Jump Racing Is Back On ITV!

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Foxtail Hill

By Samantha

For some people, the summer has just been too long. The exciting possibilities for this season have excited racing fans and now, finally, jump racing is back on ITV Racing and the card is an ultra-competitive one.

Race 1- ‘Matchbook Betting Exchange’ Handicap Chase.

3m1f, Class 2

Dell’ Arca and Shantou Village filled the fourth and fifth positions in the Kerry National at Listowel in September. The former won on the flat before that over the summer on good going so he’ll handle conditions in this. He won about this time last year but got a hike in the weights but goes off a winnable mark. Shantou Village won nicely at Warwick before that race with Above Board in second. He had a chance in the Kerry National at about four furlongs out Burbank got a bit tired and I’m not fully convinced that he stay this far but the ground was against him that day and he’ll prefer this.

Above Board is one of three for J P Mannus and is fairly lightly raced. He won a beginners chase this time last year on similar ground and won in May over three miles at Uttoxeter. He was third coming off a break on his penultimate start and then improved to be second to Shantou Village last time out. He’ll have to step up. Minella Rocco seems the best of them based on jockey bookings as Barry Geraghty take some the ride. He is rated a massive 157 and carries 11st12lbs as a result. His last win came in the four miler at Cheltenham beating Native River, the Gold Cup winner. He has had quite a few letters by his name recently and was pulled up behind Perfect Candidate on his second of four runs last season. His jumping will need to improve and he’ll struggle to win with such a late weight. For Good Measure completes the green and gold trio and was last seen third to Cyrname in a Grade Two at Kempton. He has only ever won over two miles so this may be stretching him.

Perfect Candidate won the race he beat Minella Rocco in in gutsy style but struggled in his next two outings and then fell in the Grand National. He stays well and could be a bit of value at 14s. RELENTLESS DREAMER stays all day and ran a good race in the Edinburgh National Over four miles. He’s only 2lbs higher than his last winning mark so has a very good chance and these two seem the value in the race with Relentless Dreamer the preference.

Laurium was a nice winner over this trip last time out and has his preferred ground so can’t be ignored as he’s a Nicky Henderson inmate. Paul Nicholls, his training rival, is also represented with Braqueur D’Or. He was well beaten over three miles in April and he was fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy in December but he might struggle with the trip.

Cogry and Doing Fine filled the first and third places of this race last year respectively. Neither have won since and they go off the same weights this year. Doing Fine was a good fourth in the Ayr Gold Cup last time out and is the preferred of the two.

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Gumball 

Race 2- Masterson Holdings Hurdle

Two miles, Class Two

REDICEAN is the likely favourite and with just reason too. He started hurdling in December and won by large margins on his first two outings beating subsequent winners and then won a Grade Two at Kempton in lovely style. He was sixth and out-classed in the Triumph with Gumball pulled up behind. Gumball is a nice horse in his own right as he was an emphatic winner of both his first two starts and was second in a Grade Two and then was five lengths behind Espirit De Somoza. He was second at Aintree after Cheltenham and then concluded the season winning a novice hurdle nicely. Espirit De Somoza hasn’t done as well as him since as he was beaten four and a half lengths in a Class Four novice race and then well beaten in the Fred Winter in fourteenth when Padleyourowncanoe was fourth. That horse was then ninth in a Grade One behind Gumball at Aintree. Pearl Of The West is one of my ‘20 To Watch’ for this season. She impressed me when beating smart Willie Mullins inmate Pakora convincingly. She was outclassed in a competitive Grade Three last time out but gets a mares’ allowance here and is likely to go close and shouldn’t be underestimated. Eragon De Chanay was highly tried after a juvenile hurdle win as was then third behind Gumball, who was second, in a Grade Three at Cheltenham and again at Doncaster. He was dropped in class and landed a Class Three next time out. He was seventh in the Fred Winter behind Padleyourowncanoe and head of Espirit De Somoza so will need to improve.

 

Race 3- Randox Health Handicap Chase

1m7f, Class Two

FOXTAIL HILL gave one of my performances of the season in this race last year under Sam Twiston-Davies for his father Nigel. He hasn’t won or placed since but adores it here and is likely to get an easy lead. He is 2lbs lower than last year and I really fancy his chances to go in again. Sam’s old boss Paul Nicholls has Modus. He was a Grade Two novice chase winner under Sam last season. He was highly tried after that in two Grade Ones and couldn’t figure in those race but has a good chance in this. It took Lillington a very long time to win under rules for the first time but he did so in spectacular style in a chase at Newton Abbot. He did the same next time out at Stratford in Class Four company so this will be a big step up for him. Vosne Romanee is the top rated and is a nine time winner. He likes good going and is on an upward curve. A winner in this grade before, he is a live contender and can take advantage if Foxtail Hill doesn’t show his true potential. Bigmartre was a three time winner last season and was second by a short head to Duke Of Navan in a handicap chase in January with Foxtail Hill in eighth. The younger runner won a Grade Two at Ayr last time out and the form has been franked by Mia’s Storm. Duke Of Navan hadn’t been seen since 2015 when making his comeback in April 2017 when he ran a solid second in a handicap chase. In November, he was third in another handicap at Aintree and his best win came in that race at Doncaster. He was third in a Listed race last time out and usually goes well fresh. Tommy Silver was a Listed winner at four and likes good going. He put in some nice runs last season but his run in May was a bit disappointing.

 

Race 4- Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle

2m7f, Class 2

Wait For Me was third in the 2015 Champion Bumper and won a competitive handicap hurdle in 2017 beating Black Corton and last year’s winner of this race Thomas Campbell. He was second over three miles one so will stay and has a decent chance. Theclockisticking must be held in quite high regard as he has been placed in graded race. He made his seasonal reappearance in a Listed race at Market Rasen and finished second, eleven lengths behind a horse he was giving 8lbs to. He was fifth when favourite for a Grade Three earlier this month and is likely favourite.

The only time Dawn Raider on was in July 2017. He has rau well over the summer but has had a big rise in the weights after a good second at Sligo and third at Listowel. Timeforben has had a really good summer too by never being out of the top two in five runs since June. He won a race over three miles two in September at Newton Abbot and went up 7lbs for that. Not beaten far last time out off a 2lbs lower mark, it does seem as though the handicapper may have him under his fist. If not, a good run will be on the cards. NOTWHATIAM made an eye-catching debut for the Skelton team, who are in flying form of late, last time out over this trip. He has a nice weight and a 6lbs rise for that doesn’t look excessive.

