Tag: Roger Varian

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!


SimpleSimonSays Review York Ebor Festival 2017 Part 2

Posted Wednesday August 29th 6.00pm

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

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

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

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

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

So let’s get cracking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 3.55 Betfred Ebor Handicap  1m6f,

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

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

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

The Draw

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


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

SimpleSimonSays Review York Ebor Festival 2017 Part 1

Posted Tuesday August 28th 4.30pm

In yesterday’s Racing Post they asked the Monday jury “What would they change at the York Ebor Festival” and unanimously they wouldn’t! I couldn’t agree more, four days of wonderful racing, well balanced between the Group races and the excellent handicaps. What is more it’s fair. A long straight, they race down the middle, it is all about pace and a jockeys judgement of it! Plenty of Yorkshire trained winners to boot.

Class acts

Three stand out performances. Ulysses in the 10F Juddmonte International got the ball rolling. Got there on the bridle but the 3yo’s rather set it up for him by racing from 3F out. Surely Barney Roy had to either sit behind or Cliffs of Moher or go past and stack them up. Didn’t understand the James Doyle ride nor the money for Cliffs of Moher in the days up to the race then his run! Good to see Churchill back to form, supposedly the Irish Champion Stakes next whilst the winner, Ulysses, has the Breeders Cup Turf on his agenda.

Cracksman romped away with the Great Voltiguer and despite the media baying for him to run again this season personally I think he’ll be on the Arc subs bench in case anything happens to Enable and then next season the Coronation Cup, King George, Arc de Triomphe will be the plan.

Of course the third star was Enable herself who waltzed away with the all age Yorkshire Oaks. In Australia they have a super mare, Winx, who hasn’t been beaten for ages but some aren’t over impressed because she beats the same horse(s) every time, namely Hartnell. In winning the Cheshire, Epsom, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks the same charge could be levelled at Enable with Alluringly, Coronet and anything Coolmore saddles following her home BUT you can’t get away from a four and a half-length victory in the King George at Ascot with the likes of Ulysses, Idaho, Highland Reel et al trailing behind.


Five races to consider the 7F G3 Acomb for colts, the 6F G2 Gimcrack for colts, the 6F G2 Lowther for fillies, the 7F C2 Convivial maiden and the valuable C2 Sales race.

In the Acomb the favourite Dee Ex Bee disappointed but I like the first four home. James Garfield was chinned on the line by Tim Easterby’s Wells Farhh Go with Lansky and Zaaki not far away and both of those will be better over the mile. The winner remains in the “could be anything” envelope. The run of James Garfield enhances the reputation of Barraquero and in turn Expert Eye.

An upset in the Gimcrack with Richard Fahey’s rapidly improving Sands of Mali winning in a convincing manner from Invincible Army and the dead heating Headway and Cardsharp. Solid form but still suggests the Goodwood 2yo form is the best of the Festivals this year. That theme was reinforced when Threading, a Goodwood maiden winner, was impressive in beating Madeline in the Lowther.

The 7F Convivial is the most valuable maiden of the season and no surprise that trainers like to run “a good’un” in it. The form rarely disappoints with the winner normally close to Group level. They had real issues this year in loading the inexperienced field with some runners being in the stalls for over five minutes and the fancied Doswell withdrawn. I’m putting the first five and the ninth in my 2yo tracker. (See below in Looking Forward)

Right, now the valuable 6F Sales race. Tangled beat Great Prospector and Hey Jonesy a neck and half a length. The fourth Alba Power a length and a half away and a further three lengths to the fifth, the filly Darkanna. All five go in the Tracker. (See below in Looking Forward).

I am convinced Paul Hanagan has been blind-sided here! He straightens Great Prospector up a furlong out and to him it’s just the rapid and unfortunately high drawn Hey Jonesy he has to pick up and he feels quite happy about that so delays his attack and drifts towards the stands side. Meanwhile Tangled has burst between horses and nicked a length and Great Prospector now has to chase him down on the far side and fails by just a neck with the pair of them beating Hey Jonesy. The Official handicapper has given the first three marks of OR102 (up a stone since winning his nursery), OR105 and OR103 and that would have put all three right in the thick of the action in the G3 Acomb and with the time quicker than Threading’s victory in the Lowther half an hour later if the first five in the Sales race met the first four in the Acomb I would be all over Great Prospector.

Looking Forward its Tracker Time!

Alba Power                      (Hugo Palmer) Won his maiden at Yarmouth over 6F, then 6th in the G2 July stakes just five lengths behind Cardsharp, 3rd in the Listed 7F Winkfield and fourth in York’s Sales race. Quicker ground and he is a real player at Doncaster.

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

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

Darkanna                    (Richard Fahey) Already a Black Type filly and she could turn up anywhere in Europe but I want to be on when she steps up to 7F! She was a £205K purchase as a daughter of Dark Angel and bloodstock agent Matt Coleman has served the Cool Silks Partnership well (Prince of Lir and of course recent Gimcrack winner Sands of Mali). She couldn’t lay up with speedster Hey Jonesy on the stands side but stayed on strongly without looking like winning.

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

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 2:20             Newmarket Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies) 6F

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

Commander Han          (Kevin Ryan) Slow away, moderate late progress whilst running green in the Convivial. From the Craven Breeze Ups Sales this £440K son of Siyouni was sent off at just 9/1 (from 16/1) on debut, so clearly well regarded and loads more to come especially up in trip.

Saturday, 16 September 2017 – 3:00             Doncaster Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2) 7F

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 1:50             Newmarket Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) 7F

Corrosive                          (Hugo Palmer) Another from the Craven Breeze Ups Sales he is a son of Uncle Mo with a US pedigree and cost Mr Araci £150K. James Doyle looked after him in the Convivial and this educative introduction should pay dividends. Moderately away he moved up well to be a never competitive fifth.

Dream Today                 (Mark Johnston) Hindsight is a wonderful talent but it was only afterwards I found out he was a full brother to Al Wukair! Then Braveheart goes on TV and says they had three in mind for the Convivial, put them against each other in a gallop at home and this one came out on top! Prominent, led 3F out and despite wandering a bit was professional enough on debut to see the race out.

Saturday, 02 September 2017 – 2:25             Sandown Solario Stakes (Group 3) 7F

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

Saturday, 16 September 2017 – 3:00             Doncaster Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2) 7F

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

Dubai Empire                 (John Quinn) Put up by ATR’s top tipster Hugh Taylor he wasn’t far away. On this his second start in the Convivial he was held up, made progress in the straight but was still a couple of lengths off a podium finish and basically ran to the pound with Laugh a Minute when they were fifth and second to the Acomb winner, Wells Farhh Go. A €40K son of Motivator should make up into a 10/12F 3yo.

