#startracking Thursday August 25th 5.00pm

The health of their string has been a major issue for many of our top trainers in 2016. No trainer was going to announce it at the time, James Fanshawe was the first to give a hint of coughing in Newmarket, then HQ’s biggest string at Roger Varian’s almost closed down, yesterday Saeed bin Surror said that his string had been very, very ill and those that weren’t were painfully slow and today its Peter Chapple-Hyam “”My horses have been very, very sick, but I’m sure they are right now,” the trainer told At The Races. “We had horses with legs blown, I couldn’t do anything bar trot them, they got abscesses all over their body, and when you’ve only got 30-odd horses like I have it’s very hard, but hopefully we’re over it now.”

It may help explain by the York winners were well backed with stable knowledge tantamount. Makes having a solid bet slightly more risky than usual. Anyway to continue with Richard Fahey on a Saturday.

Richard Fahey’s Saturday handicapper’s 6F-10F and Sir Michael Stoute’s 3yo’s were two groups of horses that at the start of the season we identified that we hoped would prove profitable. So where are we as we enter the last two months of the 2016 Flat season?

Fahey’s Saturday handicappers haven’t delivered. Are they now well handicapped? Have they been waiting for the “right” ground? Plenty of these are entered up for this Saturday so time for a catch up. What Fahey has got is a cracking bunch of 2yo fillies and a genuine Group 1 horse in Ribchester. Report on those also.

Stoute has had an excellent season with those 3yo’s and indeed has strength throughout the yard with his trademark improving older horses and some classy 2yo’s. Report on what he has entered this weekend to follow.



27Aug16               3:00        Drifting Spirit NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Eddie Stobart Industrial Sector Handicap

DRIFTING SPIRIT Daughter 0f Clodovil who fetched £38K as a foal, upped to £52 as a yearling. Successful thrice as a 2yo from seven runs and completed her juvenile season 11th of 12 in the G3 Oh So Sharp Stakes but beaten less than 7L. The jury has to be out as to whether she has trained on. In two starts in 2016 she has looked one paced, 10th in a hot C2 Handicap at Newmarket and third in a five runner C3 at Pontefract. Prior to her seasonal debut her trainer told sportinglife.com “In an ideal world, Drifting Spirit would have been out before now this season, but she’s had one or two problems with her sinuses. She’s fine again, but I just have a worry she might be in need of the run as she returns in the Price Bailey EBF Stallions Fillies’ Handicap.” She is now down from OR90 to OR87. She is a good sized scopey filly and if in full health must be interesting. Trip, course, grade are all fine. What will the market say?

27Aug16               3:00        Penwortham NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Eddie Stobart Industrial Sector Handicap

PENWORTHAM Battled to a C5 7F handicap in July on Good to Firm ground off OR74. Up 6lb but an excellent, gutsy, narrow second to York winner Arcanada at Chester in 7F C2 on Good ground. Up another 4lbs then dropped two grades to C4 on good ground at quirky Epsom and despite leading to 2F out he never looked comfortable and he found nothing! Has the handicapper got him on OR84?

27Aug16               3:10        Mr Lupton BEVERLEY (Five Day), totescoop6 Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes (Listed Race)

MR LUPTON His wins in the big Doncaster 2yo sales race and the 3yo 6F Charity Sprint at York are outstanding bits of top drawer form, not too much wrong with his seconds in the Newbury Super Sprint and the Redcar Champion 2yo! Indeed at York Jamie Spencer brought Mr Lupton from another parish to pick up no less a horse than Stewards Cup winner Dancing Star giving her 13lbs! That win saw him move to Group 3 level with an OR111. 5th in the G3 Chipchase on the Tapeta at Newcastle (?) when his high draw did him no favours and then a disappointing run in the G3 Hackwood at Newbury. At Newbury Mr Lupton was alongside eventual winner The Tin Man before Spencer bought Mr Lupton to the stands side and never really found a seam before easing off whilst the Red Sea opened down the middle for the winner!

Great horse who reminds me of Sole Power and I’m convinced he’s talented enough to pick up a Group sprint, even a Group 1, in the next couple of seasons unless sold for a king’s ransom to the Far East a la Peniaphobia, Good Ole Lukey etc.etc.!

Barry McHugh gets the leg up here.

27Aug16               3:35        Masterpaver NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Fly Stobart Air Handicap

MASTERPAVER Has had a cracking season on Turf (112343) rising from OR67 to present career high of OR83 but last two runs were a three-quarter length 4th to Oceane over 14F in a C3 at Ascot and an excellent 2nd in the 12F C2 John Guest at the same Berkshire venue. Spent much of his life on the AW peaking at OR94 so there may still be more to come. Likeable creature. The Newmarket race is a 13F C2 £45K pot, a furlong further than the Hamilton C3 £26K prize. Holds an ambitious Cesarewitch entry. Silvestre de Sousa is an eye-catching jockey booking.

27Aug16               4:10        Mayfair Lady NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Stobart Club Shop Hopeful Stakes (Listed)

MAYFAIR LADY Won her maiden over 5F at Pontefract as a 2yo, then hosed up in a C2 York Nursery making every yard. She repeated the dose on 3yo debut over 6F on the Knavesmire and a mark of OR107 put paid to her handicapping days. Her form at Pattern level is 4566 so she has a bit to prove as she goes in search of Black Type away from York.

27Aug16               4:10        Eastern Impact NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Stobart Club Shop Hopeful Stakes (Listed)

EASTERN IMPACT Reunited with Jack Garritty back at his beloved Newmarket. Eastern Impact’s form over HQ’s 6F is 4121136 and the last two runs have been in the Group 1 July Cup!! He comes out on top on Official Ratings and may have most to fear from two familiar faces. Mayfair Lady, a current stablemate and her two wins at York were impressive and she gets an 8lb pull for being a 3yo filly. Baccarat an ex Musley Bank inmate from where he won the Wokingham at Royal Ascot before being sold to Godolphin.

My notebook says, more than once, “Eastern Impact is a Newmarket 6F specialist, he is simply 10lb better there than anywhere else. Group 3/Listed is about his level. He doesn’t really want Soft in the going.”

#FantasticMrFahey runs four in this £100K C2 7F Handicap.

27Aug16               3:20        Farlow GOODWOOD (Five Day), Goodwood Revival Stakes (Handicap)               

FARLOW Prior to his last run at Newmarket I blogged “He maybe an 8yo but he’ still retains plenty of ability. He runs the 7F at Newmarket very well and he just needs to be close enough in The Dip to make his late surge count. His last visit was most encouraging when 6th beaten less than two lengths. He has top weight here but for a reason and seems to have seasoned handicappers in opposition as opposed to any obvious improvers.”

Now not so sure now that Father Time hasn’t caught up with him. This will be Farlow’s fifth run in seven weeks where he has shown nothing but midfield mediocrity. Getting outpaced at halfway then sort of keeping on. However his mark has tumbled from OR102 to OR96 a pound below his last winning mark of twelve months ago. Indeed one more midfield show and he could be down to a mouth-watering OR95?

27Aug16               3:20        Heaven’s Guest GOODWOOD (Five Day), Goodwood Revival Stakes (Handicap)            

HEAVENS GUEST Yet to shine in three visits to the downland track and the ground is a bit quick but it’s a big pot and worth a shot. Still think a Soft ground Ayr Gold Cup is his best chance. Since July 14th 2014 when Heavens Guest was put up to OR103 he has run twenty three times, sixteen in C2 handicaps, and his mark has always been in the OR103-108 range! Still the 6yo gelding has won close on half a million pounds!

27Aug16               3:20        Withernsea GOODWOOD (Five Day), Goodwood Revival Stakes (Handicap)

WITHERNSEA Surely he will land one of these C2 Saturday pots or is OR96 just too high? He’s a hold up horse, so Mr Spencer is always a bonus. Straight, flat tracks such as Doncaster suit best. 7F is his trip and I always thought he needed some cut in the ground but his run on Good to Firm at Newmarket on the 8th July was excellent, so maybe not. Paul Hanagan rides here and not too worried about Stall 12 of 20. Could see him winning at Ayr.

