Here at the results so far. It has been a tale of woe in the main, with a few underperforming or failing to improve as expected, but it must also be said that there are a fair few having one/two runs in maidens in order to acquire a handicap mark, so naturally they will impact on any potential profit for the time being. Hopefully, they will pay their way now handicapped and moving up in distance.
However, all in all, I still think has been a disappointing start for the list, as the LSP figure suggests, and I will definitely alter a few things next time, not least the number of horses I have in the list. It is a learning process for myself, and this was never intended to be a miraculous system guaranteed to make profit - rather me thinking aloud and nothing eyecathers.
There's still time for things to turn around, and hopefully one or two longshots can start hitting the target.
Tales Of Grimm shaped with plenty of encouragement on his return to action, staying on well to take third in the Heron Stakes at Sandown, setting himself up for a good season during which he should stay 10f. The same cannot be said of Top Offer who proved a bitter disappointment, keen under restraint towards the rear but looking laboured once asked for his effort on the outer over two furlongs out, not given an overly hard time but still coming home soundly beaten. Back to the drawing board with him.
Today sees four run from the list, but all of them clash in the Oaks.
Colima shouldn't be underestimasted despite appearing to be soundly held by Vow on their Lingfield Oaks running, forced to come from well off the pace in a steadily run race, making up good ground down the straight; boasts an identical profile to that of the yard's 2007 winner Look Here. Kissed has been my long-time fancy for this race, but connections feel that she needs cut and she doesn't get that here. The Fugue has quickly shown herself to be a filly of serious ability, running on to be fourth in the 1000 Guineas and then landing the Musidora in smooth fashion 10 days later. Has to go well. Vow is another that has burst onto the scene, coming from a mile back to make a winning debut at Newbury before following up in the Lingfield Oaks Trial at the expense of Colima, though the fact she hung so badly down the home straight raises obvious cause for concern with regard to the unique test Epsom provides.
170,000gns foal who is a three-parts sister to the very useful 10-12f Flat/smart multiple 2m hurdle/2m 3f chase winner Eradicate (by Montjeu), closely related to high-class dual 1m winner/Irish 1000 Guineas third Oh Goodness Me (by Galileo) and a half sister to 10-11f winner Huff And Puff, out of a smart 1m 3yo winner (Listed placed) who was the daughter of a Falmouth/Nassau winning half sister to the very smart 5f-1m winner Lemon Souffle. This smartly bred filly made her debut outing in a 1m fillies' maiden at Nottingham last November, going off an 11/1 chance; tracked the pace until taking over going strongly just inside the two furlong marker, shaken up approaching the final furlong and soon clear despite edging left, staying on well throughout the final furlong run out a resounding 2 length winner from Key Appointment. It was a very impressive debut display from this daughter of Authorized, travelling strongly in behind the leaders and taking over going well just inside the two furlong marker, kicking clear and maintaining the gallop throughout the final furlong despite the runner-up closing on her late, never in any danger of being caught. She is bred to excel at three over middle distances, so it was hugely encouraging to see her make a winning start to her career over an extended mile against colts; her handler has shown he is adept at getting the very best out of his fillies in recent seasons, no better example than when winning the Oaks with Look Here in 2008, and this filly goes into her second season boasting a similar profile; surely going to begin her three-year-old campaign in an Oaks trial of some description, and she rates as a very exciting middle distance prospect for the season ahead.
Fetched 900,000gns at auction, and with good reason, for she is a close relation of last year's Derby winner Pour Moi (by Montjeu) and very smart 8-11f winner/French Oaks runner up/Irish Oaks third Gagnoa and 1m 2yo winner Rendezvous (both by Sadler's Wells), out of an unraced granddaughter of Yorkshire Oaks winner Awaasif (later dam of Oaks winner Snow Bride, herself the dam of Derby winner Lammtarra). This regally bred filly made her debut outing in a 1m fillies' maiden at Navan last October, for which she was sent off a very well fancied 6/4 favourite; raced prominently and travelled very well throughout, still on the bridle over two furlongs out, pushed along to get closer to the leader approaching the final furlong and taking up the running entering the final furlong, only having to be ridden out to score by a comfortable 1½ lengths (pair well clear). The runner-up on that occasion, Violet Lashes, had the benefit of experience and had built up a healthy advantage at one point, but this filly made up ground on her easily and only had be ridden out once taking the lead inside the final furlong, shaping as though further would be absolutely fine. Her all-conquering stable are rich in talent when it comes to fillies for the season ahead, housing the likes of Maybe, Wading and Was, but this classically bred daughter of Galileo could well end up the best of the lot if improving for middle distances as expected this term; likely to reappear in an Oaks trial of some description, and it would be very disappointing if she couldn't uphold the family tradition and gain a victory at Group level; emphatically one to follow.