Saturday, 16 September 2017 – 3:00             Doncaster Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2) 7F

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 1:50             Newmarket Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings)

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 2:25                  Newmarket Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) 7F

Gabr                                     (John Gosden) Hard to know what to make of him? There isn’t a lot from front to back but clearly has an engine. Ran on late on debut at Newmarket and again in the Convivial came to challenge at the furlong pole but couldn’t get past. To me the least convincing of the front five.

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 1:50             Newmarket Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings)

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 2:25                 Newmarket Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) 7F

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

Great Prospector         (Richard Fahey) He is in my opinion is a Group horse over 7/8F this season or next. Impressive on debut winning over 6f, an excellent third to Gustav Klimt in the G3 Superlative over 7F and in the York Sales race I think he was the best horse but Hanagan got blind-sided. Where he runs at Doncaster may indicate the yards opinion of the horse, especially relative to Sands of Mali. OR105

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

Saturday, 16 September 2017 – 3:00             Doncaster Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2) 7F

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

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 2:25                  Newmarket Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) 7F

Hey Jonesy                 (Kevin Ryan) Many will say that having to run a solo from a high draw cost him the race but personally I think if he had been drawn low he would just have set it up for the other two. They paid just £30K for this son of Excelebration and he looks a sprinter. OR103. He would look an attractive proposition for the Far East market at six figures plus.

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

Saturday, 23 September 2017 – 2:50             Newbury Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes (Group 2) 6F

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 2:55             Newmarket Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) (Colts) 6F

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

Laugh a Minute         (Roger Varian) Frustrating for connections but wonderful for the handicapper and us form students Laugh a Minute has finished third to Tigre de Terre on debut, second to Wells Farhh Go and third here in the Convivial to Dream Today! The Racing Post see him as a solid 80 whilst the handicapper has given him OR82. If he was mine I could happily put him away, let him strengthen up and start next season in 7/8F 3yo handicaps because this is an OR90+ horse!

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

Tangled                              (Richard Hannon) How good is he? Won a Newmarket nursery off OR88, then beat Great Prospector in York’s valuable Sales race and now has a handicap mark of OR102. He travels, he quickens, he has beaten some decent types. £67K son of top sprinter Society Rock out of an American filly probably won’t get beyond a mile but has to have a go at Group company or is it another bucket of cash at Doncaster?

Saturday, 02 September 2017 – 2:25             Sandown Solario Stakes (Group 3 7F)

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

Wednesday August 2nd Goodwood

Posted: Tuesday August 1st 6.30pm

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


Wednesdays Lucky 15

Goodwood 2.25                     WOLF COUNTRY                     16/1 WH + Ladbrokes               

Goodwood 4.45                     EBBESBOURNE                       6/1 general                  

Goodwood 5.50                     SUN LOVER                             5/1 general                  

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


and heres why


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

Sofia’s Rock Mark Johnstone/Ryan Moore. I think he wants further and quicker ground although Goodwood is a front runners track. “The third, Sofia’s Choice, remains of interest in any 3yo 14F contest which is run on a flat track that suits front runners. The Melrose Handicap at York would seem suitable, C2 0-105 14F 3yo, as long as he stays on OR100!”

Galactic Prince Andrew Balding/David Probert I’ll bet connections are delighted to have squeezed into this race and although four pounds wrong in the handicap only has 8st on his back. However I think there is a bit too much class in opposition for him in this race. “Back in third behind Bin Battuta was a staying on Galactic Prince. For a 3yo gelding by Dubawi out of Opera Gal (OR105) a Galileo mare, surely Andrew Balding can place him to win another staying handicap 12/14F off OR80. There is an 11F 0-90 C3 3yo handicap that closes the Friday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.”

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

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

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

Two star** win @ 6/1 general

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

Two star** win @ 5/1 general

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

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

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


TOOMER            (Richard Hannon) In my Newmarket July review “The one going into the notebook though is the Richard Hannon debutante for Chelsea Thoroughbreds, Toomer. Travelled fine, last 2F out but stayed on really well under hands and heels for eighth but only four lengths off the winner.” Runs in the 6F 4.10 fillies maiden and @ 16/1 general is worth one star* each way.

Lucky 15 Friday 28th July

Posted Thursday 27th July 6.30pm

Let’s roll with these four.

Lucky 15 Friday 28th July

Ascot 2.45                         Uae King                               11/8 general

Thirsk 5.05                  Liberatum                            6/1 general

York 7.30                           Aim to Please                     6/1 Coral 11/2 general

York 8.00                           Home Cummins                 8/1 general

and here’s why

Ascot 2.45 Fascinating two mile handicap. The top weight Cosmelli is a five time winner in Italy and ran a creditable sixth in the Northumberland Plate at 100/1. Next on the card is Desert God who is a multiple Group 1 winner in India including their Derby and St.Leger! Nothing in Meydan and nothing to shout about so far in the UK. Isharah and Gavlar both last won on the AW, Wolfcatcher has been running over hurdles, poorly! The handicapper has Mark Hopkins even with the admirable David Egan taking five pounds off and that takes us to the 3yo’s who get a whopping fifteen pounds. Mister Manduro was a commendable if one paced seventh in the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot when only four and a half lengths off the winner, Stradivarius. His eased off last of ten at Haydock last time takes some forgiving but he will enjoy this much stiffer test. The selection has to be Uae King who was in the previous blog, “Handicappers 2017”.

“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 here 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.”

Two concerns. Firstly the trainer said on his website, “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.” Pretty sure Obaid is in the country as he has a boat load of runners at the moment and I’m not sure this is low key? Secondly the price.

Thirsk 5.05 I can here you all screaming “it’s a C6 5F apprentice handicap!! Boys losing it”! I think shrewd trainer Ruth Carr has spotted an opportunity on three levels. Firstly she picked up, Liberatum, a Hugo Palmer cast off for £5K and had it gelded. Secondly since then the horse has every chance on form alone having finished placed in both his last two races. Thirdly and the reason he’s in here is she has booked the red hot Seamus Cronin whose figures in the last fourteen days are 211101251 (5 from 9). Ridiculous. He is a 22yo from Cork and attached to Kevin Ryan’s yard hence the quiet start to the season. Stalls for this sprint are in the centre and I will be interested to see on Good to Soft ground, drawn 11 of 13 whether he heads for the stands rail. Boy seems to do his homework or he’s being well mentored!

