A list of horses that caught my eye during the last seven days of racing. These individuals look ready to win a race sooner rather than later given the right conditions.
06/05/22 – 3.25 Ascot:
Bit slowly away from the gate, then travelled really well into the home straight on the bridle, made progress to 2 furlongs out when a bit short of room, pulled out and stayed on strongly. Solid topspeed 70 rated performance.
Clearly one to improve for going up in trip. Bred for 12 furlongs. Full-sister to good handicapper Dancing Approach. Possibly wants ease in the ground too. Soft 10f on a stamina demanding track may also be a possibility.
One to wait for going handicapping. Showed promise on debut run last month too. Have to monitor the opening mark. Will need on more run to qualify.
Zameka + Kindness
06/05/22 – 4.35 Ascot:
The two aren’t obvious eyecatchers from a pure visual point of view. Though, there is a lot to take from this race for their future chances.
Zameka was disadvantaged right away from the widest outside draw. Travelled okay to the two furlong marker then dropped away quickly. First time blinkers didn’t help much in terms of performance, although he looked a lot more settled and less awkward than in the past.
Ran really well at Lingfield on his seasonal debut in a hot handicap when he hang his chances away in the closing stage but finished well given the circumstances.
He was two times placed and won well on his final start in 2021. Therefore he’s certainly better than this most recent poor showing. He was a $170k yearling, a full-brother to 95 rated Eagle Song, who won twice over 7 furlongs on the All-Weather.
With that in mind, as well as the pedigree, there is plenty of potential upside if Zameka goes back up in trip to 7 furlongs. He’s already won over the trip. The shorter sprint distances are too sharp. Perhaps a return to the All-Weather could be interesting too.
Kindness was drawn the total opposite in the #1 gate. She raced without cover and faded rapidly from two furlongs out, eventually finished last.
This was her seasonal reappearance. My impression is the trip is too short. That’s despite her winning over 5.5 as a juvenile. Back then in September she was quite badly outpaced at the back of the field but stayed on strongly as the leaders went too hard.
On pedigree she should enjoy a step up to 7 furlongs. With a reduced mark and tackling that additional distance she’ll be really interesting.
06/05/22 – 5.45 Ripon:
The run itself was not much on the eye. He was outpaced from 3f out, kept up to work for a while but was eventually eased. However, this was a solid comeback run after a 100 day break that should put him spot on.
He showed talent in January on the All-Weather over 5 furlongs, especially when placed at Lingfield finding plenty under pressure despite the minimum trip certainly being an inadequate one.
His breeding clearly points to a mile. that context I feel these three runs are noteworthy and perhaps he didn’t show too much the handicapper. An opening mark of 72 is workable if he steps up in trip to 7 furlongs or a mile.
06/05/22 – 6.45 Ripon:
Outpaced at the rear of the field 3 furlongs out, looked poised and dangerous two furlongs from home, travelling behind horses while searching for a gap. Didn’t get a clear run until late, finished strongly with the fastest final furlong split.
Jockey was 1lb overweight here, perhaps the ground not quite soft enough to see Shallow Hal to best effect. Strong run in circumstances. Not for the first time over the last weeks; he’s ran with plenty of credit and not always the best of luck in his races, mostly running to form and mark.
This consistency means he’s in the grip of the handicapper. However, this most recent run shows that he has options of a mark of 73 – he could be really dangerous with a claimer on board, especially with cut in the ground.
Ideally he drops to below 73 before I back him. Ground conditions are non-negotiable for me; I might be tempted on softish ground with a strong apprentice of his current mark, if the price is right.
06/05/22 – 6.26 Wolverhampton:
Got a bump early and travelled keenly throughout. Had a lot to do from the back of the field and was rather tenderly handled. Finished in impressive style weaving through the field under hands and heels, posting the fastest last two furlongs.
He has lost his way completely, which is the reason why he has fallen to a basement mark. But he showed the flame is still burning lately. This recent performance is the best to date.
