May UpdatePosted : May 10th, 2011
Though we didn’t have many runners last month, March proved a successful prelude to the new flat season, with four winners from ten runners.
Highland Knight was our first runner of 2011 on the turf, and he ran well for a long way in the Lincoln at Doncaster. He has since run well in defeat in the Group 2 Sandown Mile (as pacemaker for Dream Eater) and on the AW at Kempton, where he finished a good 3rd in what looked a decent handicap. He fared by some way best of those that raced with the pace in that contest and looks more than capable of scoring off his current mark in the coming weeks.
Discoteca got us off the mark on turf with an impressive performance in what looked a good maiden over 1m2f at Windsor. He has since finished a fair 4th in Listed company and this fine, big sort is sure to improve further with experience.
Side Glance was particularly progressive last year, with wins in valuable handicaps at Ascot and Chester, and an excellent second in the £150,000 Challenge Cup on his final start of the season. Like many of ours, he looked sure to improve on what he showed on his seasonal reappearance (3rd in a 7f Listed at Leicester), especially given a step up in trip, but his performance in the Listed Paradise Stakes at Ascot over a mile was a huge step up. He was particularly impressive in winning by six lengths from a good yardstick who had won the Doncaster Mile on his previous start, and he could go a long way this season.
Night Carnation improved with every start last season, winning a maiden at Epsom on her third start before finishing a close 2nd in a Listed race at Doncaster, both over 6f. She reappeared over 5f at Sandown, having been showing plenty of speed in her work, and she produced an outstanding performance to win by a very comfortable two lengths. The form looks strong, as the 2nd was impressive when winning a good race at Chester. The handicapper has raised her 9lbs to 108, so she will need to move up to Pattern company next time.
Gold Mine became our second maiden winner of 2011 on turf when taking a 1m2f maiden at Chepstow. Unplaced on his only start last season, he did well over the winter and showed a good attitude to beat what looked fair field. A homebred of Sir Gordon Brunton’s from the family of his Ascot Gold Cup winner Indian Queen, he is the sort to continue to improve throughout the season.
Set The Trend showed plenty of good form last season, including a 2nd at Epsom on Oaks day and a win in the Shergar Cup Mile at Ascot. His length 4th in the Doncaster Mile on his recent reappearance suggests he can make the transition to Listed level this season. Another who looks sure to make the grade in Pattern company is Kakatosi, who had a brilliant 2010 and strongly hinted at better things to come when 2nd in Listed company at Haydock.
Dream Eater has yet to really show what he is capable of on the racecourse this season, but things haven’t quite panned out for him in two starts to date, including when missing the break at Chester last time, and hopefully he can rediscover his best form on his next outing.