Half sister to fair 14f-2m 3yo AW winner Susan Stroman out of a 1m 1f 3yo winner/Ribblesdale second who was a half sister to smart miler Summoner, Eclipse winner Compton Admiral, useful triple 7f-1m 2yo winner Anchor, 12f 4yo winner So Vital and 10-12f Flat/2m 5f hurdle winner Talenti. This smartly bred filly made her debut outing in a 7f fillies' maiden at Newmarket on the penultimate weekend of the Flat season, going off a relatively unconsidered 14/1 chance; broke slowly and raced towards the back of the group that had congregated down the centre of the track, but she made eyecatching headway from halfway to go prominent, making ground on leader and eventual runner-up Salacia in effortless fashion from over a furlong out, coming clear with that rival inside the final furlong and staying on best to and score by 1½ lengths. It is perhaps notable that connections started off top-class mare Dar Re Mi in the same maiden a few years back (finished second), and her handler often starts off a smart sort in the race (won it with Infallible in 2007); the ease with which she made up ground on the front running Salacia really took the eye, and she only had to be pushed along to assert from that rival inside the final furlong, shaping as though further would very much suit, in keeping with her pedigree, bred to excel this year over 10f+. She looks to have an extremely bright future ahead of her based on the visual impression she created on debut, also clocking a faster time than her stablemate who had won the first division on the card; looks all over an Oaks prospect, and it would therefore be very surprising if she didn't reappear in a trial of some description for that race this spring.
The Fugue ran a commendable race in defeat, particularly when taking into account she was one of a few that had to be snatched up early as the field stacked up on account of the sluggish pace, also unable to get cover for a little while and racing a bit freely. She made sustained progress on the outer from three furlongs out to quickly move into contention, keeping on for pressure but never quite getting there, eventually finishing third behind Was.
Vow ran an excellent race in defeat as well, this just her third career outing - all of which have come within two months, prominent and travelling better than most passing the three furlong marker, attempting to challenge the winner from over two furlongs out but never able to make a serious impression before fading close home to finish fourth. There's certainly improvement left in her, particularly in a truly run race.
Colima was a shade disappointing, travelling sweetly enough in behind the modest pace for the most part but failing to get involved once the race began in earnest, keeping on at the one pace throughout the final furlong. However, she has already shown more than enough to suggest she has the ability to win a race at Listed level, and should also continue to improve with racing.
Tomorrow sees five runners from the list, three of which contest the Derby.
Open Water contests the opening 10f handicap on the card and looks to hold reasonable claims, shaping nicely when third in a similar contest at Newmarket's Guineas meeting on rain-softened ground, appearing to get tired in the closing stages have attempted to make just about all. Bayan looks to build on a promising return to action when stepping up in trip for a maiden at Haydock; looks an above average race for the grade, but he has the services of Frankie Dettori and ought to go close. Main Sequence hasn't stopped improving since his impressive debut win, bagging a pair of handicaps at headquarters before quickening smartly from off of the pace to land the Lingfield Derby Trial; fancy him to go very well. Thought Worthy had the call over Rugged Cross in the Fairway Stakes last time, but there may not be a huge amount between them on this occasion now that Rugged Cross has the benefit of a recent run behind him; could see both outrunning their odds.
