Sussex Stakes- Runner-By- Runner Guide

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Without Parole gets a kiss off Tanya Gunther at Royal Ascot (rac

By Samantha

Here is your runner by runner guide to the Qatar Sussex Stakes coming to you live at 3:35pm on ITV.

No1- Beat The Bank

This horse has two ways of racing- winning or flopping. Brilliant winner of the Group Two Summer Mile beating Lord Glitters a neck and had Suedois back in third who ran a blinder on the opening day of the festival. He won the Bonhams Thoroghbred Stakes at this meeting last year so that’s a bonus for his chance and he will go on the ground. He’s a multiple Group Two winner but his form figures in Group One races read 006 so that is a worry but he deserves to take his chance.

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No2- Lightning Spear

I adore how consistent this guy is at the top level. He is naught from ten in group one races and, last time out, he was third in the Queen Anne- a neck behind Lord Glitters and ahead of Beat The Bank and So Beloved. He loves it at Goodwood and he has won the Celebration Mile twice. He was third in this last year and is my each way chance.

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No3- Lord Glitters

This horse is scarily consistent, running fifteen times, winning five and coming second in eight. That kind of record could cause one to question his attitude to winning and I don’t think there is an issue with that as he always looks to be trying his hardest. He has been second in all three outings this season in the Lincoln, Queen Anne and Summer Mile. He is likely to run into a place but it seems as though he doesn’t have the class to win this Group One event against younger horses.

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No4- So Beloved

Despite this horse’s age, he is still putting up decent performances. He ran in the Lennox on Tuesday and was eleventh of twelve. It’s not likely that he will run in this but if he does, I can’t see him winning.

Rating-⭐️

No5- Expert Eye

I never know how to judge this horse. He won on debut and then won the Vintage Stakes over course and distance and we all thought he could be the next best thing but he was then ninth of nine in the Dewhurst when 4/7 favorite. He kicked off his two year old campaign with a second in a Group Three behind James Garfield and then was tenth in the 2000 Guineas and that was his only attempt at a mile. When dropped back to seven furlongs last time out, he bolted up at Royal Ascot under Australian James McDonald in the Jersey Stakes. He is a contender and at the time of writing this he was 11/4 and I think that is an appropriate price for him.

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No6- Gustav Klimt

He is a Group Two winner in the Superlative Stakes and ran in both Guineas finishing best placed third in the Irish version. On his penultimate start, he was second to Without Parole, only beaten half a length and then was third in a Group One in Deauville. The ground should suit him but there are rumors going around that Aidan O’Brien’s string aren’t in the best of health at the minute and if he is under the weather I definitely wouldn’t rate his chance as his Group One abilities can be questioned at the best of times.

Rating-⭐️⭐️

No7- Orbaan

This colt is coming over from France and is two from three over there. He won a Listed race by a short neck last time out and it is likely he will progress on from that run to this one but it’s probably not his day to shine in this. His dam won a Sailsbury handicap by six lengths over one mile two furlongs so when he’s older I think he will get further and be a decent horse for connections. The trainer seems to like him or he wouldn’t be entered in this.

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No8- Without Parole

This horse is the obvious one to beat! He is unbeaten on all four starts and is looking to replicate his sire Frankel in winning this race. He won his maiden and a novice race both by six lengths and then landed the Listed Heron Stakes in a workmanlike fashion at Sandown. Then he won the St James’ Palace beating Gustav Klimt and I can’t see the other horse reversing the form. Barring a bad incident, he should win.

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Goodwood Cup 2018 Preview

Today sees the 206th running of the Goodwood Cup, the first feature race of the Glorious Goodwood festival.

This race usually sets the stage for the top stayers of the season. This year we see a total of seven horses line up to run the two miles over the Goodwood track.

One horse of note in the race this year is Stradivarius, who won the race over Big Orange last year. He takes his place as one of the big names in staying horses, and is out to enforce his name even more. He’s very likely to be a certainty in this race, and his form from, this season (a group 2 and group 1 win) cement that. So really the question is, who are the contenders for the placings?