Sykes ran two nice races around the turn of the year and hasn’t been beaten that far in Class Two races but will probably struggle to win off this mark. King Calvin is a dual point to point winner and has ran just four times under rules. This is his first attempt out of Novice Company where he has won twice. He has had a wind op over the summer and is being stepped up in trip so he is a bit of an unknown quantity. Angel Of Harlem hasn’t been out of the top three in six starts for new trainer Olly Murphy. This Presenting mare goes off a career-high mark so will need to step up to get to this level.

Red Infantry and Regal Flow are both chasers nowadays and it is especially interesting to see Regal Flow is running over the smaller obstacles now as he won the Midlands Grand National. That race is four miles two furlongs but this lad isn’t one-paced as he has won races over two miles four before. He is a better chaser than hurdler and it is hard to gauge his ability over hurdles. Red Infantry won over three miles in March. He will go on this ground but is a lot higher than his last winning mark. He is a one-time hurdle winner and would probably have a better chance if this was over fences.

Rest Of The Card-

R5- Dinons (Looking for a five timer, has penalty but looks the classiest)

R6- Movewiththetimes (Never showed potential over fences last season, still a novice, will have matured further for another year and can make a winning seasonal debut)

R7- Earlofthecotswalds- (Made an impressive debut, looks to have a good chance in a very open race. Keep your notebooks handy for this race.)

 

Champion Sprint Preview 2018

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Harry Angel 

By Samantha

Champion (noun) – a person who has surpassed all rivals in a sporting contest or other competition.

These kind of horses and people are celebrated on a Saturday of October every year normally around the twentieth.
The sprinting division has been one of the openest of them all and I have had a closer look at the runners for the Champion Sprint.

The 2017 winner, Labrisa Breeze, and the 2016 winner, The Tin Man, both have live chances once again. The former hasn’t won since and has only been seen twice in Britain this season when he was ninth in the Diamond Jubilee behind The Tin Man, Projection and Sir Dancealot. He was last of eight last time out in the Hungerford behind Sir Dancealot and Dream Of Dreams. The Tin Man was fifth in this last year and was last seen winning the Sprint Cup at Haydock with Brando, Donjuan Triumphant, Sands Of Mali, Harry Angel, Speak In Colours, Tasleet and Sir Dancealot. He is a three time course and distance winner and there is no reason why he can’t go in again.

Harry Angel won the Sprint Cup and was fourth in this last season. He started this season in good style by winning the Duke Of York and has the beating of Brando and Sir Dancealot based on that. He got tangled in the stalls when last at Ascot and injured himself but still finished eleventh of twelve. He got lit up early by an outsider sitting at his shoulder last time out and lost the race then. If he can get an uncontested lead, he will be hard to beat especially as he goes on any ground and has one of the best sprint race jockeys riding on board- Adam Kirby.

Brando has been second on three of his four starts in Britain this season and they have either been in group one or two company. He is a very classy horse and deserves a big win like this but may struggle. Tasleet’s last win came in 2017 in a Group Two at York. He was second in this last year and has been seen twice since when third in Ireland and eighth in the Sprint Cup. Both of these will need to step up.

Connections have ran Limato at various different trips this season. He began by being well beaten in two group ones over a mile and was then dropped back to six furlongs and was eleventh in the July Cup. He was dropped in class for two runs after that and he won two listed races nicely. Last time out, he won his second successive Challenge Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket just one week ago. He has a good chance but I’m not convinced he has the speed to land this competitive group one which will have lots of early pace.

My three each way fancies are Son Of Rest, Sands Of Mali and Projection. The former dead heated for the Ayr Gold Cup and before that was second in a group one behind Havana Grey. He will adore the conditions and may even like more rain. Projection ran a brilliant race last time out, on ground which was a lot softer than its description, to win the group three Bengough Stakes. Admittedly, it wasn’t a strong race and he only just held off Dream Of Dreams in the finish. It’s hard to know what ground he likes as he doesn’t win often and I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs to a place. Sands Of Mali was a Group Two winner at two and three, when he landed the Sandy Lane on seasonal debut. He ran an almighty race to be second in the Commonwealth Cup and he was left a bit out of his comfort zone in the July Cup and got a bit tired after leading for a long way last time out but finished a creditable fifth behind The Tin Man, Brando and Donjuan Triumphant.

Donjuan Triumphant, Dream Of Dreams and Bacchus are the likely outsiders. The former’s best run of the season was when fourth in the Lennox beaten less than a half length by Sir Dancealot. Since then, he was last of nine in the City Of York but ran a good race last time out to be fourth in the Sprint Cup. He goes well on soft and had a decent chance as he’s a Group Two winner in France. Dream Of Dreams has been second in his last three starts in group twos and threes. He was behind Projection last time out and will struggle to reverse the form. Bacchus won the Wokingham on his first start of the campaign over course and distance. He was behind Projection and Dream Of Dreams in a Group Three won by Yafta next time out and unplaced in a French Group One behind Labrisa Breeze, The Tin Man, Brando and Sands Of Mali.

Aidan O’Brien isn’t represented in this but his son Joseph has a runner in the form of Speak In Colours. A course and distance winner when trained in England, he has since been behind Sands Of Mali in the Commonwealth Cup and won a Group Three on his penultimate start. Behind The Tin Man last time out, he lacks the class.

Gerald Mosse gets on really well with Sir Dancealot and the pairing have won three group races this season. Ninth in September behind The Tin Man, he should go well despite this bit doesn’t have a great record at this track.

VERDICT
1.Harry Angel
2.Sands Of Mali
3.Son Of Rest
4.Projection

Leicester Raceday Review 16/10/18

FB2DB013-B482-49F9-A7D8-50DC239F6DA9.jpegBy Samantha

Leicester Racecourse-one of my favourite places. Why? Because you are so close to the action you can almost touch the horses. Admittedly, the racing isn’t of the highest class but you can never have a dull day at the races when there is competitive racing going on.

 

The card was made up of eight races- four for two year olds, a seller, a decent class two handicap and two divisions of class five handicaps.