Open Water, Saturday 2nd June, Epsom, 13.35, Diamond Jubilee Handicap (Sponsored By Investec) (Class 2) (3yo) (0-105) - 1m 2f
47,000gns first foal of a dual Italian 1m winner who was a half sister to very smart 8-14f winner (including at Group 2/3 level) Sweet Stream, multiple Italian sprint winner El Cimbro and useful Italian winner Sfizosia out of a Listed placed performer in Italy. This colt made a winning start to his career in a 1m maiden at Sandown last September, for which he was sent off an unfancied 20/1 chance; travelled nicely in behind the leaders, ridden along two furlongs out and taking a little while to hit top stride but staying on strongly throughout the final furlong to lead in the final 100 yards, seeing off Greek War by half a length. His only other outing as a juvenile came in a 1m 1f nursery at Newmarket the following month, going off an 8/1 chance; raced in midfield for the most part, ridden along and improving his position two furlongs from home, staying on well inside the final furlong but proving absolutely no match for fellow debut winner Main Sequence, coming home 3¼ lengths adrift of that rival at the line. There is no doubt he met a potentially smart rival last time at headquarters, and time may well tell he faced a near impossible task off level weights; raised 3lbs to a mark of 82 for that effort, it would be something of a surprise if this son of Orpen doesn't have further improvement left in him for the season ahead, shaping on both occasions last year as though middle distances would suit eventually (dual mile winning dam a half sister to a Park Hill winner).
Bayan, Saturday 2nd June, Haydock, 13.40, Blue Square Maiden Stakes (Class 5) (3yo+) - 1m 4f
210,000gns half brother to high-class Swedish middle distance performer Catch Me A Dream out of a smart 9f-2m winner (including at Listed level) who was a sister to the useful 11f 3yo winner/Chester Vase third Chink Of Light and a half sister to smart 8-9f French winner (including at Listed level) Thattinger, very useful 12f-2m winner Dorothy's Friend, fair 7f-1m winner River Of Babylon and useful dual 1m Flat/2m hurdle winner Burning Impulse. This colt made his sole outing at two in a 7f maiden at Newmarket last September, going off a not unfancied 8/1 chance; raced towards the back of the main group, travelling comfortably until the eventual winner quickened the tempo over two furlongs from home, pushed along and outpaced, but he kept on in pleasing fashion throughout the final furlong under nothing more than a hand ride to finish sixth behind Spiritual Star (beaten 10½ lengths). He is bred to stay well in time and ran to his pedigree on debut, within himself until caught flat-footed by the sudden increase in tempo by the winner from over two furlongs out, but the way in which he came home under considerate handling promised at much better to come. There ought to be significant improvement forthcoming this term once tackling 10f+, remembering his dam didn't come into her own until tackling middle/staying distances as a four-year-old; pedigree also indicative of the fact this colt will be well served by some cut in the ground.
First foal of a smart 7f 2yo debut winner in France (Group 3/Listed placed) who was a half sister to useful French 12f 3yo winner Cosmic Fire and fair French middle distance stayer Ras Tafarii out of a smart 7f-1m winner (including at Listed level) who was a half sister to Oaks winner Light Shift, top-class 9-10f winner Shiva, very smart middle distance performer Limnos and smart 8-9f UK/US winner Hyades (Grade 1 placed). This colt made a surprise winning debut when landing a 1m maiden at Yarmouth last September at odds of 50/1; dwelt slightly from the stalls and was waited with at the back of the field as a result, travelling well with three furlongs left to run but still well off the pace, shaken up over a furlong out and making good headway despite clear signs of inexperience, displaying a sharp turn of foot entering the final furlong and sustaining his strong challenge to lead close home, seeing off Almuftarris by 1¼ lengths. He showed that to be no fluke when following up in a nursery over 1m 1f at Newmarket a month later, taking full advantage of a lenient opening mark of 79; missed the break and was again given an exaggerated hold up ride, shaken up and making good headway three furlongs out, flashing his tail for pressure and taking a little while to get his act together but essentially well on top at the finish, scoring by 3¼ lengths from Open Water. He was raised 10lbs to a mark of 89 for that win, leaving open the possibility of a return to handicap company this spring, but it wouldn't at all surprise to see connections aim for something higher immediately, with the Fielden Stakes at the Craven meeting back over the same course and distance as his nursery win a credible starting point; open to yet further improvement in 2012, and he looks the type to stay middle distances eventually on what he showed last year.