27Aug16               3:20        Nuno Tristan GOODWOOD (Five Day), Goodwood Revival Stakes (Handicap)

NUNO TRISTAN Prior to his run in the 7F International at Ascot his trainer said on his sportinglife.com blog “Nuno Tristan is in the form of his life right now. I just wonder whether he’s man enough at the moment for a test like this but he couldn’t be in better order heading down there.” He ran a cracking fifth and has since finished third to Hoof It in the 6F Stewards Cup Consolation here at Goodwood and ninth in the C2 6F Great St.Wilfred at Ripon. Still only 7lbs above his winning mark at Redcar and steps back up to 7F with Ebor winning claimer Adam MacNamara taking 5lbs off. Stall 15 is probably a little wider than ideal and the boy will need to be on his mettle.

Prior to his last run I blogged OR94 Along with Growl he has been a useful addition to the #FantasticMrFahey sprinting squad. Both bought astutely for Dr K at last season’s Horses in Training Sales. As in form as any in the yard, winning at Redcar over 7F, fifth in the 7F C2 International at Ascot and a running on third in the Stewards Cup Consolation at Goodwood back at 6F. First look at Ripon off a career high mark is a big ask and I’m not sure Good to Firm ground brings out the best of him, especially over 6F. I expect Tony Hamilton to choose him.” Ground has eased to Good, he’s drawn near the pace and the race could be set up for him!”


#startracking Friday 29th July 12 noon

I thought yesterday was about to be a huge Celebration with fifty yards to go but he hung on for fourth and we had a minor celebration and the day was paid for! As for Fidaawy I am at a loss for words! Fell out of the stalls, didn’t want to settle and then never put into race. Still convinced this is a talented creature but needs a quicker pace to run at and can’t get that with his present handicap mark so does he go straight to Group company or the alternative opinion could be that he is an in bred, pampered screw!!

Today is yet again a really difficult day to find a bet! However when the bookies are going 7/4 the favourite in a 19 runner handicap over a mile at Goodwood you just have to take him on!

Goodwood 2.00 Mount Logan and Kings Fete have both done us favours but this is a trappy seven runner race and I see no value.

Goodwood 2.35 Cymric, Emotionless, Forge and Thikriyaat are all in the tracker so it’s all or nothing and I’ve chosen nothing! If you twisted my arm I would probably have to go for Forge, maybe. Watching Brief.

Goodwood 3.10 OK, Franklin D is drawn 1, Ryan Moore rides, the handicapper says he’s 10lbs well in, won well last time and from an in form yard BUT at 7/4 just has to be taken on! Those with long term memories and readers of 57SimpleSimonSays… may recall I had Room Key on the radar after he finished third to Highland Reel at this meeting as a 2yo in 2014. Last summer here he ran in the G3 Thoroughbred Stakes that saw his Official Rating rise to a peak of OR103. Here he just sneaks into the BetFred Mile handicap as second reserve off just OR90 and Joe Fanning takes the ride. Drawn in stall 2 gives him a chance of a more prominent position than usual.

Two choices, either take 40/1 with Ladbrokes and five places or 50/1 elsewhere for four places, either way he is a one star* each way selection.

The King George 5F sprint, the Nursery and the 7F fillies G3 hold no interest as a punting medium.

Goodwood 5.30 This 3yo 11F handicap should be right up my street but the only runner of any interest is Poets Word, #SuperStoute’s topweight with Ryan Moore in the saddle. Racing Post probably right in saying “Only fourth when well backed latest, but earlier maiden win has worked out really well”. Last race was at Epsom, a course which doesn’t suit everyone, on ground probably softer than ideal. My notes suggest that Good to Firm is ideal as is the extra furlong, he is on an OR88 in a 0-90 handicap and his draw in stall 3 is fine. However I can see no value in a top priced 9/4 on the High Street. Too many improvers such as Al Neksh, Combative and Indulged! Watching Brief.


#FantasticMrFahey runs four at Goodwood and just one at Thirsk, very quiet for a Friday, and with three at Goodwood drawn in double figures, Scofflaw with Jamie Spencer aboard in the 6F nursery would be the only possibility but Mark Johnston has three runners which doesn’t leave much room in the winners enclosure!

#startracking Friday July 8th 12 noon

Sorry it’s a bit late! Todays cards would be perfectly respectable on any Saturday of the season! Tomorrow is Super Saturday which is a bit like having four days of Cheltenham in one afternoon. Two choices go for a long walk and pretend it didn’t happen or go in all guns blazing! Much prefer my betting boots to my hiking boots!!

Due to Fahey having 26 runners, Stoute has three strong fancies and half a dozen from #startracking itself I will start with the bets then hopefully have time for those under the “Watching Brief” banner and the “NotWithMyMoney” brigade.


Going @Ascot today is Good to Firm, Good in places. Going Stick Straight: 8.6, Round: 7.8 on Fri at 08:00

Going @yorkracecourse for today is Good, Good to Firm in places. Going Stick: 7.1

Going @NewmarketRace for Gentleman’s Day today is Good to Firm. Going Stick: 8.4 on Friday at 09:30

7.33 – Going @ChesterRaces is Good, Good to Soft in places. 2mm rain overnight, dry and sunny day expected.

7.36 – Going @MusselburghRace for their Bicentenary Raceday is Good, Good to Soft in places.

#startracking Todays Selections

Newmarket 2.40        BLAIR HOUSE  Son of Pivotal and although Godolphin didn’t race him as a 2yo but he won over 8½F at Nottingham on debut and for his second outing contested a C3 handicap at Musselburgh. Dwelt, ran green, was second beaten less than two lengths and went into everyone’s notebook. Timeform’s Jamie Lynch said “There’s unlikely to be a better-treated runner, and there certainly won’t be a less-exposed one, if Blair House takes up his engagement on Friday. If his debut win was a surprise, at 14/1, the only surprise about his second run was that he didn’t win, but he should have done, asked a lot for one so inexperienced, too much to catch the front runner, but shaping very well again. By Pivotal out of a sister to Poet’s Voice, Blair House is destined for bigger and better things, and this bigger and better field on Friday will only help him show his true colours all the more.”

Two star** win @ 7/2 with BH.

Newmarket 3.10        ARISTOCRATIC Trained by the in-form Sir Michael Stoute this homebred daughter of Exceed and Excel out of a Pivotal mare makes her seasonal reappearance in a C5 7F maiden on the sand at Chelmsford. Her form in two C4 7F Newmarket maidens last season is strong. On debut she was third to Promising Run doing best of those racing for the first time. Sent off at 7/1 she was keen early and although towards the rear she had no cover but kept on well from two furlongs out to get a place under hands and heels riding. On her second visit to HQ she was made 5/4F and despite leading early she was headed after 1F and travelled well enough, she came to challenge going into The Dip but couldn’t match the pace of First Victory and Wholesome and again had to settle for third, the three of them pulling six lengths clear of the fourth. The winner has a host of G1 entries and a couple behind have already won giving the form depth.

This season she was third to War Story on the sand at Chelmsford taking on the boys and then second to the progressive Persuasive over a mile at Goodwood and here she drops a furlong, is in fillies own handicap company and gets weight from all her rivals. Don’t worry about Joe Fanning riding, Ryan Moore can’t do 8st 2lbs!!

Two star** win @ 11/2 with WH.

York 4.00                    MAYFAIR LADY Last June on her second run over 5F at Haydock she was beaten just a neck by Mr Lupton! She received 10lb, five for being a filly and five as SammyJo Bell’s claim. Last August at York’s Ebor meeting she hosed up by five lengths off OR87 under Jack Garrity in the C2 6F nursery. Last Friday (June 10th) on her return to York she once again made every yard in a C2 6F handicap off OR100 with young Adam MacNamara, taking seven pounds off, in the saddle. Helen Steels home bred daughter of Holy Roman Emperor is quick, loves York, 6F is ideal and surely wants some black type? I wrote a fortnight ago “On Friday 10th July at York at 4:00pm there is the 888sport Summer Stakes, Group 3 for 3yo+ fillies and mares over 6 furlongs. Would seem an ideal next race!” And there she is!! Three star*** win @ 10/3 with PP.

Ascot 4.10                   PELOPONNESE Pre season notes said “Niarchos homebred colt by Montjeu who will probably want 12F+ in time. Three runs as a 2yo in C4/5 maidens showing limited promise but starts off life handicapping off just OR67. 2nd 6/1 Kept on fine and is a C5 12F handicap winner waiting to happen. Further the better? Put up 3lbs but this daughter of Montjeu is still on a tasty OR70!!”  We put her in the #startracker for three runs and she won her next two, Pontefract 10F C5 by five lengths and C3 12F at Goodwood by five lengths again! She has gone up to OR90 but she’s improving, stays, goes on any ground, Uncle Ted rides and we will keep the faith!

Two star** win@ 11/4 general.

