard Fahey sounds disappointed, “….we know he’d be competitive here if back on song. We’ve put the blinkers on to see if they spark a revival.” If #FantasticMrFahey is disappointed with Don’t Touch it is frustration with Stamp Hill, “We’ve kept him back for the big handicaps but he keeps getting balloted out despite being rated 99. It’s amazing.” Godolphin’s Yattwee is a talented horse yet to truly deliver. This looks like a shot to nothing, if he wins happy days, if not down a couple of pounds and off OR100 he looks well handicapped! He is actually in the 8F Balmoral handicap (20/1) at Ascot on Champions Day and this race may be to just take the fizz out of him.

There are two 3yo fillies at the bottom trying to steal cheap Black Type. One of them, Caridade, is on my radar after the York Ebor Festival, but both are surely out of their depth here.

Redcar 4.30                            RASHFORD’S DOUBLE I think the clue may be in the race title here, “RACING UK STRAIGHT-MILE SERIES FINAL HANDICAP”. More than once against Rashfords Double’s name I have written “straight course” and I think OR81 is a winning mark, SDS has been booked and he could just boss this horse into action and I share the views of trainer #FantasticMrFahey, “seems to be running himself back into form. His best efforts have been on the all-weather but he does handle cut in the ground on turf and the Racing UK Straight-Mile Series Final Handicap isn’t as competitive as it could have been for a £20,000 pot.”

Newmarket 5.35                    EBBESBOURNE Sir Michael Stoute trains this 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. The ground went against her and she was taken out at a not so “Glorious” Goodwood. It wasn’t quick enough either on her latest run when she struggled to 7th in a Listed race over C&D behind To Eternity. She goes back into handicap company for an all aged C2 fillies handicap having another go at 12F with Ryan Moore riding and they come from widest stall, although that should allow her to be tucked in. That’s an awful lot to like.


Saturday Star* Selections 

Newmarket 2.40                    PERSUASIVE                           Three Star*** win @

Redcar 3.55                            LAHORE                                  One Star win @

Redcar 4.30                            RASHFORD’S DOUBLE                        One Star win @

Newmarket 5.35                    EBBESBOURNE                       One Star win @ 1

Newmarket 4.25                    SOUL SILVER                           One Star* each way @         

Went into my notebook after what I thought was a promising run at Goodwood. “Barged as she came to make her challenge. Kept on hands and heels. C2 8F fillies handicap. No higher.” She has a little to find on with Shenanigans on her last run but there was no pace in that five horse affair and the winner stole it off the front. Hopefully stronger run race here. Jamie Spencer is a real bonus.


Fridays Lucky 15

Ascot 2.00                               SHADY MCCOY           1st 13/2           @ 5/1 general

Comfortable victory. Despite being drawn one off the stands rail Ryan Moore ended up challenging in the middle of the track, he just picked the one to follow who would take him deepest into the race. Genius.

Ascot 2.35                               ZWAYYAN                   1st 11/4F          @ 7/2 general

No nonsense Dettori ride. Prominent, trailed pace, took it up after the 2F pole, saw it out despite idling close home. If you watch the replay keep an eye on Victory Angel and Taurean Star. More in next weeks report.

Ascot 3.45                               MOUNT MARIAH       5th 9/4F           @ 9/4 general

Not sure he was good enough, not sure it was Harry Bentley’s finest hour (again). Horse stays in my tracker, hopefully to run in UK next season. Good ride from Spencer, Weekender could be some 4yo.

Ascot 4.20                               GRAPHITE STORM      6th 3/1 F


Friday Star* Selections (5 stars* Out 12 stars* in)

Ascot 2.00                               SHADY MCCOY           1st 13/2           One Star win @ 5/1 general

Ascot 2.35                               ZWAYYAN                   1st 11/4F          One Star win @ 7/2 general

Ascot 3.45                               MOUNT MARIAH       5th 9/4F           Two Star win @ 9/4 general

Ascot 4.20                               GRAPHITE STORM      6th 3/1 F          One Star win @ 10/3 Ladbrokes 3/1 general


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.

Monday 2nd October (Saturday Lucky 15 plus Star* Selections)

Posted Monday 2nd October 12noon

 Oh I do hope some of you kept the faith!?

Massively satisfying to have put up the winner of the Cambridgeshire, Dolphin Vista @ 50/1, in my ante post piece over three weeks before the race and then recommending topping up again on the day, add to that a comfortable win for Makzeem @ a generous 5/1 and SammyJo Bell getting the improving Boundsy up on the line @ 10/1 and it was a great day. If you had played the Lucky 15 for a £1 unit stake and the Star* selections @ £5 a star you would have got back £437.50 for your £85, that is £352.50 profit (!!!) and playing the optional #FantasticMrFahey Saturday Lucky 15 would have earned you another £16! Could have been even better with Clubbable and Original Choice beaten just a nose and a short head and either of those would have put another sixty quid in the pot!