 
The first race was for the two year olds and the favourite was Global Heat trained by Saheed Bin Suroor and ridden by Oisin Murphy. He was a very good second on debut with the third and fourth winning since. Mark Johnston inmate Quintada made the running and set a good pace over the one mile trip with the favourite close behind. He wasn’t able to quicken over the rising ground about a furlong from home and Faro Angel stalked to the lead and passed the Godolphin horse. Laafy put up a brilliant late run to grab second from him and gave the most eye catching performance of the day for me. The winner was handed a race controversially last time out but there was no fluke about this performance as he did it really nicely. The first three have big futures!

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On paper, the race looked pretty open. It was a seller over seven furlongs. There was no standout performer in the race and the winner was Lady Alavesa, the 7/4 favourite. She was held up but made good headway to tackle the long-time leader Slipstream on the line. Luke Morris rode the second placed runner and he stuck to the stands side rail like glue the whole way. He’ll be winning again soon as long as the handicapper doesn’t give him a big rise in the weights. They pulled five lengths ahead of the third and a further five lengths ahead of the fourth horse home. Surprisingly, this daughter of Westlake wasn’t bought by anyone but has been added to the ‘Strictly Fun Racing Club’ who own Purple Rock who ran in the seventh race.

 
The next race was the best based on class of the day. It attracted some of the most loveable and consistent handicappers- Brian The Snail, Masham Star and Shady McCoy. He latter looked absolutely brilliant in the prelims considering he’s an eight year old and he was 5/2 Favourite at the off. Top weight Muntadab made most of the running and was paddling a bit inside the final furlong with the others finishing quickly but he managed to hold on to win by half a length. He was second by a short head up at Musselburgh less than twenty four hours before and I was surprised he even ran in this race but to win was a brilliant training performance.

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The fourth race was a maiden for less exposed horses. Some of these were a bit novice in the prelims but all behaved well. Three of the untaxed horses- Revolutionise, City Master and Mukha Magic- really caught my eye. The John Gosden runner in the line up took them along and was a bit keen. He was headed one furlong from home by Estihdaaf and he ran on very impressively to score by two lengths to Mokammal, who was having his first start, in second. This horse has a big future and will have come on leaps and bounds for that run. I wouldn’t be surprised if him and the other Godolphin two year old who ran in the first, Global Heat, were put away now and saved for their three year old campaigns.

 
The horse I was most excited to see on the day was Come On Leicester. She ran in the fifth race on the card. Listed and group placed, she should realistically bolt home against some average fillies. The jockeys did very well to get to the six furlongs start in one piece as the fillies threw some interesting shapes. Excelled was very on her toes and jig-jogged down to the start and Knighthayes was a bit more excited than her and put in some flashy rears, which Rhiain Ingram did well to sit. Come On Leicester wasn’t making it easy for jockey Jim Crowley to get on board and went most of the walkway on two feet. Her market rival, Gospel, went nicely to post and so did the other more experienced runner, Aquarius. This was reflected in the betting as Gospel began to shorten and Come On Leicester drifted to 9/4 at the off. She was rated 17lbs higher than her nearest pursuer and won like such a horse should. Jim Crowley kicked for home at two furlongs out and she lengthened under hands and heels to win by two and three quarter lengths.

 

The winners of the two divisions of the handicap that concluded the card were both having a change to their last start. The winner of the first division was 8/1 chance Sunday Prospect. Karl Burke’s gelding was having a step up in trip. I was very confident he would go well as his dam won over this trip on soft ground so, when he won very convincingly, I was made up! He’d been close the whole way but accelerated well to prevail from Perfect Refuge in second. The final race was won by a son of Frankel named Crystal King, who was also a half brother to Crystal Ocean. He had shown absolutely nothing on all of his starts before hand and had been beaten a total of fifty eight lengths. Before running in this, he was gelded which made the world of difference as he bolted up to win by two and three quarter lengths.

 
He finished a really enjoyable day with a bang! There were some brilliant performances by some progressive two year olds and it was great to see Muntadab win after falling short the day before. My performance of the day was seeing Come On Leicester win. I think she has a big future over sprint trips and maybe even stretching up to seven furlongs/ a mile.

 
As always, the staff on the gate were really friendly and helpful and the facilities were clean. There wasn’t a huge crowd which was to be expected as it was mid-week and lots of the schools nearby weren’t off yet and I think everyone had a good day out. I was speaking to a man who was part of a racing club and he was very pleased that winning connections got a slice of cake and a glass of champagne after their winner.

 
I really recommend coming to Leicester Racecourse. It’s not the biggest but it’s a gorgeous course and I love it because can get so close to the action. You can see most of the track from the old fashioned blue stand close to the parade ring. There are always a few bookmakers so you can shop around for the best odds. It is also very easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in the country. You can get the train to Leicester then catch the 31/31A to the racecourse, which stops right outside the station and the journey only takes about ten minutes. Parking facilities are also very good.
P.s. For people wondering, the National hunt track looks in great condition!

 

PHOTO GALLERY

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Global Heat
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Shady McCoy and Ryan Moore
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Come On Leicester
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City Master
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Pour Me A Drink
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Edmond Dantes
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Crystal King
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Sunday Prospect
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Yellow Fire

20 To Watch For This National Hunt Season

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Terrefort (left) and Ms Parfois (Right)

By Samantha

These are my ‘20 To Watch For The Season’ horses. You may be thinking- “Urgh, not another one!” but please take a few minutes to peruse this article. I have tried to go for horses who people may not have mentioned in theirs so mine is a bit different to others. I am not saying any of these are going to be superstars (a few already are) but they are horses I like and think have big futures, whether that be in handicap chases or at grade one level.

So enjoy! 🙂

1.Le Richebourg

5yo bay gelding (Network x Fee Magic)

Trainer- Joseph O’Brien

Owner- J P McManus

I assume this horse is held in quite high regard. He was a wide margin winner of three hurdle races after the summer last year but was later stepped up into Grade One company and he came undone in races won by three of the top novice hurdlers of the season. Well beaten at Cheltenham, he returned in August and ran a good race in the Galway hurdle to finish fifth. He was a short priced favourite on chasing debut in mid September and he obliged in decent style. Last time out, his second chase start, he won a Grade Three by seven lengths beating some decent horses. He jumped nicely and possibly will have a more success over fences than hurdles.

