THE horses are all running well and after a very wet spell the weather has finally turned and it’s amazing how much they all come on for some sun on their back. It was a slightly frustrating week at Royal Ascot with a few disappointments but, despite being beaten, I was delighted with Threat in the Coventry. Had he been on the other side who knows what the outcome may have been but the winner is a very good horse, but then so is ours! He’s entered in the G1 National Stakes and who knows, he might end up there but we’ll probably look at Goodwood beforehand and go up to 7f for the Vintage Stakes. Billesdon Brook may have slipped under the radar when winning a Listed race at Chelmsford when everyone was focussed on Royal Ascot but that win would have done her confidence plenty of good and she’s got entries at Pontefract and Newmarket next week so she may go there or possibly the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood. Speaking of Newmarket, the July meeting gets underway on Thursday and hopefully we’ll have plenty of decent chances there including Urban Icon in the Listed Henry Cecil Stakes on Thursday and a nice colt of Sheikh Hamdan’s so make sure you check out my @unibetracing blog each day.
Man Of The Night did as we hoped at Newbury last night and is a colt we hold in very high regard. He’s by our Guineas winner Night Of Thunder who has made a very good start to his stallion career and we’ll look at stepping up in grade now.
I was saddened to hear that John McCririck passed away this week. He was a remarkable man who did a lot for racing and wasn’t afraid to shirk an argument or offer his opinion. He knew his subject matter extremely well and very quickly became a household name which was great for our sport. He was one of a kind but his passing is a major loss to racing and there’ll never be one like him again. RIP Mac.
Runners up and down the country this weekend and thoughts on their chances are below.
Rum Runner (Martin Dwyer)
I’ve just checked his price and see he’s 20/1 with Unibet which is think is a pretty big bearing in mind he loves it around there having won twice at Sandown. The fast ground will help and I think he’s ready to go back up to a mile. The Handicapper has dropped him a few pounds and I think he’s solid each way material.
Magical Wish (Ryan Moore)
I think a stiff seven furlongs at Sandown is exactly what he wants as he was staying on very well to the line at York last time. The Handicapper hasn’t taken any chances with him but he’s in great form and Ryan Moore is an obvious plus. I fancy him to go very close.
Production (Ryan Moore)
He improved for the step up to a mile and a quarter at Redcar last time and I think that would have done his confidence a lot of good as well and he handles any type of ground. He’s come out of that race in very good form and I’d like to think there could be more improvement in him over this trip.
Beat Le Bon (Pat Dobbs)
He’s finally doing what we all knew he was capable of and after Goodwood last time, Dobbsy got off and said a fast run seven furlongs where he can be held up is exactly what he needs so hopefully know we’ve found the key to him he can finally recoup some of the losses we suffered with him as a juvenile! The Handicapper put him up 7lbs so time will tell if that fair but the long straight at Haydock will suit his style and I expect him to be bang there on his favoured fast ground.
Wahash (Tom Marquand)
Both his wins have been over a mile at Lingfield so this is a completely different ball game but he wasn’t beaten all that far last time and he’s down to a handy looking mark. His form figures leave him with lots to do but he worked well the other day and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him run a nice race stepping down in grade.
Oh Purple Reign (Sean Levey)
We thought he’d win at Beverly last time after a very good effort in the Woodcote behind subsequent Chesham winner Pinatubo but in hindsight I think we probably ran him a bit to quickly after Epsom so he’s had a nice break and has plenty of time to recover from two quite hard races. He’s got a lot of weight to carry but is officially the best horse in the race so I’m very hopeful he can resume winning ways here.
Mushtaq (Sean Levey)
He’s had a few little niggles which have kept him off since April but he likes it around here and I think a mile is his trip, however this is very competitive race and he’ll need to be at his very best to trouble the judge.
Galileo Jade (Sean Levey)
She’s been crying out for this trip but this looks a very good Novice so I’m not sure the extra yardage will be enough to see her get her head in front. She’ll be better in Handicaps.
Orliko (Sean Levey)
He’s a tough little horse who takes his racing really well. We’ve done nothing with him since Windsor last week and he’ll have no qualms with this surface. The Handicapper hasn’t given him any leeway but he’s sure to run well again.
Nahham (Sean Levey)
He was very slow to come to hand hence he didn’t run until March this year but the patience was obviously rewarded because he won his first two. That said, he wasn’t quite as good at Bath last time but I’m hoping the drop back to seven furlongs will see him in a better light and I’m going to give him another chance.
Water Diviner (Seamus Cronin)
I like this colt as he’s very tough and has a great attitude. Stall 12 isn’t ideal but that run at Goodwood will have blown the cobwebs away and Seamus’s 5lb claim will be a major asset. I fancy him to run a huge race.
Elysium Dream (Tom Marquand)
She ran very lazily at Goodwood last time so we’re putting the visor on which will hopefully switch her on a bit. A mile isn’t a problem, neither is the ground, and Tom knows her well so there aren’t really any excuses today. She’s given her owners loads of fun and won lots of prize money so owes us nothing but the ability is still there so I’m still confident she can get her head back in front before long.
Corncrake (Rossa Ryan)
It took a while for the penny to drop but he finally got the job done at Haydock last time. He’s a real striking colt who I think will keep improving and that win will have done his confidence plenty of good, too. He’s up in grade but I think he still has a great chance.
SUNDAY – DEAUVILLE
Fox Champion takes his chance in the G1 Prix Jean Prat along with Watan and both horses are in great form. Watan ran a much better race at Newmarket last time and any give in the ground will really help his chance. It’s obviously a big step up but Christophe Soumillon is brilliant around there and I’m pleased to have secured his services. Fox Champion ran ok in the St James Palace but was always going to be vulnerable making the running on the soft ground at Ascot. I think the drop back to seven will be in his favour and I certainly wouldn’t be writing him off just yet.