Not all good news, as on Saturday morning my two best bets of the day would have been Sands of Mali in the Middle Park and Zap at Chester and both were most disappointing.

Still plenty of room for improvement then.

Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE        2nd 7/2F

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI         12th 9/2

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS                       13th 9/1                      

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM                  1st 5/1

Saturday Star* Selections (14 stars* Out)

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE      2nd 7/2F           One Star win @ 8/1 Lad+Coral

We got the price, then we got done on the bob! Every chance.

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY                 1st 10/1           One Star win @ 9/1 BF 8/1 general

Such a genuine horse. Handled the Heavy ground and SammyJo Bell got him up on the line.

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI         12th 9/2           Two Star** win @ 4/1 general

Really disappointing. Looked to me that he lost his action, unsuited by the course or the ground or both? However the BHA Stewards Report says “The performance of SANDS OF MALI (FR), which was ridden by Paul Hanagan and trained by Richard Fahey, and finished unplaced, was considered. It was noted that the trainer could offer no explanation for the colt’s performance.”

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS                       13th 9/1           One Star win @ 11/1 WH+PP

Prominent early but just not competitive in the final two furlongs

Haydock 3.15                         JOHNNY BARNES       6th 5/1             One Star win @ 8/1 BF+Coral

Missed the break by 3 or 4 lengths. Ran on but the race was over.

Newmarket 3.35                    DOLPHIN VISTA          1st 50/1           One Star* each way @ 50/1 WH ?? places

Amazing run as basically it was a solo from the 2F pole once he headed the smaller stand side group!

Ripon 3.45                              RIGHT TOUCH             4th 20/1           One Star win @ 16/1 BF+Coral

First time this season he’s got competitive and only missed out on the podium by a nose. Wins before the seasons out!

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN        3rd 10/1           One Star* win @ 18/1 Lad’s

Kept on but one paced. Wins before the seasons out?

Chester 4.15                           ZAP                             5th 9/4F           One Star win @ 9/2PP 7/2 general

Every chance 2F out, just didn’t pick up on the heavy ground, disappointing.

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE                 2nd 10/3F         One Star win @ 9/2 BF 4/1 general

Worryingly Dave Orton in the RP analysis says “should have won this”. Much as I am huge Paul Hanagan fan, of many years standing, I would have to agree. Held up, weaved their way through.

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM                  1st 5/1             Two Star** win @ 9/2 Lad+Coral

Given a fine ride by Ryan Moore, coming from way back but running on very strongly up the Stands rail a la Dolphin Vista! Could be a group horse over this 7F trip.

Very much optional #FantasticMrFahey Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY                 1st 10/1

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN        3rd 10/1

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE                 2nd 10/3F

Chester 4.15                           ZAP                             5th 9/4F

Saturday 30th September Lucky 15 plus Star* Selections

Posted Friday 29th September 6.30pm

Not happy with this rain.

From what I’ve seen of Newmarket you would rather race prominently than come from the back. After the first at Newmarket, winning jockey Pat Cosgrave said, “It’s good to soft”.

Haydock on the straight course doesn’t look as bad as I feared. The only thing you can do quickly is stop! I would want evidence of form on Soft ground or worse. After the second race at Haydock Joe Fanning said, “It is heavy, particularly down the back, but it’s loose.” The time was 14.35 seconds slow.

Both Ripon and Chester produce course specialists as the former is a roller coaster and the latter is like racing round your back garden! Remember NO CUTAWAY at Chester, looking for low drawn front runners with Soft ground form.


Newmarket 3.35 Cambridgeshire Handicap (Already advised)

DOLPHIN VISTA ex-Fahey now Martyn Meade, quiet season, ran well in Lincoln, trip and ground are ideal, the excellent George Wood takes off three pounds and just might be a plot. One star* win @50/1.

GM HOPKINS It’s the Cambridgeshire you have to back him! Two things needed, leave stalls at same time as everyone else and running room in the final furlong! One star* win @ 25/1

WEEKEND OFFENDER Went in my notebook twelve months ago as a likely sort for this big field handicap. Goes with cut in the ground, 9F is spot on and has a bit of class. Kevin Ryan’s mid-season break may be a blessing in disguise in this case. One star* win @ 33/1

None of the three have moved a jot (5.15pm Fri.) so just topping up each way with as many places as you can get. On line William Hill and SkyBet were going EIGHT places!


Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE         

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM


Saturday Star* Selections (14 stars* Out)

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE      One Star win @ 8/1 Lad+Coral

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY                 One Star win @ 9/1 BF 8/1 general

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI         Two Star** win @ 4/1 general

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS                       One Star win @ 11/1 WH+PP

Haydock 3.15                         JOHNNY BARNES       One Star win @ 8/1 BF+Coral

Newmarket 3.35                    DOLPHIN VISTA          One Star* each way @ 50/1 WH ?? places

Ripon 3.45                              RIGHT TOUCH             One Star win @ 16/1 BF+Coral

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN        One Star win @ 18/1 Ladbrokes (Rest all over place)

Chester 4.15                           ZAP                             One Star win @ 9/2PP 7/2 general

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE                 One Star win @ 9/2 BF 4/1 general

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM                  Two Star** win @ 9/2 Lad+Coral


Very much optional #FantasticMrFahey Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE

Chester 4.15                           ZAP


and here is why


Saturdays Lucky 15

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE        Not easy to find an improver in any of today’s handicaps but William Haggas’ 3yo looks the most likely. Right trip. Acts on the ground and more to come.