York 7.30 A 10F+ Listed Fillies stakes and the first two I wrote down were Playful Sound for Sir Michael Stoute and Rsental for Luca Cumani. However on closer inspection Playful Sound, who is supposedly “coming to hand” according to the gallop reports, has won three of her five races but the other two were at Listed level and she has only beaten three horses home! Rosental ran in this race last year and was last of seven! She seems to save her best for France. So is it Ajman Princess coming down in trip or Aim to Please going up in distance? John Dance paid £340K for Aim to Please at the Royal Ascot boutique sales out of the Doumen yard and I think it’s time she started earning it back! She was an excellent fifth in the 8F Duke of Cambridge stakes and if she can lay handier at 10F pace on this softer ground I think she wins if she stays. Winning a G3 last season at Maisons Lafitte over 9F gives you every hope.

York 8.00 I am going for Home Cummins to go out in a blaze of glory. She is in foal to Mayson and it will be off to the paddocks after this. What would you like for her finale? 8F at York, C3, Good ground, single figure draw and Hanagan in the saddle. She’s got the lot! I trust stable mate Innocent Touch is on message!


Others on Friday I considered were Thirsk 1.20 Rumshak (price), York 6.30 Kibaar (out of form), Newmarket 8.10 Petitioner (Ground and topweight Pouvoir Magique).

Handicappers 2017

Posted Thursday 27th July 3.00pm

I’ve been a busy bunny over the last few days doing the research, just can’t get excited with the plethora of C5/C6 betting shop fodder! So get ready to stand by your in boxes. first up a list of handicappers to go in your Trackers for the next few weeks. Hopefully next will be a Lucky 15 for tomorrow, Friday, then a piece on Apprentices following on from Graeme Rodway and then a stable of 2yo’s you might like to have a look at. As I said I’ve been busy!

Handicappers 2017

ADDEYBB                    (William Haggas) 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.

AZAM                                  (M.Appleby) Sold out of Gosden’s for £50K, was a £260K yearling, to The Horse Watchers. This horse is on my 3yo list and just wants dropping back to 10F, some Soft ground or AW (Southwell?) and possibly gelding! OR87AW OR84Turf. The Horse Watchers also bought Wild Acclaim. OR70.

BLAKENEY POINT       (Roger Charlton) My blog on the C2 12F Old Newton Cup. “This would look on the short side for him having been sent off a well backed 4/1 favourite for the 18F Chester Cup but after an excellent last time out fourth at Goodwood his trainer seems to have a plan. 28th May 2017  Roger Charlton website “Blakeney Point travelled like the winner in his race over 1m 6f and in the end didn’t get home. He got taken on too early as they turned in and it set him alight. As we had thought at Chester, 2m 2f was too far. He has got a lot faster than he was last year and cruised all over the field. The Ebor looks like the race for him in August and his jockey (Jamie Spencer) seemed taken with the idea.”

Right if the “plan” is the Ebor on the third Saturday in August you may get in off OR98 but you need three figures to be sure. Currently on OR95 a solid run, even a win, here would do the job and give you six weeks to freshen him up!

Blakeney Point has won over 12F and three times over 16F as well with two wins on the AW, with one in C2, suggesting he’ll enjoy a sound surface. Keiron Shoemark has won on him twice and claims three pounds. This is one of two already booked rides at Haydock for the stable jockey so the horse seems sure to line up. The question will be “Is he quick enough”?” Finished well and grabbed fourth. OR95.

CULLINGWORTH           (#FantasticMrFahey) Cullingworth was the eye catcher having to go six wide to get a run then flew home. Remains on OR83 and I think the key with him is a strong pace and something to run at, perhaps a Johnston runner. Will win again this season and could be at a price!

DAIRA PRINCE (Roger Varian) Bred to get 12F+ but doesn’t seem to stay a yard over 10F with a stiff mile probably his best trip. May be a slow learner but won at Leicester off OR80 and looks to be an improver. Up to OR86.

DESERT SKYLINE           (David Elsworth) Desert Skyline, it seems may be heading to the Ebor handicap at York, a big ask for a 3yo! OR100 101 Has an entry in Ebor and 20/1 Ladbrokes, 16/1 general. 3yo’s get 10lb so unlikely to get in, one win 3lb, two wins 7lb penalty. RP Weekender‏ @RPWeekender  July 24th 5pm  “David Elsworth reveals he supplemented Desert Skyline for Gdwd Cup after deciding he wouldn’t get in Ebor (currently 16-1 but 77th on list)”

GALACTIC PRINCE        (Andrew Balding) Back in third behind Bin Battuta was a staying on Galactic Prince. For a 3yo gelding by Dubawi out of Opera Gal (OR105) a Galileo mare, surely Andrew Balding can place him to win another staying handicap 12/14F off OR80. There is an 11F 0-90 C3 3yo handicap that closes the Friday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

GOOD OMEN (David Simcock) Ex-Oppenheimer/Haggas this 3yo colt is by Holy Roman Emporer out of a Galileo mare and at the right level seems to be progressive. Strip out his a 2yo Pontefract Listed race, two runs in Meydan and the King George V handicap at Royal Ascot and his form is 221111. His wins have been in C4, C5, C3 & C2, twice at 8F and the last two at 10F. His last win saw him put up 3lbs to OR96 and surely a shot at a big handicap must be on the cards. Won at Doncaster on the bridle and is ideally suited to Jamie Spencer. The ground was probably a bit quick at Ascot and took a bit longer to get there at Yarmouth. 10F, no worse than Good, Spencer and a 3F+ home straight and he’s a player. Ayr?

LA RAV                               (Luca Cumani) At Newbury Messr’s Cumani and Spencer teamed up to win with the rapidly improving 3yo colt La Rav, making every yard! He cost £120K at the 2016 Guineas Breeze Ups and Cumani’s patience is now paying off. Up eight pounds to OR93 this son of Footstepsinthesand out of an Acclamation mare could have a couple more handicaps in him yet. Ground doesn’t seem to be an issue and 7/8F seems the trip. Cumani website, “La Rav became a dual winner in the colours of Mr Simon Capon when making a winning handicap debut off the back of his maiden win at Salisbury as he took a four runner race at Newbury on Thursday by three and a quarter lengths. He faces an 8 lb rise in the weights after that, but we are really pleased with how he is progressing and hopefully he can stay ahead of the handicapper.”

LOVE DREAMS               (Mark Johnston) The other was Mark Johnston’s lightly raced Love Dreams who was just three lengths away in sixth. Currently OR91, if the handicapper could shave off a pound C3 could beckon over six or seven furlongs. Being gelded may help as he has some growing up to do. Won the following Saturday over 7F very comfortably on Soft ground. OR91 100

MAM’SELLE                     (Haggas) Unraced as a 2yo she was hugely professional on debut this £80K daughter of Teofilio travelled in the box seat over 10F at Salisbury, pulled out 2F from home, green and wandered but put head down and beat Circulation a nose! Second run at Goodwood in a C5 10F apprentice handicap, OR73,  she didn’t seem to enjoy the 3F uphill climb that starts this race and indeed her pilot told the stewards “Georgia Cox, the rider of MAM’SELLE (IRE), unplaced, reported that the filly was never travelling.” Galactic Prince was a couple of places in front with both staying on.

