This looks a typically decent renewal of the Superlative Stakes in which a trio of these come here off the back of creditable efforts in the Coventry, but there are also those that have impressed at a lower level who thoroughly deserve a crack at this exalted level - previous winners in recent times include Redback, Dubawi, Horatio Nelson, Halicarnassus and Silver Grecian.
The selection is a son of Holy Roman Emperor who is a half brother to 1m 3yo winner Lord Jim out of an unraced sister to 12f 3yo winner Tantalising and 12f 4yo AW winner A Thousand Smiles, closely related to 11-14f Flat/very useful dual 2m hurdle winner Magen's Star and a half sister to 1m 3yo winner Silky Dawn out of a Listed-placed 1m 2yo winner. This colt is trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam and made a winning start to his career when landing a six-runner 6f median auction maiden at Folkestone in May, for which he was sent off the 10/11 market leader; tracked the leader and travelled supremely well throughout, taking over approaching the final furlong and shaken up to go clear and run out an impressive 4 length winner from Alexandrakollontai. He followed up when upped in trip/grade for a 7f novices' contest at Doncaster a couple of weeks ago, for which he was sent off a well-supported 7/4 market leader; raced in last but well in touch, again travelled supremely well throughout, full of running but forced to wait for a gap to appear as the race began to unfold, switched to the inner and quickening on the bridle to lead inside the final 100 yards, running out an extremely easy 2½ length winner over Silver Ridge. It was a hugely taking performance from this colt, travelling very easily throughout and still able to put almost three lengths between himself and three other previous winners, that despite having nowhere to go when on the bridle approaching the final furlong. His two victories to date have been more about style over substance, but he has long been regarded as his yard's best juvenile and is well worth his place in the field; stable has won this contest twice previously, including with subsequent Derby winner Dr Devious, and it wouldn't at all surprise to see this year's representative maintain his unbeaten record with victory here.
The Richard Hannon-trained Olympic Glory is a son of Choisir who created a very favourable impression when justifying odds of 6/4 favouritism to land a 6f maiden at Goodwood last month, slowly away but travelled powerfully under a waiting ride on the stands' side, coasting into contention approaching the final furlong and soon going clear once shaken up to see off Dark Emerald by 3¼ lengths. He was one of the lesser-fancied runners from his stable when contesting the Coventry Stakes 11 days later, this reflected in his price as he was sent off a 20/1 chance; however, he emerged the best of his yard's runners, towards the rear until making headway from over a furlong out, staying on well for pressure throughout the final furlong to eventually finish second behind Dawn Approach, going down by ¾ length. It was an excellent effort in defeat from this colt, especially as he came from such a long way back to deliver his challenge, never nearer than at the line and gaining on the winner with every stride, strongly suggesting that the extra furlong he tackles here will suit. He also showed on debut that he can handle these rain-softened conditions, and it is quite clear that he is the form choice on what has been achieved to date; horses that come on to this race from the Coventry do not have a good record in recent times, but still not difficult to envisage this colt playing a leading role now upped a furlong in distance.