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI On the day I wasn’t that impressed by the Gimcrack but the form has been really well franked since, the time was good and this lengthy, speedy colt will surely improve. Yet to be convinced on the French 2yo form and I think Cardsharp is over-rated.

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS Ayr Gold Cup II has an awful lot of 7F horses at the top of the market and Haydock is considerably sharper than Ayr and even in the holding ground I am not sure the closers will get there. On his second in a Soft ground Stewards Cup I give Ed Walkers charge every chance.

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM I think he has the best form in the race. 7F is his trip, acts on Good to Soft and his second to Parfait here at HQ is good enough to win this.


Saturday Star* Selections

Haydock 3.15                         JOHNNY BARNES      

He was my selection for the abandoned race last week and on similar ground hopefully the closers will get there?

Newmarket 3.35                    DOLPHIN VISTA         

See opening section above and blog on 30th September.

Ripon 3.45                              RIGHT TOUCH            

Hardly lifted a hoof this season but the handicapper gives him a chance, he will act on the ground and ripon is a course he has run well at before.


Very much optional #FantasticMrFahey Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY                

Doesn’t know how to run a bad race, could still be improving, acts on soft ground and gets weight here.

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN       

OK I know he is a rogue but he is down to C3, down to OR90 and if SammyJo Bell claiming three pounds can get a tune out of him he could dot up!

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE                

Her form suggests bridesmaid but everything that has finished in front of her has gone on to better things. Could be well handicapped and has been crying out for this seventh furlong.

Chester 4.15                           ZAP                            

If #FantasticMrFahey thinks “the trip and the track to really suit Zap, who has run well in valuable races at York and Doncaster the last twice. He might just have needed the York race after being gelded and I was encouraged by his fifth to Laugh A Minute last time. He’s still open to a bit of improvement and shouldn’t mind the ground, being by our July Cup winner Mayson.” That is good enough to me. Zap’s second in the Woodcote at tricky Epsom looks a standout bit of form in the context of this race.


Fridays Lucky 15

Just the one 4/1 winner and its £13 back for our £15.

Newmarket 3.00                    LIGHTENING QUICK    8th 4/1

“Keen early, no cover, lost place 2F out, plugged on. Lack of experience told. Not sure she handled either the ground or the course. Bye Bye Baby in the fillies maiden at HQ on Saturday will be noteworthy.       

Haydock 3.20                         MAYBRIDE                        2nd 8/13F

Embarrassing! Dreadful price for Lucky 15 and then she was beaten.

“Prominent throughout, led 2F out, headed inside final furlong by Tom Dascombe’s debutante This Girl.” Maybride will be a better 3yo when filling her frame and strengthening up.

Newmarket 4.20                    SPRING OFFENSIVE    7th 11/2

Newmarket 5.20                    ADDEYBB                    1st 7/2F

Ryan Moore just gets the job done in a three way thriller. Bless!


Friday Star* Selections (9 stars* Out 16 stars* in) That’ll do.

Newmarket 2.25                    ISABELLA DE URBINA 8th 9/1             One Star* each way @ 12/1 general

Sadly hasn’t progressed at all this season. “Chased leader until over 2f out, lost place under pressure over 1f out, well held final furlong”

Newmarket 3.00                    LIGHTENING QUICK    8th 4/1                         Two Star** win @ 9/2 WH + Coral

Newmarket 5.20                    ADDEYBB                    1st 7/2F            Two Star** win @ 4/1 general

Haydock 5.05                         SPRING OFFENSIVE    7th 11/2           One Star* each way @ 10/1 PP 9/1 general

Newmarket 4.10                    THRAVE                      1st 9/4             One Star win @ 5/1 WH + PP

“Ridden like best horse in race. Prominent, took trail, quickened nicely 2F out and saw it out well.” Promising.




Notebook horse

Newmarket 3.00        GAVOTA Pre race, “Roger Charlton has Gavota in the Rockfel. He said: “Gavota has been very impressive in both her races and now has to step up in to a higher grade. The program book for two-year-olds is a bit odd, in that a lot of the races come in a very short time period, and we think that this is the right race for her. She has handled soft ground on two previous runs, but she is such a good mover she would be better on faster. It’s a strong race as you would expect and we will see where we are after the race.


Paddock Newmarket 3.00: Rockfel

Butterscotch was a big strong type which you need in this ground and she was the pick.

Lightening Quick was also a looker.

Gavota was fit as she was on her debut at the July course.

Club Tropicana was on her toes.