Call To Mind won a Group 2 in America last time out, and although American form sometimes doesn’t translate to European form, it at least shows that he has what it takes to win a 2 mile contest. In May he came third to Stradivarius, so he looks likely to place.

Call To Mind winning at Belmont
Call To Mind when winning at Belmont

Torcedor also looks likely to have an impact on this race, having been only 3/4 behind Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup last time out.

Another name that some people will recognise, is that of Idaho. Idaho is a full brother to the talented racehorse Highland Reel, and was being run in very similar races that his brother was seen in. However, he is taking a step up in trip to see if they can ignite his racing spark.

I apologise for the lack of posts recently, GCSEs having taking their toll on posting schedules, but I am certainly going to be posting a lot more over summer.

Chester Stella Artois Raceday

ACE01797-0A2B-40F1-B9CD-622865E32868By Samantha

Us Brits have been pretty lucky recently with the weather. With temperatures soaring and constant blue skies, it has perfect conditions for a trip to the races. Chester races received lots of criticism for enforcing their dress code despite the warm temperatures but to be fair you needed some form of jacket as the weather seemed to break the night before the race day.

Above our heads clouds threatened to spoil the day’s racing with rain and some droplets did fall but it didn’t make much of an impact on the brilliant atmosphere created by the fabulous racing that Chester had on show for its visitors. Admittedly, the card had none of the star studded quality of Ascot that day or even York but we weren’t disappointed.

Racing kicked off with a novice race for the two year olds and Gabrial The Wire was a hot 8/11 favourite and with good reason too. He had never been out of the top two in his three starts but, in this race, he really disappointed. He never seemed comfortable and his jockey was constantly pushing him along. The eventual winner She Can Boogie bounced out the stalls under Liam Jones and was first of many to make all on her way to victory. She was never challenged and could possibly be a two year old to keep your eye on in the coming months now she has gained her first win. The winning time was less than a second slower than the other five furlongs race on the card for the older horses.

The clouds closed in during the break between the first two races and it got significantly cooler but that didn’t dampen the crowd’s enjoyment of the next race. At the one furlong marker, three horses, Miss Sheridan, Forever A Lady and Mojika, were all in line with Miss Sheridan, the long time leader, just in front of the other two. Mojika wasn’t going to let her win without a fight and the fillies hit the line together with the nosebanded Miss Sheridan prevailing at 9/2 under a great ride by young Harrison Shaw, who had a really successful day at the office with two seconds as well as this win.

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Only Spoofing (📸 Samantha Martin)

The next race had a rather eventful start when Only Spoofing took off leaving the parade ring and it took jockey Andrew Breslin almost two and a half circuits to pull the horse up. It was safe to say the horse gave us a great show as he galloped around the course but I can’t imagine his jockey enjoyed it! His trainer Jedd O’Keefe is more famous for jumpers that his flat horses and in my opinion he should send this horse hurdling- he’s a nice big type and I think he’d enjoy the longer trip!

The race itself was won by Powerrallied, owned by Dr Marwan Koukash under a great ride by Connor Murtagh from the front. The pairing did well to prevail in a three way tousle for the win with Harrison Shaw almost getting a double on the day by almost producing 16/1 outsider Economic Crisis perfectly but was just denied by a neck. Another promising apprentice, Jamie Gormley, got old boy Confessional to grab third. The three of those will mostly likely be winning some time soon.

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Powerrallied takes the fourth race in fine style under Connor Murtagh (📸 Samantha Martin)

The next race was only a three runner affair but the winner, Snow Wind, gave a brilliant show! She led from the off under Liam Jones and was never challenged by either of her two rivals- the nicely bred favourite Crystal Moonlight, a half sister of Crystal Ocean, who was second in the King George before this race, and Leannes Lady, a six year old mare who was the outsider of the field and making her flat debut. The winner stalked clear of the 4/7 favourite in the last few furlongs and asserted well, backing up her eight length Ripon victory. I think connections have a lot to look forward to with the fillies who ran in this race. The favourite, Crystal Moonlight, is likely to improve with age and experience like her brother has done.