55,000gns purchase as a yearling; half brother to the high-class 8-11f winner Blue Monday, smart 8-10f winner Lundy's Lane, useful dual 10f 3yo winner Bazergan, 11f 3yo winner Multiplication and 12f 3yo winner Najam, out of a lightly raced maiden half sister to smart quartet Cloud Castle (7f), Needle Gun (10f), Luso (8-12f) and Warrsan (12-14f). This son of Cape Cross made his debut in a 7f maiden at Newbury last July, going off a not unfancied 8/1 chance; raced towards the rear of the field and went nicely up to a point, pushed along over a furlong out and making good progress towards the stands' side, keeping on well throughout the final furlong to eventually finish fifth behind Jungle Beat (beaten 3 lengths). He confirmed the promise of that debut effort and showed the benefit of experience when landing the valuable Convivial maiden (7f) at York's Ebor meeting little more than a month later (18/1); raced close to the pace from the outset, pushed along over two furlongs out but sticking to his task well, taking over approaching the furlong marker and staying on well for pressure throughout the final furlong to see off Storming Bernard by 2½ lengths. It was a smart performance from this colt, coming under a ride sooner than most but knuckling down well for pressure, shaping as though a trip would suit in future, accounting for a solid yardstick and several subsequent winners in the most valuable maiden of the season. He wasn't seen again for whatever reason (held entries thereafter) but is bred to come into his own at three anyway, and he is sure to improve as his stamina is drawn out this term; could well start off in a conditions contest this spring, his initial mark of 98 a little too steep to be starting off in handicaps, but he looks the type to progress into a pattern class performer anyway.
Thought Worthy, Saturday 2nd June, Epsom, 16.00, Investec Derby (Group 1) (Class 1) (3yo) - 1m 4f
Full brother to connections' very smart middle distance performer/Leger winner Lucarno and a half brother to 1m 2yo debut winner Morning Charm and multiple US sprint winner Minute Of Fame, out of a high-class UK/US 6f winner who was a half sister to several winners including smart milers Be Elusive and On A Cloud. This well-bred colt made his one and only outing last term in a 1m maiden at Newcastle last October run on testing ground, sent off a 6/1 chance; raced well off the pace and came under a ride sooner than most, but he began to make headway from over two furlongs out, taking a while to hit full flow but everything clicking approaching the final furlong, leading at the furlong marker and staying on well to fend off Silver Blaze to score by ¾ length. He shaped as though stamina would very much prove to be his forte, much like his classy brother, displaying a likeable attitude to hold off a more experienced rival having appeared to idle once hitting the front, and both the third and fourth won next time out to give the form some substance. He can only improve for the experience and should have a vast amount of improvement to come for a step up in trip this year, certain to be suited by 10f+; will probably start off in a minor event somewhere in the early throes of the season, such as the 10f conditions race at Newbury's Greenham meeting in April in which his handler likes to target with his untested but promising three-year-olds; has the potential to go far, appealing as the type to progress into a Leger horse eventually (certainly bred for the job). _________________ Dark Horses 2013 - Flat
A frustrating Saturday littered with near misses (nothing changes).
Open Water attempted to make all but bumped into one or two nice sorts in the end who could be very well handicapped, and I am sure he has a race of this nature within him without necessarily having the scope to progress into a pattern-class performer.
Bayan was very well backed to make it third time lucky at Haydock but, even though he tackled an extra furlong, he was unable to do so, shaping as though he will be a thorough stayer in time much like his dam. Handicaps are now an option.
Main Sequence ran an excellent race in defeat behind Camelot in the Derby, charting the same route as that one, though not racing as wide and also lacking his change of gear, getting going inside the final furlong to snatch second on the line. He has come a long way in a short space of time, though connections face a difficult decision with regards where to go next as Camelot will almost certainly turn up in the Irish Derby, yet the King Edward will likely come too soon for this colt. Thought Worthy ran a commendable race in fourth, as his brother was in 2007, and will probably be put away for the Great Voltiguer en route attempting to emulate that sibling and win the St Leger in September. Rugged Cross was fairly keen but essentially not good enough; needs his sights lowering, while a step back to 10f may also be wise.
Sunday saw Imperial Monarch endure a nightmate passage as he came home in eighth in the French Derby, though was one of several to find trouble in running; manner in which he finished off his race strongly suggests a step up in distance is needed, in keeping with his stout pedigree and the impression he has created so far; should Camelot skip Doncaster in September, this colt must surely go to the St Leger, where he would go very well over a trip that ought to suit well.
Utterance got the job done in good style yesterday at Yarmouth and fully confirmed the promise of his debut run at Newmarket last month, but it was at odds of 4/9 against an average bunch; still, he travelled nicely to the front having raced in behind the pace and stretched all the way to the line, still showing signs of inexperience and also looking as though ready for further. He appeals as the type to go on improving for a while yet and has an identical profile to connections' Aiken, who progressed rapidly through the handicap ranks last year and this.
Solar View proved a bitter disappointment on handicap debut, but he wouldn't be the first Prescott horse to blow out on his first attempt in handicaps and bounce back straight away next time; his next outing will likely reveal much more, and it wouldn't surprise to see him upped in trip.
Sea Fever duly confirmed the suspicion he was being brought along with handicaps in mind when making a winning in that sphere in the second division of the 10f handicap at Leicester, unsurprisingly asked for his effort in a more vigorous manner than had been the case in his maidens and seeing things out well, fending off his nearest pursuer well throughout the final furlong. It was pleasing to see him find plenty off the bridle, Fallon trying to get him home under kid gloves but having to deploy strongarm tactics to maintain the advantage; should have plenty more improvement left to come yet in this sphere.
Today sees a couple from the list run.
Main Line was an impressive debut winner at Wolverhampton in April, but he didn't have things go his own way on his handicap debut at this track last month, poorly placed as things developed up ahead but staying on nicely throughout the final furlong to finish fourth; poorly drawn again, but this colt is an at least useful prospect who can win races off his current mark. Stencive really ought to shed his maiden tag at the third time of asking at Ripon, shaping nicely on debut before running well when fourth behind Noble Mission in a 10f Listed contest at Newmarket, green and unsuited by the race turned into a sprint, keeping on under considerate handling without ever threatening.
Main Line, Wednesday 6th June, Kempton, 20.30, Read Hayley At racinguk.com Every Friday Handicap (London Mile Qualifier) (Class 4) (3yo) (0-85) - 1m
Main Line (29/1 b c Rail Link - Cooden Beach), a close relation of smart dual 6f 2yo winner Shaweel (by Dansili) out of a 1m winner who was the daughter of a half sister to very smart miler Golden Opinion
Stencive, Wednesday 6th June, Ripon, 20.40, SIS Live Maiden Stakes (Class 5) (3yo+) - 1m 2f
260,000gns half brother to the very smart 7-12f winner (including the Grade 1 Canadian International) Joshua Tree out of a high-class US 8-9f winner (including at Grade 3 level) who was a half sister to smart Irish 7-9f winner (including at Listed level) Misty Heights and useful 12-13f winner Mist Of Magic out of a 10f 3yo winner who was the daughter of Coronation Stakes winner Magic Of Life (later dam of Lowther winner Enthused). This smartly bred colt debuted in a 1m maiden at Newbury last October, sent off a well-supported 9/2 chance (opened 6/1); broke on terms but was dropped in towards the rear of the field, shaken up and making headway over two furlongs out on the far side, green but disputing the running with eventual winner Waterclock and holding every chance inside the final furlong, only fading in the final 100 yards or so to come home in third (beaten 1 length). However, he wasn't given an overly hard time from the saddle, and the way in which he made his move from the back of the field over two furlongs out really took the eye, disputing the running over a furlong out and drawing clear with the eventual winner and one other but unable to sustain his effort all the way to the line. He is very much bred to come into his own this year, and that debut outing should have put a competitive edge on him for next time; ought to be shedding his maiden tag before too long and it is likely that this son of Dansili will stay middle distances this term (entered in the English and Irish Derbies and a half brother to a 12f Group 1 winner); smart prospect. _________________ Dark Horses 2013 - Flat
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