Friday 29th September Lucky 15

Posted Thursday 28th September 6.00pm

Newmarket looked hard work but they seemed to be running OK on it.

After the first, James Doyle said: “It’s the soft side of good.” Martin Harley said: “It’s more soft than good to soft.”

Going round in circles today, watching the Newmarket racing whilst trying to get a handle on the ground for Friday and Saturday, whilst trying to visualise Haydock on Heavy, whilst looking for winners Friday and researching the weekend and then these pesky 2yo’s keep appearing and need profiling! So I’m running out of time.

Conclusion. Haydock could be anything, Newmarket’s waters are made murkier by it being a fillies and mares dominated card so for tomorrow its small stakes and reduced reasoning and I apologise if it’s somewhat bitty as picked up loads of snippets during the day!

Really?? Stu ‘Jimbo’ Williams‏ @Jimbo_JumpsMan  

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, who has horses in training with Gordon Elliott, is planning to ride his horses in bumpers.


Fridays Lucky 15

Newmarket 3.00                    LIGHTENING QUICK

Haydock 3.20                         MAYBRIDE

Newmarket 5.20                    ADDEYBB

Haydock 5.05                         SPRING OFFENSIVE

Friday Star* Selections (9 stars* Out)

Newmarket 2.25                    ISABELLA DE URBINA One Star* each way @ 12/1 general

Newmarket 3.00                    LIGHTENING QUICK    Two Star** win @ 9/2 WH + Coral

Newmarket 5.20                    ADDEYBB                    Two Star** win @ 4/1 general

Haydock 5.05                         SPRING OFFENSIVE    One Star* each way @ 10/1 PP 9/1 general

Newmarket 4.10                    THRAVE                      One Star win @ 5/1 WH + PP


and here is why


Fridays Lucky 15

Newmarket 3.00                    LIGHTENING QUICK I am aware of having a bit of a love-in with Frankel offspring but this filly was good on debut and neither parent had issues at Newmarket.

Notebook says “Heavens knows what this young lady would fetch if she ever went through a sales ring! Like her dam she is owned by Qatar Racing, she is by Frankel out of Lightening Pearl, who won the Cheveley Park for Lyons, and won on debut at Leopardstown over 7F. “Out OK, raced prominently among horses, travelled, asked 2F out but while the penny took time to drop she was powerful in the final furlong to deny Ballydoyle’s Bye Bye Baby (Running Saturday Newmarket 4.10 in the Maiden!) close to the line.” Could be special.

Friday September 29th  Newmarket Shadwell Rockfel Stakes (Group 2) (7f)

Haydock 3.20                         MAYBRIDE Heavy ground. Well her dad, Mayson, had no issue with give underfoot and after her run at HQ I blogged, Newmarket July review “I wouldn’t give up on Maybride as she still has some growing to do into that substantial frame of hers.” This is a massive class drop and she was second on this course on debut.

Newmarket 5.20                    ADDEYBB Notebook sums it up nicely, “A solid specimen, a 3yo gelded son of Pivotal, whose three runs have been on Soft, Good to Soft and Good and he has won the last two. Having been drawn widest on the round mile Martin Harley chose to go forward and was in the van throughout. Previously at Haydock he had got outpaced, running green, but Harley got him to extend and eventually won by a cosy half length. Obvious improver OR88 93, RPR70,93,98! Martin Harley, a stiff mile and ground no worse than good and he could be a big handicap player.

3rd August Goodwood 1.50 C2 10F “William Haggas, trained of the Ryan Moore-ridden Addeybb, said: “The trip was fine, but he got left in front a bit early. He [Moore] was rather surprised that all the jockeys went up the middle when there was a fresh strip on their right. [As a result] He was left in front a little too long for an inexperienced horse, but he’ll be fine.””

Well it’s 9F, it’s soft and we’ve got Ryan Moore and stall 12 is spot on.

Haydock 5.05                         SPRING OFFENSIVE I think this horse is well handicapped and ready to win. All his best form is on Soft ground, Paul Hanagan rides, drawn 10 is fine as is C3 and a flat mile. Double figure price is worth a go.

Fridays Star* Selections

Newmarket 2.25                    ISABELLA DE URBINA I refuse to let this filly go unbacked. Thought she may be a G1 filly at the start of the season, she has run well at HQ before and Ralph Beckett is synomonous with staying fillies!

Newmarket 4.10                    THRAVE This colt ran an excellent second on debut at Newmarket, just pipped by Fortunes Pearl who ran fine in a Group race today and the fourth won yesterday by a street!


Thursdays Lucky 15

Great start, 2 from 2, but still I got back £19.65 for my £15.

Newmarket 2.35                    RASTRELLI                         1st 7/2

Just off pace, looked to be one paced but took the rising ground better than the second, Global Conqueror. More to come.

Newmarket 3.45                    ELARQAM                   1st 11/8F

Looks like something special. I am amazed that 5/2 was available last night! No cover, no company for the first 3F. Gallops straight as a die, some engine, led 2F out and two lengths too good for these. Tangled in third makes the Sales form from York & Doncaster interesting!