Most of the jockeys who rode on the card were apprentices as the professionals were engaged elsewhere but the fifth race was just for the claimers. Elisha Whittington gained her second career win on Dragons Tail and gave him a great ride. The horse did well to win off top weight of 10st 1lbs, giving his trainer Tom Dascombe a double on the day after the team’s win in the opening contest. The favourite for the race was Lord Vetinari, who was definitely not on a going day and finished last of the seven runners, over fourteen lengths behind the winner.

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At the start for the sixth race. (📸Stephen Martin)

Before the next race we could get right up close to the action at the start and we had a great view of them starting at the top of the home straight. There was pretty much level break and Danzay went to the lead and was tracked by Faadhel and Zatorious. Down the home stretch, Danzay and Faadhel traded punches and Faadhel came out on top, crossing the line in front of the Mark Johnston runner and the extremely fast finishing Amazing Michele. She was held up for most of the way and was one of the only horses to make significant ground during the closing stages in the whole day and will be winning soon just more likely on a track that suits hold up horses.

The last race of the day was the longest as it was over one mile five furlongs. Despite the long trip, we were treated to an absolute thriller at the finish with, at one point, about seven horses across the track with a chance of victory. Good Time Ahead came with a late thrust at the line and gave jockey Jack Mitchell a quick fire double. Omotesando got a bit tired and was just headed by the winner in the last few yards and is likely to be winning soon. Jamie Gormley once again almost produced a held up horse to perfection again but Theglasgowwarrior didn’t have the speed to make up the ground and pass the first two. To be fair, he did well to get to the placing he did as I thought he had no chance turning into the straight based on the trends of the previous races.

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Omotesando and Kajaki (📸Samantha Martin)

All in all, it was a really enjoyable first experience at Chester races for me and I think everyone had a good time. The facilities on offer from the racecourse were great and as far as I know there were no incidents like ones at other courses this summer and there were security guards around the course. The only bad thing I picked up on was the amount of litter people had discarded. It’s quite selfish of the racegoers to leave it all behind for the staff to pick up- they brought the things with them so they can take the rubbish home with them or put it in one of the bins on the racecourse.

Chatting with… Racheal Kneller

Image result for racheal kneller jockeyPhoto is by Debbie Burt of Racheal Kneller and Shammat Al Hosn at Newbury in August 2017

Who is Racheal Kneller?

Racheal Kneller is a professional flat licenced jockey. She has been Champion Lady Jockey in the world of Arab Racing twice, she was the AW Lady Apprentice Champion in 2013 and was the winner of the Racing Excellence Apprentice Series 2012. Statistically, her favourite track is Wolverhampton, having amounted 8 individual winners there and 17 placings. Racheal is definitely a figure that many young riders should aspire to be like and we thank her enormously for giving us the time to carry out the following interview!

 

What got you interested in the sport of horse racing?

Well, my dad was into horse racing, so I used to tag along with him to Wolverhampton races on a Saturday night as a twelve year old. Then at school, when I had to do work experience, I wanted to do something horsey. I grew up in the show jumping sphere so I didn’t know much about working with racehorses, therefore I chose to spend a week at a racing yard to learn more and I absolutely loved it. Reg Hollinshead and his team were very accommodating and after that, I was hooked!

 

What were your first steps to being involved in the industry and how did that influence your career?

I started out as an amateur, riding in charity races and Arab races. It gave me vital race riding experience without the pressure of my races being televised, which gave me plenty of race riding practise prior to getting my apprentice license. So I guess I had a slight head start to other apprentice jockeys who hadn’t raced before. I owe a lot to Arab racing and the supportive trainers that helped me kick start my riding career, mainly Peter Hammersley, who I still ride Arabs for now in the Group races at big meeting like the St Leger etc.