Stepped up 1½F at Lingfield in C5, OR72, the RP analysis says “Chased leaders, clear in leading trio and waiting for gap 3f out, pushed along and quickened to lead over 2f out, clear and in command over 1f out, stayed on readily, comfortably”. Yet to race on anything other than Good to Soft and up eight pounds to OR80, looks progressive and should have a fruitful autumn.

Highclere website “You only have to look at this filly on the move to see what a special individual she is and it is no surprise as she hails from a Classic producing family. She is a half-sister to Jacqueline Quest who was second in The 1000 Guineas (Gr 1) having been demoted from first place after veering across the track. This is a family we are very familiar with, having enjoyed multiple Group success with Regime who is out of this filly’s second dam Juno Madonna. Mam’selle was unraced at two, but was always going to be a filly that will be seen at her best over middle distances, so we eagerly anticipate her debut in the spring.”

MARIE OF LYON            (#FantasticMrFahey) Since winning her maiden at York Marie of Lyon has been asked some pretty big questions. The listed Empress, the G3 Princess Margaret, the big York Sales race and then as a 3yo the Listed Sandringham handicap at Royal Ascot and Saturdays C2 handicap at Newmarket. She’s never run badly and finds herself now with a handicap mark of just OR83 and surely #FantasticMrFahey can find her a 7/8F C3 and build from there. Owned by Clipper Logistics so York would be the obvious venue but I’m struggling to see a suitable race at the Ebor festival.

MOUNT MORIAH       (Ralph Beckett) This is one progressive staying 3yo who made most of the fourteen pounds recieved 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. The Mallard handicap, C2 14F, at Doncaster in September could be on the agenda?

MURAD KHAN                (Hugo Palmer) This 4yo could still be improving despite a six pound penalty pushing his mark up to OR104 for this race. Backward as a 2yo with just the one placed effort on the AW at Kempton he won his first three races as a 3yo including beating Nimr at Doncaster and Ballet Concerto at Thirsk in mile handicaps but then disappointed when tried in Listed company. Well fancied for the Hambleton handicap on his first run this season he boiled over in the preliminaries and ran no race. They gelded him and eight days ago he behaved impeccably in a first time hood and won a C2 8F handicap at Windsor beating the likes of Chelsea Lad and Donncha. He races prominently and has a touch of class being a son of Ravens Pass out of a Sadler’s Wells and his half-brother Ascription improved for being gelded.

NAJASHEE                        (Burrows) Hamdan al Maktoum 3yo 700K euro half-brother to Ectot! Unraced as a 2yo, took three goes to break his maiden over a mile but did so at Haydock and supposedly goes handicapping off OR78. Tall, green, easy striding grey with a fast ground action and should get 10F.

NOVOMAN                      (William Haggas) I think Novoman is now starting to deliver what the yard has long suspected. Last season as a 2yo he took three goes to break his maiden and that was in an egg and spoon 7F race at Brighton and he was a 4/11 shot to do so! Then three runs in nurseries, 532, gelded over the winter and sent off 9/2F for the valuable Royal Mile handicap on 3yo debut but well behind Cullingworth. Then ninth to Parfait and sixth to Auberge du Lac in C2 handicaps, then here to York 3.45 race, C4 10F where they have got Good to Firm ground, dropped two grades to C4, stepped up two furlongs and put on Georgia Cox, the stables five pound claimer! Novoman did it well, quickening nicely 2F out and seeing the trip out. As a 3yo his RPR’s have been 62, 80, 87 and 97 whist his handicap mark has gone 90, 88, 86 and now OR94. On his second start as a 2yo he split Salsabeel and Law and Order now rated OR106 and OR100. Suggests there is more to come. I want to back Novoman in a C3 0-95 10F handicap on a flat track on Good ground or better preferably with Ms Cox in the saddle.

OMRAN                      (Marco Botti) The representative of Marco Botti, the trainer of OMRAN, unplaced, reported that the colt was unsuited by the soft ground and would prefer a faster surface.

PEALER                       (John Gosden) At Epsom John Gosden’s 3yo Pealer won a four horse race over 8 ½ F with the RP saying Pealer “was given a positive ride and ran his rivals into the ground”. Put up seven pounds from OR85 to OR92 I think there is still some more to come. He has improved for a tongue tie and he has raced against some top colts like Monarchs Glen, Tamleek and Count Octave and his duck egg was a non-staying last in the Derby!

PETITIONER                     (Roger Charlton) Unraced as a 2yo, made his debut at Wolverhampton and although slow away and green as grass was a creditable staying on third. Stayed on the AW and won a 12F C5 maiden that has worked out well. He has a low head carriage and at times looked to be struggling but when asked in the straight he scythed through to lead at the furlong pole then held the wider finishers including Qaviy Cash, Marine One and the now OR90 rated Cape Coast who has won twice since. Petitioner gets to go handicapping off just OR78, was due to run at Newbury 5.20 C4 12F 3yo, “5:20pm Withdrawn PETITIONER (IRE), trained by Roger Charlton. Going” Clearly needs a sound surface. Entered at 8.10 Newmarket Friday 28th C3 0-95 12F 3yo handicap.

RASHFORDS DOUBLE (#FantasticMrFahey) Latest run at Hamilton when third to Mohab was his first since being gelded. “prominent but niggled (?), took lead inside 2F pole, headed inside final furlong, will come on for run. Dropped a pound to 80 or getting a run in a 0-80 or back at Newcastle would be handy!” Mile seems his trip.

SIX STRINGS                    (#FantasticMrFahey) Lightly raced son of Requinto, 291 as a 2yo with the ninth in the Weatherby’s Super Sprint, then gelded over the winter and two places as a 3yo. His 3yo debut was at HQ when seven lengths behind Parfait in a C2 3yo 7F handicap on Good ground keeping on well for second but had the likes of Omran and Novoman behind him. Then a solid third at Hamilton in the Scottish Stewards Cup and supposedly could next appear in the Stewards Cup Consolation at Goodwood. OR87 looks workable and the horse has Ayr written all over him, probably Silver or Bronze.

