#startracking Monday April 11th 7.30pm

For all of you who read Friday’s blog and kept the faith I hope you all enjoyed the performance of Ivan Grozny as much as me and my bank manager did. 16/1 shot swinging on the bridle two out and hacks up by 6L and 8L, love it!

If there is one thing you can say about the Flat season it doesn’t take long to get up and running! This week we have three days of the Craven meeting at Newmarket and two days of the Greenham at Newbury. These are probably the busiest and most important five days for anyone with a notebook as they will shape the season at least as far as Royal Ascot.

I’m working hard on profiling the #startracking 3yo’s and some older horses and the profiles will be presented as they run. We have plenty entered this week but with it being so early in the season it is mainly watching briefs and minimum stakes.

Also this week we have a reasonable jumps card at Exeter tomorrow, two good cards at Cheltenham Wednesday and Thursday and then the Scottish National meeting at the end of the week!! Busy, busy, busy!


2.45 C3 3yo Conditions Stakes 7F

CHIEF WHIP                     (Richard Hannon)                OR78                      Peak 78                  LWM –                    RPR 79

US bred son of Giants Causeway cost Messrs Magnier, Tabor and Smith $250K and is not at Coolmore but with Richard Hannon. Only ran the once as a 2yo but couldn’t have been much more impressive. Out OK, travelled well but had to sit and suffer just behind the leaders waiting for a gap but when he did get daylight he really quickened up in the style of a good horse. The 2nd and 3rd have both won since suggesting Chief Whip is an OR95+ horse and possibly a Group contender. He has an entry in the Irish 2000 Guineas. That run was at the end of July and he had plenty of entries later but never appeared, which suggests an issue or two?

As I have waited so long for this class act and the booking of Ryan Moore catches the eye, he is a two star** win selection @ 9/4 WH and Ladbrokes.

TABARRAK                       (Richard Hannon)                OR97                      Peak 97                  LWM –                    RPR 98

Tabarrak was 2nd to Tashweeq (Listed winner since) on debut and was a convincing winner of a 7F maiden at Newbury. Richard Hannon could have a useful miler on his hands. OR97

Comes out on top on Racing Post Ratings and the handicapper says he is a stone better than Chief Whip so he has to be a one star win* selection @ 4/1 general.

3.20 Handicap 4yo+ 6F

Three runners in this C2 6F sprint and Fahey has booked Ryan Moore for Grandads World and they top the market at 4/1. Not for me as I think it’s the wrong course and the wrong price, Watching Brief. Gamesome has a real chance but I am not sure Midgely and Queally will have worked him out yet and the ground could do with being a bit quicker so it’s a Watching Brief. Of the three Teruntum Star has the best profile, the price is right and Mr Spencer is on board. He is a one star* each way selection at 20/1 general.

Horrible feeling I could end up with egg on my face but ho hum!

GAMESOME                    (Paul Midgley)                     OR99                      Peak 100               LWM –                    RPR 106

Sprint king Paul Midgely paid £75K for this 5yo and surely this fella must have his name down for one of the season’s big C2 6F handicaps. Last season he was sixth in the Abernant (OR100), fifth in a C2 at Newmarket (OR100 “Held up in midfield, headway and not much room over 1f out, switched right 1f out, headway and switched right again inside final furlong, ran on well towards finish, never going to reach leaders” Racing Post ) and sixth in the Wokingham (OR100) then dropped a pound to OR99.He was 3rd a week later at Windsor, then it all happened too quickly over 5F and in the 6F Stewards Anonymous Bookie handicap at Goodwood he got no run at all (RP Analysis “held up in midfield, barging match with rival after 1f, effort over 1f out, not clear run and hampered entering final furlong, switched left just inside final furlong, no danger but kept on inside final furlong”). Ground is a contentious issue as previous connections always said he wanted a quick surface but the twice he has made the frame the word Soft was involved!

GRANDADS WORLD   (Richard Fahey)                   OR96                      Peak 98                  LWM 90                 RPR 103

His second at York last summer in the big 3yo 6F Charity Sprint behind Twilight Son earmarks him as a player in all the big 6F handicaps this season. Fahey told sportinglife.com He had a setback which is why he hasn’t run for a while, but all is well with him at the moment. He’s a talented horse if we can keep him right.Flat course, chance to lead and a bit of cut in the ground would possibly give him his best chance. Hasn’t performed well at Newmarket in the past.