Ascot 4.40                   VALLEY OF FIRE Lightly raced, 4yo gelded son of Firebreak. Won his 2yo maiden at York over 6F and was 3rd in the big Sales race at the Ebor meeting. Finished his 2yo campaign off with a last of eight in the G3 Tattersalls Somerville Stakes but sent off 4/1 third favourite. Only two runs as a 3yo, both over 6F and both at Newmarket in July 2015. Reappeared as a 4yo when unsighted in the Victoria Cup off OR 96 at Ascot a fortnight ago. Prior to that race trainer William Haggas had told the RP his horses “.. are a bit short of work and will come on for the run.” Currently has an OR93 and C2/3, 6/7F probably York very much on the agenda. Failed to see the 7F out last time at York so strange he steps up to a mile here at Chester. I am going to wait until he is down to OR90 in a C3 over 7F. They then stepped him down to 6F at Epsom in rain softened ground and no show 10th                 16/1. Then he went to York over 7F in a C3 handicap off OR86 and he ran a solid second at 16/1. Up just 2lbs to OR88 and surely a winner wait to happen. C3 0-95 at Ascot on ground Good to Firm, Good in places, Pat Cosgrave rides, that’ll do me!

Two star** each way selection @ 10/1 with Ladbrokes.

Newmarket 4.45        MIDHMAAR I wasn’t surprised to see Midhmaar at Royal Ascot but I didn’t expect it to be this race! As my pre season notes suggested “Won once from six starts as a 2yo but now as a gelded 3yo he could be a handicapping money spinner. He was green on debut, ground was Soft on his second run and on his third run in a maiden on the AW at Lingfield ran into two OR90+ horses! He comfortably made all in a C3 8F nursery on Good to Firm at Salisbury. Stepped up to C2 8F at Doncaster, he was too keen early and wouldn’t settle but was still only beaten 1¼L in fifth. On his final run in a C4 nursery over Ripon’s 8F round a bend he was last away in a field of 13, intended or not, but he settled, travelled and stormed up the straight, only to be blocked twice and still got to second beaten only by the progressive Move Up. Ideal conditions for this son of Iffraaj would be 8F on Good to Firm with some pace on and the chance of cover. His current rating is 84 and very workable. An early season win and he could be an Ascot Britannia candidate.” As a son of Iffraaj this 12F was going to really stretch his stamina especially as the ground was Soft. In the circumstances he ran really well, slowly away, he lobbed along on the rail in the rear of midfield and as the field swung for home he had no racing room when he needed it and although in with a squeak he didn’t see the trip out. The upside is that he remains on the attractive handicap mark of OR90 and a C3 0-90 10F, even a stiff 10F, on good ground or better should have him in the winners enclosure. His previous runs at Sandown, second to Listed winner Czabo and Primitivo, winner of that race at Ascot, suggest the Esher course suits him well. There is a suitable race at Sandown on the Friday before the Eclipse, July 1st.

Can’t let him go unbacked even if it is at Newmarket, just take a tug Mr Hanagan, fast and late please!

Two stars** each way @ 12/1 general.

Ascot 5.15                   WAR STORY Came to my attention when giving a hiding to a #SuperStoute filly, Aristocratic, I fancied at Chelmsford. OR85 could seriously underestimate his talent. Ears prick up when Cumani is asking about a handicap mark! Luca Cumani Website 26th April “We have liked War Story for a while and it will be interesting to see what handicap mark he is given.”

Alan Thomson Eyecatchers ATR WAR STORY (Newmarket, 21 May) Brought some useful all-weather form into this competitive one-mile handicap and looked perfectly at home on turf. Racing keenly and wide, War Story struck the front coming out of the Dip but faded quite tamely into sixth place behind well-backed Chelsea Lad. It would come as no surprise to see Luca Cumani dropping his three-year-old back in trip, although the lack of cover probably contributed to his capitulation.”

OR85 First run on turf at Newmarket over 8F on Good to Firm ground over a mile C3 saw him lead in The Dip but not get home. 6th 4/1 OR85 Next time out same grade at Sandown over a furlong shorter, despite showing signs of greenness, he finished strongly and was beaten just a head and half a length and goes up a pound . OR85 86 His astute trainer will place him shrewdly and this could win a big race at nice price before the season ends.

Two star** win @ 3/1 general.

Chester 9.20               ENGLISH SUMMER This is an OnlyIf.. horse. Only If… C3 or less, Chester/Epsom 12F. OR92 and probably needs to come down 7lbs. MacNamara’s claim could help?” Here he is in a 12F C3 off OR89 with MacNamara riding and claiming 5lbs and even the draw is favourable, 4 out of 9! Here we go!

Four star**** win @ 5/1 Coral and Betfred


Keep an eye on these, Intiwin York 3.30, Masterpaver Ascot 3.35, Drifting Spirit Newm 3.10, Carnageo Chester 7.50, Lathom York 2.55 plus all the field 2.30 Ascot.


Apologies to sportinglife.co but here is their Fahey article courtesy of “Cut and Paste”.

It’s a busy day, not just at the races but at the Tattersalls Sales where we have sold and bought a few. That means I’m down at Newmarket for the last couple of days of the July Festival and I’ll obviously be hoping to get into the winner’s enclosure, although every race at the meeting is always red-hot.In an ideal world, Drifting Spirit would have been out before now this season, but she’s had one or two problems with her sinuses. She’s fine again, but I just have a worry she might be in need of the run as she returns in the Price Bailey EBF Stallions Fillies’ Handicap.


Withernsea missed the cut for the Bunbury Cup, so runs in the consolation event, the Pegasus Group Town & Country Planning Handicap. Obviously, he’d probably be a little happier with some juice in the ground, but he’s in great form and I still believe that he’s going to win one of these nice prizes again soon.

The races are competitive at Newmarket, they aren’t much less so at York. I’ve two in the opening maiden and I’d be surprised if Yorkshire Bounty was good enough to win a race like this. Rubiesnpearls ran a really nice race first time out at this track and if she has come on for that, as I think she has done, she should run well. That said, there look to be one or two possible hotpots in the final field so it won’t be easy.

Vona is going to find the Garbutt + Elliott Nursery a lot easier than the Queen Mary, in which she was well beaten last time. She just couldn’t lay up there. She isn’t the biggest and carrying top-weight is a question for her, but having won the Marygate already this season, it’s all just a bonus now.

Rosebride did the job well at Ripon last time and hopefully she’s got a chance off her mark here. She probably needs to have come on again, but she seems to be doing everything nicely.

I’ve three in the five-furlong handicap, but I couldn’t be anything more than hopeful. I keep saying Arctic Feeling is badly-handicapped but he wins a couple every year. Personally, I think he needs to come down a little more in the weights. Celebration is only three but he is as tough as old boots and still going the right way, hopefully. He won in cheekpieces last time, so we’ve kept them on. The ground doesn’t seem to be an issue with him.

Paddy Power hasn’t quite delivered on what we might have expected on his homework, so we’re trying him in cheekpieces too to see if they can squeeze out a little bit of improvement.

I’ve also got three runners in the Raylor’s – 70 Years In York Handicap and I couldn’t split them, although I’d be prepared to forgive Normandy Knight‘s last run and I could see him running well. The same owners run Intiwin. He’s been struggling a bit with the handicapper and we’re trying him at a longer trip. Siren’s Cove was busy on the all-weather at the end of last year, but it didn’t quite work out, and she’s coming back from a break.

I expected Mayfair Lady to run well on her reappearance, but I perhaps didn’t quite expect her to win, so that was encouraging. We don’t have many options now with her, as she’s rated 107, so we have to try her in Group Three company in the 188Bet Summer Stakes. The only previous time she ran in a Group race at Salisbury, she was well beaten, but the ground was very soft that day. I don’t think she will be disgraced at all here.

Back To Bond disappointed last time, but he seems to run his best races at York, so we’re back to try again in the Acturis Apprentice Handicap. It looks tough, but hopefully he’ll have a squeak.

Down at Ascot, Masterpaver was a little bit unlucky last time in the Cumberland Plate and I think he’s capable of a big run in the Close Brothers Property Finance Handicap, although there are some decent horses in opposition. He’s up another 1lb in the handicap, but he should run well.

Young John represents the same owners and won nicely at Windsor last time, but I suspect he would prefer slower ground than he’s going to get in the Long Harbour Handicap. My other runner there is Chiswick Bey, who showed a bit more last time having been a shade disappointing earlier in the season. He needs to find even more now.

I’ve got another batch of runners going to Chester in the evening. As ever, Marwan Koukash is keen to see his horses running there and hopefully we might be able to give him a winner. Gabrial The Tiger is one I’d pick out as he’s been in great form recently, but my heart sunk a bit when I saw he was drawn in stall 10 in the Russian Standard Handicap. Modernism is probably the most obvious one of my three in the closing mile-and-a-half race. The handicapper has him where he wants him, but he’s a solid horse in good form and hopefully it’s his turn to get his head in front again.

#startracking Thursday July 7th 12noon

#Newmarket Thursday

Newmarket 2:10       Bahrain Trophy (Group 3) 13F 3yo’s

Loads of guesswork here, mainly regarding the distance of 13F. Add to that the Good to Firm (Good in places) ground and you pays your money and takes your chance! Harbour Law each way at about 9/1 seems value. Will stay, has won on the ground and lesser connections put some value in the price.

Newmarket 2:40        Arqana July Stakes (Group 2) 6F 2yo Colts

It’s all about the ascot 2yo form! Mehmas second in the 6F G2 Coventry to Caravaggio, Ardad won the 5F Listed Windsor Castle, Silver Line was a close third in the 5F G2 Norfolk. Add to that some impressive maiden winners and this is the hottest 2yo heat of the season so far. I liked Silver Line’s finishing effort in the Norfolk, form that has been franked, and no complaints with the price, around 13/2

Newmarket 3.15      Princess of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes (Group 2) 12F

Trappy contest? Don’t think The Grey Gatsby wants the extra 2F, Exosphere seems more hype than substance, can’t have the 3yo Muntazah, Battersea and Elite Army are handicappers/Listed level not G2 which leaves me last year’s first and second, Big Orange and Second Step. No bet just put both in the placepot.

Newmarket 3.45       Betfred Mobile Heritage Handicap  C2 (0-105) 6F 3yo

I’ll say it one more time, 3yo handicap sprinting is the hottest division in racing! Twenty go to post and my eye is drawn to two. Dhahmaan (Drawn 16) from an out of form Botti yard who I think will enjoy the quicker ground and a drop to handicap company. Venturous (Drawn 1) represents a resurgent Godolphin and 6F at Newmarket on better ground are just what this son of Ravens Pass wants.

Newmarket 4.20      British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Div I)  C4 2yo Fillies 6F

Absolutely no idea! Mainly unraced 2yo fillies. Early money for Fanshawe’s Magical Dreamer. The Cheveley Park/Stoute filly, Believable, by Acclamation is bred to be quick. Two for the placepot!

Newmarket 4.20      British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Div II)  C4 2yo Fillies 6F

Take Two. Absolutely no idea! Mainly unraced 2yo fillies. Had a tweet this morning saying that “Bouqet de Flores is the best 2yo in C Appleby’s barn”. Even money shot for Godolphin. Keep a close eye on jockey James Macdonald who is in Buick’s boots for the next month.

Newmarket 5.30      Plusvital Sir Henry Cecil Stakes (formerly Stubbs Stakes) (Listed Race) C1 Listed 8F

Cracking race this! Half the field are buzzing around my radar. The Gosden pair, Cymric and especially Crazy Horse, Lumiere was a leading fancy and flop in the 1000 Guineas, the Coolmore colt General McArthur, Stoute/Hamdan Al Maktoum prospect Estidraak etc.etc. Notebook frenzy methinks!

Newmarket 6.05       Mercedes Benz Handicap C3 (0-90) 5F

A totally unnecessary eighth race.  Put the kettle on and get ready for Newbury/Epsom tonight!


#startracking Wednesday July 6th 5.30pm

Right here we go with three days of brilliant days of racing from HQ with Ascot and York coming to the party on Friday and Super Saturday!  Looks like we could be on Good to Firm ground, everywhere except Chester, for the first weekend since Noah packed up! Indeed Newmarket and Ascot are watering and York is irrigating!

So let’s look at Thursday.


Doncaster  2:50          REINSTORM  Patrick Miles – Meehan Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes 

A home bred son of Canford Cliffs for the Steels who also raced the dam, Bridle Belle, trained by #FantasticMrFahey and she was a solid middle distance OR85 handicapper.

No show when last of eight to Frankuus in a hot C4 6F maiden at Haydock. Watching Brief.

Doncaster  2:50          DOUBLE TOUCH Patrick Miles – Meehan Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes 

A chestnut colt by Dutch Art out of a Dr Fong mare that cost Nicholas Wrigley & Kevin Hart £55K as a yearling having been an £80K foal! We love these touches! Watching Brief.

Carlisle  3:00               FLOWING CLARETS Stallions Breeding Winners EBF Fillies’ Handicap 

“Made her seasonal reappearance in a C4 handicap at Ripon on Good to Soft ground. Drawn on inside, missed break by two lengths, still two lengths off the back at halfway, had to go five wide and flew home. Still green as grass but this daughter of Pastoral Pursuits is quick. 6F C4/C5 and has to win off OR75!” Went up to OR78 and two poor runs at Ripon, Now down to OR77, she just needs one smooth late run.

Well here it’s C4 0-80 Fillies only on Soft ground (?) off OR78, Tony Hamilton rides and only six runners. Why not?

One star* win @ 7/1 with Ladbrokes.

Carlisle  4:40               MELESINA ApolloBet Bet On Lotteries Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Plus 10 Race) 

Owned by Nick Bradley Racing. He is half of the team that run Middleham Park Racing. £22K daughter of Dark Angel who ran an OK debut. Has since been to Chester, Naas and Royal Ascot for C3, Listed and Group 3 contests. Back to a winnable level but still a Watching Brief.

Epsom  7:45                BAYAN KASIRGA Towergate Insuring The Win Ladies’ Derby Handicap (Lady Amateur’s) 

Probably a Grade too high but otherwise ticks most boxes. However lady amateurs over the Epsom Derby course just doesn’t appeal as a betting medium. Watching Brief.


Newmarket  2:10       PLATITUDE  Bahrain Trophy (Group 3) 

Won on debut in a C5 7f maiden at Doncaster as a 2yo and soundly beaten in two Listed races. OR of just 97 and beaten into 5th on the AW in a C2 conditions race when last seen in September. Hardly the form to win the Listed Dee Stakes? So interesting that Stoute puts in this son of Dansili, who should enjoy the step up to 10F. 4th   16/1 Has now been gelded. Pushed early up to be third. Probably too much too soon as had every chance at the top of Chester’s home straight. Still kept on well and beaten about three lengths in a race where “they were breaking the fractions throughout”. OR97 99 A bit harsh to go up 2lbs and it will be interesting to see where he is entered next. Royal Ascot handicap? 2nd             12/1 An excellent run in the C2 12F King George handicap beaten only by Primitivo. Even more impressive considering he was drawn widest of all in stall 18.

Steps up another furlong and into Group company for the first time. Dettori takes over from Moore, who rides for Coolmore, on Abdullah’s homebred colt. Handicapper suggests Platitude has four pounds to find but why not? The horse stays, #SuperStoute is fabulous at eking improvement. One star* win @ 6/1 with PP.

Newmarket  3:15       EXOSPHERE  Princess of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes (Group 2) 

A typical #SuperStoute improver. Burnt my fingers at Royal Ascot when supposedly Ryan Moore “chose” incorrectly and stablemate Dartmouth won for HM the Queen! Too many question marks in this race, ground, trip, class etc! So Watching Brief.

Newmarket  4:20       BELIEVABLE  British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Div I) 

Cheveley Park home bred 2yo filly by Acclamation out of OR99 rated mare. Watching Brief.

 Newmarket  6.05      ESTIDRAAK  Plusvital Sir Henry Cecil Stakes (formerly Stubbs Stakes) (Listed Race) 

£130K son of Iftiraaj who had two runs on the AW last Autumn finishing second on debut and then winning a C4 7F maiden at Kempton by seven lengths! Handicapper has given him a mark of OR93 and the Shadwell team have chosen to put him straight into Listed company over a mile. Could be anything, Watching Brief.

Carlisle  3:35               FIDAAWY  Breeders Backing Racing EBF Maiden Stakes 

“I am gobsmacked to see this Shadwell home bred son of New Approach has been gelded! Mind you having watched the video of his debut again perhaps I can see why! Awkward out of the stalls, took ages to settle but from three furlongs out he was mighty impressive before coming home under hands and heels in the last hundred yards. Ted Durcan goes to Doncaster to ride him tonight and I’d expecting one of two runs. Either, real quality and he hacks up, in what is a warm maiden, or he shows immaturity and attitude and does all his best work late on.”

Sadly it was the latter! 3rd             3/1 Racing Post Analysis “Dwelt and behind, headway 2f out, ridden over 1f out, stayed on well final furlong, nearest finish (op 11/2)” and to rub salt in the wound #SuperStoute won it with the 25/1 second string. This race, C5 8F on Soft (?), should be a penalty kick for Daniel Tudhope and no surprise he has been put in at 4/6. Very close Watching Brief!

Doncaster  3:55          VOLITION PPM Barnsley Fillies’ Handicap  C4 (0-85) 8F Round

Notes say “£300K daughter of Dark Angel who showed nothing at Chelmsford last August on her only 2yo start. First time up this season she was an eye catching second at Newmarket in a C5 7F Fillies maiden to Godolphin’s Clear Water, albeit the form was on great shakes. Keen early, got cover, travelled well into the race among horses, kept on strongly under a hands and heels ride. 2nd  9/1 No doubt will go in search of Black Type.

Steps up one furlong to a mile and up one grade to C4 but remains against her own sex here at Newbury. These fillies can improve rapidly but the opposition here are nothing special, indeed the very green second favourite was almost 3l behind Volition at Newmarket. Steps up one furlong to a mile and up one grade to C4 but remains against her own sex here at Newbury. These fillies can improve rapidly but the opposition here are nothing special, indeed the very green second favourite was almost 3l behind Volition at Newmarket. 3rd                 2/1

Ted Durcan heads north to ride before his two days at Ascot. The 5/1 with Coral attracts a one star* win wager.


Newmarket 3.45        VENTUROUS

Notes “Fifth on debut in a C4 7F maiden at Newmarket won by the high class Emotionless, he had every chance at the furlong pole just not getting home. Three weeks later he made a winning reappearance back at HQ over a furlong less. Awkward away he travelled strongly in midfield and came to the front two furlongs out and quickened all the way to the line in impressive manner. Ten days later he ran again at 6F at Doncaster up two grades in a C2 conditions race and he was held up and took the trail, took time to organise himself but he was quick over the last two furlongs to win by ½L and the same. For his fourth race in seven weeks (!?) he was stepped up to the G1 6F Middle Park stakes and basically not a lot went right. He reared at the start missing the break, wouldn’t settle, stormed down The Dip but was beaten coming out of it! This deep chested chestnut son of Ravens Pass looks every inch a sprinter. For 3yo’s that is the hardest division and the Godolphin/Appleby crew aren’t on fire, yet, but he starts off in a C2 handicap at Newmarket off OR97. If anywhere near his best he is an OR100+ horse. 3rd            4/1 Travelled strongly and never got a clean break as stablemate Yatwee carried him right. OK.”

Beaten over C&D and this mark, OR97, but no surprise if he went close here with Godolphin getting their act together. However he is a Watching Brief.

#startracking Thursday June 2nd 7pm

Can’t believe it is Oaks/Derby time already. Hate the course but some quality animals and some decent handicaps. I will post this now and update at 12noon tomorrow with the rest.

The going at Epsom is now good to soft, soft in places (from soft, good to soft in places) following a dry and breezy day. Racing Post ‏@RacingPost 4.30pm Thursday


Doncaster 7.40                       FREE CODE       Went in #startracker after his seasonal debut at Newmarkets Craven meeting, FREE CODE didn’t get the clearest runs and could be a player in a C2 7F handicap on a flat track.” OR92 90 2lbs drop might open some possibilities?

His last victory was at Doncaster over 7F on Good to Firm with Graham Gibbons riding in June of last year! He is just a 1lb higher here so welcome to Groundhog Day? Has to be a player. Two stars** each way @ 10/1 with Ladbrokes.


Epsom 3.45                             SPRING OFFENSIVE A likeable horse who has already won twice this season and his mark has gone up seven pounds. OR83 87 88 90 Well drawn in stall 4 but to win would take a career best but he is improving. However a couple of notes I’ve written bother me. “He has run well at flat tracks such as Redcar and especially Musselburgh where the longer straights help him organise his powerful finish. C3 8F with some guaranteed pace would be ideal but he could be competitive up in grade and maybe even 9/10F. Good ground is ideal.” Epsom isn’t the best place to “get organised” and the ground may be a bit soft for him. Watching Brief

Epsom 3.45                             MISS VAN GOGH Another having a good season. Won at Nottingham but didn’t see out the 10F last time. Steps back to 8 ½ F and has a few things going for her. A decent draw in stall 3, Paul Hanagan in the saddle who is three from three on her and she won’t mind the recent rain. Well worth two stars** each way @ 11/1 with PP.

Catterick 4.45                         LUIS VAZ DE TORRES Low grade sprinter who probably needs the AW or C5 or both to get back in the winners enclosure! Watching Brief.


Epsom 5.50                             STAMP HILL I really fancy this horse who ran a cracker at Goodwood last time from a dreadful draw. Notes say “Acquired in Ireland from Johnny Murtagh/Andrew Tinkler in the middle of last season and he runs in the colours of the “Merchants and Missionaries”. A new syndicate to me but they have some very nice horses and I am currently trying to find out who exactly are the Merchants and Missionaries? Since joining Fahey Stamp Hill was second in a C4 maiden at Thirsk , then got up in the shadow of the post in a 6F C4 maiden on soft ground at Chester. This gelded son of Zoffany should pay his way in 6/7F handicaps. C2 7F 3yo should be fine.” Won’t mind Soft in the going and better drawn here, 5 out of 9, I make him a three star*** NAP win selection @ 6/1 general and hope George Chaloner can get the decent winner he deserves.

Catterick 3.35                         INVERMERE

Doncaster 7.10                      YA JAMMEEL

Doncaster 8.40                       BAHAMIAN SUNSHINE


Catterick 1.50                         QUEEN KINDLY


Epsom 2.35                             DARSHINI

#SuperStoute 3yo

Goodwood 8.50                     DELVE

Doncaster 6.10                       HAMMER GUN

Doncaster 7.10                      EL HAYEM

Doncaster 7.10                      FIDAAWY Most interesting horse of the day! Two star** win @ 4/1 general. Tell you why tomorrow or watch his only race last year at Newmarket (Jockey Club videos) when backed off the boards!

#startracking Saturday May 28th 11.00am

Another day, another dollar! Hopefully #FantasticMrFahey can be just that although William Hill seem quite keen to take him on especially with the Dr. K horses at Chester!

Saturdays bets – Summary (17 stars)

Haydock 2.00             GERRY THE GLOVER knocking two star** each way selection @ 12/1 general.

Haydock 3.10             HOME OF THE BRAVE Two star** win @ 5/2 general.

Haydock 4.20             DANCING YEARS Ticks plenty of boxes and @ 10/1 with Betfred she is a one star* win

Chester 2.50               GABRIALS KAKA Can’t let him go unbacked, he’s a one star* win @ 13/2 with WH.

Chester 3.25               GABRIALS STAR At 10/1 with WH he is worth a one star* each way wager with WH.

Chester 4.35               ENGAGE She is a two star** win selection @ 5/2 with Ladbrokes and Betfred.

Haydock 4.20             DOLLAR REWARD at 9/1 with Coral I am willing to make him a one star* win selection.

Catterick 5.15                         SPIRIT OF ZEB 8/1 with PP is big enough to make him a one star* win selection.

Catterick 5.45                         HYLAND HEATHER she is a three star*** win selection @ 5/4 general.




These are Saturday’s recommended #startracking investments and why


Haydock 2.00                         GERRY THE GLOVER Has form over course and distance, in this grade, on ground on the soft side of good, Atzeni is a plus and I think he is a knocking two star** each way selection @ 12/1 general.


Haydock 3.10                         HOME OF THE BRAVE Ideal trip on Good ground although this genuine trier might not be a G1 horse he is fine at this level, G3, and trainer Hugo Palmer can take a break from turning water into wine and HotB can be part of another good Saturday for the “biscuit” man!

Two star** win @ 5/2 general.


Chester 4.35                           ENGAGE Ted Durcan goes to the Rodeye to partner this daughter of Pour Moi. Good ground will be fine as will be the step up to 12f. The one drawback I have had with Engage is that although athletic she lacks a little size, which around Chester could be a real plus.

She is a two star** win selection @ 5/2 with Ladbrokes and Betfred.