SOCIETY RED                   (#FantasticMrFahey) Fahey ran Society Red up in trip for the first time but James Sullivan raced three wide with no cover. Did he stay? Jury’s out. However surely Society Red is a “winner waiting to happen” off OR81. I think he is an OR90+ horse.

SOFIA’S CHOICE            (Mark Johnston) The third, Sofia’s Choice, remains of interest in any 3yo 14F contest which is run on a flat track that suits front runners. The Melrose Handicap at York would seem suitable, C2 0-105 14F 3yo, as long as he stays on OR100!

THUNDERING BLUE     (David Menusier) Basically a galloper. Despite being US Bred for 8F max seems to get 10F, acts on softer ground and enjoys Epsom! Won off OR76 and what will the handicapper do? Up 7lb to OR83. Trainer Menuisier didn’t have a winner this season until Tuesday, then three on the bounce!

UAE KING                    (Roger Varian) 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 here 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.”

UAE QUEEN                     (Varian) She cost £450K as a yearling which is no surprise as she is by Oasis Dream out of a Barathea mare and is guaranteed a future in the breeding paddocks. Unraced as a 2yo she’s had three runs as a 3yo, 371. Last time out at Yarmouth in a 7F C5 fillies maiden Andrea Atzeni, ridden her on all three occasions, bounced her out, made every yard, wound it up from 2F out and won comfortably. Her opening handicap mark of OR77 seems lenient and would be worth following but always a possibility she may go in search of Black Type for which I wouldn’t be so keen.

ULTIMATE AVENUE     (Ed Walker) Ultimate Avenue, stealthily ridden by Jamie Spencer, seems to have a future in these valuable sprint pots for the next few seasons. Raised three pounds for this effort from OR97 to OR100 will guarantee an invite to all the best parties but may need the assistance of Spencer to be seen at his best. Whilst writing the last sentence it has occurred to me he has the perfect profile for a big bucks sale to Hong Kong, mind you he may not go via the sales ring as he is owned by PK Siu (Stormy Antarctic)!

VICTORY BOND             (William Haggas) This horse probably has a bit more class than Another Touch and this race would be only the sixth of his career but he has been on my radar ever since I saw him win his 3yo maiden at Ripon by seven lengths. The notebook says “Group horse in a handicap” and I was mildly surprised to see him gelded at the end of his 3yo season but this season this son of Medicean ran an excellent third in the 8F Listed Hambleton handicap at York and his pedigree suggests 10F will be ideal.

I would expect Victory Bond to be hugely competitive off OR102 IF he lines up in the John Smiths Cup but as ATR’s Gary Nutting posted a quote from William Haggas saying “This has been the plan but we’re dependent on the weather. He needs cut in the ground and I would be reluctant to run him if conditions are too quick.”

Blog July Cup review “At York the form of the C2 10F John Smiths handicap may need to be treated with care. Firstly they went no pace, very unusual for this race, until 3F out and as Jason Weaver pointed out this was an old fashioned York race with the leaders keeping to the far rail turning for home. Neither of these factors helped the hold-up, dropped in horses, so I am upgrading the performances of Garcia, Victory Bond, Another Touch and Central Square. The handicapper has left the first two on OR95 and OR102, dropped Another Touch one pound to OR103 and Central Square two pounds to OR105. They could all be back on the Knavesmire for the opening 10F 0-105 handicap on Ebor day.”

VON BLUCHER               (Rebecca Menzies) I have had one eye on him all season, ever since Rebecca Menzies paid £95K to get the 3yo out of John Gosden’s stables so that she had a Saturday horse, stable profile etc. not that she needs it as she has been among the winners all season. He was a close up fifth in the listed Spring Trophy over 7F at Haydock on seasonal debut, only beat four home in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot when the stiff mile seemed beyond him and then here when having to switch to the stands rail to get a run, staying on for sixth. He’s not in the 7F Gigaset International at Ascot or the BetFred Mile at Goodwood and it wouldn’t surprise me if Ms Menzies, who trains in Co Durham has him pencilled in for the Clipper Logistics handicap over the mile at York during the Ebor Festival.

Saturday July 8th ITV7 Preview Part II

Wednesday 4.00pm.You won’t mind it raining this Saturday as ITV have some belting racing on the telly. Many of these races are already priced up and there could be some value in getting on early.

2:05     bet365 Handicap Cl2 (3yo) 1m6f

14F is a real challenge for a 3yo and the field for this C2 handicap is full of progressive staying types who could go onto races like the Chester Cup and Northumberland Plate next season or even make up into Cup horses! For the past few seasons this has been a 10F 3yo handicap but in 2017 they are going half a mile further! So no stats or trends!

Horses such as Cribbs Causeway and Dominating are bang in winning form but stepping from C5 to C2 whilst going up in trip is a big jump. I am going to concentrate on just three, Zenon, Uae King and Humble Hero.

Zenon This is a handicap debut off OR87 for this son of Galileo trained by John Gosden. The dam is unraced (?) and based in India and Zenon was bred by Messrs V B Shirke, K N Dhunjibhoy & B M Desai and they own him but with Magnier & Tabor, as was his full brother Lord Napier who never rated higher than OR80 and was sold to John Ryan for £21K. Zenon has a date in the sales ring on July 17th. Three runs to date, turned over at odds on over 8F as a 2yo, second in a C4 Newmarket maiden to Godolphin’s Hold Sway (currently OR87) over 10F then hacked up over 12F in a C5 Chepstow maiden on Soft ground. Handicap mark seems high for what he has actually achieved.

Uae King 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 here 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 and the extra distance and goes handicapping off OR84 with Andrea Atzeni in the saddle.

Humble Hero Son of High Chaparral who was unraced as a 2yo but three runs as a 3yo around 12F with solid form of 221. The win was at Doncaster in a C5 12F maiden on Good to Firm aided by the second favourite being a pig. Runs in the colours of South African Mr Jooste, he of Poundland fame, but is owned by Mrs S Magnier/M Tabor/M Jooste & D Smith. They get everywhere! Humble Hero has every chance on handicapping debut off OR84 but 4/1 is unattractive.

The bet is one star* each way for Uae King @ 8/1 with WH 123 ¼ to grind them into submission.

2:40     bet365 Lancashire Oaks (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m3f175y

This has got to be the hardest of the weekend TV races to assess as the starting line-up is hard to work out! The trends say that in the last fourteen runnings of this race the 3yo’s, in receipt of twelve pounds, have won it just three times. John Gosden has won it five times. Atzeni misses the ride on Decorated Knight in the Eclipse supposedly to partner Ajman Princess in this 12F Group 2 contest. Gosden has jocked up his two, Robert Tart rides The Black Princess and Harry Bentley is aboard the 3yo Hertford Dancer. Daniel Tudhope has been booked on 50/1 shot Lucy the Painter. Otherwise we are struggling!