Would be very interesting back on turf over 6 or 7 furlongs, ideally with cut in the ground.
06/05/22 – 5.35 Nottingham:
Chased early pace, got shuffled back from 3 furlongs out as he didn’t quite possessed the speed to stay close to the early pace. Stuck behind horses and short of room from two furlongs out, while sticking nicely to the task. Gets out late and finishes strongly with second fasted final furlong split.
Best on All-Weather but has ran well on turf last season too, without winning, though. Down to a solid mark. Wouldn’t mind another couple of pounds off. Handicapper would give him a real chance then.
Needs to go back to 7 furlongs, either on the All-Weather, or on turf with cut in the ground.
Wet Wind Blows
06/05/22 – 6.10 Nottingham:
Went out hard in the early part of the race setting some fast fractions. Slowed it down in the middle and kicked on impressively in the home straight to win by 5 lengths.
He defied a penalty for winning on debut at Newcastle but the weight was no issue here, despite meeting some solid opposition. His Newcastle performance was also noteworthy as he overcame greenness and not having the clearest of runs, finishing very strongly.
He’s a quirky sort, still learning on the job, but clearly talented, having ran to topspeed 90 here. Ten furlongs looks fine as a trip. Moving up in distance isn’t out of question. He looks pattern class and will be interesting where he goes next.
07/05/22 – 4.05 Ascot:
Travelled in midfield on the stands’ side really well until about two furlongs from home when he starts to lose his position as a combination of being slightly outpaced over this 7 furlongs distance as well as being stuck behind a wall of horses.
Finds himself about to be relegated to last approaching the final furlong. Switches to the inside rail and finishes under easy hands and heels the joint fasted final furlong split. Impressive.
Seven furlongs and fastish ground racing off near top weight was an incredibly tough assignment. To run so well in these circumstances is especially noteworthy.
Back up to a mile he’ll be a big chance, particularly with ease in the ground.
Ribtide + Eldeyaar
07/05/22 – 7.05 Thirsk:
Ribtide has to content with an outside draw, travels at the rear of the main group really strongly, hard on the bridle all the way to the final furlong marker behind a wall of horses with no way through.
Clearly better than this result and better than the odds of his first four career runs suggested. An opening mark of 67 looks stiff enough for what he achieved so far, although his runner-up performance in March behind Fly To Glory, who is now 83 rated and finished a solid third subsequently behind another 83 rated individual could indicate he’s got a bit more to offer.
This was his handicap debut. He was a 50/1 shot. And the way he travelled looked nowhere near like a no-hoper. Six furlongs looks to be his trip. I’ll be really interested wherever he goes next. He was a January foal and should win races soon. But the market has to be monitored.
Eldeyaar was another hard luck story. He got a heavy bump right after the start. Travelled at the rear end of a small group on the stands’ side. As the groups merged and the race got hot from two furlongs out he appeared slightly outpaced, but kept going nicely.
He had a bunch of horses in front, couldn’t quite quicken fast enough whenever a gap opened for a brief moment. Eventually things opened up late and he ran home strongly.
Clearly a better run than his 50/1 price suggested. This was his handicap debut. He looks to be potentially better than this opening 58 mark. His three qualifying runs where also better than the bare form.
Pedigree matches my visual impression that he wants an additional furlong. He should be a big runner if he steps up in trip. He may be well handicapped enough over 6 furlongs for now – but only with cut in the ground.
0705/22 – 7.35 Thirsk:
Travelled well as part of the smaller of two groups toward the stands’ side. Looked poised for a big challenge over two furlongs out as the groups merged. Was in a tight spot and badly hampered over one furlong out. Had to regain momentum. Impressive how he did it.
The form should be strong thanks to the winner who was still well handicapped.
There are obvious issues and risks with him. He’s a maiden after 20 runs. He’s got close a number of times. Down to a 49 mark at the moment, the right race is there for him to win.