Haydock 4.20                         DOLLAR REWARD 6F is on the short side for a son of Shamardal? Let’s focus on the positives, this is Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore combining in a C4 handicap on a Saturday and at 9/1 with Coral I am willing to make him a one star* win selection.


Chester 2.50                           GABRIALS KAKA Ridiculously well handicapped if he could recapture any of his form of two seasons ago when he won the Newbury Spring Cup, but that is a big if! He is on a losing run of 20 but did show signs of a revival when a staying on 3rd in the Irish Lincoln on first outing this year. If he dropped down to a C3, at anywhere but Chester, he must go close. Not one to go overboard about.

Then at Chelmsford The six year old has never run on the sand before and I’m not sure his hold up style of running is going to be suited by Stall 1. 5/1 is too short, he’s a double figure horse if there ever was one! Watching Brief. Just typical of the old rogue to hack up. Paul Hanagan said “He travelled round for fun, coming through seemed to spur him on.” Case for saying even with a 7lb penalty, which should get him back in the big C2’s, he is still well in.

But at Haydock,he hacked up on the sand last Saturday and he is up 4lbs and out a week later. On past form he is still well in and Paul Hanagan said he picked up amongst horses. With confidence restored let’s hope Tom Queally (??) can persuade him to repeat the dose for the good Dr. K. 12th ! The first three home came from the back in a race that got very messy about 2F from home. Kaka spent much of the race in the box seat but Queally was caught out when the leader came back in his lap. He and a series of others were hampered and the chance was gone. Then when he went to Chester He had hacked up at Chelmsford on the AW BUT in my Master Notes I have written “If he dropped down to a C3, at anywhere but Chester, he must go close. Not one to go overboard about.” Since beating two other Gabrial’s on debut, Kakas form at the Roudee is 55456883! Has to be opposed. Watching Brief. So of course to confound me he was 2nd and 4/1Fav Another solid run, just couldn’t get to a front running Hillbilly Boy. OR9091. Remains competitive.

He is well drawn in stall 6 of 11 has course specialist Franny Norton in the saddle and is one of the few suited by a mile. I can’t let him go unbacked, he is a one star* win selection @ 13/2 with WH.

Chester 3.25                           GABRIALS STAR OR92 90 I think he has plenty going for him here. Mainly he’s down in grade to C3, he has run well at this idiosyncratic course before, he is drawn well in stall 3, the trip and ground are fine and my only two niggles are Martin Harley riding and whether GS is a professional bridesmaid. At 10/1 with WH he is worth a one star* each way wager with WH.

Catterick 5.15                                     SPIRIT OF ZEB Probably better on the AW but he is only 1lb higher than his last winning mark on turf and that was also in C5 that he drops into here. Ground is fine and Adam McNamara’s 7lb claim brings him into play. If the lad can get any sort of position off into and out of the tight downhill bend he could have a squeak. 8/1 with PP is big enough to make him a one star* win selection.


Catterick 5.45                                     HYLAND HEATHER Cost leading Musley Bank patron Mrs Helen Steel 90K euros as a yearling and although a five race maiden beginning her 3yo campaign showed enough last season to suggest she shouldn’t be long out of the winners enclosure. In her early races she had an issue coming out of the stalls straight but when she did on her final race she was short of room when coming to challenge in a C3 6F Soft ground nursery at York and had to settle for second. Similar conditions would be fine and she may even get a bit further.

Todays conditions are fine and #FantasticMrFahey thinks “It looks a good opening for her.” Always a risk that 3yo fillies might not have trained on but the opposition is mainly two debutantes and HH can put her experience to good use and she is a three star*** win selection @ 5/4 general.

Haydock 4.20                         DANCING YEARS She improved throughout her 2yo season and she is swift being by Iffraaj and will be OK on the ground. Not often you see Jimmy Fortune on one for Richard Fahey.

Nottingham 7.55              DANCING YEARS              1st           4/1 I was impressed. A point and go sprinter who I think may have more to come, especially against her own sex. Put it to bed nicely a furlong out and wouldn’t worry about a step up to 6F.

Ticks plenty of boxes and @ 10/1 with Betfred she is a one star* win selection.


The following horses are all a Watching Brief.


Chester 2.50                           RENE MATHIS Another that needs respite from the handicapper and being dropped a pound OR103 102 is of little use! In six visits to Chester he has been fourth four times, so he acts on the course, he’s drawn well in stall 4 but a mile and that handicap mark are enough to put me off.

Chester 2.50                           VALLEY OF FIRE OR91 Ran two crackers over 6F at York as a 2yo, winning a maiden and finishing 3rd in the big sales race. Ran just the twice as a 3yo struggling this season and was OK on debut as a 4yo when 4th to Teruntum Star but failed to see the 7F out last time at York so strange he steps up to a mile here at Chester. The good news is he is ridden by SDS the bad news is he is drawn 10 of 12! I am going to wait until he is down to OR90 in a C3 over 7F. Watching Brief today

Chester 4.00                           BILLY SLATER Very lightly raced 4yo owned by Dr. K that #FantasticMrFahey tells us “has had a few problems over the years and isn’t a good work horse at home so it’s hard to gauge where we are with him ahead of the Stellar Group Maiden Stakes. It’s a watching brief at this stage.” Personally at the start of last season I thought “A ?-80 8F 3yo handicap with a bit of cut in the ground would seem to fit the bill. SimpleSimonSays…Fahey 3yo’s April 16th 2015”. So today the trip, ground and probably the course are fine but 10st in a maiden, No. I have to agree with the boss, Watching Brief.

Catterick 4.40                         BEARDWOOD Stop Press – he is now trained by Brian Ellison!!

Started last season off well but didn’t go on when upped to 7F albeit in better races. Drawn well in 3 of 12 has the valuable assistance of 3lb claimer Sammy Jo Bell and of the two Fahey horses at the head of the market I prefer this one and make him a two star** win selection @ 9/2 general.

First time up this season at Pontefract   6th          9/4 Fav What a nightmare! Put up at 9/2, having been as big as 6/1, was halved in price on course and he completely missed the break and was then slow to gather race pace. Worked his way into midfield on the rail, then had the door slammed and that was race over. No Stewards. Ground may not have helped. However on his second run a fortnight ago he was a never nearer third to Explain in this class over this trip. The issue today is what does Ben Curtis do from stall 12 of 15? When he last ran over course and distance he was fourth from stall 13 so there is hope. There is money for him this morning, 9/1 to 6/1, but I think he will get stronger opportunities than this, I’ll pass.



Haydock 3.45                         TANEEN Just doesn’t have the form in the book to be competitive G2 3yo 6F sprint, indeed the handicapper thinks he has 26lb to find with Gifted Master. That makes the choice of race by Roger Varian and the H-a-M team curious indeed and Taneen is a horse I will have a very close eye on.

Haydock 4.55                         CLAYTON HALL Stop Press – he is now trained by Brian Ellison!! David Armstrong’s gelded son of Lilbourne Lad having had his three runs goes handicapping off OR73. Two on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton and a “dwelt, kept on” fourth at Beverley. Trip should be fine, no idea how good he is? If and when he learns to settle, with experience he could be OK. OR73 72



Salisbury 8.20                         THIRD ROCK £85K yearling by Japanese sire Hat Trick was withdrawn from last Autumn’s H-I-T sales. Had three runs as a 2yo over 6, 7 and 7 furlongs showing nothing but greenness and returned 25/1 on all three occasions. Has been gelded and breeding suggests he wants 10F. Time for #SuperStoute to wave his magic wand. OR68 suggests handicaps to me.



Catterick 4.40                         CANYARI Turn isn’t far away with Doncaster the likely venue. OR86 85 Possibilities of C3? Now down to last winning mark. Just don’t think Cattericks sharp 7F out of stall 1 will play to his strengths. George Chaloner will really need to have his wits about him to make the frame.



Haydock 3.45                         DONJUAN TRIUMPHANT DJ was a fantastic 2yo who improved stones in the autumn but the vibes coming out of Musley Bank have not been positive. “He didn’t do very well over the winter and has only just started to pick up now. He’s ready for a run but it’s a watching brief at the moment with him. Any rain would help.” It was Good to firm today, 3yo sprinting is THE toughest division, I like #FantasticMrFahey will have my fingers crossed but it is a Watching Brief.

