With Newbury off waterlogged it is a weird days racing in Britain and Ireland with two afternoon cards and FIVE from 4.40 onwards!! Bath opens the season of night racing. Money stays in the wallet today and hopefully I will finish and post the Craven report this afternoon. Tomorrows runners and selections should be up at 7pm. I posted the Scottish National last night.
Our good run continues with Dolphin Vista winning. We got 20/1 about Flaming Spear who went off 4/1 Fav (!!??!!) but finished second and we copped the each way and The Organist was three lengths clear when she came down at the last but all in all a good day at the office.
EASTERN IMPACT Non runner. I presume due to the ground.
HEAVENS GUEST 9th 9/1 (20/1 night before) He looked labored on this rain softened ground. Think the trainer is right and he wants to come down a couple of pounds and Good/Good to Soft ground.
RP analysis “Held up in touch in midfield, effort 2f out, 5th and no impression under pressure over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong” RF on sportinglife.com “Our other runner is Heaven’s Guest who has been a wonderful servant but I think he’s badly handicapped. He too ran in the Lincoln and this is probably more his trip. I hope he runs well but as I say he might need to come down a pound or two.”
FLAMING SPEAR 2nd 4/1 Fav (20/1 night before) Solid gamble all day and entering the final furlong looked like collecting having been prominent most of the 6F but then Accession whizzed past and FS wandered under pressure. Every chance he could cop one of these C2 6F handicaps in which Kevin Ryan has a strong hand. The trainers son, Adam, enjoys writing up the winners on the yards website. They are NOT brief but I have added those for Brando and Teruntum Star below.
DOLPHIN VISTA 1st 3/1Fav (12/1 night before but subject to 35p Rule 4 and then 20p Rule 4. Still paid 6.14/1!)Pushed to get lead in first furlong, led on rail, last off bridle, 3L clear 2F out, kept on. Let’s see what the handicapper does? No immediate entries.
RF Racing “Dolphin Vista made the most of a good draw to win the ‘Cock O’ The North Handicap’ at Ripon. He was drawn two and bounced out to make the running. He was always travelling strongly and didn’t mind the heavy ground. He kept on well and went on to win by half a length. A great win for owner Mr Nasib who was watching from Oman.” PIAZON 12th 7/1 Well supported in the market but for a horse that likes to race prominently was not away well. Pulled out at halfway but “never a factor”. THE ORGANIST Fell 5/1 Heartbreak! Did everything right, jumped travelled but came down at the last when 3L clear and in the process of hacking up. Good news is she got up and walked away from what looked a heavy fall. Interesting to see what she goes for next season?
When doing my unofficial alternative stable tour I deliberately left out his three top 3yo’s, Ribchester, Birchwood and Donjuan Triumphant. All three were rated in the top 20 2yo’s last year and I wasn’t sure all three would remain at Musley Bank as two are now owned by Godolphin and DT is owned by Middleham Park Racing who have a habit of selling them on. Well they are all in Yorkshire and Ribchester made a satisfactory return when second in the G3 Prix Djebel at Maison Lafitte over 7F on ground he hated and here is an update on DT.
Donjuan Triumphant will reappear at Haydock on May 28 and is now coming to the boil after a poor winter.
Richard Fahey’s charge enjoyed an excellent debut season and came good towards the end of the year when claiming a Group Two race in France. The son of Dream Ahead also won at Ayr and York and was just three lengths behind the winner, Johannes Vermeer, when finishing fourth in the Criterium International Group 1 Stakes at Saint-Cloud.
Connections are plotting the three-year-old’s next moves and Tim Palin, racing manager for owners Middleham Park Racing, feels Haydock would be suitable as a warm-up to Ascot as long as the going is right. “Donjuan Triumphant will be aimed at the Commonwealth Cup,” he said. “We hope to get him started off in the Sandy Lane at Haydock, but he’s a bit ground dependent.” It appears as though things are now running smoothly after an unproductive winter. “He didn’t actually winter very well but he’s thriving again now,” added Palin. “He’s the type that the more you do with him, the more he likes it, and I think he might just have got a bit bored in the winter. If we still own him going into next season we might not ease off him so much and just keep him ticking over.”
Great to see the talented George Chaloner back in the saddle and riding winners for Richard Fahey.
