A very average days racing to put it mildly! Roll on tomorrow night at Sandown.
#SuperStoute introduces a 3yo filly at Kempton, which I will discuss, and #FantasticMrFahey runs four handicappers at Hamilton, none of which appeal, and a brace of 2yo’s in the card opener. Talking of Musley Bank I should think that the stable cats were hard to find after last night’s meeting at Wetherby with the yard having three seconds, all beaten less than a length, and a fancied two year old running off the track on the home bend! Don’t suppose Line Sport running a lacklustre third at Wolverhampton would have done much to improve the demeanour of “the Grumpy Gnome” either. Ho hum, upwards and onwards.
Kempton 6.50 LABYRINTH Unraced as a 2yo, Ted Durcan takes the ride in this C4 7F maiden on the sand at Kempton. This daughter of Lawman, out of a Galileo mare, is owned by the Queen but is NOT a homebred. Indeed here is the really interesting bit, Her Majesty paid £260K for her. Much as HM is hardly down to her last tiara it is still rare for her to spend this much! Couldn’t recommend a punt but a definite Watching Brief.
The Bank Holiday weekends fare is fairly uninspiring, especially on the big handicap front, although the Haydock card is worth a second look and my thoughts turned to ten day’s time and the Epsom Derby.
I must come clean and say that the downland track is one of my least favourite, especially for a punt, and our premier 3yo 12F event is run on the wrong course at the wrong time of year but you can’t argue with a zillion years of history! As regular followers of this blog will know I had expected Sir Michael Stoute to come to the fore this season on the back of the strength in depth he has with this season’s crop of 3yo’s. At the start of the season I had a small financial interest in Midterm and Ulysses for the Derby as well as Idaho from Ballydoyle who I thought could be the best suited to Epsom of the O’Brien batallions. So far so good. Midterm’s demise in the Dante was disappointing but gave me a reason to review that day at York and I pass on my observations of the Middleton and the Dante.
York Dante Meeting 2016 2.40 Middleton G2 Fillies 10½F This looks a strong G2 for the girls. Crystal Zvezda was the subject of bullish reports earlier this year as one to really improve as a 4yo. Her issue is she won’t settle and she is too keen early to get home at Group level. It is no surprise she is re-equipped here with a hood. The only other time she has worn it was over C&D when second to French Dressing in the Listed Lyric Stakes.
Crystal Zvezda 7th 10/1 I think it would be fair to say that this young lady has her very own ideas about the game. She has absolutely no interest in racing and should be retired to the paddocks now! If she does reappear on a race course avoid at all costs. #NotSoSuperStoute
Midterm York Dante Meeting 2016 3.15 Dante G2 3yo Colts 10½F Current favourite for the Epsom Derby and already won the Sandown trial beating Algometer half a length with the rest well back. #SuperStoute will have this blueblood in top shape and not much he doesn’t know about winning a Derby. I think Midterm could be the real deal and is the only runner with the form in the book and the Stoute yard continues in red hot form and no worries with Pat Smullen aboard. Ballydoyle have lots of good 3yo colts but I’m convinced they think US Army Ranger is the best 12F colt but he’s no world beater. Midterm is a four star**** win @ 6/4 with WH.
Midterm 5th 5/4Fav Interviewed beforehand Sir Michael Stoute said Midterm had worked like “his usual lazy self”. To my eyes he looks a real racehorse, not big, nicely made and a good size. He was too keen early, in rear, came wide in the straight, has every chance 2F out, one pace. Will improve, needs to mature mentally. Entries in the Edward VII at Royal Ascot and the Irish Derby.
Victory Bond York Dante Meeting 2016 3.15 Dante G2 3yo Colts 10½F My notes say “Only seen once in 2015 when second to Algometer in a Newbury 8F C4 maiden that is beginning to look strong form. He is a big strapping son of Medician, homebred by the Bloomsbury Stud. He made a winning debut at three in a C4 10F maiden at Ripon, literally head and shoulders above the rest, he won by 7L and 10L in the style of a Group horse and 10F looks to be his trip.” Today we will find out how good he is. He has done nothing wrong so far.
Victory Bond is a one star* win selection @ 16/1 general.
Victory Bond 6th 12/1 Over raced first two furlongs, this strapping colt travelled well in midfield, moved up to second 2F out and every chance, weakened final furlong. Entry in the G2 12F Edward VII at Royal Ascot but I am not sure he will get the trip? Has an interesting handicap mark of OR98 so an entry in the 8F Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot would be of interest or a race such as the Listed Steventon Stakes at Newbury over 10F on July 16th?
Wings of Desire York Dante Meeting 2016 3.15 Dante G2 3yo Colts 10½F My Craven notes say “Wings of Desire also kept on well and has a completely different set of criteria. He wants this Soft ground and at least 12F!” Dante doesn’t look his race. Maybe Great Voltiguer and Leger later?
Wings of Desire 1st 9/1 Got this chap wrong! Horse and jockey did a thoroughly professional job. Frankie Dettori settled WoD in the rear, moved up on the home turn, travelled well into the race off a fast pace and stayed on the strongest to beat Deauville a head. A word of warning going forward, WoD is a full brother to Eagle Top who won the G2 Edward VII at Royal Ascot but despite going close never got his head in front again racing at the top level. WoD must have every chance in the Derby with no colt looking outstanding in the 3yo ranks.
Choreographer York Dante Meeting 2016 3.15 Dante G2 3yo Colts 10½F “The race also contains a Newmarket talking horse in Roger Varian’s Choreographer. The China Racing Club paid 850,000 euros for this son of Sea the Stars and in his Racing Post stable tour today the trainer suggests this is one of three potential G1 3yo’s he may have.” “The winner of this maiden, CHOREOGRAPHER, should go in your #startracker. Roger Varian rates this son of Sea the Stars, who cost the China Horse Club 850K euros, and there have been Group horse mutterings. He has entries in the Dante at York and the Edward VII at Royal Ascot.” Roger Varian has a myriad of well bred, expensive 3yo colts and he thinks Choreographer is in the top three. Choreographer is a one star* win selection @ 25/1 with PP
Choreographer 7th 16/1 Pulled hard early on, rear of midfield on rail, didn’t get the smoothest of passages and struggled to find any racing room in the home straight and only the winner came home stronger. This son of Sea the Stars holds an entry in the G2 12F King Edward VII at Royal Ascot and the 10F G1 Eclipse. Would be a big fancy in the former.