May UpdatePosted : June 3rd, 2013
We have made a very good start to the 2013 season, with 27 winners and over £400,000 in prize-money already on the board, which currently puts us in 7th place in the Trainers Championship.
For the second month running, Zanetto has led the way, supplementing his sales race success at Newmarket in April with an authoritative display in the Listed Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury under William Buick.
Though not the strongest contest for the grade, it produced a career-best effort from the improving son of Medicean, winning by three and a quarter lengths, and a step up to Group 1 company for the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot could be next.
Half an hour later, Prairie Ranger made it a double on the card, just getting the better of a protracted battle up the straight with the runner-up, who went down by just a nose, the pair nine lengths clear.
Given a good ride by the promising Thomas Brown, it was a taking effort on handicap debut by the son of Montjeu and, though the handicapper has taken action with a 12lbs rise, I would be disappointed if that proves to be the limit of his ability.
Soviet Rock is improving rapidly and completed a hat trick of wins when making all to record his second successive victory over 1m2f at Newmarket.
Once again ridden by David Probert, he showed a really game attitude to repel all challengers and, though he has been handed an 8lbs rise for that success, the form looks strong with the second and third having won on their next outings. It was also run in a faster time than the 3yo fillies Listed contest, won by the subsequent Oaks heroine Talent!
We have done very well at Chester in recent seasons and I was very pleased to register a first success of 2013 there with Here Comes When, who showed a good turn of foot to win what was a very competitive 7 ½f handicap. He could only manage 4th when sent off favourite for the Listed Surrey Stakes on Oaks day on his latest start, but things didn’t really go his way and he is certainly capable of better. Currently on a mark of 97, the Britannia at Royal Ascot is his next target.
We had 11 runners across four meetings at Chester, Goodwood, Haydock Park and York on the 25th and I was delighted to finish the day with two winners and a further seven in the first three!
It was a day for the girls, with Cathy Gannon and then Hayley Turner riding their first winners for the yard.
Van Percy’s success at Haydock came in a race that has been won by some useful three year olds in the past, with multiple Cup winner Opinion Poll and St Leger runner-up Brown Panther two of the recent alumni.
Things didn’t look promising as he was stuck in a pocket on the rail inside the final furlong but, less than 100 yards out, Cathy found a gap and thankfully the response was immediate! Upped 5lbs, he has since finished 3rd in the valuable Edinburgh Cup at Musselburgh and, yet to finish out of the first four in his career to date, he is a very tough and progressive young handicapper.
Less than an hour later, You Da One suffered no such in-running problems, making all under Hayley Turner for a ready success in what was a valuable handicap (over £32,000 to the winner). He is settling better now and has since finished third under a 6lbs penalty in the 7f handicap at Epsom on Oaks day, despite having been forced to race wide throughout. That efforts suggests there could be plenty more to come.
There was a welcome return to form this month from Dandy, who failed to fire during his three year old campaign last year but made all under David Probert to win over 1m2f at Leicester on his second start of 2013. He had slipped down to a very attractive mark on his two year old form and, a well-bred colt, I hope he can build on that success next time out.
Two fillies bookended the month, with the blinkered Magma just lasting home at Kempton Park (her second win at the course from three starts) and Butterfly McQueen scooting clear for a facile success on her third career start at Lingfield Park.
Having gone up just 2lbs for the win, I am hopeful Magma can find another race off what remains a workable mark, while Butterfly McQueen could be heading in search of some black type after her impressive, wide-margin maiden win on heavy ground.