The Mahmood Al Zarooni trained Artigiano is a US-bred son of Distorted Humor who shaped with a good deal of promise on his debut outing in a 6f maiden at York's Dante meeting last month, sent off a not unfancied 8/1 chance and eventually finishing third behind Funk Soul Brother, catching the eye with his finishing effort from over a furlong out on the outer which saw him get to within a length of the winner at the line. He carried over that promise to land a 6f maiden at Leicester next time, fully justifying odds of 11/10 favouritism; raced in behind the leaders from the outset, shaken up to lead passing the two furlong marker and extending clear approaching the final furlong to run out a very impressive 6 length winner from Pearl Noir. He ran a creditable race in defeat when contesting the Coventry Stakes next time out, for which he went off a 12/1 chance; raced in touch, ridden over two furlongs out and making headway to challenge approaching the final furlong, keeping on but not as well as one or two others as he came home in fifth behind Dawn Approach (beaten 4¼ lengths). He was another to shape as though more than ready for a step up in distance, keeping on inside the final furlong albeit not to the same degree as one or two others around him; no obvious reason why he should reverse placings with Olympic Glory on that evidence, other than the distance may well bring them a little closer together, for all that rival will also be suited by the seventh furlong on offer here.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Lines Of Battle is a US-bred son of War Front who made a winning start to his career in a 12-runner 6f maiden at the Curragh towards the end of last month, sent off a slightly uneasy 5/1 chance but getting the job nevertheless, racing in behind the leaders until getting closer passing the two furlong marker to dispute the lead, ridden approaching the final furlong and always doing enough to hold off the advances of favourite Leitir Mor to score by a head at the line. He was another to run with credit in defeat in the Coventry Stakes next time out, sent off a 10/1 chance (stable second string behind third-placed Cristoforo Colombo); raced in midfield and was pushed along sooner than most, but he grew as the race wore on and kept on nicely for pressure throughout the final furlong to eventually come home in sixth behind Dawn Approach (beaten 6 lengths). He obviously has a little bit to find with the re-opposing Olympic Glory and Artigiano, but this son of War Front shaped as though finding the six furlongs a bare minimum, soon pushed along but finishing off to good effect throughout the final furlong; improvement can be expected, but difficult to see why he should reverse the form with his two old adversaries here, both of whom will also appreciate the extra furlong just as much as this colt.
The David Simcock-trained Birdman is a son of Danehill Dancer who shaped nicely in a 6f novice contest on the Rowley Mile track on debut, finishing a staying on third behind Heavy Metal, and followed that with a smooth victory in a 6f maiden at Brighton at the beginning of June when landing odds of 4/9. He followed up in a 6f novices' contest at Chepstow on heavy ground four weeks ago, for which he was sent off the 11/8 market leader; raced at the rear of the five-strong field, shaken up and making progress over two furlongs out, leading approaching the final furlong and staying on well to see off Fortinbrass by 3¼ length. He is progressing well and did it nicely last time on bad ground, following up a smooth success at Brighton having shown distinct promise on debut; takes a significant step up in grade here and obviously needs more against more proven rivals, but on the upgrade and unwise to dismiss out of hand given he is proven on rain-softened ground and has scope for further improvement, particularly now upped a furlong in distance.
The Andrew Balding-trained Operation Chariot is a son of Refuse To Bend who is a full brother to dual 1m winner Negotiation and a half brother to dual 1m 1f AW winner Bazelle, French 10f 3yo winner Dream West and quite useful dual 7f 2yo winner Old Malt, out a thrice-raced maiden who was a half sister to high-class 8-12f winner (including at Group 2/3 level) Foresee, smart 7-9f winner (including at Group 2 level) Royal Touch (later placed at Grade 1 level in the US), smart middle distance performer Sylvan Point, smart US miler Aventino and to the dam of Cheveley Park Stakes/Coronation Stakes winner Indian Ink and very useful 7-10f winner Saratov. This nicely bred colt got off the mark at the first time of asking when landing a 7f maiden at Sandown a month ago, sent off an 11/4 chance; recovered from a sluggish start to track the leader, taking over going well past the two furlong marker and gradually asserting approaching the final furlong, ridden out inside the final furlong to clear right away from his trio of rivals and score by 5 lengths from Sublimation. It was a visually impressive performance from this son of Refuse To Bend, but it is hard to know quite what he achieved in beating a pair of fellow newcomers (one of whom has disappointed again since) and one that had shown little on its only previous run; however, he did at least prove that he stays this trip and acts on soft ground, and the fact his handler fast-tracks him to this level is noteworthy.
This looks a reasonable enough race for median auction level, with a couple of the most powerful northern stables unleashing a couple of Gimcrack entries, and there also one or two that have seen action previously that have shown enough to suggest their turn isn't too far away.
