#startracking Thursday June 2nd 1.30pm


Not a bad couple of days with In My Place, Aristocles and Carnageo all winning at around the 7/1 mark!

Just two small bets today but looks like plenty of entries for the weekend.

I still think Ulysses will win the Derby!

Thursday Runners

Ripon 2.20                  DALTON Interesting 2yo on a number of counts. Firstly David Armstrong has moved the horse from Fahey to O’Meara. Secondly David Armstrong paid £150K for this son of Mayson, Armstrong’s G1 July Cup winner, out of Cheveley Park mare, Pious. Thirdly he drops a class from C4 to C5. Fourthly Fahey runs one against it. (See below)

Hamilton 3.00            BIRKDALE David Armstrong has moved the horse from Fahey to O’Meara. Placed in two 6F Ayr maidens as a 2yo last season this son of Elnadim cost £73K and could get a mile in time.


Kempton 6.40            POINT OF VIEW Went in my tracker after the Craven when fourth in the 10F maiden behind Winning Story. “I liked Point of View for Roger Varian and I think with a bit more experience, 10F and better ground he should win sooner rather than later.”

Was withdrawn on the morning of his next run, “Vet’s Certificate. Infected foot”. Not long after he ran at Newmarket over 10F and was a disappointing 5th sent off 5/4Fav, with the well supported Firnaas showing a fine turn of foot from 2F out to win this maiden comfortably. Point of View was “quite free”, out well, prominent, led after 2f until 2f out when very one paced. Better than this, what and where next?

The answer is another maiden? C5 12F on the AW at Kempton drawn 4 of 10 with Atzeni in the saddle. Too many question marks to take 11/8, has to be Watching Brief.



Hamilton 3.30            INGLEBY SPRING Prior to her second nine days ago at Wetherby I wrote “Difficult to know what to make of this filly. She has won just once in sixteen starts but also only failed just once to make the first six and has finished either third or fourth on seven occasions. The words “kept on” frequently appear in her race analysis and today she steps up to 9F, well drawn in 4, and if Tony Hamilton can hold a position around the left hand bend she could be a player. She gets a stone off the penalised favourite and I think worth a one star* each way investment @ 10/1 general.”

Today she drops into C6 for the first time off the same mark as her last race is drawn OK in stall 5 out of 9 and Adam McNamara takes 7lb off. One win in seventeen worries me but this is basement stuff and that stiff finish will help, she is a one star* win selection @ 11/4 with Ladbrokes and WH.

Hamilton 5.20            GABRIAL THE TERROR At Wolverhampton, 12F+ on the Tapeta, yes. On the Turf, no. Watching Brief.





Hamilton 3.00                   ABU KHADRA Jaber Abdullah owned, Rabbah Bloodstock home bred son of Oasis Dream. Made his debut on the final day of 2015 turf season at Doncaster in a C4 6F maiden on heavy ground with David Nolan riding. He went left out of the stalls, raced in midfield going OK until 2F out when he seemed to lose his action and was eased coming home 8th of 8, having drifted in the market from 9/2 to 13/2. “David Nolan, the rider of ABU KHADRA (IRE), unplaced, reported that the colt lost its action. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of ABU KHADRA (IRE) failed to reveal any abnormalities.”

Nolan keeps the ride, completely different ground, drawn 2 of 7. Watching Brief.

Hamilton 3.00            FULL OF PROMISE Daughter of Kylacchy ran in two soft ground maidens as a 2yo without pulling up any trees, owned by Richard Fahey Ebor Racing Club Ltd (which doesn’t inspire me!), has to be nurseries down the line. Watching Brief.

Ripon 2.50                  L’APOGEE This gelded son of Rip van Winkle (disappointing sire so far?) has plenty of size about him and is a handicap project in progress starting off just OR62 over 8½F at Nottingham. They went a bit quick for him up front and he was being pushed from halfway. He does nothing quickly but kept on well from 3F out, the further they went the better he looked. Steps up to 10F here at Ripon and although no world beater the 6/1 with Coral, 11/2 general, represents a bit of value and L’apogee is a one star* win selection.


Kempton 6.40            SCOTTISH SUMMIT My notes for his first run this season said “Looks like a novice chaser. Chunky, will take time! Well backed.” Watching Brief.


Hamilton 4.00            BELLE TRAVERS On the “Not WithMyMoneyList” with the comment “She has been beaten over this trip, in this grade and off this mark. She looks like another of those dodgy Fahey homebred fillies to me!” Pass.


Ripon 2.20                  SCOTCH MYST Along with Helmet, Sepoy is a “new kid on the block” Australian sire and nice to see Fahey has one for Mrs Camille Macdonald. It could be a home bred colt? Watching Brief.


Kempton 7.10            TEXTURED Daughter of Dark Angel was an 100K euro yearling purchase for Cheveley Park Stud and one of two they run here. Watching Brief.



The going at Epsom remains soft, good to soft in places. Today should be mainly dry with temperatures of up to 17C Racing Post ‏@RacingPost  7.30am June 2nd  


“Nice to see Indulged frank the form of the Shraaoh Nottingham Maiden. Ted Durcan spoke well of the latter (& stablemate winner Poet’s Word)” Mark Rowntree ‏@uptheirons007  8.30pm June 1st  


Imperial Aviator, an impressive winner at Newbury on his latest start, will be supplemented for Sunday’s Gr.1 Prix du Jockey-Club. Trainer Roger Charlton has been given the go-ahead to pay the €72,000 (£52,900) late-entry fee by the colt’s owners, Qatar Racing, Daniel Hunt and Eileen Markham. Oisin Murphy, who won on Imperial Aviator at Newbury, will again be in the saddle. David Redvers, racing manager to Qatar Racing, said: “We’re praying for a decent draw, but the turn of foot he showed when winning last time out suggests he is a very good horse. If Ulysses were to win the Derby on Saturday we would look rather stupid had we not entered the French Derby.”

Redvers’ reference to Ulysses – who is fourth favourite for Epsom’s big race – relates to Imperial Aviator’s victory over that colt at Leicester in April. Charlton said: “Newbury lit the interest in progressing to a Group race, and immediately after that the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot looked the logical choice. However, the horse’s owners wondered whether we should be running in the Derby, particularly as Ulysses seemed to be going there with a chance. I was concerned that at this stage of his career the undulations of Epsom would not suit Imperial Aviator, and when we worked him over a ten-furlongs undulating gallop at home that confirmed my view. So we turned out attention to France – the French three-year-olds do not look the strongest, and one of their best [Cloth Of Stars] is running at Epsom. We have to pay the supplementary fee, but the prize money is very good, and if we finish fifth or better we cover the fee. At present the ground [at Chantilly] is particularly heavy and at best will be very soft on Sunday. That’s an unknown dimension for many of the runners, and while the same applies to us, I would prefer juice in the ground – there was no guarantee of getting that at Royal Ascot.” 1.6.16 Qatar Racing website


The remarkable Marwan Koukash and his trainers by David Ashforth Racing Post 7:28AM 2 JUN 2016

It will soon be the Oaks and the Derby but enough about them, consider the Class 5 handicap at Ripon (5.20) and Gabrial The Terror. There is nothing remarkable about Gabrial The Terror but Richard Fahey’s six-year-old has a remarkable owner in the form of Dr Marwan Koukash.

Koukash arrived gently in 2007, when Terminate gave him his first winner in an amateur riders’ race at Warwick. Expansion was rapid. Three horses ran for Koukash that year, 20 in 2008, 56 in 2009, 70 in 2010, 85 in 2011 and 104 in 2012. Koukash’s grey colours became well known. The number of trainers increased from five in 2008 to 18 four years later. Ian Williams must have been delighted because at first he was the new owner’s main trainer, racing 13 of Koukash’s horses in 2008 and 20 in 2009. But as Koukash’s string continued to grow, the number of horses raced from Williams’s stable fell, eventually reaching zero in 2014.

Shuffling the pack

The pack was frequently shuffled so that trainers bounced up and down. Dandy Nicholls was up in 2009, racing 16 horses for Koukash compared with only two the previous year but in 2010 the figure was five and from 2014 it was zero. David Simcock had just one runner for Koukash in 2008 but 15 by 2014, when Gabrial The Terror was in his stable, but last year there was only one Koukash runner and none so far this year. Trainers have come and gone and so have some horses. Four horses have won Group races for Koukash – Our Jonathan, Masamah, Marcret and Mount Athos but all were moved to other trainers after their pattern-race successes. Kevin Ryan won seven races with Our Jonathan including two Group races in 2009 and the Ayr Gold Cup in 2011 but at the end of 2012 Our Jonathan was moved to Tim Pitt and then to Simcock. Ryan also won six races with Masamah including a Group race in 2011 but two years later Masamah was with Marco Botti before moving to Patrick Morris. Ryan has not run a horse for Koukash since 2012. In 2012 Botti won a Group race for Koukash with Marcret who joined Nicholls the following season, while Mount Athos, having won two Group races with Luca Cumani in 2012 and 2013 joined Botti for the 2014 season.

Dwindling numbers

In 2013 15 trainers ran horses for Koukash but in 2014 and 2015 his runners came from just four stables with Fahey now dominant. There may have been good reasons for all this and for consolidating the training arrangements as Koukash’s string shrunk. Since 2012, when Koukash’s horses ran 714 times and won 101 races, there has been a steady reduction until last year his horses ran 285 times and won 35 races. To the end of May this year there have been five wins from 94 attempts compared with 16 from 107 in the same period last year.

With his purchase of Salford’s rugby league club in 2013, Koukash’s focus has shifted.


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