Newmarket 4.20                    UAE KING                    3rd 5/2F

Took it up 3F out, headed inside final furlong and outstayed by first two. He really is a chunky beast, should be a cracking 4yo!

Newmarket 5.30                    RIGOLETTO                 7th 11/4 F

No idea! He made the running! Lost his action in The Dip. Await the trainers explanation.


Thursday Star* Selections (13 stars* Out 23.55 Stars* In) Tidy profit

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

Newmarket 3.45                    ELARQAM                       1st 11/8F Three Star*** win @ 9/4 Coral All over the place 7/4-5/2!

Newmarket 3.45                    FORTUNES PEARL      5th 14/1           One Star* each way @ 16/1 PP 14/1 general

Every chance 2F out, one pace 5th but some decent horses behind! Should make a nice 3yo, if not sold abroad!

Newmarket 4.20                    UAE KING                    3rd 5/2F           Two Star** win @ 3/1 BF + Coral

Newmarket 5.30                    RIGOLETTO                 7th 11/4 F        Two Star** win @ 7/2BF 10/3 general

Pontefract 4.40                      ANDOK                       3rd 9/1             One Star* each way @ 8/1 Lad + Coral


Weekend Heads up

Chantilly Saturday & Sunday

Racing Post 7:21PM, SEP 27 2017

With the Arc now guaranteed to have enough runners to support the Quinte bet on Sunday, France Galop has finalised the programme for Europe’s richest single raceday.

Time (BST)            Race

1.10        Total Prix Marcel Boussac

1.45        Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (sponsored by Al Hazm)

2.20        Qatar Arabian World Cup

3.05        Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

3.50        Prix de l’Opera Longines

4.35        Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines

5.15        Qatar Prix de la Foret

Chantilly clerk of the course Matthieu Vincent and his team will put the rail out by 12 metres for Saturday’s card before moving it back to it’s tightest line, guaranteeing fresh ground for the runners on Arc day. Vincent said: “We want to ensure that the runners in the Arc will all be running in the best conditions and that there can be no argument that there is any advantage in one part of the course over another.”


Roger Varian website WED 27 SEP 2017 UAE King will return to marathon distances when he makes his second start at Listed level in the Rose Bowl Stakes at Newmarket this afternoon. Sheikh Mohammed Obaid’s son of Frankel won the Brown Jack Handicap over two miles at Ascot in June before acquitting himself creditably dropping back two furlongs in trip in the Listed March Stakes at Goodwood last month. The form of that race took a boost when the runner-up, Count Octave, ran a career-best to finish fifth in the St Leger and UAE King will now tackle his elders once again as ten are set to go to post for this £37,000 prize. Roger said: “UAE King ran well on his first start in Listed company at Goodwood and he will be well suited by the return to two miles. He has improved with every start and will be even better next year, but this is a nice stepping stone for him.”


Newmarket Friday David Milnes Racing Post Live

Michael Prosser has just walked the track here. He said: “We’ve had another 1mm of drizzle since this morning and I’ve changed it to good to soft, soft in places. The soft is primarily in the Dip. There is a following wind and hopefully it will dry out.”

Newmarket 2.00

David Milnes RP – Pre-parade Tiffin Top walked round like on old sheep in the pre-parade. Ghaiyyath was keen enough in his hood. Goddodin is a fantastic looking type. Midi was smallish but straight enough for his debut.

Tiffin Top is trained by John Gosden in our opener. He said: “He’s come on for his run at Doncaster and its interesting that his brother Ooty Hill runs later on.  There are a lot of well bred horses in there but he should be competitive.”

Charlie Appleby has favourite Ghaiyyath in our opener. He said: “He ran a bit of a back to front race on his debut at Doncaster when he was a bit free early doors. We like him a lot and have put a hood on him this time.”

Weekender‏ @RPWeekender  1.45pm Paddock expert Ken Pitterson wasn’t blown away by the expensive Ghaiyyath on his debut –  he looks one to oppose in the 2.00 at Newmarket. Good work!!!!!! She won by 5 lengths!

Newmarket 2.35

Rastrelli represents Charlie Appleby in the next. He said: “He should handle the undulation having run at Brighton but he’s not thrown in.”

David Milnes RP – Tadleel was the pick for the nursery. Global Emperor was the second pick.

Newmarket 3.45

Angus Gold is racing manager to Hamdan Al Maktoum who has the favourite Elarqam in the Tattersalls Stakes. He said before the race: “Dane O’Neill rode him at York and said he was doing all his best work at the end so I expect he’ll be staying on up the hill. This will tell us a lot.” Mark Johnston said of the Frankel colt: “It was the most nervous I have been for years, maybe since his mother (Attraction) ran.”

David Milnes RP – Elarqam is a strong sprinting type rather than a miler but was the pick. Fajjaj was also a standout.

Apparently Elarqam declined Ascot as Crowley was at Haydock and O’Neill was at Kempton and H-a-M wanted one of the two on Elarqam on debut.

