Good morning all,
It’s a Bank Holiday today. Well, it is if you’re in England & Wales. Indeed, it’s the last holiday until Boxing Day so the countdown to Kempton and King George Day begins. Only joking!
You can tell autumn is around the corner and I don’t mean weatherwise as that’s been rather summerlike around my neck of the woods. No, on Saturday it was the last meeting on Newmarket’s July course. From now until the end of the flat season the action at HQ is back on the Rowley Course.
Its fair to say Saturday wasn’t the highest profile of the summer. However, at least the weather played ball as the dry spell continued.
Saturday was a chance for some smaller yards to grab the limelight as the training honours went to James Ferguson, Clive Cox and Amanda Perrett.
Inside today’s main piece you can read my thoughts on Saturday’s action. Plus, I have had a look at two of the day’s best races at Ripon and have a selection from Cartmel.
Ferguson saddles first group success
James Ferguson trained his first Group winner when Mise En Scene landed the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood. On paper it looked a open looking renewal and I think we saw a nice winner in the daughter of Siyouni.
There were no excuses for the 7/2 favourite Daneh who was always in a good position and when she kicked for home a furlong out and looked like she would go onto win the race. The winner was also in a handy position tracking the leaders. She took a bit of time to hit top gear but she cut down the leader in the shadow of the post. Strong at the finish, a step up to a mile will suit.
The filly is now 2-2 and looks set to be upped in class for her next start with the Fillies Mile at Newmarket in October looking to be an ideal race for her. Paddy Power cut her to 8/1 from 33/1 for the Group 1 contest.
Prosperous Voyage maintained her improvement when running on to take third and the Ralph Beckett trained filly looks in need of an extra furlong.
The best-looking filly in the race Clitheroe built on the promise of her juvenile debut in fifth. She looked a bit green when asked for effort and I’m not sure she was totally at home on the track either. There will be other days for her.
Tis marvellous saturday for Cox
The performance of the Goodwood card came from the Clive Cox trained Aratus in winning the 7f handicap. Always well placed the colt showed a nice change of gear to hit the front 1f out. He was closed down by Escobar in the final 100yds. However, the winner doesn’t do much when in front and had more in hand than neck margin of victory.
After the race winning jockey David Egan told ITV racing that the winner was “probably a Group horse in a handicap”. I don’t disagree his assessment. Granted the 3-year-old doesn’t have the most elegant of head carriages under pressure. Hopefully it’s down to his inexperience rather than any quirks.
Aratus to have a good future although he’s unproven on soft ground.
It was a good Saturday for trainer Clive Cox whose Tis Marvellous landed the Beverley Bullet. Unlucky in running in the 2019 renewal. The 7-year-old followed up a recent handicap Ascot win with a comfortable success in the Beverley feature. Relishing the quick ground, he was just to good for his rivals on the day.
Justanotherbottle used the number one stall to good advantage to make all until headed by the winner inside the final furlong.
The admirable Judicial ran well enough but could only finish 3rd.
Ostilio will have gone into plenty of notebooks after another promising run into 4th.
Of the rest Significantly remains in form. He didn’t get the clearest of runs 1f out and maybe better with some ease in the ground.
Dakota Gold is another who found the ground too lively and he will be competitive when able to get his toe in.
Benny beats Ben
The day’s feature race the Group 2 Celebration Mile was won by the relatively unfancied 20/1 shot Lavender’s Blue. The mare owned by Benny Andersson, of ABBA fame, goes well on fast ground. It’s not something she often gets but when she does, she’s useful as she showed on Saturday when get the better of Benbatl in the final half furlong.
There was talk after the race of a tilt at the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf with the 5-year-old and you can see why. She’s a strong traveller who should be suited by the pace of the race and of course the likely fast ground.
Benbatl returning from almost a year of the track he ran a cracker to finish a short head second. He wasn’t the best away and was keen in the early stages of the race, But for is awkward start and freshness he might well have held off the winner’s late effort. There will be other days for the 7-year-old later in the year more than likely on his travels.
Pogo got the run of the race out in front and managed to hold third in a bunched finish for the minor places
Chindit didn’t seem to totally at home on the track and didn’t get a clear run a furlong out. Once in the clear he was doing his best work at the finish to take 4th. With a better passage he would have finished closer although there is a danger that he’s starting to look trip-less.
The best of the Bank Holiday flat action is at Ripon with the British Stallion Studs EBF Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy Stakes (Listed Race) (3:05) the highlight of a seven-race card at the “garden racecourse”.
There should be a big holiday crowd at Cartmel for its last meeting of 2021.
3:05 – British Stallion Studs EBF Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy Stakes (Listed Race) – 6f
Hellomydarlin showed improved form when a 3 ¾ length 3rd of 20 under top-weight on her nursery debut at York 12 -days ago. Prior to that she run twice in Group races in France. Brings the best form to the race but faces plenty of lightly raced juveniles.
Atomic Lady improved on her previous good form when a neck 2nd of 20 in valuable sales race at York last time. She won here over 5f in June so the track clearly suits and she remains progressive.
Taj Alriyadh made it 3-3 when winning over C&D 16-days ago. This is a step up in class for the Karl Burke trained colt but he’s on the upgrade and looks worth his place here.
Wonderful World finished two lengths behind Hellomydarlin at York but is much worse off at the weights today. However, his effort can be marked up and he did best of those drawn more towards the stands side.
3:35 – Ripon Rowels Handicap (Class 2) – 1m
Garden Oasis had Kettle Hill a head back in second when winning at York last month but. The winner is 4lb worse of with the runner up but has since gone onto win over C&D 16-days ago.
Kettle Hill ran that day like he was ahead of his mark and looks a worthy favourite. However, I’m jwondering whether this track will suit his hold up style.
Garden Oasis had Copper And Five a neck back in second over C&D last time and is 1lb worse off here. There shouldn’t be much between the pair again.
Challet gained his second win of the season when winning over C&D last week. He has a 5lb penalty to carry for that success but he can’t be ruled out in a better race. Given his style of running a wide draw could be problematic.
Dubai Mirage was well beaten on soft ground at Haydock last time. Prior to that the 4-year-old had run well when a 2 ¾ length 4th of 17. He hung to his left that day which didn’t help his effort inside the final furlong. He's got plenty of ability but can be an awkward ride. It's not surprising then that the visor goes on for the first time.
Top-weight Marie’s Diamond has a touch of class. He started last season winning a Listed race at Newmarket and finished third in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. He's been able to drop back into handicap company this season and won at Ayr off today’s mark.
It was nice to end last week with Thursday’s selection Pearls Galore winning the Group 3 Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary. For today’s selection I’m heading up to Cartmel.
4:45 – Brotherly Company has been in good form since returning from a break winning at Southwell and over C&D. He got into a good jumping rhythm out in front at Perth and looked booked for the hat trick coming to the last. However, his stamina ran out and he lost two places on the run in. Up 2lb in a better race today. However, if he can get out in front he'll be hard to pass.
Brotherly Company – 10/3 – Gen.
Good luck with your Monday bets.