Ideally 5 furlongs on soft ground as otherwise I’m sure he’ll be found out for speed. I would also be curious to see him attempting 6 furlongs again. He tried the distance only once. His pedigree gives him every chance to stay the trip.
07/05/22 – 8.35 Thirsk:
Raced as part of a duo isolated on the stand’s side. Pair was lengths behind main bunch and had plenty to do with two furlongs to go. Marselan found plenty to finish much the strongest to grab 2nd place. He also achieved a career best 60 topspeed rating.
This was the first time after a wind operation – he was never going to be a 66/1 shot if his breathing would be fixed. The loss of form last year can most likely be attributed to those issues.
He won of 65 and 67 last summer over 7 furlongs. Now down to 62 he’s obviously well handicapped with the breathing issues rectified. I think 6 furlongs with cut in the ground can work as seen here but the additional furlong and decent ground may well be his optimum.
Arlecchino’s Gift + Salta Resta
09/05/22 – 1.40 Wolverhampton:
Arlecchino’s Gift was caught wide from his wide draw and only dropped in over three furlongs out around the home bend. Travelled much the best entering the home straight but had the entire field to pass.
Appeared to find a small gap over a furlong from home but got badly squeezed eventually. He pulled through but lost momentum. Got quickly going again and finished well – despite the trouble and being eased in the final 100 yards he ran the fasted home straight sectionals.
Starting issues prevented him from a more fruitful juvenile campaign, although he showed some talent. A gelding operation over the winter helped and thanks to being more professional at the start he’s finally winning races. He’s been progressive this year, wining twice and running well a number of other times.
When winning of a mark of 55 at Wolverhampton he appeared to have a bit in hand, which was confirmed by a 59 topspeed rating. There were excuses at Chelmsford subsequently when he was badly bumped at the start and was overly keen in a slowly run race.
This most recent performance adds to the picture that Arlecchino’s Gift continues to improve. Of a mark of 60 he could still be well handicapped given he ran to TS 59 with relative ease and caught the eye so dramatically here.
Salta Resta raced at the back of the field and was quite keen throughout but travelled strongly entering the home straight. Had to delay her effort to wait for space to open on the inside. She finished strongly, despite not having a clear run in the closing stages once again, not being knocked about either, with the second fastest home straight sectionals.
She’s been better than the latest results suggest. Currently only 2lb above her last winning mark from Southwell in January when she also achieved a 56 topspeed rating and beat Arlecchino’s Gift.
I feel anything below 6 furlongs will be too sharp. A step up to 7 furlongs looks possible given the dam side. But she’s always quite keen, so perhaps a fast 6 furlongs with a pace to run at should see her capable of winning another race.
09/05/22 – 2.40 Wolverhampton:
After his usual awkward start he travelled well at the back of the main bunch. Looked poised turning for home but got stuck amongst horses. Had to switch to the inside in a harsh move over a furlong out and finished much the best, although the winner was long gone. Raced 1lb out of the weights.
Excellent follow-up from a good performance in a seller over course and distance when he made eye-catching headway turning for home carrying 10st.
Obviously a tricky customer, who can lose races at the gate and has fallen a long way down in the ratings. These last two performances suggest there is life in the 8-year-old, though.
If he drops down to class 6 he’ll be a big chance sooner rather than later I reckon. All-Weather or fast ground on turf both should work.
09/05/22 – 3.40 Wolverhampton:
He lost the race at the gate. Not for the first time. Had to play catch up from early on. Appeared a bit outpaced around the home bend, kept up to work and stuck gutsily to it in the home straight, rattled home once switched to the middle of the track in impressive fashion, very much the strongest visually and also backed up by last 2 furlongs splits. Doing this despite losing his right-fore shoe.
No doubt he was the best horse in the race. He ran much better than the form suggested at Redcar before. After missing the break, he travelled powerfully through the middle part of the race, just got tired in the end doing too much before it really mattered.
He should stay the mile given the stamina on the dam side. I think it’s worth another try as things happen a little slower there. Ideally we see some headgear applied too.
He was a £85,000 as a yearling and has shown at the track he’s got some talent to match the price. He’s yet to run to a TS rating that matches his current mark, but I firmly believe he’s well capable.
09/05/22 – 3.30 Catterick:
Grabbed the lead but didn’t find immediate change of gear entering the home straight. Got pressured left and right and badly hampered repeatedly from 2 furlongs out and never had a change to unleash a challenge. Whether he would have found enough to truly challenge is hard to answer.
Catterick as a track wouldn’t totally suit him. He’s best on flat tracks or the All-Weather. He’s down to a good mark having ran with consistency to a higher level last year. He won off 65 and was placed three times of a similar mark on turf and fibresand, and ran five times to topspeed ratings of 58 or higher (3x 61+).
Even though he has fallen down to a 56 rating at the moment, he was already twice placed this year and ran to a 58 TS rating at Newcastle.
Back on 6 furlongs on fast ground he’ll be ripe to win.
Port Noir + Hope Probe
10/05/22 – 2.20 Chepstow:
Port Noir travelled on the outside from a wide draw away from where the pace and race would develop. Going well making fine progress two furlongs out, then bit short of room and in tight spots a couple of times. Runs well to the line under hands and heels.
Fine performance given the circumstances. She is better on the All-Weather but a few pounds too high for my liking. One to monitor for a few more runs.
She won of a mark of 64 last September at Wolverhampton over 7 furlongs. That performances matches her career best 64 topspeed rating. Wait for her to drop down to that mark in those circumstances.
Hope Probe was at a disadvantage from her low draw much like Port Noire. Moved right over to the stands’ side rail but now behind a wall of horses. Switched back to the middle of the track from 3f out and eventually further to the outside in a dramatic move, making rapid progress.
Received two slight bumps in the last two furlongs but continued to finish well to grab 3rd place on the line.
He must have had issues having dropped 15lbs in a year and changed yards twice. He won of 55 over 7 furlongs last April ( 58 TS) and was multiple times placed of higher ratings subsequently.
This was a clear and obvious return to form. He could be well handicapped if stepping back up to 7 furlongs again.
10/05/22 – 3.20 Chepstow:
Travelled strongly on the inside behind horses, kept up nicely to the task while having to bide time. Some space opened up late in the final furlong and she moved through easily to finish strongly under hands and heels.
She is still a maiden after 17 attempts, but there are mitigating factors. She also showed promise of higher marks last summer, especially with cut in the ground when she finished 3rd at Salisbury and Windsor.
Down to a basement mark at the moment, she has improved nicely with each run since her seasonal reappearance. The fact she ran so well on fast ground over the minimum trip here is noteworthy.
On proper soft ground she’ll be quite interesting over 5f with a stiff finish or otherwise over 6 furlongs, taking also into context her dam was a soft ground horse too.
10/05/22 – 3.40 Beverley:
Travelled very strongly approaching the two furlong marker. Had to wait for racing room, switched toward the inside rail but had to keep fighting for space. The race was gone as she reached the final furlong, although she didn’t find much either in the closing stages.
This was a hot race with some well handicapped individuals here, including the strong winner. She ran a big race last time out here at Beverley over 7.5 furlongs, finishing much the strongest visually and on sectionals, confirming the promise of her seasonal reappearance at Redcar.
No question, she is a frustrating mare these days. She hasn’t won for years, often enough caught the eye, none more so last June when an unlucky 4th at Thirsk of a mark of 67 while running to TS 66.
She is down to a 49 mark now. There is still some spark. But she will need ideal conditions: a bit of cut in the ground. Too often she raced on fastish ground, ran well, but I feel she needs a bit of ease in the ground these days. If that’s given over 7-8 furlongs she’ll win soon.
10/05/22 – 4.10 Beverley:
Sluggish start, settled in rear, looked not quite to enjoy the sharp track and still seemed green. Bit short of room 3f out, switched widest for challenge and hang in the home straight a bit to his right. Better than the result, finished well on the sections.
Strong follow-up from last time out when he ran a big race as runner-up. That day he made his move too early that day and a more conservative ride would have seen him gone much closer. Ran to topspeed 54 the last two times now.
I think Beverley looks too sharp for him as a track and fast ground possibly not quite ideal. He looks like one who doesn’t want it any faster than good. He’s a poor starter. Can see him move up to 12 furlongs. That should unlock additional improvement. 1m 2f distance isn’t out of question but want to see him on a less sharp course and with cut in the ground in that instance.
10/05/22 – 5.20 Beverley:
Settled well in rear and travelled solidly into the home straight, looking potentially poised for a challenge. Kept in a pocket and not clear run from 3f out, eased to finish second last in the end. Was a big drifter in the betting on the day.
Clearly one for handicaps. Inexperienced, only the second career run for the filly, who was an April foal too. She’ll improve with racing and certainly if going up in trip. She’s a sister to solid handicapper Knowing, a 10f winner who stays 12 furlongs.
I suspect Lailah needs to move beyond 10 furlongs to be seen to best effect. That will happen. Give her time, monitor for the next few starts, also with an eye on the opening mark – she’s one for later this season.
Rose Camira + Adjourn
10/05/22 – 7.00 Newcastle:
Rosa Camira travelled nicely in midfield for a long time, made a bit of progress entering the home straight, but not helped by a shifting rival carrying them toward the far side. Eased after not finding much in the closing stages
Lovely return to the track for the filly on her second career start. She didn’t show much on debut over inadequate 7 furlongs. I reckon this piece of form here will work out quite well, though. Certainly she will have learned quite a bit.
She’ll be interesting once qualified for a mark and if stepping up in trip. There’s an awful lot of stamina in the pedigree. She’s a full-sister 1m 4f winning Lady of Shalott and Lady Morgana who was only 1¼ lengths behind Group 1 winning Eshaada in her sole run.
It’s unlikely that this filly will be a star, but she could be underestimated given the naked form doesn’t read too well yet; hence she’s one to wait for later this year when she goes up in trip and hopefully hasn’t shown too much to the handicapper too early to get a nice opening mark.
Adjourn quickly crossed over from his wide draw to be right up with the pace. He clearly made way too much in the first half of the race.He still looked in with a chance entering the home straight but in reality was gradually weakening and fading away.
This was his first run since September, having been gelded in the meantime. When last seen in 2021 he was an excellent 5th, only 2.5l beaten, behind smart Subastar at Newmarket.
He stepped up to 10 furlongs for the first time here at Newcastle. The jury is out whether he truly stays it. The pedigree is not fully conclusive on that question. The reason why he didn’t get home in this race was simply down to pacing, so worth another chance over the distance.
Otherwise a mile with some ease in the ground could be interesting too. That says one has to monitor the opening mark. As mentioned before I feel this was a strong maiden. And his juvenile form may push his mark beyond an acceptable level. He was a £135,000 purchase, though, and should have talent.
All Are Mine
10/05/22 – 8.00 Newcastle:
Was slowly away and clearly inexperienced. Pulling also really hard for the majority of the race in what was a field crawling for the most part. Didn’t get a clear run of things from 2 furlongs out as pace increased, perhaps also a little bit outpaced shortly after, but very impressive how he changed gears inside the final furlong when finding racing room to fly home.
Highly impressive debut despite drifting out to 25/1 from single figure odds in the morning. Fetched €162k at a breeze up sale last year.
Should improve for a trip given his pedigree. Ten furlongs looks no issue on that front. Will be really interesting to see where he goes next and what the market says. Exciting prospect.