 

What are your views on the female representation in the horse racing world?

There are some terrific lady jockeys around at the moment, more than ever. The riding standard of the lady riders has improved immensely from say, 15 years ago, which is proven by girls now riding for top owners like Godolphin and Khalid Bin Abdullah. They are not only riding well, but they are also great in TV interviews, where they are doing a great job at selling the sport to other female jockey hopefuls. Racing is in a good place for women at the moment.

Is there anything you would like to change about the sport?

If I were to change something about racing, I would limit the number of races jockeys can ride in per day, so that it offers more opportunities to the struggling jockeys. It is harder than ever to get rides now as there are more jockeys and smaller fields. There are a few jockeys who don’t struggle to make a living out of racing in its current state and it might make a few of the luckier busy jockeys grumble, but I know a lot of people would appreciate the help.

 

Any young horses to keep an eye out for this season/next?

I have been really impressed with a filly I ride every day at Ed Walker’s yard called Royal Intervention. She has taken to her racing career like a true professional who continued to impress us all after her debut 2nd place, by winning a listed contest at Newmarket by 4 lengths. I think she has a big future if we can keep the lid on her as she can be very hot headed at home as Ed has said before.

About ROYAL INTERVENTION=

  • 2yo CH F
  • Trained by Ed Walker (@edwalkerracing)
  • Owned by Lord Lloyd Webber and W S Farish
  • Future entries include the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stake (G3) and the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes (G2)

 

Best performance at Royal Ascot?

I don’t think anyone expected Alpha Centauri to win as easily as she did in the Coronation Stales at Royal Ascot. You can’t deny how impressive that was! But then to back up that with another incredible win in the Falmouth at Newmarket, just shows how classy she is. She’s a very exciting filly!

 

I, personally, would love to thank Racheal for her time as I’m sure it is precious when you have a work ethic like her’s!

You can find Racheal on twitter (@jockeyrach).

-Lois

Superstar Sprinter Lady Aurelia Retires Aged 4

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This week, Trainer Wesley Ward announced the retirement of his star sprinter, Lady Aurelia. She raced 10 times and won 5 of those. She was only ever out of the placings twice. Lady Aurelia was a horse that did not take kindly to losing.

The 4 year old filly, owned by American partners Stonestreet Stables LLC and Peter Leidel, burst onto the UK scene after only one run in the USA. Her American debut saw her score in a Maiden contest impressively. Wesley Ward had such tremendous confidence in his speedster, he decided to bring her to Royal Ascot only 2 months after her first race. The contest was to be the 5F Queen Mary Stakes, a group 2 for 2 year old fillies. She was the 2-1F and justified that support with Frankie Dettori on board. She blitzed the field and became, in my opinion, one of the most impressive winners over 5F in this country. She clocked a time of 1m 0.14s (the race’s record being 59.18, held by Ceiling Kitty for her 2012 win). Not only was she fast, she was also visually impressive for only her 2nd ever start. Frankie was beaming after her performance, as he was right to be! It’s not every day you get to ride a horse with such electric pace.

This wonder filly went on to win at Deauville, taking the Group 1 Morny over 5F. She only won by just shy of a length, but to be fair to her, on only her 3rd racecourse appearance she had already managed to amass a group 2 and a group 1 win. Lady Aurelia then went on to the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, but 6F was seemingly her undoing. She finished second behind Brave Anna and Roly Poly, of which, Roly Poly went on to become a triple group one winner over a mile.

The following year, she went back to the US to race there, she won again comfortably. This set her up perfectly for The King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot 2017. Once again, Lady Aurelia tore the field apart and won by 3 lengths from Profitable, a Kings Stand Stakes Winner himself. She clocked a time of 57.45s, milliseconds out of the race’s record time. This made Lady Aurelia a double group 1 winner and it seems that Ascot was her favourite place to perform.

After the King’s Stand Stakes 2017, arguably this superstar filly’s best days were over. Her next start saw a harrowing defeat in the Group 1 Nunthorpe, to Marsha. Ward and co. decided that, from there, it would be best to take her back to the USA. On her first start back in the US she was virtually last in the Breeder’s Cup Turf Sprint and then failed to win next time out too when touched off by an older horse, frustratingly. Her last attempt at revival was in the 2018 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, but it was not to be. She was not the horse of old and finished in 7th place of 14.

One month on from her disappointing return to the UK, Wesley Ward announced her retirement, which brings us to now. Despite failed attempts to get back on track after her 2017 King’s Stand Stakes win, Lady Aurelia still remains as one of the fastest 5F horses seen in the United Kingdom. Her freakish Queen Mary romp in 2016 will always be one of the most impressive and its enough to give anyone Goosebumps.

We wish her all the best in her new venture as a broodmare and hope that her potential offspring can inherit her electric pace.

 

-By Lois

 

 

*I would also like to apologize for the lack of articles from me in the last 4 months or so; exams had to become a priority! Additionally, I would like to thank Samantha for her tremendous efforts with this site, she really has done a fantastic job holding the fort, so thank you for that!*

Darley Irish Oaks 2018 Preview

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Forever Together winning the Oaks under Donnacha O’Brien. (Not our photo)

By Samantha

Some really good fillies have won this race like Enable last year, Snow Fairy and Seventh Heaven. The first renewal of this race was in 1895 and was ran over a mile but was later changed to the present distance in 1915. This year’s race could have some superstars lining up in the form of English Oaks winner Forever Together and Royal Ascot winner Magic Wand.

1.Bye Bye Baby
J-Seamie Heffernan
T-Aidan O’Brien
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This filly is likely to be the pace angle in the race as she went off in front in the oaks. She’s a Listed winner at two on soft ground and her other two wins, one of which was a Group Three, were also on soft ground so she could struggle on this going. She ran well in the English Oaks when third to Forever Together and one place ahead of Magic wand. Eighth of ten on seasonal debut behind Mary Tudor, this will likely be stretching her stamina and is probably in the race just to be the pacemaker for the Ballydoyle contingent.

2.Forever Together
J-Donnacha O’Brien
T-Aidan O’Brien

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This filly is extremely progressive. She stayed on really well in the Cheshire Oaks to grab second, three and a half lengths behind stablemate Magic Wand. They then reversed the form in the premier Fillies’ Classic, the Oaks, when Forever Together bolted up by four and a half lengths to her nearest challenger with Bye Bye Baby in third and Magic Wand eleven lengths behind the winner. She was beaten three and a half lengths in the Pretty Polly last time out and might not like the ground but if she’s good enough, she can win.

3.Magic Wand
J-Ryan Moore
T-Aidan O’Brien

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Judged on jockey bookings, this horse has the best chance of the Ballydoyle runners. she won the Cheshire Oaks by three and a half lengths to Forever Together and then got beat eleven lengths in the Epsom Oaks by Forever Together. Next time out, she won the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot by four lengths and will enjoy the conditions. Definite chance.

4.Mary Tudor 
J-Billie Lee
T-Willie McCreery

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Her only win came in a 1m2f Listed race and she had Bye Bye Baby behind her on that occasion. She was seventh in the Irish 1000 Guineas trial but didn’t run in the actual race and later ran well to be second in the Naas Oaks Trail beating Tissiak and Romiyna. This will be her first try at 1m4f and she may prefer softer ground. She will be out of her comfort zone but has promise.

5.Romiyna
J-Declan McDonogh
T-Dermot Weld

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This filly has a lovely pedigree being by Nathaniel and out of Rose Quartz. She’s a half sister to Rajsaman who is the sire of French Derby and Guineas winner Brametot. On the track, she won her maiden by six lengths going away from the rest of the field over this trip but couldn’t quite handle the speed of a 1m2f race last time out when behind Mary Tudor and Tissiak. This is her ideal trip and is ridiculously overpriced at roughly 25/1.

6.Sea Of Class
J-James Doyle
T-William Haggas

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Second on debut by a neck, she followed that up with two good wins in Listed company beating Athena who won the Belmont Oaks. She hasn’t tackled this trip yet but is related to horses who have got 1m3f well. William Haggas wouldn’t be sending her just for the day out so has to be feared.

8.Tissiak
J-Seamie Heffernan
T-Aidan O’Brien

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Joseph O’Brien’s horse’s have been in flying form so far this season especially in the big races so she has to be respected but it doesn’t look as though she has the class to win this race. She won her maiden over 1m2f and was fifth in the trial for this race at Naas. Her form ties in with Sea If Class as she was beaten by Athena and her rival in this beat that filly by two lengths in a Listed race. Her half brother is a winner over 1m4f so is likely to stay this trip.

Newmarket July Meeting Day One Preview

By Samantha (11/7/18)

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Sports fans are blessed to have three days of top-class horse racing action to fill the gap between England’s World Cup Semi Final match and the final of the tournament on Sunday which England will hopefully be taking part in. Coverage can be seen on ITV3 over the three days due to the World Cup, Tour de France and Wimbledon all being in full swing at the same time and racing taking the back foot. Here is your race by race guide to Day One of the Newmarket July Meeting…

Bahrain Trophy Stakes

 

This is a race for three year olds over one mile five furlongs. Aidan O’Brien has two nice chances to get his weekend off to a good start in the form of Giuseppe Garibaldi and Victory Salute. GIUSEPPE GARIBALDI is one of the more experienced runners and he finished second in a group two at the Curragh last time out with Victory Salute in fourth so has a good chance as he is also the only winner at this trip. Victory Salute has ran three times and won once in a maiden race so this could be difficult for him. Loxley and First Eleven are nicely bred sorts. The former, a New Approach colt out of a group one winning mare, won a novice contest on his first start this year by three lengths but will have to step up to feature in this group three. First Eleven is by Frankel and out of Zenda, who is the dam of Kingman, and broke his maiden in a handicap by five lengths and was quite unlucky not to win in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Arqana July Stakes (Group Two)

This race is a Group Two for two year olds and Aidan O’Brien has two in the line up- Van Beethoven, a Group Two winner last time out, and North Wind, a No Nay Never colt who is still a maiden. The race could go to a British-trained runner as Legends Of War and Advertise have good chances after really good runs last time out. LEGENDS OF WAR bolted up on debut by four lengths at Yarmouth in May on his only start. He was bought for 900,000 guineas from the sales being by Scat Daddy and out of an unraced mare. He has a good chance to start paying back some of his massive price in this. Advertise of Martin Meade’s is quite an interesting runner as he won a maiden on debut and then followed that up with a good second at Royal Ascot in the Coventry Stakes which looked particularly competitive this year.

Bet365 Handicap

TRIBAL QUEST beat Yafta well on his handicap debut on the Rowley course and has a decent chance of replicating that as it looks as though he will progress from that. Encrypted was beaten four and a half lengths by Yafta and then won a six furlong handicap at York with Savalas in second by a neck. The latter has to carry 7lbs more than him so the chance of them reversing the form is unlikely. Embour is looking for a four timer and he handled the step up to this class well last time out so is definitely and each way player. Helvetian hasn’t been seen since March when he was beaten less than a length when fifth in the Three Year Old All-Weather Championship race. He’ll run from the front and has a good each way claim but this may be on the firm side for him.

