September ReviewPosted : October 4th, 2018
We are on course for a record-breaking year, the 20 winners registered in September bringing us to within two of our previous best tally of 119, set in 2014, whilst we are now just over £200,000 off our previous best prize-money tally of £2,565,905, which was set last year. September also saw us register an incredible seven-timer across four different meetings!
The evergreen Here Comes When enjoyed the finest moment of his career in the Sussex Stakes last year, but he proved he is still a force to be reckoned with when the rain comes, staying on best through heavy ground to take the Group 3 Superior Mile Stakes at Haydock under Oisin Murphy. Hopefully he will find further opportunities this autumn, with the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Newmarket in mid-October one possibility.
Two years on from her famous Stewards’ Cup success, Dancing Star got her head in front again, landing the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster in the hands of Oisin Murphy on what was just her second start at seven furlongs, having looked unlucky not to win on her first attempt at the trip at Glorious Goodwood. This trip offers more options for her and I hope she is capable of making her mark at Group 2 level next time. On the same day her half-sister Foxtrot Lady also won, making the most of a good opportunity to justify odds of 2/5 in a three-runner conditions contest at Salisbury under Champion Apprentice-elect Jason Watson.
A winner of the Listed Stand Cup last year and placed on his only other two starts at the course, Duretto was a warm order for the Listed Chester Stakes and duly justified favouritism under a strong ride from David Probert, despite the race not really being run to suit. He has now been shipped Down Under, with a view to taking in the Caulfield Cup before the big one in November.
It is always very pleasing to see the old boys in the winners’ enclosure and Intransigent and Absolutely So, nine and eight respectively, both returned to winning ways in impressive fashion, the former at Chester under David Probert and the latter in one of the new optional claiming handicaps at Sandown Park under Josh Bryan. They remain well treated on their old form and Intransigent has since finished second back at Chester. Absolutely So could bid for big-race success in the £180,000 Challenge Cup Handicap at Ascot in October.
There are few tougher fillies around than Lorelina, who recorded her third consecutive success with a heavy-ground win at Haydock in Class 2 company. She wasn’t at her best at Goodwood last time, but she always seems to bounce back and it would be lovely to see her gain some black-type in the final weeks of the turf season. That is also the plan for Poet’s Vanity, who was a Group 3 winner at two but was getting her head in front for the first time since when making all in a competitive fillies’ handicap at Salisbury.
Straight Right had produced an impressive turn of foot to land a valuable handicap at Newcastle in February on his previous start. Gelded and back from a break, he produced a career-best effort at Chelmsford at the end of the month to beat some very useful opposition. He looks a high-class prospect for the months ahead, with next spring’s All-Weather Championships very much under consideration.
Runner-up to dual Guineas winner Churchill in the Chesham at two, Isomer recorded the third success of his career on what was his first start back at Ascot since then, sporting first-time cheekpieces and responding well to James Doyle’s urgings to win comfortably. He found heavy ground too much at Ayr next time, but he remains on a workable mark when conditions are in his favour.
We are now into double-figures for the year at Chester, with Twin Star another to score there this month under David Probert, comfortably coming clear on his first start beyond a mile and a half. Silver Swift made a winning handicap debut with an authoritative success at Salisbury under Jason Watson, who continues to impress and will shortly have ridden out his 3lbs claim. Jason was also seen to very good effect on Dream Catching, who made it two wins from his last three starts with a narrow victory over six furlongs at Kempton Park.
Lissitzky derived great benefit from his debut run at Ffos Las last month, making it second time lucky with a game win at Windsor under Oisin Murphy. The Declaration Of War colt is bred to be useful and is an exciting prospect. Highland Pass has been in fine form of late and she recorded her second win from her last three outings with an all-the-way success at Newmarket under a well-judged ride from Will Cox. Dixieland Diva shed her maiden tag in fine style at Wolverhampton and, despite not building on that at Newmarket last time, the well-bred daughter of Cape Blanco remains capable of better, as does Soldier Hollow, who had to wait until the seventh attempt to get off the mark, making the long journey to Hamilton worthwhile with a straightforward victory under Graham Lee. A son of Solider Hollow, he clearly appreciated the soft ground and remains at the right end of the handicap.
Lariat was another to head north of the border and he produced a very promising performance to win over a mile in soft ground at Ayr under David Probert on just his second start. A half-brother to Goldoni, who was an Epsom Derby Trial and Chester Listed winner for us back in 2012, he looks a lovely staying prospect for next year. Following two narrow defeats, including in the £70,000 Convivial maiden at York on his latest start, Indomitable deserved a change of luck and, sent off a warm order at Chester, he justified favouritism by the narrowest of margins, rallying gamely to lead on the line, having been headed inside the final furlong. He has since run creditably in defeat back in nursery company and, out of a Listed winner in France, there should be plenty more to come from him. A winner at Thirsk last month, Never Do Nothing headed to Pontefract looking for a second win from three career starts and, given a strong ride by Josh Bryan, he stayed on best of all to get up close home. He looks sure to stay further in time and continues to progress.