The selection is a son of Dutch Art who is the first foal of a close relation to 7f 2yo debut/Nell Gwyn winner/1000 Guineas fourth Infallible, useful dual 7f winner Thrill and 7f 2yo fibresand winner New Decade and a half sister to fairly useful 7f-1m winner Chilled out of a high-class 5-6f winner (including at Listed level). This nicely bred colt is trained by Richard Fahey and makes plenty of appeal on pedigree, the first foal of an unraced mare who was closely related to the smart Infallible and a couple of other winners, and he fetched 60,000gns at auction earlier this year having gone for 19,000gns as a foal and £18,000 as a yearling. He comes from a top stable that has sent out a fair amount of winning newcomers from this age group in recent weeks, so it goes without saying that they can be relied upon to have them ready to strike at the first time of asking, and the fact that this colt holds an entry in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes here next month is a strong indicator that this son of Dutch Art has done everything right at home so far. The rain-softened ground ought not to be an issue on debut, and his sire has already shown himself to be an excellent producer of speedy and precocious two-year-olds; very disappointing if this colt couldn't make a winning start to his career here en route to bigger and better things.
The Mick Channon-trained Shrimpton is a daughter of Cadeaux Genereux who has gradually improved with racing, putting behind her a last place finish on debut to take fourth behind Mary's Daughter in a 5f fillies' maiden at Leicester in early June, tapped-for-toe early on but finishing off to good effect. She matched that effort when third in 5f maiden here 10 days later, but improved on that and ran her best race yet when finishing third behind Threes Grand in a 5f fillies' conditions contest at Windsor at the beginning of this month, ridden and making good progress to challenge approaching the final furlong but proving unable to see things out fully, one paced in the closing stages (beaten 1 lengths). It was still a respectable effort in defeat against a couple of previous winners, and her earlier runs at that distance suggested that the extra furlong she tackles here would suit; starting to look a bit exposed now and takes on potential improvers/interesting newcomers, but sets a fair enough standard and could well have some improvement to come for the extra furlong she faces here.
The Elaine Burke trained Loki's Strike is a son of Firebreak who shaped as though he would be better for the experience when debuting in a 5f median auction maiden at Doncaster in May, sent off a 66/1 chance and outpaced towards the rear of the field after a slow start, making some late progress inside the final furlong to eventually beat a handful home behind Reckless Abandon (beaten 18½ lengths). He duly improved on that debut showing when contesting a 6f median auction maiden at Carlisle a month later, going off a not unfancied 8/1 chance; raced in behind the leaders in midfield, ridden over two furlongs out and making some progress to try and challenge over a furlong out, one paced inside the final furlong and eventually coming home in fifth behind Elle Rebelle (beaten 2¾ lengths). It was an improvement on what he had shown first time up, trying to challenge in between the two and one furlong markers but essentially unable to quicken inside the final furlong; comes from a stable in excellent form at present and possible that he is open to further improvement, but he will need to be if he is to land a race of this nature and nurseries an option after this.
The Tim Easterby-trained Bachotheque is a son of Chineur who is a half brother to multiple low-grade 5f winner Granny Peel out of a 7f 2yo winner who was a half sister to fairly useful dual 5f winner Midnight Special out of a granddaughter of US 7f Grade 1 winner Share The Fantasy. This colt made his debut in a 6f maiden at Carlisle at the end of last month, for which he was sent off a relatively unfancied 16/1 chance; broke slowly but recovered to race in touch towards the rear of the field, shaken up two furlongs out and making good progress to look a brief threat over a furlong out, unable to sustain his challenge into the final furlong and keeping on at the one pace to finish fourth behind Secret Destination (beaten 8½ lengths). However, it was still a debut effort that offered plenty of encouragement for the future, travelling fairly nicely for a long way towards the rear of the main group and making good progress to move into a challenging position over a furlong out, fitness appearing to fail him inside the final furlong. He is entitled to be a fair bit sharper for that debut outing, and the fact he proved himself under rain-softened ground is a bonus; yard's youngsters often improve considerably for a run, and absolutely no surprise to see this son of Chineur very much involved at the business end here.
