July UpdatePosted : July 6th, 2011
The winners have continued to flow throughout June and we have started July in the best possible fashion, with a treble at Sandown Park on Eclipse Day.
Night Carnation became our first Group winner of the year with a comfortable win in the Group 3 Sprint Stakes. She has improved rapidly this season, winning three from four starts, and is likely to be aimed at the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye.
Highland Knight has long suggested himself capable of taking a big handicap, and his second to Dance And Dance at Epsom on his previous start was franked when that one went on to finish runner-up in the Hunt Cup. Always prominent under David Probert, he was sent on 2f out and held on in very good style. He is sure to face a hike in the weights but is very progressive and genuine and can hold his own at a higher level.
Chiberta King completed the treble with a career-best effort in winning the Listed Esher Stakes, getting up in the very final stride of the 2m trip under a strong ride from Jimmy Fortune. A winner in handicap company earlier in the month, he is another to have improved plenty this season and given the quality of opposition (it looked a good contest for the grade) he can hopefully win again in Pattern company this season.
Dungannon is another older horse on the up, and he won at Doncaster in June in very good style, potentially setting him up for a tilt at the Stewards Cup at Glorious Goodwood at the end of July.
King Ferdinand had been a little disappointing on his handicap debut at Pontefract after winning his maiden in good style at Chester, but he showed that run to be wrong when winning easily in a 6f handicap on the AW at Kempton, suggesting he is capable of holding his own at a higher level.
Whiplash Willie was a very impressive winner of the historic Bunbury Cup at Salisbury, bolting up on the rain-softened ground to provide a second winner in three days for his sire Phoenix Reach, as Rawaki had followed in the footsteps of his half-brother Side Glance (runs in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot on Saturday) by winning on his debut in the black and gold cross colours of the Kingsclere Racing Club.
There have been several good winning performances in maiden company, including Sea Soldier, who won over 7f at Warwick in what looked a competitive maiden, and Stage Attraction, who won a good maiden on soft ground at Chepstow. Both are open to plenty of progress and look capable of making up into nice handicappers this season.
We also had a second two year old winner of the season in Big Note, who defied inexperience and the worst of the draw by winning on his debut at Chester, finishing with a late rattle having missed the break and been held up in the early stages. He has been given an entry in the Group 2 Gimcrack at York in August and hopefully he will prove capable in a higher grade next time. The two year olds look a particularly nice group and we are looking forward to introducing plenty more of them in the coming weeks.