Many of the runners have met each other before and most of the leading players ran in one of four races.

31st May Listed 10F Nott’s Oaks at Nottingham on Good. No pace and they finished in a bit of a heap. Wilamena raced prominently, got first run and ground it out. Singyoursong was held up right out the back, had to challenge five wide and kept on well. Lucy the Painter and was staying on, beaten just under three lengths back in fifth.

10th June G3 12F Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock on Soft. French challenger Bateel galloped all over Dubka and Ajman Princess with seven lengths back to the fourth, Lucy the Painter. However the winner is ground dependent and won’t make the journey unless there is Soft in the going, currently (Wednesday 7.30am) Good, Good to Firm in places. 14th June Varian said: “Ajman Princess ran a great race on Saturday but the ground was too heavy for her and she could not quicken on that ground. She is a much better filly on a decent surface. She could go back to Haydock for the Lancashire Oaks but she would not run in that if the ground was soft.”

22nd June G2 3yo 12F Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot on Good to Firm. Hertford Dancer and Rich Legacy ran perfectly respectably in third and fourth just over a length behind Coronet and Mori.

25th June Listed 12F Pontefract on Good to Firm. Abingdon opened her season with a ten length destruction of Lucy the Painter. Afterwards Ryan Moore told Racing UK: “She’s a very smart filly. She won two Listed races last year and I think bad ground at Doncaster maybe got the better of her. She’s a big girl and she probably struggled to pull herself out of bad ground. This probably wasn’t the strongest of races, but when you win by 10 lengths, it’s a very good performance. I’m sure they’ll get her back and see how she is and make a plan. There’s a good programme for fillies, so I’d say she’ll probably stick to that. Hopefully she’ll get a Group-race win before too long.” Sir Michael Stoute trains both Abingdon and Dubka.

In 2016 Ajman Princess was half a length behind Abingdon in a 10F Ascot maiden at level weights. Ajman Princess went on to finish second in the 2016 G2 12F Ribblesdale at Ascot won by Even Song beating a staying on The Black Princess by a length. Jim Bolger has two entered with the higher rated being Turret Rocks who was in front of Even Song in last season’s G1 12F Yorkshire Oaks on the Knavesmire.

Clear as mud! I don’t think Bateel will turn up. I am not sure Wilamena, The Black Princess or Turret Rocks will get 12F.  Tom Segal recently commented that Haydock was becoming a real front-runners course, right up there with Chester! I could see Abingdon (5/2) making just about every yard but I couldn’t possibly recommend a bet until Thursday lunchtime and the final declarations and we know the field, the riding arrangements and how much rain Haydock may or may not have had!!

3:15     bet365 Old Newton Cup Handicap Cl2 (4yo+) 1m3f175y

As always my first step to these wide open handicaps where I have no initial fancy is to look at the trends and see the type of horse I’m looking for. Thanks to race caller.

Summary: Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:

– Aged 4 – Carrying 8-8 to 9-4 – Officially rated 90 to 97 – Run in 13 or fewer handicaps (winning no more than 3 on turf)

– Posted an RPR of 93 or higher last time out – Had at least 2 previous starts in 2016

– Course winner (or having first start at Haydock) – Won at a left-handed track

– Won over 1M 2F to 1M 4F (ideally won over 1M 4F+) – Won at no higher than class 2 level

– Ran in Duke Of Edinburgh, Galacuix Handicap and/or Jorvik Stakes

– Trained by Mark Johnston   – Tends to race prominently – Drawn 8 or higher

Well for me that all points to one horse and that is Roger Charlton’s Blakeney Point. This would look on the short side for him having been sent off a well backed 4/1 favourite for the 18F Chester Cup but after an excellent last time out fourth at Goodwood his trainer seems to have a plan. 28th May 2017  Roger Charlton website “Blakeney Point travelled like the winner in his race over 1m 6f and in the end didn’t get home. He got taken on too early as they turned in and it set him alight. As we had thought at Chester, 2m 2f was too far. He has got a lot faster than he was last year and cruised all over the field. The Ebor looks like the race for him in August and his jockey (Jamie Spencer) seemed taken with the idea.”

Right if the “plan” is the Ebor on the third Saturday in August you may get in off OR98 but you need three figures to be sure. Currently on OR95 a solid run, even a win, here would do the job and give you six weeks to freshen him up!

Blakeney Point has won over 12F and three times over 16F as well with two wins on the AW, with one in C2, suggesting he’ll enjoy a sound surface. Keiron Shoemark has won on him twice and claims three pounds. This is one of two already booked rides at Haydock for the stable jockey so the horse seems sure to line up. The question will be “Is he quick enough”?

Blakeney Point one star* each way @ 14/1 general 1234 ¼ (There is some 16/1 on-line)



Lucky 15 Thursday June 29th


Thursday 1.15pm With Royal Ascot done and dusted it is back to my Flat racing bedrock, the #FantasticMrFahey, and the form that surrounds his runners. Trying desperately to get my note books up to date and a few Musley Bank runners today caught my eye.

I like Miss Van Gogh and Jack Garritty at Hamilton and in weaker races Right Touch and Lady in Question are back-able prices though neither screams sure fire winner! The 2yo Quayside has conditions to suit. The main attraction however is I think all four should be shorter in the market. Don’t go overboard but let’s see if #FantasticMrFahey can come up trumps?

Thursdays Lucky 15

Newcastle 5.20           RIGHT TOUCH                                 5/1 PP + BetFred 9/2 general

Newmarket 3.15        LADY IN QUESTION                11/2 general

Hamilton 6.30            QUAYSIDE                               9/4 general

Hamilton 8.10            MISS VAN GOGH                   9/2 general

and here’s why

Thursdays Lucky 15

Newcastle 5.20           RIGHT TOUCH Decent C2 handicapper who just seems to be missing his finishing kick but the handicapper has relented a little and this is the easiest race he has contested for a while. Notebook says:-

Right Touch           7yo gelding            (Nicholas Wrigley/Kevin Hart)            7041206703-55   (95)         OR97 95 99 102 100 99 98 Solid C2 performer, 6/7F on Good ground or softer, although the handicapper probably has him currently (102). Two runs on the AW including a strong third over 7F at Newcastle. Handicapper relents a few pounds, Solid run on seasonal debut at Ripon in a far side group of just three and not far behind, just looks one paced.

Newmarket 3.15        LADY IN QUESTION Not sure I’m totally convinced by the ground or the trip but she’s well handicapped on her 2yo form, handles the course   and with Connor Murtagh taking seven pounds off she carries no weight. The price makes her backable. Notebook says:-

Lady In Question  3yo filly                  (Ms Amie Canham)                               1044775-54          (?)                           OR78 77 76 73

Stayed on well on debut to win a C5 6F maiden at Thirsk. Since then she has taken in four C2 nurseries the Super Sprint at Newbury, the big Sales race at the Curragh and most recently the Redcar Totepool 2yo trophy! That is a tough schedule! In two of the 7F nurseries she “kept on” without being competitive finishing fourth and she was bashed about at Redcar before flying home for fifth. Good ground, 8F and I’m convinced as a 3yo she’s better than OR76. This season she keeps getting Soft ground and now drops to 6F.

Hamilton 6.30            QUAYSIDE Conditions look right to open his account here. Hopefully have enough pace early on to make use of his stand rail draw. Not a disaster if he can’t with only five runners. Notebook says:-

Quayside               2yo colt                  (Bearstone Stud)                                                  53           ()                             OR??

Homebred son of Harbour Watch out of a Pivotal mare has shown enough in his opening two starts that he is capable of winning. Give in the ground and a stiff 6F for now, maybe further later on.

Hamilton 8.10            MISS VAN GOGH Plenty in her favour here, soft ground, stiff mile, drop in grade, Jack Garritty and she would be a three star*** nap as a single win. Notebook says:-             

Miss Van Gogh      5yo filly  (Dyson Racing & D Powell)                  6143999480-566 (82)                         OR82 89 88 85 84 82 80

Just about down to a winning mark, OR85. Stiff mile with some ease in the ground and preferably Hanagan on board.


Australian article outlining Ascot runners wanted for Australian campaigns with suggested future targets.

Jordon’s Royal Ascot hit-list James Tzaferis James Tzaferis@Jtzaf     26 June, 2017

After a busy week of feature racing at Royal Ascot, Racing Victoria’s International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon has reviewed his list of targets for the Spring Racing Carnival. Among others, he has identified five horses that strengthened their chances of an Australian campaign with strong performances across the five days of the Carnival.

Idaho – Winner of the G2 Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) The Aidan O’Brien-trained stayer erased the horror of last-year’s St Leger – he started 4-6 favourite before unseating jockey Seamie Heffernan at the 600m – with a tough performance in Royal Ascot’s mile-and-a-half contest. The race carried Caulfield Cup ballot exemption for the winner and it shapes as a logical target for the son of Galileo, given his best performances have come over 2400m on firm ground. Jordon’s Comment: “It was a great win and it looks like he’ll go onto the King George and probably clash with his full-brother in Highland Reel. We could be a good chance to see him down here in the spring for a race like the Caulfield Cup. I think he’s an ideal horse and Aidan has always said that he likes fast ground and they’ll probably look to travel him later in the year.”

Barsanti – Runner-up G2 Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) The Roger Varian-trained gelding settled at the rear of the field before letting down with a dazzling turn of foot to reel in all but the winner. The career-best performance appears to have convinced connections to look towards Melbourne and a possible start in the Caulfield Cup later this year. Varian is no stranger to Melbourne, having campaigned Farraaj and My Ambivalent during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival. Jordon’s Comment: “I think the run of the race was the second horse Barsanti for trainer Roger Varian. It was a fantastic run because he had a wide barrier and was out the back but he was storming down the outside. Roger nearly brought this horse out to Melbourne last year for the Caulfield Cup but he was a little bit low in the weights so he may have made the right decision keeping him in England for another year. I’m fairly confident he’ll come down this year, I’ve been in contact with Roger and he’s going to see how he pulls up before deciding on the rest of his campaign.”

Thomas Hobson – Winner Ascot Stakes (4000m), runner-up Queen Alexandra Stakes (4300m) Willie Mullins’ lightly-raced stayer came close to pulling off the coveted Ascot Stakes-Queen Alexandra Stakes double at Royal Ascot but his win on the opening day appears have been enough to convince connections to plot a path to Flemington for the Melbourne Cup. Mullins and owner Rich Ritchie produced Max Dynamite to finish second to Prince Of Penzance in the 2015 Cup and, like his stablemate, Thomas Hobson mixes his races over jumps and on the flat. Jordon’s Comment: “Trainer Willie Mullins and owner Rich Richie had Max Dynamite come out and run second in the Melbourne Cup and this year they could have Thomas Hobson, who was super impressive in the Ascot Stakes. He let down beautifully and they are talking about coming out. That race wasn’t a Listed race so he still has to quality for the Cups and he probably needs to get his rating up but Willie definitely knows how to do that and he could come through a race like the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup in August.”

Caravaggio – Winner of the G1 Commonwealth Cup (1200m) The emerging sprinter maintained his perfect record with victory in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup and owners Coolmore immediately hinted that the son of Scat Daddy could be the horse to carry their hopes in The Everest at Randwick in October. While the $10 million feature appears the main lure of an Australian campaign, Jordon is confident O’Brien could also consider a start in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington for the colt, whose stud value would skyrocket with a black-type win in the southern hemisphere. Jordon’s Comment: “Obviously we’ll be talking to Aidan if he does come to run in The Everest for him to come down to Melbourne and take in the Darley Classic. We know The Everest isn’t a black-type race and I’m sure connections would be looking for a Group 1 win in Australia so he may be some sort of chance.”

Kaspersky – Fifth in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) While Jordon will be engaging in discussions with connections of winner Ribchester regarding their Cox Plate invitation, he was impressed with the finish of Michelle Payne’s mount Kaspersky, who appears all but certain to travel to Melbourne later in the year. The Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington looms as the primary aim but Jordon believes the six-year-old could also measure up in a race like the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield. Jordon’s Comment: “He was a great run coming off the inside rail to finish nicely into fifth. Jane (Chapple-Hyam) is talking about the Cantala Stakes for him during the spring and he could possibly take in a race like the Toorak Handicap but we’ll wait and see there.”

Royal Ascot 2017 Review Part 2 Wednesday June 28th

The handicappers – Gimme the money!

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

Wednesday – Hunt Cup

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

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

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

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

Wednesday – Sandringham

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

Thursday Britannia

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday – King George V

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

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

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

Friday – Duke of Edinburgh

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday  – Wolferton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday – Wokingham

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

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

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

Royal Ascot 2017 Review Part 1

Tuesday June 27th

One of the great joys of blogging is the opportunity to watch the races again objectively courtesy of sportinglife.com and realise not only what an excellent five days of racing it was but how much I missed in real time when seeing the race through my wallet!!