RF Racing “On just his second ride back since suffering a bad injury seven months ago George Chaloner rode Imshivalla to victory at Redcar. George suffered three fractures to his foot and two to his ankle when cantering a horse at Richard Whitaker’s yard in October. It’s been a long road to recovery and it was great to see him back in the winners enclosure. Imshivalla loved the soft ground and when they hit the front they were never going to be caught, winning by two-and-a-quarter lengths.”
Teruntum Stars On Craven’s Opening Day 12th April 2016
Mr T Rahman had been looking forward to the Craven meeting for the last few months as his star filly Ashadihan was set to lay down her classic credentials in the Group 3 Nell Gwynn. Unfortunately recent weather had turned the ground very soft, and against Ashadihan, leading Kevin to withdraw his filly. As the saying goes, when one door closes another one opens, and it meant that everything was in favour for Teruntum Star in the 6f Ben Burgess & Co Handicap (Class 2 85-99).
Teruntum had been lightly campaigned last year with just five runs in total but he had been successful in a competitive 3 year old contest at Newmarket’s July course. That was the only bit of form as he put in poor performances either side of that win. After finishing well beaten in the Ayr Silver Cup, Kevin made the decision to geld the then 3 year old and finish him for the season. Teruntum Star had done very well over the winter, looking like he had grown and strengthened again. This was possibly down to time and possibly down to the gelding, but either way he looked more likely to maintain his form through the year and more of the finished article. His work at home had been very good and he had been coming to hand very early in his pre-season training. Having shown form on soft ground, Kevin was keen to have Teruntum ready early in the season when he was more likely to have his preferred conditions. As Kevin flicked through his entry books there was one race that caught his eye, 6f at Newmarket on the opening day of the Craven meeting.
Newmarket was an obvious choice to start at for a few reasons. It is a track that some horses handle and some do not. Although Teruntum had never run at the Rowley Mile, he had won at the July course last season which has many of the same characteristics so Kevin was confident he would handle the undulations. Recent weather had ensured the ground would be soft which is now looking as though is Teruntum’s preferred ground. Finally it is the Craven meeting, a big three days of racing where the season really gets going so it is great to have runners there. With conditions in his favour, Kevin was confident of Teruntum’s chances and the 4 year old gelding did not disappoint.
Jamie Spencer was giving the leg up on the Dutch Art gelding and he certainly earned his riding fee with a well-judged ride. The races beforehand had given all the jockeys an idea of the underfoot conditions and this led to a difference of opinion. As the stalls opened Jamie headed in a straight line down the centre of the track. Lucky Beggar’s jockey Daryll Holland decided to plough a lone furrow on the far side of the track and quickly took up a couple of length advantage. The main group came up the centre of the track which allowed Jamie to get a nice lead through the early stages of the race. Despite the testing conditions the pace was strong as Lucky Beggar blitzed away on his own. The main group decided to leave him to his own devices and were happy to race down the centre and sit a couple of lengths off, setting their own pace.
Before the race there was little to separate the 12 runners and this showed throughout the first half of the race. There was only a few lengths covering the main body of the field and everything looked to have a chance. Teruntum travelled superbly through the first half, skipping over the undulations and enjoying the ease in the ground. As the field moved into the second half of the race Lucky Beggar still held a good 2 length advantage but still the other jockeys left him alone, seemingly uninterested in the leader.
There are some bushes around 2 1/2f from home and this always signifies the dip is coming up, the horses will continue to run downhill for another furlong before hitting the rising ground to finish. Teruntum was still travelling strongly at this point and Jamie even had to take a little pull, trying to keep the enthusiasm down for the time being. The leader now came under pressure and there were a few challenges starting to come from the back of the field. Teruntum Star was cruising and this allowed Jamie to fill him up, free-wheeling down the hill. As the pair did this their rivals came under stronger pressure and the race moved into the business end. Teruntum pulled his way to the front and as he hit the bottom of the dip he looked full of running. Jamie now decided it was time to let the handbrake off and immediately Teruntum quickened clear, opening up an advantage of a couple of lengths. This move won the race and it was now a case of the winning margin. Jamie kept his mount going forward but Teruntum just started to get a little bit lonely out in front. The eventual placed horses made ground up but Teruntum had plenty in hand and won cosily by 1 1/2 lengths to get his season off to a perfect start.