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.

Thursday 21st September Ayr we go!

Posted Wednesday 20th September 6.30pm

A quiet start to the Ayr Gold Cup meeting as we build up to Saturdays richest sprint handicap in Europe. As a major fan-boy of the #FantasticMrFahey this meeting is quite important. Firstly if you asked the master trainer to write down the one race he wanted to win EVERY season I expect it would be the Ayr Gold Cup! Hence he is likely to saddle six (25% of the field) possibly eight. Currently shortest in the betting is Toscanini and Paul Hanagan (wasp sting permitting) is down to write whilst Graham Lee has already been booked for last year’s second, Growl.

Secondly he targets this meeting for many of his lesser horses and runs plenty of “Saturday” horses in the handicaps here.

As with all these Festivals the Going is crucial. The current official line is:-

Going/Track Soft (GoingStick: 6.9 on Wednesday at 07:30) Going stick Sprint course FAR 6.3 CENTRE 6.4 STAND 6.3

Rails: Top Bend in 7yds Remainder Track Full Width Stalls:6F & 5F Centre 7F Outside Remainder Inside

Weather 0mm Rain past 24hrs Wed: Showers in morning heavier through day (15mm) Thurs: Wet start turning drier through day (<2mm) Fri: Dry start chance of shower in afternoon Sat: Dry sunny spells Windy

Going/Weather/Other last updated @Wed 20 Sep 9:20am

Those going stick readings do not surprise me. The 5.20 is a C5 twenty runner 5F handicap and I would expect the field to “arrowhead” down the centre, likewise in the Bronze Cup on Friday. Tomorrow at 11am we have the draw for the main event and I’m expecting those who have early picks to go for stalls 5-14. In recent years with Firm in the going the stands rail has been the place to be but on Soft ground the lower numbers are preferred and although we will probably start on Soft it should quicken towards Saturday when I expect Good to Soft.

Oh dear I’ve just seen this on racingpost.com “4:01PM, SEP 20 2017 Ayr’s three-day Gold Cup meeting could start on ground that is heavy in places on Thursday if up to 15mm of rain falls overnight at the track as forecast. But a drier outlook afterwards means clerk of the course Graeme Anderson does not expect Saturday’s £200,000 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup to be run in those conditions. Anderson said on Wednesday: “It’s going to be a slow-ground meeting and at the moment we’re calling it soft. We’ve got up to 15mm of rain forecast to come from 4pm Wednesday to around 4am on Thursday, but it’ll be dry thereafter with a bit of wind. We’re hoping we might miss the majority of that rain, but it’s a waiting game.

If we get what they’re saying, then we’ll be heading towards heavy in places on Thursday unfortunately. But if the wind is right it dries out quick and I wouldn’t think we’d be like that on Saturday.”

Whilst talking Going please note that the other excellent two day card at Newbury is due to run on Good, Good to Firm in places and Saturdays Newmarket is Good to Soft but drying.

So back to Ayr and Wednesdays card. Three I fancy and no surprise they’re all residents at Musley Bank! Plus a total “co-incidence” selection.

1.40 NARCOS                                      Two star** win          @ 2/1 general

One run, One win. Changed hands since but stays in the yard. Notebook says, “Impressive winner of a 7F C4 Doncaster on Good ground. Deep chested good size son of first season sire Lethal Force. “Held up, travelled, smooth progress to lead 1F out and saw it out well, Topspeed of 62.” He was a €60K foal and the Merchants and Missionaries picked him up for £45K as a yearling and I would guess he has done his growing since. Now with Mr Arculli who normally has his horses (“Reds”) with Ed Dunlop.”

I made Valdolobo the main danger as his debut third to White Mocha is a solid piece of form and taking on Karl Burkes 2yo’s is currently a dangerous game!

2.10 NORMANDIE LADY                    One star* each way   @ 7/1 general

Very much an each way selection as she wants a galloping track, the longer the straight the better, some cut in the ground, C4/5, 8F+ which is basically what she has here. Drawn 1 should help and as long as she gets some space to stretch her legs in the straight it will be a case of whether she is good enough? We’ll see but the price is generous.

4.50 FOREST RANGER                        Three star*** win      @ 5/2 general (15/8 PP?)

The main selection of the day and very much the NAP. This race would be no more than this classy 3yo deserves. Sixth in the G2 Dante, fifth in the G1 St. James Palace, second in the Listed Henry Cecil and second in the G3 Thoroughbred at Goodwood. Last time he was runner up again, to Mustashry in the 9F G3 Strensall at York’s Ebor Festival and what a cracking run, closing all the way to the line. The ground could be an issue but he’s run on it before and I think he is still improving and this 10F will be his ideal trip. I really hope his owners, the Steel’s, resist the temptation to sell him as I think he’s a Group winner next season.


