So much to cover in an interesting week so let’s revert to the seven things we learnt this week idea:
- Rizeena and Kiyoshi may have been extremely impressive when landing their respective Royal Ascot contests but are by no means going to end the season as the dominant fillies. The former, however, has been campaigned with splendid aggression by the evergreen Clive Brittain and remains a Classic contender whereas Kiyoshi appears to have plenty to learn temperamentally before aspiring to such heights.
- The French unveiled a couple of fine prospects in Miss France (why do I simply not back everything that Andre Fabre raids Newmarket with) and the bargain basement buy that is Vorda who was never in danger of defeat in landing the Cheveley Park for the previously under the radar Sogorb yard. Olivier Peslier’s bullishness was there for all to hear pre-race and she seems sure to progress further irrespective of which distance she’s asked to tackle.
- ‘Sky Lantern lights up Newmarket in Sun Chariot’ was the headline writer’s classic cliché but there was no denying the magnificence of the performance as the Hannon filly claimed deserved retribution for the ludicrous Falmouth Stakes defeat when only beaten a neck despite being carried half the length of Suffolk in the closing couple of furlongs by Elusive Kate. A third Group 1 victory following her 1000 Guineas triumph and a stunning Coronation Stakes success confirms Sky Lantern as by far the leading filly of the 2013 Classic generation. How wonderful that she is to be kept in training next season.
The Sunday meeting at the Curragh was a fine affair all round as the opening trio of races were worthy of considerable analysis. Dermot Weld landed the maiden for the third successive year with the unraced Tested for Prince Khalid Abdullah and should be noted for any future engagements. John Oxx produced My Titania to land the first Group success for Sea The Stars’ progeny and there can be no one in racing that did not cheer that result after such a low-key season for this class trainer. Let’s hope that there are more to come, especially after the decision of the Aga Khan to no longer support the yard with yearlings. Shining Emerald has demolished the opposition the last twice and the way he put Guerre to the sword was dynamic. He’d be rated far higher if trained at a more fashionable establishment and his next appearance is eagerly awaited.
Mike Marshall’s move to Ismail Mohammed creates endless questions about the future of his new and former employees. What is in no doubt is the tremendous strike rate of the Mohammed yard who proved that they are far more than a small-track operation when landing the Cambridgeshire with Educate under the remarkable Mr Murtagh yesterday. This is a yard going only one way and the arrival of Marshall is a significant coup
- Today’s article in The Sunday Times on Lady Cecil explains much about her reasons for continuing the Warren Place story. One can only presume that both Prince Khalid and the Niarchos Family will maintain support of the yard and there can be few that will not hope that the Group 1 flag will proudly fly once again in the future.
- And finally….. Last week I wrote about my week at Yarmouth races but omitted one particular occurrence. A friend of mine landed the 1-2-3 in a competitive handicap and – astonishingly – had landed the Trifecta. The SPs were 20-1, 12-1 and 9-1. He was in a state of high excitement as the Tricast came out at over £2400 for the £1 stake. And the Trifecta? It paid just over £400. A difference of over £1800 to a £1 stake. I wonder if the new Tote owner, Mr Done(Betfred) had any comment to make – or probably he was too busy laughing all the way to the bank.