Tag: Theydon grey

Thursday 21st September Ayr we go!

Posted Wednesday 20th September 6.30pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday August 26th Lucky 15 Mark II

Posted Saturday 10.00am So much racing today just had to tell you about these four!

Lucky 15 MKII (6 stars)

Goodwood 2.45         ULTIMATE AVENUE                11/2 general                   One star* win

Newmarket 3.50        THEYDON GREY                      4/1 general                     One star* win

Newmarket 4.25        GIFTED MASTER                     4/1 general                     Two star** win

Chester 4.45               GALACTIC PRINCE                  10/3 general                 Two star** win 


and here’s why

Goodwood 2.45 ULTIMATE AVENUE The notebook says “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.” Well Spencer is at Goodwood then Windsor and not York and looking through his rides I reckon this is his best chance of a winner. Steps back up to 7F and this lightly raced 3yo has already dipped his toes into Group company and this £60K+ pot looks well within his compass.

Spencer in his 32Red blog “He has been pulled out a couple of times recently because the ground has gone against him, so hopefully the rain stays away and he can take his chance on a decent surface.  If he does, then I would like to think he will go close, even though the handicapper put him up 3lb for his third over 6f at Newmarket.  I was quite taken with him there and he was probably a little unfortunate not to win, all things considered, as he travelled really well throughout the race and I had to switch him to get a clear run late on, and he was only beaten a head and ½ length in third. The form looks very strong too, as the fourth, fifth and sixth have all won since. That was over 6f but the step up to 7f won’t be any issue at all – you only have to look at his earlier runs over this trip to see that – and I think he will be pretty competitive here if I can get a good early pitch from stall five.”

Newmarket 3.50        THEYDON GREY No surprise here as I really fancied him for York but the rain put paid to that plan. Just hope it isn’t going to be quick at Newmarket! Good, Good to Firm in places (GoingStick: 7.7 on Friday at 06:30) WEATHER Dry since Tuesday. Friday looks set to remain settled with sunny spells. A little more cloud early Saturday, with a small chance of a passing shower. Otherwise bright spells and temperatures of around 23C.”

Here’s what I said for WednesdayLast four runs at York, won last three, 12F 14F & 16F. Goes well for Georgia Cox.” Would have preferred York but I know he’s fit, ground, trip and grade are fine and Ms Cox is still in the saddle. I saw a tweet yesterday that suggested all was not well in the Haggas yard but a 1-2 in the last at York and a winner at HQ yesterday seem to knock that on the head.

Newmarket 4.25        GIFTED MASTER Plenty of emotion involved with this horse. As a 2yo he developed Guineas aspirations but he was a headcase, disappointed as a 3yo, then they almost lost him through a bout of colic but now is reinvented as a sprinter. Attractive here because Gifted Master is best at Newmarket, Pat smullen has been booked and for a prominent racer has the rail in stall 1. Nothing trainer Hugo Palmer says on his Betfair blog puts me off.

“I could have run Gifted Master in the City of York Stakes over further, but I really want him to have more opportunity to prove himself as a sprinter, and although it was only a four-runner race he won at Doncaster last time, I thought he looked back to something close to his best, and William Buick was very complimentary about him.

It’s great to have him back as he was very sick earlier in the year, and while he would have to right up to his peak rating to win what looks a really competitive race, there’s no reason to think he’s not at his best, and he’s well drawn to go forward from the inside stall.”

Chester 4.45               GALACTIC PRINCE An excellent third at Ascot to Bin Battuta and I put in my Notebook “Back in third behind Bin Battuta was a staying on Galactic Prince. For a 3yo gelding by Dubawi out of Opera Gal (OR105) a Galileo mare, surely Andrew Balding can place him to win another staying handicap 12/14F off OR80.” Andrew Balding does well at Chester and stable jockey David Probert rides. Trip, grade and the Good ground are spot on.


One that got away!!!!

Chester 4.15               PENWORTHAM Many of you may not be aware that it is not only Pricewise (Tom Segal) who can move the market but Hugh Taylor, ATR’s top tipster has the equivalent effect. I had Penwortham in the MkII Lucky 15 but Hugh Taylor putting him up has seen the price shrink from 12/1 to a top priced 6/1 with Ladbrokes. I can’t put Penwortham in the Lucky 15 at that price when I’m on at double figures. My logic is exactly the same as Hugh Taylors!