10/05/22 – 7.45 Lingfield:
Perhaps a tiny bit slow out of the gates, she travelled stylishly into the home straight. Didn’t have an immediate change of gear but wasn’t help by a rival hanging into her, pushing her toward the inside. Eventually with some space in front of her, she finished much the best, especially from half a furlong out.
This was her handicap debut after a really solid pipe opener in quite a hot Newbury maiden last month. An opening mark of 73 isn’t a giveaway from the handicapper; however, this run and particularly the way she finished the race is encouraging.
She has plenty of stamina in her pedigree, and matching that with the visual impression here I reckon she can unlock more potential if she moves up in trip. Winning over 12 furlongs of her mark looks realistic.
11/05/22 – 2.25 York:
Drawn in stall #1 on the far side, tried to go with the pace early on but soon flat footed and under pressure. Things happened too quickly here. Still found something under pressure and finished okay, isolated on that far rail.
Six furlongs on decent ground is probably too sharp, especially in this class. Ran a number of good races last year, including when winning at York twelve months ago over 7 furlongs. Continued to improve without winning. A third place at Ayr in a highly competitive Handicap of a mark of 88 running to topspeed 86 counts as a career best.
His seasonal reappearance at Thirsk last month was excellent. Both runs this year now confirmed he’s as good as ever. An 85 OR gives opportunities. Any drop in the mark in combination with a step up to 7 furlongs, ideally with a bit of cut in the ground, will be really interesting.
Life’s A Beach + Mr Freedom
11/05/22 – 8.30 Bath:
Life’s A Beach settled in rear after a slightly sluggish start. Was trailing the entire field turning for home. Had to wait for room, which opened up late inside the final furlong when switched to the inside where he finished really well with seemingly a lot in the tank.
This was his seasonal reappearance having been off since disappointing as short priced favourite at Kempton on Handicap debut. The way he travelled and finished from the back of the field suggests he’s certainly well handicapped.
It’s reasonable to expect he can improve with age and experience given he’s an April foal. He can be a slow starter and wasn’t able to quicken when it mattered at Kempton, so I’d be warry of dropping to 7 furlongs and want to see him over a mile.
Mr Freedom also travelled toward the end of the field. Still third last entering the home straight, he was stuck amongst horses, tried different avenues to get out and hang a bit over one furlong out when switched toward the inside again.
This was his first outing this year and first handicap start after showing nothing as a juvenile. He was surprisingly well backed from an early morning 20’s into 10’s SP.
He’s obviously light on experience and also one you definitely would hope to improve with time. There’s also a good deal of stamina that make me believe his future will more likely be over 10 furlongs.
12/05/22 – 4.18 Salisbury:
Travelled strongly in rear on the inside, having plenty to do with two furlongs to go. Not finding much racing room until finally in the clear approaching the final furlong. Doesn’t have an instant acceleration but eventually stays on well to land 3rd place.
He’s got his issues in the starting gate and looks in the grip of the handicapper. At least over 6 furlongs. He needs the step up in trip, possibly 7 furlongs will suffice, but a mile should work too. Ideally he gets a couple of pounds off his mark too.
Will monitor for the next starts where they go with him. I wouldn’t back him over 6 furlongs.
12/05/22 – 1.50 York:
Not the best of starts but that’s normal for him these days. Travelled powerfully behind a wall of horses, looming large, whenever he could get a gap to run through. No gap appeared, switched over 1 furlong out but the race was gone by then. Was eventually eased.
Really nice first outing for the year. Should improve from this. Travelled so well to assume he’s in fine nick. Proved to be prolific last season winning twice and achieve a career best 98 topspeed rating.
Currently rated 98. Would like to see a couple of pounds less before I’m seriously interested, which may already be achieved after this run if the handicapper is lenient. 5 furlongs in smaller field at Doncaster or Ascot on fast ground would be the ideal scenario.