The Luca Cumani-trained Romanoff is a son of Holy Roman Emperor who is a half brother to multiple 5-7f winner Cut The Cackle, dual 6f winner Film Maker, 6f 3yo winner Vanilla Loan and useful dual 6f 2yo winner Jessies Spirit, out of a 12f 3yo AW winner who was the daughter of dual 7f Listed winner Pirouette. This nicely bred colt made his debut outing in a 6f maiden at Newmarket (July) last month, going off an unfancied 16/1 chance; went right coming out of the stalls and was soon chivvied along at the rear of the main group, ridden and outpaced two furlongs out, losing touch and eventually beating just one home behind Boomshackerlacker (beaten 10½ lengths). Much better can be expected in due course from this son of Holy Roman Emperor, simply too green to show his true worth first time up, as is often the case with youngsters from this stable; interesting that Kieren Fallon now takes over, and pre-race market support would indicate that much better is expected from this colt.
There are a couple of other eyecatching newcomers in the field, the first of them being the Kevin Ryan-trained Blaine, a son of Avonbridge who is a half brother to the yard's smart triple 6f 2yo winner (including at Listed level) Bogart out of a poor 6f AW winner who was a half sister to prolific 10-12f winner Demolition and useful French 8-10f winner Golden Accolade. This colt's sales price rose from 52,000gns as a yearling to £100,000 earlier this year, and the fact he is a half brother to the yard's smart 2011 6f 2yo Bogart also makes him of significant interest, for all his dam was a poor performer and herself related to useful performers at best. However, this son of Avonbridge clearly has something about him, both in looks and at home, holding a Gimcrack entry next month; stable a noted producer of winning newcomers at northern tracks, and it would be something of a surprise if this colt wasn't involved at the business end of matters here.
The other newcomer of significant interest is the Michael Dods-trained New Rich, a son of Bahamian Bounty who is a half brother to dual 6f 2yo winner Bling King and 7f 2yo winner Male Model, out of a maiden sister to high-class triple 5f winner (including twice at Listed level) Watching and a half sister to useful 6-7f winner Coasting and 12f-2m 4f winner Puteri Wentworth. This colt sold for 75,000gns as a yearling and makes plenty of appeal on pedigree, being a half brother to a pair of juveniles winners including one over this trip, and his dam was a full sister to smart sprinter Watching and a half sister to useful 6-7f winner Coasting. He comes from a stable that has shown it is more than capable of readying a youngster to strike at the first time of asking, particularly in these colours; debuts in what looks a winnable enough race, and it wouldn't at all surprise to see this well-related son of Bahamian Bounty go well on his first outing in public. _________________ Dark Horses 2013 - Flat
Frankie Dettori / Mahmood Al Zarooni combo team up here and we know how well they do at HQ grounds
Zarooni's last runner here was a 10/1 winner and the stable are in good enough form at the moment although they never really are out of form so it's hard to tell how well they are going exactly. However SEPOY will love these conditions and he can register win number 11 from 13 starts here.
Not the strongest looking of nurseries but for me Kimberella will take some stopping off this mark Kimberella is improving all the time and improving with racing and ground is ideal so lots in favour None of the others look special at all and form of Kimberellas last win looks very good and been franked with the third Lewisham running a cracker a few days ago when second in a group three at newmarket so looms like its been let in lightly now off this mark Hopefully the form holds up and progress even more and expect the price to be much shorter come the off and the horse i like the most today"
Mijhaar is a horse with ability and i have backed it numerous times and often finds one too good and think it will again I like Alkimos and horse looks to have found ability again and looks on its way back for godolphin Looked promising for Luca Cumani last season and looked one to follow when second to Pisco Sour who has franked the form in many group races and was not beaten far Alkimos struggled for godolphin in its first two races in meydan but showed last time out ability is still there when fourth to rapidly improving Cambourne and would have got second in my opinion if it got a clear run Ground is not a problem and won a few times at this trip and looks great value at least for a place"
Joined: 08 Jun 2007
Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:22 am Post subject:
Compton 12/1 E/W
Many fancied horses have pulled out but still looks a competitive race Ground will play a part here so going with Compton who has form on soft and good to soft and ran a very good seasonal opener after nine months off and will come on so much for that Looks over priced to me and that last run came in a very good competitive handicap and the draw played a part and this looks easier and last time out was first try at the mile and suited and stayed on well so expect more improvement here"
This one has had what looked to me like 2 sighters and today under a decent conditional jockey looks to have everything in favour, I can see this one bouncing out in front day and there dont seem to be much in the race thats looks like it will take it on, conditions are ideal for this one today should relish the going and i expect this to lead start to finish. The top 2 in the market look opposable on this surface and i expect the main danger to come from russian rave but this one has a lump of weight to carry on this surface and may just struggle to get to the selection. _________________ Proud daddy of keeley born 03/05/2009
3.20 Newmarket SOCIETY ROCK (NAP) 100/30
Not very original I know, but the ground is key for me and though I was disappointed with his run at Royal Ascot initially (I had backed him) he ran a good race after losing so much ground at the start. He has Ryan Moore on board, and think the ground will see a lot of the runners struggling. SR is one of the few guaranteed to like it, and so I just cannot let him run without pennies down.