Prince of Wales (Group Two)

This is the feature contest of the day and is a Group Two over a mile and a half. Last year it was won by Hawkbill for Godolphin, Charlie Appleby and James Doyle. The trainer is unrepresented this year but Doyle rides one of the outsiders Algometer for David Simcock. Godolphin has Best Solution who is highest rated in the line up and was fifth in a Group One behind Hawkbill last time out and makes British debut for this season. Muntahaa is one of two for John Gosden and ran quite well last time out at Ascot when third in the Wolferton Stakes. Mirage Dancer was favourite last time out for that race but could only manage fifth. BARSANTI has been making good progress up until last time out when he ran a decent race behind Crystal Ocean at Royal Ascot in the Hardwicke. He was second over course and distance in September and is likely to run well in this lower grade affair than then. Raa Attol gets lots of weight from the older horses and ran well in a Group Two at Ascot.

British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes

Seven of the fifteen runners who will go to post have ran at least once. Of them, HANDMAIDEN is the eye catcher as she was two and three quarter lengths back in second behind a filly with Group One entries over course and distance in June. Lover’s Knot could be her biggest danger as she was also second over course and distance on her only start so far with No Way Jose behind. Poetry was only a short head behind a surprise winner last time out and Strict Tempo showed promise last time out. Lady Cossette is a newcomer to note and so is Yourtimeisnow, who is a half sister to four winners.

Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes

The Jersey Stakes could act as a good form line into this race as five of these ran in this- Sybolization was fourth, Walk In The Sun was sixth, Purser was eleventh, Emaraaty was sixteenth and Tangled was nineteenth. They are preferred in that order but Emaraaty should’ve ran better than that. GABR is also from the same ownership and he is the mount of first jockey Jim Crowley. He was a decent fifth in the St James’ Palace and can built on that in this Listed race. White Mocha was my selection for the Dante after coming second in the Craven but he ended up trailed off last in that race. Last time out he was third at Longchamp in a Listed race over one mile two and he will probably run better than that now he is back over his favoured trip so has an each way chance. Masarr (not the Derby winner) is similar and has been running well over one mile two.

Saeed Suhail Saeed Handicap

Duke Of Firenze is getting on a bit but is four pounds lower than his last winning mark and should enjoy conditions. SHAHEEN and Midsummer Knight are the opposite. They are two three year olds on the up. The former won nicely last time out in a lower grade race but has a good chance despite being upped in grade. Midsummer Knight has been hitting the cross bar in recent runs off this mark and has only won on the All-Weather. Arzaak scored at Brighton last time out and may struggle against this company. Leo Minor is a course and distance winner and that win came a fortnight ago. Shamshon won this off 7lbs higher last year and is a big price to do so again.

 

Coral-Eclipse Stakes

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By Samantha

The Coral-Eclipse Stakes is a Group One race over one mile one furlong and two hundred and nine yards. It is a race that dates back to 1886 and was named after Eclipse, a horse that was unbeaten over eighteen starts and is featured in most thoroughbred racehorses’ pedigrees. The inaugural running was won by a horse named Bendigo, who won many top grade races in his career.

This Group One attracts good horses that have won the big races in the first half of the season. In 1903, the first three past the post had won seven classics between them in their careers so far. Ard Patrick won and had previously won the 1902 Derby and Prince Of Wales Stakes also that season. Sceptre was a brilliant race mare and finished in second. She won the 1902 2000 Guineas, 1000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks, St James’ Palace, Nassau Stakes and the St Leger in one season. She became the only horse to win four British Classics outright. Rock Sand was in third and became the tenth horse to win the Triple Crown (the 2000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger). The last horse to win a classic and the taste victory in this was Golden Horn in 2015.

The Coral-Eclipse has an illustrious roll of honour over the past few years. Lots of the winners have gone on to have prosperous careers at stud like Nathaniel, sire of Enable, Sea The Stars, Derby winning sire of Harzand, Crystal Ocean and Stradavarius, Notnowcato, sire of Australian sprinting sensation Redkirk Warrior and Giant’s Causeway, sire of Shamardal.