Possible end of season aim- JLT Novices’ Chase (Cheltenham Thursday)

2.Commander Of Fleet

4yo Bay gelding (Fame And Glory x Coonagh Cross)

Trainer- Gordon Elliot

Owner- Gigginstown

This horse won a point to point at Moig South before making his debut at Punchestown on Champion Chase day. I don’t think I have ever been more visually impressed with a bumper winner before. He did it in such an amazing style that his jockey barely needed to move at the three pole when he eased away to win by eight and a half lengths. The thing I most liked about this performance was how, on the run around, he was looking around as if for a jump and I think he’s going to come on leaps and bounds for running over obstacles. In second was a well related son of Robin Des Champs. Based on the way he won, I would think he will get further in time as he ran on well and is a nice big horse.

Possible end of season aim- Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

 3.Jack Regan

3yo Bay Gelding (Rock Of Gibraltar x Chelsey Jayne)

Trainer- Ian Williams

Owner- Sohi & Sohi

 This horse caught my eye whilst beating the extremely talented Cracker Factory, who was, up to this point, unbeaten, on his hurdling bow. He did it very nicely and won convincingly from a hands and heels ride. The form has already been franked as the eighth horse went out and won next time out. He has had quite a successful flat career also and will likely be a typical classy Ian Williams dual purpose horse to follow.

Possible end of season target- Triumph Hurdle

 4.Ms Parfois

7yo Chestnut Mare (Mahler x Dolly Lewis)

Trainer-Antony Honeyball

Owner- Mr M R Chapman

 This mare was my favourite horse last season. She was beaten on chasing debut after a decent hurdle campaign the previous season. She then won her next three starts including two Listed Mares’ Chases. She has been second on all three of her other starts behind Black Corton in a Grade Two, Rathvinden in the Grade Two Amateur riders’ race at Cheltenham and behind Terrefort in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at the Grand national meeting. She jumped brilliantly in all of those stars and seems to have stamina in abundance. I think connections should take her down the nationals route as she will stay over four miles.

Possible end of season target- Randox Health Grand National

5.Topofthegame

6yo Chestnut Gelding (Flemensfirth x Derry Vale)

Trainer- Paul Nicholls

Owner- Mr Chris Giles & Mr & Mrs P K Barber

 This horse burst onto lots of people’s radars when a staying on fourth in the Listed Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle. Next time out, he won a grade three handicap hurdle at Sandown over two miles seven which was probably on the long side for him. He was dropped back to two miles five for the Coral Cup at Cheltenham and kept on when headed to only be denied by a neck. He is absolutely huge and built for chasing which wasn’t as much an advantage when he was running over hurdles as sometimes he was a little bit scrappy. I think he will improve for the change to chasing which I believe is the route he will go this season. He has already had one run over fences before and he fell five from home. He is more mature now and I think he will be a nice handicap chaser in the future.

 Possible end of season target- Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase    

 6.Carefully Selected

6yo Bay gelding (Well Chosen x Knockamullen Girl)

Trainer- Willie Mullins

Owner- Miss M A Masterson

This horse is one from two in point to points and his win was by thirty lengths to a horse who has won since. He moved to Willie Mullins and transferred that form into bumpers where he won his first two starts in good style. He then ran in the Champion Bumper and was beaten just a neck behind smart stable mate Relegate. He then finished third in the Champion Bumper at Punchestown. His dam is unraced but related to hurdle winners and that suggests that he will be able to take the step up to hurdles. I am also a fan of his brother by Rule Of Law who sold at the Tatts August Sale for € 28,000 and his younger brother is currently unbeaten in bumpers.

Possible target for end of season- Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

lalor3
Lalor

7.Lalor

6yo bay gelding (It’s Gino x Laviola)

Trainer- Kayley Woollacott

Owner- Mr D G Staddon

If you are on twitter, I recommend following Kayley Woollacott Racing purely to see this horse and Kayley’s daughter Bella. These two are best friends and you can tell he absolutely loves her. This horse was a very classy one from the outset as he won two of his four bumper outings. He then ran three brilliant races in novice hurdles. The horse’s trainer Richard Woollacott died suddenly in January 2018 and the horse switched to be trained by his wife Kayley. He was well beaten on his first start for her in the Betfair Hurdle. Connections then sent him out to the Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle. He was a brilliant and welcomed winner for the team and six winners have come out of that race. He is set to go over fences and I think he will step up even further from this and be a really nice horse.

Possible send of season target- Arkle Challenge Trophy if he has the speed if not the Grand Annual

8.Drinks Interval

6yo bay mare (King’s Theatre x Dame Fonteyn)

Trainer- Colin Tizzard

Owner- The Land Value Partnership

Before July, this mare had only won twice in twelve starts but she seems a new horse now she has been running over fences. She made a pleasing debut beating The Unit, who beat her by three lengths next time out and is a smart horse. When she was beaten by The Unit next time out, she didn’t seem to have the pace to keep up. Connections stepped her up in trip last time out and she was very impressive on that occasion. She jumped brilliantly and looks tailor made for big field handicap chases this season.

Possible end of season target- Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase

9.Rocklander

9yo Bay Gelding(Oscar x Rua Lass)

Trainer- Tom George

Owner- D O’Donohoe, J Cavanagh, S Nelson

This horse gets entered in the most perfect races but he just never delivers- he either ends up falling or getting going too late. He has bags of ability which he showed on his first try over fences and then unseated at the first in a grade two that he realistically should’ve won if he hadn’t of fell. He won a Novices’ Limited Handicap in good style next time out in December and then was unraced until finishing a brilliant third in the Close Brothers Chase at the Cheltenham Festival which he should’ve once again won but just folded tamely towards the end. He then went to Aintree and ran in the Betfair Chase. That was another race I thought would be perfect for him but he fell at the eighth and broke Adrian Heskin’s arm. You are probably wondering why he’s in my horses to follow and in all fairness there is probably a better horse I could’ve picked but I really think this horse can win a big handicap chase this season.