Now for the “coincidence” selection. No surprise that The Caledonian Racing Society own a racehorse called KING OF SCOTLAND. No surprise that it is running at Ayr 3.45 at Scotland’s biggest Flat meeting. What is a surprise is that it is trained by Hughie Morrison at East Ilsey in Berkshire and the furthest north King of Scotland has ever been is Leicester!

BUT his form stacks up. Three runs on the all-weather at shorter trips, bang in he goes in a Leicester 12F C5 handicap on Soft ground at 16/1. Taken out at Newbury because the Good going was “unsuitable ground”, down the field at a hilly Lingfield, recently gelded and off north of the border for soft ground, regular pilot Charlie Bennett and he’s ready to rock again! 5/1 general and there is a Lucky 15!


Meanwhile away from Ayr there are a few interesting races at Yarmouth and Pontefract.

Yarmouth 4.10 C2 14F 0-100 handicap with some interesting types. Personal favourite Theydon Grey with Ms Georgia Cox in the saddle claiming five pounds but the ground is a worry. The 3yo’s are still getting a valuable 8lbs which brings in John Gosden’s Zenon and Godolphin’s Alqamar, who are both blinkered for the first time. Add to them Nadaitak for Hamdan al Maktoum who last time he ran I recorded, “a boat of a horse who won’t do anything quickly!” Fascinating contest as Mick Quinns Great Hall has doesn’t anything wrong recently. No bet, look and learn.

Yarmouth 5.15 C3 8F 71-90 handicap for 3yo’s which should be right up Mazyoun’s street but he has been a disappointment so far after showing promise as a 2yo. Couldn’t back the inconsistent Hugin even with Jamie Spencer on board and the other three all have won at some stage this season. Trappy with a capital ‘T’ but could give clues going forward.

Yarmouth 5.50 C3 7F 76-90 the 3yo’s get 3lbs and I think Big Tour and Noble Masterpiece will make full use of it. Both seem late developers but of the two I prefer the Stoute trained Dutch Art gelding off OR83. Notebook says “Looks another Freemason Lodge slow burner or possibly a bit of a lad. £170K son of Dutch Art by a Galileo mare was unraced as a 2yo, last of ten on debut, bolted to post, and promptly gelded. Two runs over 6F, slow away in the first but ran on, Unsuited by the slow ground at Sandown and looked one paced without being bashed about. Went handicapping at Yarmouth C5 7F off OR72. Looked a racehorse showing a nice turn of foot approaching the final furlong, up 6lbs OR77 but looks progressive on good ground or better. Just touched off at Kempton having challenged on that slower (?) inside rail. Sadly up another 6lbs to OR83.” The weight rise and the “Good to soft, soft in places” ground prevent me having a bet at 15/8.

Pontefract 2.50 C4 66-80 8F handicap on Good to Soft, Good in places ground. The interesting horse here is #FantasticMrFahey’s 3yo Mushaireb for Al Shaqab who won his only start as a 2yo but was a huge disappointment on his 3yo debut in April finishing a long last of ten at HQ. He was gelded and off until a fortnight ago when he ran better in an 8F C3 handicap at Thirsk although held up and never competitive. This son of Invincible spirit who cost £105K as a yearling has questions to answer. Could be ridiculously well handicapped on OR79.

Pontefract 4.00 C2 6F Fillies handicap and there are some speedy ladies in here. #FantasticMrFahey asks Marie of Lyon to go again having won at Brighton on Monday and she is joined by stable mate Megan Lily. Kassia has swum in deeper waters than this and Clon Coulis has already gone up a stone and looks the most progressive. Blink and you’ll miss it!

Saturday September 16th Lucky 15

Posted Friday 6.30pm

Really struggling with Doncaster. Lack of runners in the handicaps, sticky, drying ground and a knack for avoiding the obvious! Not much better tomorrow. One horse I fancy and I’ll still have to have a saver against it and then the best I can manage is a half star* each way Lucky 15.

Going to try to profile the Doncaster 3.00 G2 2yo Champagne Stakes but that will probably be tomorrow morning and up at noon. Nice types involved.

Whilst finishing this blog off Dark Devil has gone in at Chester and dug us out of a hole! Took 10’s last night, 10p in £ R4, but way better than the returned SP of 9/2! Confidence restored.


Saturdays Lucky 15

Doncaster 1.50           LEXINGTON ABBEY                            12/1 Coral+Lads                                            

Doncaster 3.35           REKINDLING                                       12/1 PP+BF                                                    

Chester 3.15               SHORANOUR                                      16/1 Coral+Lads                                            

Musselburgh 4.40      WHAT WONDERS WEAVE                 11/1 Coral 10/1 general


Saturdays Star* Selections

Doncaster 4.45           SINFONIETTA                                      5/1 Coral+BF  Two star**win

Doncaster 4.45           BATTERED                                           3/1 general     One star* win

 and here is why

Doncaster 1.50           LEXINGTON ABBEY                                                   

Trip and grade are fine, ground should be OK, competitive mark, Ryan Moore rides for Kevin Ryan and on the stands side Amomentofmadness should give him a tow into the race. Perhaps it is just his turn?