TERUNTUM STAR         (Kevin Ryan)                         OR95                      Peak 97                  LWM 90                 RPR 101

Typical hold up sprinter who is moody and quirky. A stiff 6F with a patient jockey is the key because this horse needs to get there on the bridle because if you have to ride him he stops! With a bit of luck Jamie Spencer could have some fun in the Wokingham? He will win this season with Newmarket the most likely venue.

3.55 Fielden Listed 3yo 9F

Trappy four runner contest that Golden Horn won last year. We’ll swerve and make it a Watching Brief.

VENTURA STORM        (Richard Hannon)                OR 100                   Peak 100               LWM –                    RPR 100

Tim Palin, racing manager for Middleham Park Racing said after his win at Newmarket last August, “On the race time he didn’t look a Group-race winner on Friday but they went a muddling early pace and visually he looked a Pattern performer and that is in keeping with what Richard Hannon has thought for a while. It would be a huge leap of faith to say he is a good as Toormore as he was a champion two-year-old, but physically he is in his kind of mould. He has at least the same level of ability as Kool Kompany and will improve throughout the season. He is definitely a Group-race performer north of a hundred (rating), whether that is 102, 112 or 122, I don’t know but he is heading in the right direction.” He also won his next race, a C4 Conditions at Salisbury but then came badly unstuck when stepped up to G1 at Longchamp in the Prix Jean-Luc Languedoc in October. He starts his 3yo campaign in the Listed Fielden Stakes at the Craven meeting over 9F.

5.05 C4 3yo Maiden Colts 7F

Owen Burrows takes over training duties from Barry Hills and I think he has a nice colt on his hands here. Hopefully he can put his solid 2yo experience to good use here and I make him a two star** win selection @ 7/2 general and Nap of the card.

FAWAAREQ                     (Owen Burrows)                 OR 83                     Peak 83                  LWM –                    RPR 81

Three race maiden but strong form. 4th on debut in a C2 6F event at Ascot, 7th in the 7F C2 Convivial at York and then 2nd to Godolphin’s progressive Move Up in a C4 maiden at Leicester. Pity to see him in a maiden as, over a mile with a bit of cut he would be competitive in a nice handicap off OR83. He may still be?

5.40 C3 Handicap 3yo 10F

CARTAGO                         (John Gosden)                     OR 91                     Peak 91                  LWM 81                 RPR 92

Here is what I wrote about him last year.

“Not Ryan Moore’s greatest ride when 3rd at Sandown. Slow to gather pace at start, in a pocket 2F out. Will improve.

2nd           15/8F Every chance but may have bumped into one. Led at the furlong pole and had the race in the bag until debutante Chief Whip (on Master List) exploded into action. OR77 Surely it’s nurseries now?

3rd           7/2 Odd choice of race. Never looked comfortable with the course or the all-weather but down 2lbs to a very attractive OR75!

1st            15/8F That’s more like it, topweight in a 0-75 nursery, friendless in the market and hacks up!! Would be interesting under a penalty.

1st            6/4F No surprises as here Frankie gave Cartago a confident “steering job” ride. Travelled, asked 2F out, put head up and to one side (had done it before) but couple of backhanders and he put his head down and won well. The second Edification was already on the Master List and would have been closer if he had kept a straight line. OR81 here but now up to OR89. Interesting if he runs again or whether they keep that mark to start his 3yo campaign. O-90 Good+ 10F

5th           15/2 Rather annoyingly they ran him in the Listed Zetland Stakes where he was a well beaten 5th and went up two pounds!!”

He starts off his 3yo campaign in a 80-95 C3 handicap, albeit with top weight. I really hope he runs well as his form ties in with loads I have on my list! He is a one star* each way selection @ a too big 12/1.


Exeter 2.25 A PLIEN TEMPS This could well be this winning Irish pointer’s last spin over hurdles. Trip, ground, form are all fine and although in a better race he was only put up five pounds and he can be another winner for the Fry/Fehily combo. He is a one star* win selection @ 9/2 Betfred and Coral.


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