Possible end of season target- Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase

10.Mulcahys Hill

6yo bay gelding (Brian Boru x Belsalsa)

Trainer- Warren Greatrex

Owner- McNeill Family

This horse ran a fabulous race in the Betfred Challow Novices Hurdle after Adrian Heskin deployed some very cunning tactics by kicking for home at the top of the home straight. The horse jumped very well but just missed out on winning because fast finishing Poetic Rhythm tackled him at the finish to win by a short head. He didn’t replicate that effort when favourite for the Ballymore Classic Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in January and then was pulled up at Cheltenham in the Albert Bartlett. He is set to go chasing this season and it seems as though he will be suited to fences and will be successful over the larger obstacles.

Possible end of season target- Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase

11.City Island

5yo bay gelding (Court Cave x Victorine)

Trainer- Martin Brassil

Owner- Mrs Bernadine Mulryan

Huge price on debut but out-ran his odds to be second. He won next time out in a bumper at Punchestown and ran on nicely. I first saw him run on his most recent start and I was extremely taken by it. He was a 10/1 shot and not exactly fancied against some classy representatives of the Mullins families. He stalked the first four for most of the way but his jockey Mark Walsh kicked for home at the home turn and he accelerated past Debuchet and Getareason really. He was ridden out to win by over three lengths. Next time out, Getareason won by over six lengths and he made Debuchet, a Listed winner, look ordinary. He is related to multiple chase winners so may be better with time but has a big future. An interesting thing to note is that his Flame And Glory half brother sold for €125,000 at the sales in June.

Possible end of season target- Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

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First Flow

12.First Flow

6yo bay gelding (Primary x Clonroche Wells)

Trainer- Kim Bailey

Owner- Mr A N Solomans

This horse was fourth on both tries in NH Flat races but looked a new horse when absolutely hosing up on hurdling debut and then winning by 20 lengths. He jumped really well on that day. That performance warranted him a place in the grade two Supreme Trial at Haydock. He won in brilliant style and he stretched away from four furlongs out to win by 10 lengths, beating Scottish Champion Hurdle winner Midnight Shadow. From then, all attentions turned to Cheltenham where he was a 12/1 shot for the opening race of the meeting- the Supreme Novices Hurdle. He ended up pulled up before the last after making a few mistakes. This season, he is set to go over fences and I think he will really improve for it as he is a big strong horse who always jumps well and looks made for fences. His trainer has said that he will be targeting the Dunlin Racing Festival for this gelding as he thinks there are lots of suitable races for him.

Possible end of season target- Red Rum Handicap (Aintree Grand National Meeting)

13.Terrefort

5 yo grey gelding (Martaline x Vie De Reine)

Trainer- Nicky Henderson

Owner- Simon Munir and Isaac Souede

 This horse burst onto the British racing scene when winning a chase at Huntingdon by ten lengths. Before that, he had had a relatively successful career racing in France where he won twice and he was then sold to his current owners. His first British start must’ve impressed connections as he then ran in the Scilly Novices’ Chase. Him and Cyrname, another classy chaser who will do good things this season, had a ding-dong battle up the straight and the grey son of Martaline prevailed by a neck. He then went to the Cheltenham Festival and ran in the JLT Novices’ Chase. He lead from three furlongs out but was beaten seven lengths into second by a mare who he was giving weight to. That was a very strong performance and he won next time out in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase. He asserted down the run-in suggesting he will possibly be able to stay longer than the three mile trip.

Possible end of season target- Cheltenham Gold Cup

14.Dinsdale

5yo Bay Gelding (Cape Cross x Emmy Award)

Trainer- Michael Scudamore

Owner- Mr Martin Jones

This gelding seems a new horse now going chasing. He won convincingly on chasing debut by eight lengths. Since then, he has ran two good races behind some nice types and he hasn’t been beaten far on both occasions. I think will have a better time of it over fences compared to hurdles and could be one to keep on the right side of in handicap company.

Possible end of season target- Grand Annual Chase

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15.Footpad

6yo Bay Gelding (Creachadoir x Willamina)

Trainer- Willie Mullins

Owner- Simon Munir and Isaac Souede

 This horse was one of the stars of last season. He was a dual grade one winning hurdler as a novice but then didn’t win at all in his first season not a novice over hurdles. He was raced in only group one races for that whole season and he didn’t seem to have the class to feature at the finish. He had a huge change of fortune in the 17/18 season though when he went chasing for the first time. He was the 4/6 favourite and made all of the running to score by eleven lengths. He then won the grade one Racing Post Novices’ Chase. He followed that up with a win in the Arkle Novices’ Chase at Punchestown and the Cheltenham namesake. He did both of those in brilliant style. He concluded the season by winning the Ryanair Novices’ Chase at Punchestown. He stays past two mile three bu has the sspeed for two miles so he has multiple options for the seasons.

Possible end of season target- Queen Mother Champion Chase

16.Vinndication

5yo bay gelding (Vinnie Roe x Pawnee Trail)

Trainer- Kim Bailey

Owner- Moremoneythan

 I read an article on the At The Races website the other day about Kim Bailey and he mentioned that this horse could be one of the best novices he’s ever trained. He has won all of his four starts. He made his debut at Ludlow in a bumper and he ran on nicely to win by three quarter lengths. I saw him make his hurdling debut at Leicester and he did it really nicely to win by over four lengths beating some subsequent winners. He won nicely next time out and then landed a listed contest at Huntington beating a horse who has ran decent races in grade one company since. He missed out on Cheltenham due to injury and he is set to go over fences this season. He looks as though he will be suited to them as he seemed to still have a lot of growing to do.

Possible end of season target- JLT Novices’ Chase

17.Castletown Quarry

5yo bay gelding (Scorpion x Jigs ‘n Reels)

Trainer- Eoin Griffin

Owner- Great Palls Partnership

This horse really impressed me on his second start in NH flat races. He was a bit all over the place up the run in but when rider Jamie Codd properly got to work with him, he lengthened and strode on well to win comfortably. I presume he won’t go hurdling this season and will stay on the flat for now and he seems a nice type to properly put Eoin Griffin’s yard on the map.

Possible end of season target- Champion Bumper.

18.Clara Sorrento

7yo grey gelding (Maresca Sorrento x Call Me Clara)

Trainer- Noel Meade

Owner- Gigginstown

 This horse has run three times over fences and was fourth on his first two tries. I don’t think he stays the trips he raced at on those occasions as he ran prominently on both occasions but was headed turning for home. Next time out, he was dropped back to two miles five and he won it very nicely. He jumped well and, despite hanging left in the closing stages, he won pleasingly. He will have come on from that and there will be a lot to come from this flasy grey.

Possible end of season target- JLT Novices’ Chase

19.Getaway Trump

5yo bay gelding (Getaway x Acinorev)

Trainer- Paul Nicholls

Owner- Owners Group 023

 I know a lady who has a share in this horse and I think he can give connections a nice time this season. He ran three times in point to points and he won his last start by nine lengths. After that, he was sold for £90,000 to Paul Nicholls. He made his debut in February but raced very keenly and couldn’t last it out to the finish behind a horse that has a big future in the form of Commanche Red. On his most recent start, he probably didn’t handle the ground and ran very novicey once again. Hopefully, this season, he has matured further and can learn to settle when he goes jumping because that seems to be his main issue. His dam is a half sister to a group three winning, multiple hurdle and chase winner so he has the pedigree for the jumps.

Possible end of season target- Fred Winter Nocices’ Handicap Hurdle.

 20.Pearl Of The West

4yo bay filly (Teofilo x Creese)

Trainer- J C McConnell

Owner- Derek Kierans

 Mixes it over hurdles and on the flat but she’s more successful over an obstacle. She’s won twice this summer and one of those was a very good win in a mares’s hurdle in August at Bellewstown when she beat classy Willie Mullins inmate Pakora by ten lengths. Whether she is classy enough to figure in races like the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham is an unknown but I’m sure she’ll be able to win some nice races this season and get important black type. Based on her run last time out in Grade Three company, when she was beaten over fourteen lengths, handicaps may be the route for her.

Possible end of season aim- County Handicap Hurdle (Cheltenham Friday)

Chautauqua; The horse who wouldn’t run

By Evie

The infamous story of Chautauqua, the stubborn grey who just wouldn’t run, has come to be known worldwide. His antics in the stalls in pre-race trials soon became more famous than his own successes in his racing career.

The seemingly peculiar story of Chautauqua begun on the 20th of September in 2010, a year when the first iPads were released, the famous unpronouncable volcano in Iceland erupted and Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged.

Bred by the Throsby family, Chautauqua is a son of Group 1 winning stallion Encosta De Lago and Group 1 winning mare Lovely Jubly, so straight away he had the recipe for success.

As a yearling he was set to be sold at the 2012 Australian Easter Yearling Sale, and he ended up being sold for around $300,000.

yearling
Chautauqua as a yearling

He was subsequently placed in the care of trainer John Hawkes, who had already trained a multitude of extremely talented horses, including but not limited to Toltrice, the winner of the 1972 Australian Fillies Triple Crown, Lonhro, Australian racehorse of the year in 2004, and Octagonal, Australian horse of the year in 1996.

And so Chautauqua was set to work, was taught the ropes, and was ultimately taught how to be a racehorse.

He was a very exciteable horse, and as a result of this he was gelded to calm him down. After his Gilgai Stakes win, his trainer John Hawkes said, “He was always a horse that was highly strung and that’s why we gelded him early and never pushed him along.”

His first race soon approached, and in the October of 2013 Chautaqua hit the track for the very first time. He was debued over 6 furlongs, and ended up finishing the race in second place, having lost by a nose; a very promising start for a never raced two year old. He finished second in his next race, also at 6 furlongs, and was subsquently freshened for 18 weeks.

After this 4 month break he made an explosive return to the track, and so on the 13th of March 2013, Chautauqua was awarded his very first win, finishing over four lengths in front of the next best horse.

Already he was showing adept at being a racehorse, however no sooner than he had won his maiden race, he had entered a lul, finishing 2nd in his next race, and then for the first time ever, finishing out of the top two in the Group 2 Arrowfield Royal Sovereign Stakes.

However, in his next race he was stepped back down in grade to the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas, which he proceeded to win by a length and a half.

Soon he was entered into the Group 2 Gilgai stakes, which he won by a massive four lengths. Now he was on everybody’s radar.

By the sixth of April 2015, Chautauqua had won his very first Group 1, with a length and a half win in the Darley TJ Smith Stakes. In November of the same year he won his second Group 1 race, in the Manikato Stakes. In February of 2016 he won the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, marking his third Group 1 victory. He then headed to Sha Tin in Hong Kong, where he won Chairman’s Sprint Prize in March, before gaining his second win the TJ Smith Stakes in April of 2016. 12 months later he won the TJ Smith Stakes for the third time, and was looking forward the potential of winning it for the fourth time in 2018.

However, after an extremely talented and successful career, Chautauqua had finally decided he had had enough, and on the 27th of February 2018 Chautauqua refused to jump.

He was firstly entered in the third trial, in which he refused to jump, and thinking this was a one off, the stall handlers promptly entered him in the fourth trial just ten minutes later.

He refused again.

And so Chautauqua’s runabout of the stall handlers had begun. On March 8th Chautauqua refused to jump for the third time in nine days, and was hence banned from racing in Sydney until he had successfully completed two barrier trials.

On March 19th he refused for the fourth time. This refusal meant he could not run in the TJ Smith Stakes, and so could not be successful in the race for the fourth consecutive time.

His fifth refusal came at the Rosehill Trials, which barred him from entering the Everest, one of the world’s richest sprint races.

refusal
Chautauqua refuses to run for the fifth time

On the 6th August, Chautauqua refused to run for the sixth time. On the 28th of September 2018, the final nail entered the coffin as he refused to run for the seventh and final time, as he was promptly retired after the unsuccessful trial.

There are many mysteries in this small world of ours. What is the meaning of life? Where is Madeline McCann? Were the moon landings faked? And the biggest question of all- why did Chautauqua refuse?

One of the most shared beliefs into why he refused to run all those times was simply because of his high intelligence. This is a view shared by Chautauqua’s own trainer who believes he was the “smartest horse I’ve had anything to do with”. He simply knew there would be no repercussions to deciding not to run, and so he just didn’t run.

Maybe he just didn’t enjoy racing anymore, and wanted nothing to do with it.

The truth is, we may never truly know why Chautauqua refused to run all those times. And though he might not go down in history as one of the greatest sprinters of all time, he will be certainly be remembered for ages to come for being one of the quirkiest horses of all time.

