The past few weeks have been busy, with plenty of miles on the road, and some interesting horses to follow.
My last update of Horses to Follow included a few who have since run. Especially pleasing was the performance of Dandizette at Newcastle on 4th June, particularly when she opened up at 25/1 (returned 12/1) and performed with real credit to finish a good third. She looks the type that will thrive over a quick 5f and trainer Adrian Nicholls has his eye on races at Catterick; she is certainly a winner waiting to happen.
I have been to Great Yarmouth a few times in the last week or so and a couple of horses have performed well, considering the meetings have been in strong headwinds which have made the race pace times slow. The two-year-old, Maxi Boy, looks a good prospect for Michael Bell and there is talk of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, whilst Mubhij is a very lightly raced four year old and it would not surprise me if his trainer, Roger Varian, has a nice handicap in mind for this son of Dark Angel.
The two-day meeting at Doncaster was run on some lovely ground and there were a few performances of note, of which one was exceptional. The Friday evening meeting saw Hammer Gun win again and, the way he is ridden to win his races, I can see him going close again in search of a treble; he loves coming off a fast pace, as shown by our pace stats on At The Races and Sky Sports Racing.
The Saturday highlight was West End Charmer. Leading the field at every furlong sectional, and with the highest efficiency grade of the race, his performance on the clock was exceptional, with the fastest time in 2019 over course and distance by three seconds (equates to 18 lengths). He looks like a horse to follow and connections are looking at a 3yo only race at the Newmarket July meeting. If he gets his ground he would be one to support and the handicapper clearly liked the performance, as he received 10lbs and is now rated 100.
The win by Moss Gill was also noteworthy, it may not have been the strongest contest but his time (course best in 2019), and his higher-than-the-rest-of-the-field peak average stride, mark him as a nice prospect. It will be interesting to see where he goes next.
There is one other horse I want to mention and that is Astro Jakk. He was second to Nahaar at Doncaster on 4th May who won again at Lingfield this week. Astro Jakk gave Nahaar 10lbs at Doncaster and the horse that finished last of ten that day, Heath Charnock, has won since and is on a mark of 85. Astro Jakk is on 80 so he looks to have a winning mark.
The month of June is a busy one and I’m looking forward to the end of the month when we have the Northumberland Plate Festival. Last year’s sectional times show the winner, Withhold, leading the field for the entire race and recording the highest stride frequency of the race, so it will be interesting to see what happens with in-race pace this year.
HORSES TO FOLLOW: