October ReviewPosted : November 6th, 2020
A further 11 victories during October took us past the £2 million prize-money barrier for the season and within touching distance of a third consecutive century of winners.
Happy Power had gained plenty of confidence from his wins at Salisbury and in the Group 3 Supreme Stakes at Goodwood in August and it was a pleasure to see him record the hat-trick with his first success at Group 2 level, in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket under Silvestre de Sousa. That smart performance encouraged us to try him in the Sprint on Champions Day just eight days later, but the combination of the quick reappearance, drop in trip and step up in grade was always going to be tricky to overcome. Nevertheless, he ran very creditably in defeat and he could have a very big year on the track as a five year old.
Having gone so close in the St Leger last month, Berkshire Rocco made the most of a drop in grade to land the Listed Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot, keeping on gamely under a strong Oisin Murphy drive to get the better of a prolonged tussle with the runner-up. He has had a fine year and is a hugely exciting young stayer for 2021.
Natural History suffered a couple of setbacks that kept him off the track for two years, but he returned better than ever, supplementing his Chester win in September with a fine staying performance at Goodwood off a career-high mark of 91. He went on to finish an excellent second in the Group 3 St Simon Stakes at Newbury on his latest outing and his since been sold at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training sale to Gary Moore, who he had obviously impressed when beating Goshen at Goodwood!
Opera Gift was another to find just one too good in his bid for a hat-trick, building on his maiden win last month with a smart performance on handicap debut at Yarmouth under Oisin Murphy. He went close against a hugely progressive rival on his latest outing and, with the promise of more to come, he looks one for a big handicap next term.
The two year olds continue in excellent form, headed by the quickly progressive Oo De Lally. An unconsidered 125-1 shot when scoring on his second start at Newbury in September, he was considerably shorter in the market at Kempton Park and, despite giving weight away all round, produced an impressive performance to win in style, his turn of foot two furlongs out proving too much for his rivals. He is a really exciting prospect for next year.
Henrik recorded his second success of the season with a wide-margin win at Newcastle, making all the running to score emphatically, looking a smart colt in the making. Just half an hour later, Round Six provided us with a juvenile double on the card, winning the seven furlong nursery on handicap debut and notching up his second victory of the season. A highly likeable individual, he has since been sold at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale and should continue to progress for new connections.
Skibo Castle made it third time lucky with a narrow success in a heavy-ground maiden at Windsor, Josh Bryan’s 3lbs claim making all the difference and ensuring the son of first-season sire Shalaa will start his three year old campaign as a winner. Another to strike at the third time of asking was Dejame Paso, who showed improved form on his first attempt at a mile when winning comfortably at Lingfield Park under David Probert, getting the better of a next-time-out winner in second. He is very much the type to progress at three.
Three was also the magic number for Juan De Montalban, who produced a smart performance to win over 1m1f in a heavy-ground novice at Goodwood, and for Nebulosa, who built on her third at Newmarket last month with a soft-ground win at the same course in October, making most of the running to land what looked a competitive fillies’ maiden. Both look to have bright futures next year.