 

Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe 2018 Preview

Image result for enable horse
Enable

Found, Golden Horn, Treve, Sea The Stars, Urban Sea, Dancing Brave, Mill Reef…

Just seven names on this distinguished roll of honour. These horses have gone on to excel all over the world in various aspects of racing. Urban Sea is arguably one of the best broodmares of the modern era as she is the dam of Galileo and Sea The Stars. Ten of the nineteen runners, who are set to go to post in this group one, are in some way related to this mare!

The race was first ran on 3rd October 1920 and the winner’s prize was 150,000 francs (about £1101 in modern money). In 2018, the prize fund to the horse first past the post is €3,150,000 (just over 20,000,000 Francs and just over £2,700,000). It is the richest horse race in Europe, the richest ran on turf and the third richest in the world behind the Pegasus World Cup and the Dubai World Cup. The race was named after the Arc De Triomphe, the famous monument in Paris, because there was a victory parade there by the Allies after they won World War One in 1919.

British-trained horses have won the last three renewals of this race and one of those was Found who was trained by Aidan O’Brien. His runners make up a strong Irish challenge and he has trained the winner of this race on two occasions. He has five in the race but two of those, Nelson and Hunting Horn, will really struggle to land a blow in such hot company. Magical is one of three fillies in the line up and has the weakest chance of them all. She’s ran three times this season and landed a group two on her penultimate start. She will need to step. Kew Gardens is probably the Irish handler’s best chance of a winner. He won the St Leger last time out in spectacular style so will have stamina in abundance. He is one of just three course and distance winners in the line up so that will give him an advantage over the other runners. O’Brien won the St Leger the previous year with Capri, who is his second best. We have seen him twice this year on the racetrack when he won a group three but was then fifth behind Waldgeist, Talismanic, Cloth Of Stars, Way To Paris and ahead of Clincher.

The winner, Waldgeist, won his last four starts all in group company and all in good style. He was beaten just under two lengths by Capri in last year’s Irish Derby. He is a course and distance winner so that gives him the upper hand against Enable and Sea Of Class, who don’t have any experience at this track. He is a leading contender. Talismanic and Cloth Of Stars are his stable mates and their trainer Andre Fabre has won the race on seven different occasions. The former won the Breeder’s Cup Turf in November. He is a very classy individual and won well at the start of the season beating Cloth Of Stars convincingly. Cloth Of Stars will probably struggle the most out of the trio of Andre Fabre horses. He hasn’t won since landing the Prix Ganay in 2017 and was a really good second in this race last year but has been behind Waldgeist on all of his past three starts. Way To Paris is a dual Listed winner but will probably struggle at this level as he has been beaten three times by Waldgeist this season. Clincher is the Japanese runner and he won a grade two in February but he was well beaten by Waldgeist so may struggle.

The two favourites for this race are Enable and Sea Of Class. Enable won this last year when the race was held at Chantilly but has won at similar right-handed tracks in the UK. She is looking to become just the seventh horse to win the race twice and her jockey Frankie Dettori is the winning most jockey in the history of the race by winning it five times. She has only lost one race and is a five time group one winner. She has one of the best draws in stall 6 as twelve of the last sixteen runners were drawn in 8 or lower. We have only seen her run once this season which was at Kempton in the group three September Stakes as she had to overcome an injury in the early parts of the season. She beat the classy Crystal Ocean on that occasion and will be primed for this race. Sea Of Class is very unexposed compared to these having only ran five times. She was beaten on debut by a horse who isn’t anything special and then was put into Listed company and bolted up beating Athena, who won the Belmont Oaks. She won a second Listed contest last time out which earned her a place in the group one Irish Oaks where she bolted up. She is following a similar route into the race as Enable did last year as the older filly won the 2017 Irish Oaks and then went and won the Yorkshire Oaks. She won that race in brilliant style beating Coronet and Laurens. It is hard to compare the form of these two fillies so race times may be the way to go. This year, the Yorkshire Oaks was run in a time of two and a half minutes and when Enable won it, she did it in a time of two minutes and thirty five seconds on slower ground. Sea Of Class won the Irish Oaks in a time of 2m 32.54s and Enable won it in a time of 2m 32.13s. They are very closely matched so it may be a case of which horse will be best suited to the track. Sea Of Class is arguably drawn on the wrong side in fifteen but she is close to the likely pacesetter Nelson, who will make sure there is a good pace for his stable companions, so she could get a good trail in from him. Her jockey James Doyle will have pretty much starved himself over the past few days to get down to 8st9lbs to ride this filly and he will have to be careful not to let Enable get too much of a lead down the home straight.

The other two English runners are Defoe and Salouen. Defoe was second in a group one at Baden Baden last time out, he climbed from a mark of 88 in may 2017 to 117, which is his current mark. He landed a few group races at the beginning of the season. Beaten in another group one in May, it is questionable whether he has the class. Salouen has been a model of consistency all season and ran Cracksman to a head in a group one at the Derby meeting but was third behind Waldgeist in July so will need to step up.

Neufbosc has won twice over course and distance in Listed and group three company. He wasn’t beaten far last time out behind smart prospect Brundtland and Hunting Horn and ahead of Louis D’Or in a group two. He is yet to tackle a group one race but might out-run his odds. The latter hasn’t won since October 2017 and his best performance was finishing third, beaten less than a length and outrunning his odds, in the Prix Du Jockey Club. The winner of that race was Study Of Man. Based on that run, he looks overpriced at 33/1 but he has been well beaten on both starts since. If he rediscovers that form, he will be in the firing line. Patascoy was two lengths ahead of him last time out and a half length behind him the time before that. He can hold his own at group level and also looks overpriced at 50/1. Tiberian gets the services of Derby winning jockey William Buick fort his race. He is a multiple group race winner and beat Talismanic twice last season when he completed a double in May and did the same in August. He hasn’t replicated that form this season and he has been behind Waldgeist on two occasions. He’ll need to step up.

