A nice 5/1 winner last week from the two selections (and a frustrating second place) so I can only hope you all availed yourself of plenty of bookmakers cash at that price, and we will see if we can follow up this weekend (though don’t hold your breath!).
Tuesday morning reminded my once again what is and isn’t important in life (don’t worry, its not a philosophy lecture) as I was lucky enough to arrive bright and early ahead of an interview with Newmarket trainer John Gosden and had the sheer joy of sitting in my car in the sunshine watching the horses on the Warren Hill gallops. After nodding wisely (?) at Marco Botti in the garage while grabbing a coffee I then saw Luca Cumani, William Jarvis, Michael Bell and Sir Michael Stoute watching their strings at work (what other sport lets you get so close to your heroes I wonder?), before meeting Mr Gosden to discuss his horses for the weekend (and other things). First things first (for the long term) and Taghrooda apparently came in to season the day after being beaten at York, so it may be worth putting a line through that form – whether that sways you in to an Arc play is up to you, but at least we now know why (though John kept mentioning Japanese raider Just A Way if that gives you any further clues?)
Sticking to matters closer to home, we naturally discussed the weekend’s action and I can pass on positive vibes for one this afternoon and a couple on Saturday. I sadly missed the Newmarket Open Day on Sunday but apparently he came over as pretty sweet on the chances of Belle D’Or in the 1.40pm this afternoon (Friday), so she would be the first of a possible each way treble though certainly at the shortest price. She has won her last two races at Salisbury and Sandown where she looked as if she needed every inch of the mile which would be my concern – will she get the fast run race that seems likely to see her perform at her very best?
On Saturday we have the little matter of the Cheveley Park Stakes at 3.10pm for fillies over six furlongs. Tiggy Wiggy seems likely to go off favourite for the Hannon team, but John seemed very pleased with Tendu who broke the juvenile record at Kempton last time out when taking her maiden. Described as a “big girl” she seems sure to improve with her races and at 15/2 I am sorely tempted by a little each way, as John did seem very pleased with her wellbeing despite the serious opposition.
Lastly of the trio we have the 35 runner Cambridgeshire over nine furlongs and due off at 3.50pm. Drawn high, I go the feeling that Cornrow was in with the best chance of his two runners (sorry Maverick Wave), though he is 7/1 favourite which seems a bit skinny in the circumstances. After winning easily at Haydock on his return he was a decent enough third over a wholly inadequate seven furlongs at Ascot but, up in trip and with ground and track expected to suit, he does have every chance for those who want to follow John Gosden this weekend.
As for the wondrous Daily Mirror and their ridiculous front page covering the death of poor Wigmore Hall, I am sure you can imagine just how popular they are on the headquarters gallops? All I can say is that none of us will be buying a copy of the red top in the near future (not that I did anyway), though you have to feel for their racing journalists who had nothing to do with the story, only to watch their entire contact list disappear in one go – they were very conspicuous by their absence on Tuesday morning, I assure you.
Looking ahead to something a lot more positive and I need to find a winner again if at all possible so where shall we start? Newmarket yet again I suppose with the Royal Lodge Stakes at 2.35pm my first “target”. Elm Park seems likely to attempt to make all so we can assume a truly run race, which will suit likely favourite Nafaqa as well as my selection Misterioso. Trained by Richard Hannon, we all know they have literally hundreds of well bred juveniles in their care yet the one they choose for this valuable and prestigious Group Two contest is this twice raced son of Iffraaj and you have to ask yourself why? He did win as he pleased last time out but will need to improve again to get involved in this class, but I do think it could be worth a bet that he will do exactly that.
For my second bet there is a theory (unproven) that just as Ballydoyle wait to name quality horses after famous folk from history (John F Kennedy would be a prime example), Godolphin save the better pro Dubai names for those they really like. Emirates Skywards is hopefully a good example though he did let the side down a little when only runner up on his debut at Ffos Las earlier this month. A son of Dubawi, he holds the almost obligatory Derby entry and is said to be working well at home, while trainer Charlie Appleby is amongst the prize money of late with 11 winners from his last 38 runners (29%), so backing one of them this weekend surely can’t be too much of a bad thing!
Selections this week:
Misterioso 2.35pm Newmarket Saturday
Emirates Skywards 3.00pm Haydock Saturday
Horses to follow:
Timba – I backed her last minute last week after being told she was pretty decent and was rewarded with an 8/1 starting price. She won with plenty in hand despite drifting from 4/1 in the morning and will improve hand over fist for the run – next stop will mean a step up in class but she could be way better than average. * Runner up last week in a decent race and sure to win again.
***No current entries***
Enraptured – a lovely looking progressive daughter of Oasis Dream whose two-year-old form would put her in to Listed class as a minimum assuming she has trained on. Her handicap return at Newbury disappointed me to be fair as I thought she was thrown in at the weights, but she was far too buzzy for her own good and the betting suggested she will improve considerably for the run – her first in eleven months. Update – she was beaten on Thursday 21 August at York where the weight of my money seemed enough to stop her but I still feel she will win a race soon.
***No current entries***
Toronado – could be absolutely top class and looked to ease up in front at Ascot in the Queen Anne Stakes for a cozy victory. Bound to improve again for the run he will be aimed at the top all aged mile events this season and will hopefully mop up and boost our profit margins! Finished second in the Sussex Stakes but was anything but disgraced and well worth leaving on our list.
*** Entered at Ascot on 18th October ***
Rewaaya – word at the John Gosden yard is that she is better than we have seen so far and certainly Group class – be that here or possibly abroad as the three-year-old options start to run out. She was talked of as an Oaks filly so no great shock to see her win her maiden with ease at odds on but she still showed all the customary signs of inexperience and I am sure there is more to come. *Won last weekend at 5/1
***No current entries***
Mutakayyef– trained by William Haggas I had a quandary this week – do I or don’t I back the son of Sea The Stars? As with all the stable juveniles he was a shoe in to improve for the run but he is spoken of in glowing terms by gallop watchers in Newmarket. Fact is he ran as expected – slowly away, green as grass, and hampered as well, he will learn plenty from the experience and can be ignored at your peril.
***No current entries***