Africa Set To Strike At Windsor!

Morning all,

By the time you read this I will be in Belgium on a Chocolate & Beer Safari with the other half. She likes chocolate, I like the beer, so it should work out fine. Anyway a few days away from racing sounds good to me.

Godolphin Finally Land The Derby!

It’s hard to believe that Godolphin had never won until Masar on Saturday, but Epsom witnessed a bit of history for the operation and for trainer Charlie Appleby who landed his English Classic.

I must confess that I didn’t think Masar would stay the Derby distance, but he did and with some ease too. Of the rest:

Dee Ex Bee did the North and trainer Mark Johnston proud with a battling second in the hands of Silvestre De Sousa but there were plenty of non-stayers or horses who didn’t give their running.

Roaring Lion travelled well in the race and came with a good effort between the final two furlongs, but his effort flattened out inside the final furlong and he ended up losing second to the Johnston horse. He’s a much better horse over 1m 2f.

Odds on favourite and 2,000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior didn’t get the best of runs in the straight but he didn’t pick up when in the clear and just wasn’t good enough on the day finishing 4th. Like Roaring Lion his future looks to be over 1m 2f or maybe even back at a mile.

Hazipour was travelling as well as anything two furlongs out but the tank soon emptied and he had to settle for 5th. He didn’t stay the 1m 4f and is another who will surely be campaigned over 1m 2f for the rest of the season.

Delano Roosevelt looked like stayer when runner up to Hazipour on his previous start and did nothing to dispel those thoughts by only plugging on past beaten horses to take 6th.

His stablemate The Pentagon sweated up before the race and I don’t think he gave his running here. Fast ground at the Curragh for the Irish Derby could be ideal for the colt.

The one real disappointment of the race, was the William Haggas trained Young Rascal. A good winner of the Chester Vase, maybe he didn’t handle the track or maybe he didn't have the race experience but whichever, he never really looked like he would be winning. There will surely be other days for him.

There you have it. Masar was the best horse on the day and fully deserved his win. It will be interesting to see how he goes for the rest of the season. It’s a bit early for quick judgements but my gut feeling he’s an average Derby winner more Ruler Of The World than Golden Horn.

Notebook Horse:

Last weeks tracker horse Carlton Frankie was turned out quickly and was a good winner at Redcar last week.

This week’s it's the Richard Hannon trained Anna Nerium. The 3-year-old was a good winner of the European Free Handicap at the Craven Meeting and wasn’t disgraced when 6th in the 1000 Guineas, on going a shade too quick for the filly.

She really should have won the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes on Derby Day. Unlike the eventual winner who ideally positioned as the race unfolded, the Hannon filly was at the back and had too much ground to make up in the final furlong. A few strides after the line she was well in front and finished her race off with plenty in the tank.

I would like to see her stepped up in trip to a 1m 2f, rather than staying at a mile for her next run. Her sire Dubawi’s progeny do improve when stepped up in distance and there’s stamina on the dam’s side of the pedigree.

Monday Racing + Selection

Last weeks selection Titus managed to get into the places in the Zetland Gold Cup so let’s hope we can do better today. It’s off to Windsor for today’s selection.

Windsor

7:15 – A 6f Class 3 handicap and another of the Windsor Sprint Series Qualifiers. Here are a my thoughts on what looks a competitive race.

Reflektor trained by Tom Dascombe was in great form on the all-weather early in the year and wasn’t disgraced when 4th over 5f at Chester on his last start. It's possible the 5-year-old could get an uncontested lead here and if he does he could be hard to catch.

Clive Cox and Adam Kirby, have to be respected when teaming up at Windsor and the combine with Louie De Palma who was returning from 1381-day absence but was well backed (sent off just 10/1) before the Victoria Cup on his return. The 6-year-old shaped a bit better than his finishing position suggests and he should be sharper here.

Silent Echo won a qualifier here three weeks ago for Peter Hedger and although he’s been put up 5lb for that win, he’s in form and the 4-year-old could be capable of a bit more progress.

Miracle of Medinah is a talented but inconsistent horse. He was on a going day when 3rd at Ascot on his last start. The 6-year-old is more than capable winning a race like this off his present mark. It all depends how he feels. Trainer Mark Usher has been struggling for winners of late but the booking of smart 5lb claimer Jason Watson is a big positive. Hopefully he will be given a prominent ride and if he does he shouldn't be far away.

Son Of Africa is 1 from 1 over C&D and is also 2lb below his last winning mark. No issues with the going for the Henry Candy trained gelding. He shaped with promise when 4th on his seasonal reappearance at Goodwood. He was slowly away that day and in the circumstances did well to finish as close as he did. There are handicaps in the 6-year-old off his present mark.

Trainer Henry Candy has been having a bit of a quiet spell but had a winner at Goodwood on Friday evening, which could mean an upturn in the stables fortunes is on the way. On balance he will do for me.

Monday Selection: Son Of Africa

All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable weeks punting.

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