Verdict

This looks a tight race and I think the top three in the market will most likely dominate proceedings. ENABLE and Sea Of Class are two incredible fillies but I think the former will prevail. She has a lot better draw and didn’t seem to have lost any of her sparkle on her reappearance so has a really good chance. Sea Of Class is a hold up horse and doesn’t have a brilliant draw so it will be a tough race for her. James Doyle will have to be at his best to land this race. If Frankie Dettori rides the race like he did last year, she will have to produce something special to catch Enable. Waldgeist is a name that has cropped up a lot in my research and he pretty much has the beating of all the French runners. I know some very shrewd judges who really fancy his chances. Kew Gardens will be staying on strongly at the finish as he has so much stamina.

1st – Enable

2nd– Waldgeist

3rd– Sea Of Class

4th– Kew Gardens.

Three Saturday Selections

By Killian
Gowran 3:50
The PWC Champion Chase has attracted a quality field, including last year’s Ryanair Chase winner Balko Des Flos. If he runs to his mark he should win, but he faces stiff opposition and might just need the run. Woodland Opera makes considerable appeal at around the 12/1 mark. He is race fit and beat Peregrine Run at Killarney last time over 3 miles. Today he drops back to 2m 4f. However, there should be plenty of pace and I think he can sneak into the places. A Toi Phil won last year’s renewal, beating Balko Des Flos and Ballycasey, but was race fit. I am looking forward to watching the race and it marks the start of the proper jumps season.

Gowran 4:50
Kings Song is my NAP for the day. He won very impressively on his first start for Gordon Elliot at Punchestown last October over today’s trip. He was then strongly fancied for the Cork National but ran a very disappointing race. Kings Song then lost his form for a while. However he won twice at Perth over the summer and looks back to his best. Davy Russell takes the ride in what looks a very winnable race. Freewheelin Dylan looks the biggest threat and is fairly unexposed. Kings Song trades at 3/1 and he will probably go off a fair bit shorter.

8:45 Wolverhampton
Sauchiehall Street caught my eye in the lucky last. The horse is a winner over C&D and all his best form is in the all-weather. A line can be drawn through his last run where the heavy ground at Ffos Las was completely unsuitable. This looks a poor race, where True North is the favourite. Despite the best efforts to get True North well handicapped he has only won once. True North ran over 4 furlongs which is a long way from 1m 4f. I think he is a weak favourite and Sauchiehall Street could turn him over. There has already been market support, now at 3s from an opening 5/1.1002126-366282.jpg

Sun Chariot Stakes Preview

Horse-LAURENS-109905-750x500.jpg
Laurens (Not our picture)

by Samantha

Some nice fillies have won this group one over a mile including Roly Poly, Alice Springs, Sky Lantern and Siyouma and ten fillies will line up to try and get their names onto this illustrious role of honour.

 
Aidan O’Brien has trained the past two winners of this and is represented by three runners in this. Clemmie appears the stable fancy as she will be partnered by Ryan Moore. She is a multiple group winner at two but has been well beaten three times behind Alpha Centauri this season. Last time out, she was beaten by Laurens and the aforementioned filly in the Matron Stakes. That was a huge improvement from other runs this season. To win this, she will have to have come out of the Leopardstown run a lot better than Laurens. Happily had a successful two year old season too as she beat the likes of Alpha Centauri and Masar, the Derby winner. She hasn’t transferred that form to her three year old season. Her best run was third in the 2000 Guineas behind Billesdon Brook and Laurens, who beat her four and a quarter lengths last time out, and would prefer it softer. O’Brien’s other runner is I Can Fly, who would probably be the pick of these three based on the fact that she bolted up in a group two last time out but she has been beaten a few times by runners in this line up- Altyn Orda, Billesdon Brook and Laurens, when she finished eleventh in the 1000 Guineas, and was beaten over seventy lengths in the Oaks.

 
Billesdon Brook was this year’s 1000 Guineas winner but she has run twice since and not shown that sparkle she did on that early May afternoon. She has been fourth two group ones since and finished ahead of Clemmie on one of those occasions and Veracious has finished ahead on both of those starts. I would like to see her run a better race than then in this to prove it wasn’t a fluke as she beat some very nice fillies. Based on those runs, it seems as though LAURENS can reverse the running with her from the 1000 Guineas. The John Dance owned filly led that race and just tired towards the end but wasn’t disgraced as she was only beaten just under two lengths into second. A winner of six of her nine starts, she has been one of the standout performers of this season. At two, she won the Fillies’ Mile and May Hill and, after her Guineas second, she won two group ones in France. Connections raised her up in trip to one mile two and she struggled in that and could only manage sixth but then won incredibly well at Leapardstown beating top filly Alpha Centauri, who, admittedly, did injure herself in that race but take nothing away from Laurens as she probably would’ve won anyway.

 
Her two main challengers will probably be Veracious and Wind Chimes. The former is very unexposed compared to the majority of these as she has run just five times, winning two. She made her seasonal debut in the Coronation Stakes, after two runs at two, suggesting she is thought highly of. She was an admirable third in that and finished in the same placing in that in the Nassau beating Billesdon Brook and Wilamina. A group three winner last time out, she will have come on from that and hasn’t stopped improving. At the time of writing this, Wind Chimes was the favourite, best priced 9/4. She won a listed race at two and then was unplaced on three year old debut and was then third behind Teppal in a group one. She was third in and the won a group three in mid-August. Second in a group one behind Recoletos is good form and she’s the highest rated so has an obvious chance. It is hard to judge how her form ties in to the British and Irish runners but Teppal beat Wind Chimes in a group one and was later on beaten a long way by Alpha Centauri and Laurens beat Alpha Centauri last time out so that gives the British filly an advantage based on form.

 
There has been one five year old winner in the past seven years and Aljazzi and Wilamina are looking to make that two but they are the outsiders in the line up. The former was a winner of a group two in spectacular style at Ascot in June and she finished ahead of Wilamina in that race. She was last seen fourth in a group one in Deauville and is a classy mare so is likely to go well and a bit overpriced. Wilamina battled gamely to win a group three at Epsom at the beginning of the season before finishing behind the aforementioned Aljazzi. She hasn’t featured on her past two starts so will need to step up. Altyn Orda is the other outsider. This three year old broke her maiden as a surprise winner of a group three beating I Can Fly. Fifth in the 1000 Guineas, she was beaten just over five lengths and hasn’t won since so may struggle.

 
Verdict
1st- Laurens
2nd- Wind Chimes
3rd- Veracious