Doncaster 3.35           REKINDLING                                                                          

Take away his Epsom Derby run and his form bears the closest scrutiny. Won the 10F Ballysax G2, fourth in the Dante, beat Wicklow Brave over 14F in the G2 Curragh Cup and second to Order of St. George in the Irish St.Leger trial. The fifth Classic was mentioned very soon after his Epsom failure and his guaranteed stamina should get him into a place at worst.

Chester 3.15               SHORANOUR                                                                         

You will have to bear with me here. I really wanted to back Dan Troop after his victory here last time out in an apprentice race but he has gone up thirteen pounds! Even with Connor Murtagh claiming seven here instead of three last time that is a huge nine pound rise in a deeper race. Then I thought Heir to the Throne was the value option but he was withdrawn from a race today because of the ground and it is now Heavy so I can’t see him lining up! So Shoranour is the pick. Goes on the ground, is drawn 2, has course form and Josh Doyle claiming three has won on him before.

Musselburgh 4.40      WHAT WONDERS WEAVE

I like this combination of Irish trainer John PatricK Shanahan and five pound claimer Rowan Scott, especially in Scotland! This is the right trip, grade and ground for this progressive 3yo filly and stall 5 will do nicely. Double figure price is a bonus.


Doncaster 4.45           SINFONIETTA                                                  Two star** win

From the inform yard of David Menuisier a straight mile on Good to soft should be exactly what the doctor ordered. Indeed he opened the season with those conditions and was second to no less than Ballet Concerto in the Consolation Lincoln and he runs off just a pound higher. However Richard Hughes’s top apprentice, Finlay Marsh, has been booked and he can claim five pounds! Since that run Sinfonietta was a disappointing favourite behind Withernsea at Newbury, “going up and down on the spot”. The yard had got a low grade bug and hardly had a runner for six weeks. Sinfonietta returned with a solid fourth at Ascot over 10F then God knows what happened at Goodwood as no one could see the race ran in atrocious conditions and last time out was an excellent third in the Irish Cambridgeshire. Today is the day!

Doncaster 4.45           BATTERED                                                       One star* win

Any horse that bustled up Mojito and has won twice on the Soft can’t be ignored!

Notebook says “(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.”

Last Saturdays Lucky 15 & Star* selections

Ascot 2.45                   MJJACK                       2nd 11/2           8/1 WH 7/1 general   Two star**win

Ascot 3.20                   HAVRE DE PAIX             2nd 3/1F           9/1 Coral 7/1 general            One star* win

Ascot 3.55                   MAM’SELLE                3rd 14/1           10/1 general               Two star** win

Leopardstown 4.35    MACHINE LEARNER   2nd 8/1             20/1 with BF + PP      One star* each way

Don’t think I’ll ever be so close and end up with nothing off a win Lucky 15!

Seven stars out six stars back. So bloody close!!


Friday Star* Selections

Doncaster 1.20           ZAAKI                          5th        11/2 Two star** win @7/2 general

Drifting 3/1 to 11/2, as big as 6/1. Slow away, deliberately? Every chance 2F out, hung left? One pace.

BHA Stewards reports –The Veterinary Officer reported that the representative of Mohamed Moubarak, the trainer of ZAAKI, was in possession of Ice-o-gel, a post-race muscle cooling gel. The representative, the Equine Welfare and Integrity Officer and the Veterinary Officer were interviewed. The representative’s explanation that the substance was unopened and had not been used was noted. Being satisfied that the colt had received only normal food and water by mouth on the day of racing, the Stewards allowed ZAAKI to run and the colt was routine tested. They further confiscated the substance and referred the matter to the Head Office of the British Horseracing Authority.

Approaching the final furlong, ZAAKI, placed fifth, hung quickly left despite the rider’s best efforts, causing interference to DE BRUYNE HORSE, unplaced, which in turn caused interference to MAJOR PEIRSON (IRE), placed sixth, but after viewing a recording of the incident, it was found that no riding offence was involved and that it had not improved the placing of ZAAKI. Following the race, Stevie Donohoe reported that ZAAKI hung left in the final 1 ½ furlongs.

Doncaster 2.25           ROLAND ROCKS         5th 20/1           One star* each way   @ 28/1 WH

In rear, headway well over 1f out, soon ridden, kept on final furlong

Doncaster 3.00           ELIDOR                        5th 20/1           One star* win            @ 14/1 WH

Held up last, threatened 3F out but never competitive.

Doncaster 3.35           FUN MAC        Last of 9 22/1             One star* each way   @ 16/1 WH

Prominent until 3F out when he promptly engaged reverse!

Chester 3.55               PENWORTHAM          3rd 3/1F           One star* win            @5/1 Coral 9/2 general

Every chance, waited for cutaway, quickened up but not as well as first two.

Chester 5.40              DARK DEVIL                1st 9/2             One star* each way   @ 10/1 general

“Tracked leaders, not much room briefly 7f out, challenged from 3f out, led over 2f out, held on well”