Chester 2.15                           GIDDY She’s a big girl and she’s quick and a flat 6F with a bit of room to manoeuvre is going to be right up her street. If she can build on her excellent reappearance at Ripon when she was a rapidly closing second on a course that unbalanced her she has every chance. Taken out of Haydock yesterday because of Good to Firm ground she runs against her own sex here. It is that “bit of room to manoeuvre” that bothers me, something that is normally at a premium around Chester. I don’t doubt she can win a race of this nature but Chester, I’m not sure. I’ll pass, Watching Brief.

Chester 4.35                           MONACO ROSEMarwan was keen to run” is #FantasticMrFahey talk for, don’t blame me when it’s beaten!



Beverley 4.10                         COSMIC HALO She has done me some real favours in the past especially at York with Paul Hanagan on board but is on a losing run of seventeen going back to September 2014! No longer a betting medium unless its 10F/York/Hanagan!

Catterick 3.30                         ENERGIA FLAVIO Although he continues to slide down the handicap he doesn’t have a preferred trip and he has to be Only If… Wolverhampton C4, probably 8½F and even then only to small stakes!

Catterick 4.40                         OUR BOY JACK Will win this season but probably not here. Thirsk/Ayr with some serious cut in the ground.

Catterick 4.40                         KHELMAN An “Only if…” horse. Only if .. 6F, C4, OR80 or less. So despite Adam McNamara taking off 7lb and Khelman is drawn 1 it is very much a Watching Brief.

Khelman                              1st           11/2 Well I got this one wrong. They backed Khelman from 7/1 to 11/2 and he got a seam a furlong out and he burst through in a messy race where the third was disqualified. OR8387. I will stick with Only if .. 6F, C4, OR80 or less.

Catterick 5.15                                     GABRIAL THE TIGER Has to be an OnlyIf… horse. He needs to get down to OR70, he needs a sharp 7F and double your stakes if it is Musselburgh!

 Haydock 2.00                        HOME CUMMINS Currently OR89. Handicapper needs to relent from OR89 and she goes on the “Only If…” list. Only interested If she comes down to OR85.



Beverley 5.20                         FRAP Think Dr. K has bought a rabbit here and I’m sure I can hear the Hannons chuckling. Either never quite gets there or weakens in final furlong if he does! NWMM. Having said that OR58 is heading to a plater’s mark! Of course off OR58 with Rachel Richardson claiming 5lb #FantasticMrFahey got the mule in the winner’s enclosure. Even with the same girl in the saddle Frap is up 4lbs and I refuse to believe the same rabbit can be pulled out of the hat, again!

Chester 5.10                           MODERNISM ONLY IF … C4 10F Tapeta (Wolverhampton/Newcastle). NWMM on Turf.

Chester 5.10                           CHARACTER ONESIE You know it’s a bad horse when even the trainer is clutching at straws Character Onesie is another who has been disappointing this season but we’re going up in trip here in the hope that brings about some improvement.”


For me all 2yo’s are a Watching Brief until Royal Ascot.

Beverley 2.20                         SPRINGWOOD C4/5, 6/7F nursery material. Runs in the RF Racing Club colours.

Beverley 3.00                         SPIN DOCTOR May well be quite an important as well as emotional 2yo filly for the yard. She’s a Cheveley Park homebred sired by Mayson who won the G1 6F July Cup trained by the #FantasticMrFahey.

Spin Doctor                        1st           11/1 Hello! With the stalls on the Stands side Spin Doctor was drawn in the middle of the course. Out fine, travelled in second wave, came to challenge 2F out, led 1F out, got rail, gone. Nice. Probably enough to get a ticket to the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.

Chester 1.45                           SCOFFLAW £60K purchase at Tatt’s Book 2. Son of promising Australian sire Foxwedge.



Intilaaq was found to have a dirty scope following his poor performance in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on Thursday evening. The Roger Varian-trained colt was sent off the 5-4 favourite for the Group Three contest but weakened quickly out of contention after making the running and trailed in sixth of the seven runners behind Time Test. The four-year-old will now receive treatment and connections will have to sit tight to see how he is over the next few days before deciding whether he can still make Royal Ascot where he has a couple of options. “He was incredibly disappointing. He didn’t scope 100 per cent after the race, so that might be a genuine excuse at least for part of the run,” said Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum. “There’s no doubt he was disappointing. He’d been working really well at home, so we were all amazed by that. We’ll have to wait and see if we get on to Ascot now or whether we have got to take a pull with him. We’ll treat him and just get him cleared up. He folded very quickly. I thought they went hard early and then Paul (Hanagan) very much felt about slowing it up after the first three furlongs or so. He thought he’d managed to get a breather into him and all he did was go backwards.” Sportinglife.com May 27 2016, 11.36 BST

This doesn’t amuse me


George Baker, the rider of TETRADRACHM, unplaced, reported that the colt hung left throughout. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of the colt during routine testing found it to be lame, left fore.

Nor does this


The Stewards noted that inside the final furlong, TOGA TIGER (IRE), unplaced, had hung quickly right, interfering with STARDRIFTER, placed second, but after viewing a recording of the race they were satisfied that it did not involve a riding offence.


#startracking Wednesday May 25th 6pm


Much better tomorrow with Sandown an outstanding card and a couple of bets to boot!

#startrackingThursday Runners

Sandown 7.40                        INTILAAQ We profitably followed him last season from maiden victory to G3 success last season with the only disappointment being the 2000 Guineas. Had one run in the Winter in Meydan and was beaten less than 4L when eighth in the G1 Dubai Turf. I expect him to be competitive from 8 to 10F, certainly in G3 and possibly all the way up to G1. Possibility this could be a pipe opener for a tilt at the Eclipse over C&D but with question marks over the going being quick enough for Time Test and the only other main danger being Western Hymn, he of the awkward head carriage and dubious attitude, Intilaaq is a two star** win selection @ 15/8 with PP.

Sandown 8.15                                    CYMRIC

If, as suggested, you had put all eight runners from the Listed race Hawkbill won at Newmarket Cymric will appear in your tracker. Godolphin paid $300K for this son of Kittens Joy and he was a progressive 2yo who ran Ultra to a head in the G1 Jean-Luc Lagardare and rounded his campaign off with an eighth in the Breeders Cup. However in the aforementioned 3yo listed race he ran a stinker on debut and now needs to prove he has trained on and those extensive travels at two have mentally derailed him. Watching Brief.


Newcastle 7.30                       SHRAAOH

Went in my tracker after the Craven when sixth in the Wood Ditton behind Sky Kingdom.Shraaoh on whom Frankie Dettori was ensuring he learnt on the job. …. will improve for further.”

On his second run he stayed on for third. “Donohoe takes the ride tonight with Dettori at Ascot. The price is big enough to tempt me. A one star* win selection @ 8/1 general.

Shraaoh               3rd           7/1 Midfield, progress turning for home, asked 3F out, kept on well for third to stable mate Poets Word. The further the better and probably wants 12F.”

For his third run he stays at 10F, Ted Durcan takes the ride and he is Sir Michael Stoute’s first runner on the new AW Tapeta course at Newcastle. Bet365 have put him up at 5/2 and if the High Street bookies follow suit he Shraaoh is a two star** win selection.

Sandown 8.15                                    FORGE I think this one can go all the way to Group One success.

Doncaster 6.35    FORGE Firstly add him to your #startracker. Juddmonte homebred son of Dubawi and who’s US raced dam was good enough to win the Beverley D. He was a tall leggy 2yo who has had just the one run. He was 7th in a warm 7F maiden at Newmarket behind Tashweeq. Travelled well just off the pace but was one pace from 2F out under hands and heels. Needs 10F+ and to grow into his substantial frame. Will enjoy a galloping track and probably Firm in the going description. He’ll enjoy Doncaster and its drying ground and hopefully 7F will be enough. Doncaster 6.35  FORGE                    1st            5/6Fav

Hello! Here is a proper racehorse. Backed into odds on and with reason! He was prominent, tanking along and when Richard Kingscote let the handbrake off he stretched 5L clear. This was a C4 maiden on Good to Soft over Doncaster’s straight 7F and heaven knows what he beat but he has plenty of size about him, settled and quickened. A gallop report in sportinglife.com last August said FORGE is a nice colt and the brother to talented filly Radiator looked the part clearing five to six clear of KOKONI while still on the bridle. The son of Dubawi looks to be going the right way but is from a family with attitude.” Well he seems to have grown up and he must surely step up in grade next time out.