3.00 York ALKIMOS (NB) 12/1
Not all horses enjoy Meydan and suspect Alkimos was one of them. Had a very progressive profile last year for Luca Cumani with a very good 2nd at Royal Ascot last year in a Group 3. After running 3 poor races in the UAE came back to Britain to run very well again at Royal Ascot when finishing 4th in the Duke of Edinburgh. That was over 1m4f and feel the step back in trip by 2f, plus the softer going will suit him far more enabling him to continue progress.
1.40 Andalieb, did it well last time winning in fast time in soft conditions and has less weight too carry today and if doing it aswell as last time has too have a serious chance and maybe Sir Harry will be the main danger that one is dropping back in trip and is unexposed and could be anything but at the prices I will take Andalieb, who has least weight a win in a fast time and also there will me more improvement to come hopefully.
2.10 Birdman, look's the best value bet proven on the ground winning well on the heavy ground and also was withdrawn the other day because of the ground!! lol yet it won very well on the heavy and I think the trainer must think this race is a easier opportunity than the other even though there are others with serious chances in this race like Olympic Glory, who is going too be tough to beat and Maxentius, but that 1 is not certain to like todays ground and I will take a chance with Birdman who will relish todays conditions could maybe be a quick double for the Simcock, yard.
2.40 Rakaan, E/W 33/1 and you lot probleys think im nuts having a bet on this horse after all it's flops but I get that niggling feeling today it is about too run a huge race I dont know why, I just think it has been kept for a race like this and I will know my fate quite quickly because if they hold it up like the other times it wont win, but if they go with the pace I think Rakaan, will battle all the way and has a chance of either a place or even winning and I think will be able too handle the ground and is a good horse and hopefully the draw will be ok
3.20 SepoyNAP, I strongly think this will win as I said on the discussion thread earlier this morning, Frankie, said on the morning line that it will depends if goes on the ground haha, he knows fine well it will go on the ground it won 10 times in Australia on gdsft and soft so I dont think the ground will be any problem and this horse was talked about being one of the best horses in Australia, at 1 point so is a serious animal and Fankie seemed very hush hush about this horse on the morning line and the money has been coming for it all morning, I believe this horse will win and give Frankie, the only major Trophy he doesent have. NAP
4.30 Getaway Car E/W, look's too have been laid out for a race like this it is by Medicean and should be better suited by todays soft conditions and the step up in trip should suit alot better and them 2 factors could bring alot of improvement and put this horse bang in the mix I think and I believe can get in the 1st 2 placings and look's a to have a good E/W chance today.
5.05 Mountain Range E/W, the Dunlop horse kept on well last time over 1 mile 2 on softish ground and should improve again today over a extra 2 furlongs and shouldent mind the softer ground too much and looks set for a big run and at the price can even take it E/W I cant see it being out of the first 3 placings.
3.00 York - Kirthill E/W, look's too have a fine chance today, teh ground was probleys too soft last time but ran well all the same and today's condition's should suit much better and look's a real nice type and a good E/W bet, it should not be far away today.
Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Location: By The Thames on a warm Bank Holiday afternoon
Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:41 am Post subject:
14:25 York - STORMY WEATHER @ 16/1 (EW)
Stormy Weather is an alert horse for me from hurdles but I was amazed when looking into his flat form just how potentially well handicapped he is off 90 here, even from 4lbs out of the handicap, if he handles the punishing 1m 6f trip on rain softened ground.