“PENWORTHAM has two ways of running on the face of it, but he has run an excellent race on all three outings at Chester and after shaping as if back in form last time, he looks to have plenty in his favour in the extended 7f handicap (4.15).

His form figures here not only read 212, but they stand up to close scrutiny. On his first run here last season over the bare 7f he pulled clear with Arcanada, who was running off a mark of 93 but was last seen finishing second at York off a mark of 105. He won on his second course outing, also over 7f, again pulling clear with a progressive rival, this time Viscount Barfield, who has won three of his five Chester starts, including a Listed race her in July (now rated 105). On his third and most recent start here, which came over today’s distance, he had to make his challenge a little wide round the final bend, but still found enough to pull clear again with winner and odds-on favourite Fastnet Tempest, who hugged the inside throughout. The winner didn’t have much luck in the Hunt Cup next time and is another who is likely to be rated well above 100 in time. After three runs elsewhere, Penwortham returns to Chester on a 2lb lower mark, and he shaped as if in form at Galway last time, much better than the result in fact, having endured a wide passage. He is well positioned in stall 2, and granted luck in running, a reproduction of his previous course form would make him very hard to beat here.”

Indeed his RPR’s are 88, 94 & 95. He has struggled to beat 90 anywhere else. Definitely horses for courses!


Plenty of others I’m watching carefully.

Goodwood (Good)

2.10 Verandah Strong 7F 2yo fillies G3 and she is a well-developed young lady who was special on debut on the AW sweeping from last to first. Notebook “This Cheveley Park homebred daughter of Medician and a full-sister to one of his chief money-spinners in Dimension, showed an impressive turn of foot, second last to first from the cut away, to comfortably win this 7F C4 fillies maiden on the AW at Kempton. She’s a good size and should have no trouble stepping up in trip.” Jamie Spencer thinks a lot of Noseda’s Quivery.

2.45 Johnny Barnes My idea of the Ayr Gold Cup winner running over 7F here. Raucous has looked like his name was down for one of these all season. However its Ultimate Avenue in the Lucky 15.

3.20 I’m all over Hathal but this looks a Soft G2 and Lightning Spear is a genuine G1 performer and no Ribchester!

3.55 This could be a serious St. Leger trial with Call to Mind and Count Octave possible contenders. UAE King could have run at York in the Lonsdale Cup or todays Melrose and is a Cup horse for next year whilst Godolphin are about to blow an excellent handicap mark on the gi-normous Warner Street.

Newmarket (Good to Firm)

2.05 Betty F. Expensive Frankel 2yo filly.

Chester (Good)

3.05 Powerallied Can he get going quickly enough. Will win at Chester.

Windsor (GF, G in places)

6.30 11F Listed with Across the Stars back on course and Spencer is keen on Second Step (see below).

6.40. G3 10F Competitive event where Best of Days needs to show his true colours. Hugo Palmer on Betfair “Best of Days has been slow to come to hand this year, but the signs were much more encouraging at Newbury last time despite the really soft ground not helping. Oisin Murphy rode him there and said it was only his guts and class which allowed him to go as close as he did. The ground won’t be anything like as bad at Windsor, and I expect him to put up an improved performance as a result. He’s a horse who has given us cause to dream about the big days, and is working well again; it would be wonderful to get him back in the winners’ enclosure, but this is a deep race and there will be no hiding place.”

Not sure what they are doing with Ayrad. Sneaking suspicion might be top weight in a handicap?


On line quotes

A confident Spencer in his 32Red blog! 6.10pm Windsor Second Step This is arguably his easiest task of the season, for all that he carries a 3lb penalty for his Goodwood win and meets a higher-rated horse in Across The Stars. But whereas that horse has questions to answer now in that he has been gelded and is tried in a first-time hood, my horse looks very solid and bumped into a very smart and progressive horse in Poet’s Word at Goodwood last time. Hopefully, they all have me to beat.

A not so confident Josephine Gordon in her 32Red blog! 3.35pm York Dubka “I am thrilled to have picked up such a good ride for Sir Michael.  She looks to have run as well as she has ever done when just beaten on the line in the Lillie Langtry at Goodwood last time and returns to handicap company on a fair mark of 102. We know that she stays well, and has form on all ground – though she would definitely prefer it if it doesn’t dry up too much, as she does look best with give –  so I think she deserves to be among the favourites. Her draw in 19 will hopefully be okay, and fingers crossed for the ground, too. Any more rain would suit her.”

Jim Crowley Coral blog at York

1.55 – Strensall Stakes I’m looking forward to Mustashry in the first. He was returning from a long time off when he ran at Goodwood, and we then went to Chelmsford where I thought he was a bit special to be honest.  It’s very hard to come from behind there and he passed the whole field in two furlongs.  He should come on again for that run, so I’m very hopeful of a big run.

3.00 – Gimcrack Stakes Nebo has run very well in Group races last two times, he went very close in the Superlative Stakes and then finished second again behind Barraquero at Goodwood.  We meet Cardsharp again, who we beat at Goodwood, and although it’s a competitive race as you’d expect, I think we have a good chance, he’ll certainly be on the scene, and he deserves to get his head in front in one of these nice races.

4.40 – Jack Berry House Handicap I end Ebor week on top-weight Khairaat in the ten furlong handicap.  Things have not quite gone his way last couple of times, at Royal Ascot he was a little bit keen and didn’t quite finish his race, and at Goodwood we didn’t have the best draw but still ran well for third.  He started the season with a very good win at Chester, and although this is a very different track, I think it will suit him and he’s a nice horse who I think will run a big race.

Wednesday August 23rd Day 1 York Ebor Festival

Posted Tuesday 6.00pm

Eyes down for a full house. The York Ebor four day Festival is very much my summer Cheltenham. The form is in the book, quality everywhere you look, fiendishly difficult handicaps and even the youngsters have had a couple of days at school. Love it! Like its Cotswold cousin the Knavesmire has its idiosyncrasies. Personally I like my selections ridden just behind the pace, I like a low draw on the straight course and I’m always keen to have a jockey on board that might have a Plan B, if not C and D! They don’t give you races at York!

I think the two feature races on Day 1 2017 are really difficult with just too many unknowns, so I’ll profile those two races first then move onto Wednesdays Lucky 15 and Wednesdays Star* bets. Finally I will add any profiles I’ve done but haven’t put up as a bet.

James Pyman rightly pointed out in the Racing Post last Friday, “Its York, anything can happen!”

Be lucky!


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

Big race for Frankel. He sired half the field and two of his four highest rated progeny, Cracksman and Mirage Dancer, take on each other here and they head the market. This will only be Cracksman’s fifth career start and the last two have seen him finish third in the Epsom Derby and second in the Irish Derby. Indeed in those races all three horses he was beaten by were trained by Aiden O’Brien and although Coolmore saddle another three here I can’t see any of them troubling the favourite. However his half-brother Mirage Dancer is a different kettle of fish. Typically Sir Michael Stoute has played the long game and this is only his fourth start. Stoute said: “We’re just leaving nice gaps between his races. He is progressive. We like the horse and he keeps improving. This would be as far as he would ever want to go.” I make Mirage Dancer the play at the prices and surely at worse it will be only money lent until next season!

Khalidi was sired by High Chapparrel otherwise it is three Galileo colts versus four of Frankels! Atty Persse has yet to prove himself in Group company and this is a big ask but Andrew Balding’s Count Octave is very much on my St.Leger short-list, for which this race used to be THE major trial. He got within a neck of Stradivarius in the G2 14F Queens Vase at Royal Ascot but I’m not sure he’ll have enough speed here and just want to see him staying on. Khalidi has won at Listed level and his Group race seconds to the ill-fated Permian and Crystal Ocean earn his right to run and he will be an informative yardstick.

York 3.35        Juddmonte International G1 10F

Fantastic line up but a mine field of a race. Who leads? This race could be won by the jockey as much as the horse. I want to take the 3yo’s colts on. I am not convinced Churchill’s form adds up to a lot and I don’t think Barney Roy is as good as Richard Hannon does! Shutter Speed is quality but she isn’t Enable! Either Decorated Knight or My Dream Boat would constitute a surprise but not a shock. Recent money suggests Cliffs of Moher is a player not a pacemaker and Eclipse winner Ulysses needs something to aim at, which brings me back to “where is the pace”? The informed opinion is that Seamie Heffernan will make it on Cliffs of Moher, I have a hunch that Ryan Moore might try to dictate affairs but if anyone gets a soft lead they will be hard to pass at York! Saw this on Twitter this morning, “Mind really does boggle as to why Godolphin never learn their lesson and have a pacemaker present for Barney Roy. StopwatchRacing‏ @StopwatchRacing ”. Food for thought? Toscanini is only just up the road!


Wednesday Lucky 15 (each way if you like?)

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS                     8/1 general

York 2.25                    ZAAKI                                      18/1 PP 14/1 general

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY                      7/1 general

York 4.50                    KALAGIA                                 14/1 general


Wednesday Star* Selections (12 Stars)

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS                     One Star*win @ 8/1 general

York 2.25                    ZAAKI                                      One Star* each way @ 18/1 PP 14/1 general

York 2.25                    WELLS FARHH GO                  One Star*win @ 16/1 general

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

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY                      Two Star**win @ 7/1 general

York 4.15                    MY REWARD                          One Star*win @ 14/1 PP 12/1 WH

York 4.50                    KALAGIA                                 One Star* each way @ 14/1 general

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

and here’s why

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS Real poser to kick us off! Twenty runners, odd trip of 5½F and 9/1 the field! Planned putting this one up a few days ago and it looks like he could go off Favourite now! Fifth in the Epsom Dash, a close sixth in the Wokingham, drawn on the wrong side in the Stewards Cup, he’s been knocking on the door and with the low draw I was looking for and Daniel Tudhope booked, O’Meara saddles another three, still looks the most likely winner to me! There are some very fast horses lining up here such as El Astronaute, Thesme, Amomentofmadness and I just hope the closers can get to them!

York 2.25                    ZAAKI I have four of these in the Notebook and I’m backing the two biggest prices! The other two are profiled below. Heres what my notebook says The other eye catcher for me in the G3 7F Superlative Stakes at HQ was the fifth Zaaki, the only maiden in the field, as he was second to the G2 July stakes sixth Enjezaat on debut, who ran on well and being out of a Sadlers Well mare should get further. He was only two and a quarter lengths behind Gustav Klimt, who is currently officially rated OR109 and no bigger than 8/1 for next years 2000 Guineas. The second Nebo was an excellent second to Barraquero in the G2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. That’s solid form.

His dad is the Brazilian sire Leroidesanimaux. No I’ve never heard of him either but he sired Animal Kingdom no less! Zaaki is trained by Mohamed Moubarak who has returned to Newmarket after twenty five years in the US but he has one hell of a CV.”

York 2.25                    WELLS FARHH GO Here’s what my notebook says, “(Tim Easterby) No prizes for guessing the sire and out of a Galileo mare and he couldn’t have been more impressive on debut. On a foul evening on the Knavesmire in a C3 7F maiden he settled well albeit out the back but when asked from 2F out he powered home to comfortably pick up the 2/1F Laugh a Minute. The time was nothing special, Topspeed 43, and the form is yet to be franked but connections have picked up a bargain at just £16K and as he was sent off at 16/1 probably surprised connections although I see they have given him an entry in the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes. File under “Could Be Anything”! “

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY My initial thoughts on looking at the entries were “Last four runs at York, won last three, 12F 14F & 16F. Goes well for Georgia Cox.”  Was on my list of Haggas Ebor Festival possibles and being drawn in stall 10 is fine, just 8st 6lbs on his back and 7/1 available I see no reason to change my mind.

Plenty in this race have been around a while and many of them have lines of excellent form but the handicapper has most of them in check.

York 4.15                    MY REWARD Ninth in this last year beaten six lengths by Oceane off a pound more. So how can he turn that around? Well the Tim Easterby yard is in excellent form, nine winners in the past fortnight. He’s drawn lower this year which should give him a better chance of grabbing the rail and the lead as that first sharp bend comes up pretty quickly. Since winning over this trip at Ripon he was just a length and a quarter off the winner when fifth in the Northumberland Plate and a solid fourth in the 14F C2 handicap at the Goodwood Festival to Ebor fancy Soldier in Action. If My Reward leads running to the 2F pole he could be a tough horse to pass.

York 4.50                    KALAGIA A low weight, a low draw, winning form, sprinting pedigree and from an in-form stable. That’s what I’m looking for and this young lady fits the bill. Fillies have won the last two runnings of this valuable Nursery and Mark Johnston’s runner is bred to be quick being by Kodiac out of a Whipper mare! Joe Fanning should be able to get her prominent from stall 2 and just like her win at Hamilton make every yard. She hasn’t been stopping over 5F and carrying just 8st 1lb, close to the jockeys minimum, hopefully she’ll see the extra furlong out!

York 4.50                    AREEN FAISAL #FantasticMrFahey has won the last two runnings of this race, both times with fillies and both times with getting on for 20lb in hand! No similar profile this year but of his two this one seems the selection. Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah paid €80K for this Bahamian Bounty colt with the plan being Royal Ascot as a 2yo, he was 15th in the Listed 5F Windsor Castle! He was an eye catcher on Newmarket debut when running on for third at the Craven meeting, made no progress second time, then the Ascot trip and broke his maiden at the fourth attempt when stepping up to 6F winning a C4 Pontefract nursery off OR76. He’s put up four pounds and two grades but could easily have that sort of improvement in him. Would probably have had him as my first choice but that draw in stall 18 and the quicker ground just tempers my enthusiasm.

#FantasticMrFahey’s blog on sportinglife.com “Areen Faisal is a horse who works really well at home and went to Royal Ascot as we felt he was one of our better two-year-olds. However, his performances on the track didn’t live up to what we see at home but he got his head in front the last day. He’s had a break since which will have done him no harm and heads here in good form. He has a chance – providing the draw hasn’t done for him.”


York 2.25        Acomb Stakes G2 7F 2yo colts & geldings

Here are the other two profiles:-

ULSHAW BRIDGE          (James Bethell) By High Chapparel out of an Oasis Dream he had already won a C3 6F maiden at York with a strong finish. 7/8F has to be within scope. Tudhope has ridden him in last two races.

A C2 6F Conditions Stakes on Good to Soft at Chester looked a tasty five runner event. Forget Haddaf who has disappointed before, the other four were all previous winners, were improvers and through Dragons Tail are going to get Official Ratings somewhere in the 90’s and that will make them possibles for those valuable 3yo handicap sprints next season. So Prestbury Park beat Regulator a short head with the strong finisher half a length back and the yardstick Dragons Tail OR93 three quarters of a length further back. Regulator got three pounds off the winner and five pounds off the other two. In the race itself Prestbury Park got the rail and set the fractions with Dragons Tail on his quarters and Regulator tucked in and Ulshaw Bridge outpaced. For once there was no cutaway which would have helped Regulator but Hanagan drove him up the inside failing by a short head. Ulshaw Bridge was adrift but flew home from two out whilst Dragons Tail kept on but not as well as the front three.

DEE EX BEE                 (Mark Johnston) Godolphin home bred by Farhh out of unraced daughter of Seeking the Gold. Won a C2 7F Goodwood maiden when well supported into 5/2JF. Long rangy colt who knew his job on debut making just about every yard and comfortably beat his market rival with four and a half lengths back to the third. The time was good, Topspeed 89, but what did he beat? Well three have run since with two winning which bodes well. After the race Mark Johnston said: “He’s a very good looking horse and had been working well – we don’t tend to bring them down here first time out unless they’ve been working well. He’s a big scopey horse and when you’ve something like that winning at a big meeting like Goodwood you start to dream.”

Big step up to G3 7F Acomb at York. If he wins on the Knavesmire the second and third from Goodwood would have to be looked at, Bethsheba Bay for Richard Hannon and entered at the weekend and Paul Cole’s Capital Flight. The latter was on debut at Goodwood and had a far from trouble free run, no cutaway on the Saturday, but ran on well without getting competitive and he holds an entry in the prestigious C2 7F Convivial maiden at York on Friday.


York 3.05        Great Voltigeur Stakes G2 12F 3yo colts & geldings

ATTY PERSSE Royal Ascot Review –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)”