He does, into the Listed Heron Stakes over a mile at Sandown. Here he has two main rivals, firstly Clive Cox’s well thought of Zonderland who was beaten less than 6L when 6th in the 2000 Guineas having gone close in two 2yo G3’s, the Somerville Tattersalls and Horris Hill and secondly, literally one of John Gosdens big guns, Royal Artillery, who couldn’t have been more impressive in winning his maiden and makes his seasonal reappearance. As Royal Artillery is owned by the Coolmore “lads” of Magnier, Smith and Tabor Ryan Moore rides the Gosden colt and despite Weld having runners at Tipperary Pat Smullen comes over to ride Forge and Copper Knight for Hugo Palmer in the 2yo Listed event earlier.

Forge is far from the finished article but he is a three star*** win selection @ 9/4 with PP.


Haydock 2.00                         MAJOR CORNWALLIS Middleham Park paid just £10K for this 2yo son of Dandy Man and he has already been gelded. Watching Brief.

Haydock 2.30                         SAMRAN SAYS This daughter of Dark Angel is owned by Nick Bradley Racing 8, he is a manager (?) at Middleham Park, similar credentials to Vona who won a Listed event at York. Vona cost just 15K euros whereas Samran Says was £28K! Watching Brief.

Newcastle 7.25                       HEATONGRAD A 65K purchase for Middleham Park Racing from regular supplier of Musley Bank winners, the Tally Ho Stud, Heatongrad is a son of the speedy Kodiac whereas his dam is an unraced daughter of Kings Theatre suggesting a trip? Watching Brief.

Newcastle 8.05                       DARRINGTON He is an OnlyIf… horse. He’s not down to OR80, Watching Brief.

Doncaster 5.35    DARRINGTON                       Still searching for his best trip. Ran best races over Newmarket’s 8F. Watching Brief.

Ripon 7.30                                            DARRINGTON Too consistent for his own good in this grade over this trip. Still three pounds higher than his last win six races ago! To my surprise the moneys down and he has halved in price from 8/1 to 4/1. Looks a bridesmaid to me, Watching Brief.

Darrington                            5th           13/2 Out OK, well enough to lead and he got the rail. Travelling, challenged 4F out, swamped 1F out and tightened up. I think connections expected better. I’ll go Only If… he gets down to OR80 and possibly C4. OR82 81

Newcastle 9.05                       SHOWBIZZY Failed to win in four races as a 2yo although was sent off favourite for a C5 nursery at Windsor on the last of them. This daughter of Showcasing goes 3yo handicapping off OR65 in a C5 5F sprint on the Tapeta. No idea. Watching Brief.


SIR MICHAEL STOUTE has recruited Kieren Fallon and Andrea Atzeni to ride his pair of Investec Derby hopes, and the latter described himself as “very happy”, after a first spin on Ulysses on Wednesday morning. While Fallon is set to renew his acquaintance with Stoute aboard outsider Across The Stars, Atzeni rides Ulysses, an eight-length maiden winner at Newbury earlier this month. The son of Galileo, whose pedigree is steeped in Derby and Oaks history, has been well-backed this week, and is now as short as 6-1, having been double that price with several firms last Sunday. Atzeni rode Ulysses over a mile on the Al Bahathri Polytrack with stablemate Galvanize, said : “I was very happy with that and when I asked him he quickened past the lead horse. “He feels a quality horse. Obviously this is flat and Epsom is not but he feels well balanced.” David Milnes Racing Post 10:05AM 25 MAY 2016

#startracking Wednesday May 4th 7pm

Well that makes a pleasant change! Suggested No Heretic for the Chester Cup and followed up in the next with Kimberella! Hope the run keeps going for Thursday.

#Chester Thursday

2.10 The selection should be DARSHINI but I am not sure he is a Chester horse. He’ll come from off the pace and needs to wind up. He is up 4lbs and up in grade, both of which I think he can cope with and he has Ryan Moore on board for Stoute’s in form yard. Stall 5 is fine and the drying ground is a bonus it’s just that he doesn’t do anything quickly! On balance the price is big enough and he is a one star* win selection with PP @ 9/2.

2.40 Western Hymn was second just thirteen days ago at Sandown and holds half the field on that form. The question is, “How fit is Cannock Chase and can he give 7lbs to his rivals?” I’ll pass.

3.10 With O’Brien having the first two in the market and 9/1 bar I’ll pass. Don’t think this Derby trial will tell us anything positive.

3.45 Good punting race and I like a #FantasticMrFahey horse here, DARK DEVIL. He is not owned by Dr. K and Paul Hanagan rides, both of which I see as plusses. My notebook says Two promising seconds in C4 maidens before narrowly getting home in a C5 maiden over 7F at Redcar. Travels well and looks a trier. He has already been gelded and 3yo mile handicaps look to be his bag.” He was second at Chester on debut and the only downside is being drawn 8 of 9. Top price on the High Street is 15/2 with Coral although there is some 8/1 on-line. Two star** win @ 15/2. Of the opposition Mark Johnston and Tom Dascombe have two apiece but the biggest danger could be the Canford Cliffs colt, Storm Rising for Hannon and Moore well housed in stall 3.

4.20 2yo’s over 5F. Not for me although I will have an eye on the Fahey trio of Lostock, Melenisa and Vona.

4.55 These are the toughest races to win C2/3 in the 3yo sprinting division. I’ll go two against the field. Celebration for Fahey and Tony Hamilton from stall 7 to turn the form round with Reflektor on this quicker ground and Justice Angel for Elsworth/De Sousa from stall 5 whose recent run should have taken the fizz out of her.

5.25 Hopefully I might have found one here. DANCE OF FIRE. He is race fit, well drawn in stall 3, races prominently or leads, won at Chelmsford, which is sharp and left handed, over this trip and was caught in a box in a grade above last time. The yard had a double at Bath on Monday and David Probert has hardly been out of the frame recently. Dance of Fire is a two star** each way selection @ 8/1 with WH.


Chester 2.10   English Summer            Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash. English Summer has won three times at Chester but he hasn’t run at a trip this short for close on three years! Pipe-opener, methinks.

Chester 2.10   Perrault                      Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash. Recent £32K purchase out of the Ralph Beckett yard, he is a lightly raced grey gelding by Rip Van Winkle and he won his maiden over 10F in a C5 at Chepstow. Drawn 11, Hanagan on board and one to keep a close eye on.

Chester 2.40   Gabrial                        Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash. Heaven knows? If he beats one home iy will be another grand in his piggy bank. Has finished 3rd and 4th in this race in the last three years.

Chester 3.45   Dark Devil (See above)

Chester 4.20   Lostock                               Owned by David Armstrong. £68K son of Kodiac.

Chester 4.20   Melesina                     Owned by Nick Bradley Racing. He is half of the team that run Middleham Park Racing. £22K daughter of dark Angel who ran an OK debut.

Chester 4.20   Vona                           Owned by Nick Bradley Racing. He is half of the team that run Middleham Park Racing. 15K euros daughter of Dark Angel who was slow away and never sighted on debut.

Chester 4.55   Celebration (See above)                    

Chester 4.55   Powerallied                Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash. Interesting horse for a few reasons. Firstly, although always trained by Fahey the previous owners sent Powerallied to the sales and Fahey bought him back for Dr. K. Secondly he was very impressive when he won around the Roudee last September and followed up with an excellent 4th in a C2 back at Chester. Thirdly he finished the season off with a fine 8th in the Totepool 2yo Trophy @ Redcar. Drawn 13 rather scuppers his chances here but I’m pretty sure he will have Dr.K back in the winners enclosure at his favourite course this summer.

Chester 4.55   Birdcage                     Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash.            A recent £22K purchase from Qatar Racing from the Ger Lyons yard this daughter of Showcasing won two from six, both over Dundalks AW 5F, having competed exclusively in Ireland.               George Chaloner gets the ride and one to keep a close eye on.

Chester 5.25   Modernism                    Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash. Hasn’t wo round Chester in seven attempts and six of his eight wins have been on the AW.

Chester 5.25   Energia Flavio             Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash. Won twice in his native Brazil and even finished 8th in their 2000 Guineas but hasn’t won in sixteen starts in this country and his mark has dropped from OR100 to OR79. Now there’s interesting!


Frankel’s 3yo full brother Proconsul has been declared for his debut over 1m2f at Chantilly on Friday; Vincent Cheminaud will ride Racing Post ‏@RacingPost · 10am wednesday Arcachon, France  

#startracking Friday April 15th 11am

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.

Thursday Results

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 analysisHeld up in touch in midfield, effort 2f out, 5th and no impression under pressure over 1f out, weakened inside final furlongRF 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 RacingDolphin 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 RacingOn 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.