Let’s start with a couple of general observations. Regular readers of this blog will have heard this before but I would love to see a false rail turning for home so that the horse on the rail turning in was now four or five horse widths off the rail. With that much prize money on offer, that many competing for it, surely we all want the best horse to win and that wasn’t always the case last week. Secondly with modern technology would it not be possible for the Clerk of the Course to engineer a situation where the middle of the track was quicker than both rails and encourage jockeys to race up the centre. The two group scenario seems both unnecessary and unfair.

What about the horses? Well I wouldn’t be in a rush to oppose a few of last week’s winners whilst they stay in their division. Ribchester (4yo+ 8F), Winter (3yo fillies 8F), Caravaggio (3yo 6F) and the pair of Big Orange and Order of St. George (16F+ G1), all were mighty impressive.

As for the 2yo form? September looks a G1 filly and Heartache clearly has talent but as for the rest, especially the colts, looked below par to me. Those that went into the notebook were;

Darkanna (Richard Fahey) This expensive filly is now getting her act together and was doing all of her best work late on in the Queen Mary and is now ready for a sixth furlong.

Marchingontogether (Ivan Furtado) This ridiculously cheap purchase has been moved on to Qatar Racing and this daughter of Havana Gold was always staying on well when others had had enough in the Windsor Castle and is now ready for a sixth furlong. At worst she could be useful in nurseries but could easily pick up some Black Type.

In the 6F G2 Coventry I thought there were four horses who would all benefit from stepping up to 7F, Headway (William Haggas), Murillo (Aidan O’Brien), Prince of the Dark (Clive Cox) and Romanised (Ken Condon).

In the 6F G3 Albany for the fillies, Take me with you (Jeremy Noseda) and Mistress of Venice (James Given) both out ran their odds but were on the ‘wrong’ stands side band both should win at 7F+. On the quicker side Snowflakes (Aidan O’Brien) went with no cover then got bumped when moving into contention. More to come at this level. I would like to see the Albany form franked as I’m wary of its strength.

Likewise the 7F Chesham looked average at best but I thought I spotted three future winners. Bartholomew Dias (Charlie Hills) did enough in the final two furlongs to suggest he’s a shoo-in for an 8F maiden as soon as they start. Bustan (John Quinn) looked a candidate for a decent 7F nursery, possibly York. Further down the line once Hey Gaman (James Tate) grows into his frame he should make a decent 10F 3yo.

Level weight 3yo’s. This year’s two furlong shorter G2 14F Queens Vase produced two likely St.Leger candidates in Stradivarius (John Gosden) and Count Octave (Andrew Balding). For me the horse to take from the race was Desert Skyline (David Elsworth) who raced right at the back under Fran Berry, made progress in the home straight but every time he tried for a run he was pushed back inside. Remains on OR100 and would be of interest in a C2 12F 3yo handicap (Newmarket/Haydock) off that, especially if ?-100.

The 12F G2 Ribblesdale was a close call between two fillies who could both expect to collect a middle distance Group 1 sooner rather than later in Coronet (John Gosden) and Mori (Sir Michael Stoute) although the former wouldn’t want Soft in the Going. Both are in the Irish Oaks. Astronomy’s Choice is clearly highly thought of at Clarehaven stables but once again hated the ground and with a bit more time to fill that large frame and Soft in the going could well reward Team Gosden in an Autumn campaign.

sportinglife.com June 28 2017, 11:03 Royal Ascot heroine Coronet could take on older fillies and mares in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks in what would be her third attempt at winning a Group One prize. Richard Evans, farm manager for owners Denford Stud, said: “We very pleased with her Ribblesdale run. She bounced back nicely from the Oaks having not enjoyed coming down hill. To be fair, that was her only below-par performance having won twice last year, followed by a third in the Group One Prix Saint-Alary this year, having being forced to come late and wide with a terrific finishing burst.

Where she goes from here will be discussed between the owner and trainer, of course. However, she does have an entry in the Yorkshire Oaks, where the track and distance would suit, and she looks like a filly that could then step up in distance towards the end of the season She is a very genuine filly.”

Evans is already looking to future generations from Coronet’s dam, Approach. “Her dam Approach has a New Approach two-year-old colt in pre-training and he should make up into a very nice three-year-old,” he said. “She also has a yearling filly by Australia, a Kingman colt foal, and is now in-foal to Frankel.”

In the colts equivalent, the G2 12F Edward VII, Permian (Mark Johnston) remains the most reliable yardstick for 3yo middle distance colts but there is certainly no standout performer in the division, yet. Crystal Ocean (Sir Michael Stoute) remains a work in progress. As does his stablemate Mirage Dancer (Sir Michael Stoute) who was third in the G3 10F Hampton Court and it might be both will peak as 4yo’s. In the Hampton court Irish Correspondent (Michael Halford) never got a clear run at the leaders and I think these were his ideal conditions, G3 possibly Listed, 10F, Good to Firm. If he were mine I’d look for a race in the UK as he’ll get the gallop he needs and may not have to contend with a pack of O’Brien Galileo colts or late developers from Messr’s Weld or Bolger!

In the St James Palace G1 8F Forest Ranger (Richard Fahey) struck me as up in trip, 8-10F, down in grade, G3?, could see him back to winning ways. Interesting entry in the 9F G3 Meld Stakes at Leopardstown on July 21st. Ideal methinks.

The older horses 4yo+. Cougar Mountain (Aidan O’Brien) was never put in the G1 8F Queen Anne but did enough late on to suggest he could win a G3 over 8/10F when a Coolmore first choice! Idaho (Aidan O’Brien) returned to winning form in the G2 12F Hardwicke stakes in what looked a scruffy race. Barsanti  (Roger Varian) stayed on late to grab second and although he’s won his last three handicaps rising from OR85-OR105 and now 106 he would head to the Princess of Wales G2 12F at Newmarket’s July meeting as a leading player. Chemical Charge (Ralph Beckett) didn’t have much racing room close home and now up to OR114 may have to go abroad to win a 12F Group race. Across the Stars (Sir Michael Stoute) was bumped 2F out when considering a challenge and I’m sure this talented colt will be winning soon with his shrewd connections.

Amongst the sprinters Aclaim (Martyn Meade) under Jamie Spencer could never find a racing seam until the race had gone and has an interesting entry in the 7F Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh on 16th July. Tasleet (William Haggas) and Librisa Breeze (Dean ivory) strike me as two that could easily pick up a Grade 1 prize this season. I’d back both for sure in any race I could get a double figure price. Tasleet came from a fair way back in the G1 6F Diamond Jubilee and wasn’t the only horse that Jim Crowley asked to make up plenty of ground last week, which surprised me as Hamdan Al Maktoum likes his horses ridden very prominently.


Part 2 to follow. The handicappers – Gimme the money!