Godolphin and Sue Magnier could become the winning most owner in the race if their horses win this as they are currently joint top with the 17th Earl of Derby and Waldorf Astor. Aidan O’Brien trains all of Magnier’s representatives and if one of them won this, they will become the joint winning most trainer with Alec Taylor Jr and Sir Michael Stoute. Hawkbill is also trying to become the sixth horse to ever win this race twice and if he does win, he will be the first to do so in inconsecutive years.

The prize to the winner this year is £448,363 and eight runners should go to post. The field is a good one as it contains a Classic winner in the form of Saxon Warrior. It could be judged as a fight between the young and old with five three year olds going up against three older horses and their allowances could be key.

Here is your runner by runner guide to the Coral Eclipse…

No 1- Cliffs Of Moher

T- Aidan O’Brien

J- Seamie Heffernan

First of the Aidan O’Brian trio and probably the outsider of the three. He was second in the Epsom Derby at three but hasn’t been able to replicate any form near to that since. He won a Group Two on his second start this season and was showing signs he could be back to that form but he just couldn’t deal with Group One class in two runs at Royal Ascot. It seems as though he’s just not up to this level.

No 2- Forest Ranger

T- Richard Fahy

J- Tony Hamilton

Winner of his last two starts, which were both in group company, he deserves to take his chance in this race. He is rated eight pounds less than Saxon warrior but is a winner at this trip and the Lawman gelding looks the pick of the older horses in the line up as he has improved a lot this season.

No 3- Hawkbill

T- Charlie Appleby

J- William Buick

Winner of this race in 2016 but that was on soft ground. He hasn’t won on good to firm going before so that could be an issue. His recent form is a bit of a worry as he has shown absolutely nothing since an extremely successful spell in Dubai in March. If he can return to his best one mile two form, he will definitely be in the mix.

No 4- Masar

NON RUNNER

No 5- Raymond Tusk

T- Richard Hannon

J- Jim Crowley

It is interesting to see this horse in this race as he has only ever ran in Class four races and won one of them over a mile on good to soft at Newbury. He is by High Chapparal and out of a mare called Dancing Shoes, a once raced horse for Dermot Weld. She has had eight foals and they have won ten times between them on the flat and over jumps. He must be held in high regard but probably can’t win. Connections are hopeful though.

 

roaringlion

No 6- Roaring Lion

T- John Gosden

J- Oisin Murphy

He won the Dante after finishing sixth in the 2000 Guineas behind Saxon Warrior. He will appreciate the drop in trip after being third in the Derby as he was absolutely cruising at two furlongs from home. He looked in good shape having a breeze up in last week and can fully take advantage of the opportunity if Saxon Warrior isn’t at his best.

No 7- Saxon Warrior

T- Aidan O’Brien

J- Donnacha O’Brien

Sensational winner of the 2000 Guineas over a mile but when stepped up in trip to run in the English and Irish Derbies, he has well and truly disappointed. The drop back in trip will aid his cause and, because of the absence of Masar, it’s his race to lose. He is also back with his 2000 Guineas pilot, his trainer’s son Donnacha, as Ryan Moore is in America like that day in May. He is having a quick turnaround from his Irish Derby run in which he came third so that could be a worry but Aidan O’Brien won’t run him unless he is perfectly fit.

No 8- Happily

T- Aidan O’Brien

J- Wayne Lordan

Happily is the only filly in the race and is a three time Group One winner at two over seven furlongs and a mile in three different countries. She ended her two year old campaign in America winning the Fillies’ Juvenile Turf but she has in a way disappointed in her three starts this season. She has ran in both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas and finished third in both. Last time out, she ran fourth behind Laurens in the Prix De Diane but doesn’t look up to the boy’s class.

racing-saxon-warrior

Verdict

I am going to keep faith with SAXON WARRIOR now after the absence of Masar from the field which is unfortunate. Roaring Lion would be an appropriate winner considering fifty minutes after the off time of this race the England ‘Lions’ will be playing against Sweden in the World Cup and the horse can take advantage of the race if Saxon Warrior isn’t at his best.