The past month has been very busy with the highlight being the Northumberland Plate meeting at Newcastle. I hope to have a few nuggets of gold to look at from our meetings at Doncaster, Newcastle and Yarmouth.
I will start off with Doncaster where there were some notable races which look to hold some solid form and are worth following. STAR SHIELD won the 1m race on the 28th and the form is rock solid as the 2nd Anna Bunina and 3rd Mickey have won since, Star Shield then ran a good race at Yarmouth to finish 2nd to COASTLINE and then followed it up at Ascot last Friday with a win. That race took an immediate boost when Breanski won the next day, so Star Shield and Coastline are ones to follow over the next month.
The 29th June meet at the Town Moor provided some decent times, but the race I must highlight is the 0-85 6f handicap which went to CARTMELL CLEAVE, who won well in a very good time of 1m10.17s, since then the 2nd has won.
The meetings in July have so far produced some interesting results. QUEENS GIFT was the winner over the sprint trip and she backed that up with a victory at Ripon. The 3rd that day, Enchanted Lind, has also won, so the one to watch from this could be the 2nd, LUFRICIA for the Varian team.
The horse performance of the month at Doncaster was easy to select. CELSIUS clocked 58.82s despite falling out of the stalls and doing the slowest opening split time of the field. Celsius’s cadence and stride data is really revealing. It shows that his stride frequency is quite slow for a sprinter but his huge stride more than makes up for this, as the chart shows. The second horse, HAN SOLO BERGER looks ready to strike gold soon as he looks well handicapped.
The meetings at Yarmouth in the past month have been on a mixed bag of going, earlier in the month the two day meeting was on Soft to Heavy ground and the times reflected that, although the highlight was SUMMER ROMANCE who made a winning debut and then followed up in a Newmarket Listed race. She holds an entry for the Lowther(Gr2) and Moyglare(G1) and could be anything.
The rest of month was back on quicker ground and we have a few to keep an eye on. MARHABA MILLIAR beat a small field, at first glance it may seem nothing but when the 2nd, Motakhayyel, turned up at Newmarket next time and won a £30,000 Class 2 handicap you sit up and take note. The 2yo novice on the same day could work out well, the 3rd horse VILLAIN’S VOICE was slightly impeded and ran a race full of promise, I can see him going close next time. The winning time of the £30,000 Optional Claimer was the best over 6f this season at the track, but the winner is rated 100 so the performance of RAUCOUS was creditable and you can see him going to something like the Stewards Cup at Goodwood. Update: runner up Hart Stopper won the 0-85 at Yarmouth on 17 July.
We finally move onto the Newcastle Northumberland Plate Festival, whilst the three days were glorious sunshine with some quality racing the weather did play a big hand in the surface; it was very slow and the times reflected it and sadly nothing really stood out on the clock. The performance of TURJOMAAN was decent in the novice race on the Friday evening, STAXTON was probably the best performance at the meeting on the clock with his victory in the 6f 0-100 while on the Saturday, INVINCIBLE ARMY showed his class in the Chipchase. Finally, it was nice to see MUBHIJ win as he was in last month’s update.
HORSES TO FOLLOW– CARTMELL CLEAVE, CELSIUS, COASTLINE, HANS SOLO BERGER, LUFRICIA, MARHABA MILLER, STAR SHIELD, STAXTON, TURJOMAAN, VILLAIN’S VOICE