He is relatively unexposed on the flat, having only had the 5 starts, but the form from his first 4 starts puts him well in off this mark. He won on debut in France over a mile in a race which worked out very well; the second didn't really progress although it won subsequently but the 3rd was Group 1 winner Varenar, 4th was subsequent Godolphin Classic hope Cavalryman, and 5th was Group 1 winner Stand to Gain. He ran well in a Group 3 nto, although never bothering the judge, and was 2nd in a listed race on his 3rd start, with 89 rated Goliaths Boy easily beaten in 3rd. His 4th start was a cracking 1m 4f handicap in hindsight, after coming to Britain under the care of Howard Johnson; won by Opinion Poll, the first 4 were all clear of the 5th and also consisted of Distant Memories and Tactic as well as Stormy. All three of those are now rated 20lbs+ better.
His last flat start has to be forgiven, when coming a lacklustre 22nd out of 23 in a handicap off 98, but its clear from the way that the previous race has worked out that this was too bad to be true. That was 3 years ago and he now has plenty of racing experience in big field handicaps, albeit over hurdles, which will really help him out in the hustle bustle of this top class handicap.
To me it looks as if the handicapper has taken the kind of risk in dropping him to a mark of 90 (although it is effectively 94 here as he is out of the handicap) which the trainer, Brian Ellison, is expert at exploiting. The jockey booking here certainly doesn't make me think any differently; over the last 5 years McHugh has a strikerate of 21% with Ellison, but this rises to a massive 25% with horses of 4 years old and more, with a profit of +£50.91 to £1 stake.
The two question marks here concern the trip and his fitness. The trip is fairly extreme, but his overall profile does not suggest that it will be outside of his reach, given that he won on debut at a mile as a 2yo, placed in that very hot 12f race as a 3yo, and has clearly strengthened up over the intervening years as his hurdles form is progressing nicely. With regards to his fitness, I think the jockey booking indicates that he is probably up to speed, but if it does drop off in the closing stages here he is definitely one to follow for the remainder of the season.
Good luck all _________________ "The problem with the future is that there are more things that could happen than will happen" - Plato (liberally paraphrased)
Joined: 08 Oct 2009
Location: Asking Big Bucks to finish Grand Crus
Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:49 pm Post subject:
2.10 NEWMARKET - OPERATION CHARIOT An interesting Superlative Stakes and some of these that raced at Ascot reoppose here, however i do think that all the horses that ran at Ascot had tough enough races. The selection is then the most unexposed horse in the field from the Andrew Balding yard. This horse has proved that he handles the ground and definitely handles the trip. The horse showed plenty of greenness early on in the race when slowly out of the stalls and then didnt have the run of the race tracking the pace. Then come through to score convincingly. I do think that two of the contenders that day was fancied especially considering that Richard Hannon's horse was a market mover on the day as was the Ralph Beckett horse in the same race. I think there is plenty more to come and the way the horse strode up the hill really impressed me. I am not the best eye for juveniles usually, as my focus is generally on seasoned campaigners but i was really impressed by this horse and in my opinion the horse should be there or thereabouts. _________________ Follow Me On Twitter
Joined: 08 Oct 2009
Location: Asking Big Bucks to finish Grand Crus
Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:00 pm Post subject:
2.25 YORK - HIGH JINX (NAP) This race looks extremely competitive and it is shocking to know that the ground is actually good at the track however that is no problem and punting should be live. The selection is the James Fanshawe trained High Jinx, who won despite everything going wrong last time out at Newmarket over 1m4f. That was an extremely good race and was competitive on the day and while the distance suggests that the 8lb rise is steep enough, the horse looked to be going better the further he was going so therefore this step up to 1m6f should suit really well and for me the horse is still unexposed and the horse can continue to improve and this step up in trip looks the best move. It will be interesting to see how that form will work out from last time out but i strongly fancy this James Fanshawe runner and in my opinion High Jinx is going to be very difficult to beat. _________________ Follow Me On Twitter
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