It was an impressive win for Teruntum and a career best. He looks a very smart sprinter when he has his conditions and this win will ensure he will be running in the best handicaps if not pattern company. With his liking for soft ground Kevin will keep him active early in the season before a break and then bringing him back for an Autumn campaign. It was great to get Mr Rahman off the mark for the season and he certainly looks to have a smart sprinter on his hand now, hopefully this is just the beginning.
Brando Destroys His Rivals in Rowley Romp 13th April 2016
The purple and yellow colours of Angie Bailey and Peter Tingey have become commonplace at the big meetings in recent years, especially with top quality sprinters, and they were carried to an impressive victory once more by Brando. It was only 3 years ago that Astaire gave them Group 1 success in the Middle Park at the Rowley mile and Brando brought back memories of that great day with a similar front running win.
Having finished last year with an all the way win at Haydock, Brando was one of the horses that Kevin was really looking forward to this year, hoping that he could continue on his upward curve of improvement. He had always been a big, raw horse but after his winter break he came back looking more like the finished article and the typical sprinting type.
Pre-season had gone well and his impressive home work had everyone excited for his seasonal return. The TurfTV 5f Handicap, a class 3 81-89 race, looked the ideal starting point and Brando certainly made an impression with a performance of power, speed and quality. Kevin’s sprinters have started the season very well with a few good winners and plenty of placed efforts to back them up. Looking through the race Brando stood out to many punters as an unexposed sort who could continue his rise up the handicap. Jamie Spencer, fresh from his win on Teruntum Star, got the leg up and continued his fine start to season with an aggressive ride.
Brando had won two of his last three starts as a 3 year old but both those wins had come over a furlong further at 6f. The drop back in trip was of no concern though as he had shown plenty of natural speed during those performances. As soon as the stalls burst open, Jamie drove Brando forward and the 4 year old quickly got into his stride to challenge for the lead. Newmarket lends itself to speed as the first half of sprints is heading downhill, which can catch some horses out with the undulations. Brando had no such problems and showed his natural speed, which looked to have improved once again, and he set a strong gallop through the early stages. The ground was good to soft but the field headed to the far side, which looked to have slightly better ground.
Beforehand it looked quite a competitive race and this rang true through the first half of the race as there was little to separate the 8 runners. Despite the strong pace the field was well grouped. Halfway the runners flew past the bushes, heading further downhill into the Newmarket dip. Brando continued to apply the pressure up front and Jamie was happy to drop his hands, allowing the powerful sprinter to go at the pace he wanted. Brando had just squeezed his head in front and took the lead, still travelling strongly.
The field was led by Brando to the 2f pole and now the race began to heat up. The early leader, King Crimson came under pressure as he tried to quicken and this triggered others to start the challenge. Brando was still travelling strongly and he was the last to come off the bridle, but it was his response that was most impressive. When Jamie popped the question, Brando quickened up and sprinted a length clear. There was nothing coming off the pace yet and Brando now had a clear advantage as he hit the bottom of the dip. There was 1 1/2f left to run and the race was far from over.
The final furlong at Newmarket is a test over any distance and Brando was going to have to see out the race. Jamie was in full drive but had yet to really go for his mount but when he did Brando managed to find another gear. For the second time he quickened up and this time it was even more devastating. Brando kicked further clear, cementing his advantage and there was no stopping him. As he galloped up the hill he drew clear and ate up the ground. The pair hit the line 3 1/2 lengths clear and turned a competitive race into a procession.
It was a fantastic result and great to see the colours of Astaire ridden to victory at Newmarket. Sadly Astaire passed away last year but Brando certainly paid his respects to him at the scene of Astiare’s biggest success. Pete and Angie have become well known in racing for their quality horses and their racing enthusiasm and Brando will surely be giving them many more great memories.
This win was off a mark of 88 and the handicapper will have his say now. He has now won 3 times from just 9 races and there looks to be plenty of improvement left for an unexposed sprinter. Brando is more like the finished article and as he is versatile over 5f and 6f he will certainly be aimed at some more valuable and prestigious races throughout the season. Pete and Ange love a good sprinter and always look forward to the big meetings, especially York and Royal Ascot. They have had some good horses in the past who have taken them to these meetings and Brando is surely another one. He looks to have a bright future ahead and it is the perfect start to a promising season for the 4 year old son of Pivotal.