Monday, we start at Killarney. There was compensation for Liam Cusack's Snugsborough Hall who made the most of his lower rating over hurdles when landing the Easy Clean Limited Handicap Hurdle. The winner had run really well to be fourth in the Topham Chase at Aintree before losing all chance when baulked at the start of a handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival. Samcro bounced back he was easy to back at 6/1 Samcro battled well to win the Grade 3 An Riocht Chase by a neck from the front-running Cilaos Emery. At Windsor, there was a brilliant ride from Ryan Moore to win on Solid Stone. The decision Ryan Moore made to stay on the inside rail was inspired. The rest of the field went far side, however, Ryan Moore took the race by over 2 lengths. At Catterick, Perfect Balance was a very impressive winner for Godolphin. At Ffos Las, there was a double for Rebecca Curtis with Geordie Des Champs and Minella Bobo.
Tuesday, we start at Roscommon. Soaring Monarch completed a double for Kevin Manning who also had taken the opener with Cool And Clever. There was an impressive winner for Arthur Moore with Me Too Please who landed the Grade 2 mares' bumper in Aintree last month. There looks to be plenty of options for Me Too Please who was a five-length winner here. At Killarney, Colin Keane made all on Chiricahua to complete a treble having won earlier onboard Probe and Fall For A Kiss. The meeting at Chepstow was abandoned due to waterlogging. At Beverley, Khezanna was an impressive winner for Mark Johnston.
Wednesday, we start at York for Day one of the Dante Festival. Snowfall led her rivals a merry dance to provide Aidan O’Brien with his first victory in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes. Starman under Oisin Murphy claimed a fourth win from five career starts with a battling victory in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes. Fresh from celebrating his 3,000th British winner on Tuesday evening, Richard Fahey saddled his 150th success at York when stable favourite Mr Lupton won the Churchill Tyres Handicap. The meeting at Newton Abbot was abandoned due to Waterlogging. At Worcester, there was a double for Dr Richard Newland with Tiger Orchid and Blue Ribbon. At Perth, Wowsham was on target for Stuart Crawford. At Bath, Devil's Cub was on target for Hollie Doyle. At Dundalk, Rocky Dreams took the claimer in a very good style he will join Galaxy trainer Leanne Breen. I was very impressed with The Highway Rat who blitzed his rivals from the front under Ronan Whelan winning by 7 lengths.
Thursday, we start at York for Day 2 of The Dante festival. Hurricane Lane burst into the picture for the Cazoo Derby when knuckling down gamely to win the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York. Ridden by William Buick and trained by Charlie Appleby, the son of Frankel took control well inside the furlong to claim the Group Two honours. Copper Knight won the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap at York for a second time to gain a fifth success on the Knavesmire. Queen Power took Sir Michael Stoute’s record of Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes winners to seven when powering home in the Group Two contest at York. The five-year-old mare, owned by King Power Racing, pulled away from her four rivals in the closing stages to win for the first time in two years, after a string of consistent efforts in smart company.
France Galop has announced it has initially suspended leading jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot from riding for the next two days, following his indictment for rape. The case against Boudot, who spent two days in police custody this week, reportedly relates to allegations following a party in Cagnes-sur-Mer in February. Boudot was named in media reports earlier this week, and the public prosecutor in Senlis subsequently confirmed his identity. The 28-year-old is a three-time champion jockey in France and won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Waldgeist in 2019.
Danny Mullins doubled up at Clonmel in the Clonacody (C & G) Maiden Hurdle, gaining a nose success for his mother Mags aboard Julies Stowaway. Mullins had earlier taken the opener for John Ryan onboard Bonarc. At Newmarket, Sunrise Valley was on target for Sir Michael Stoute. At Perth, Brian Hughes had a double with Largy Trix and Minella Trump. At Fontwell, Olly Murphy was on target with Eavesdropping giving Murphy an across the card treble on the day following a double at Perth. At Salisbury, there was a double for Oisin Murphy with Pretty Fair and Military Mission.
Friday, we start at York for Day 3 of The Dante festival. Primo Bacio booked her Royal Ascot ticket as she continued her improvement in landing the Listed Oaks Farm Stables Fillies’ Stakes. At Leopardstown, Emperor Of The Sun signalled his staying potential with an emphatic, career-best victory in the Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown. Donnacha O’Brien’s four-year-old belied his odds of 18-1 in a six-strong field of proven performers, prominent throughout before storming clear in the straight to win by three and a half lengths under Gavin Ryan.
At Kilbeggan, May has been a month of doubles for Danny Mullins. A brace at Punchestown on the 1st has been followed up by two-timers on the 8th (Cork) and 13th (Clonmel). The Kilkenny man was at it again at Kilbeggan this evening, winning on Presenting Bonnie and Berkshire Royal. At Aintree, there were doubles for Dan and Harry Skelton with Simply Loveleh and Proschema. At Hamilton, Alright Sunshine was on target for Keith Dalgleish. At Newbury, the feature race went to Master The Stars. At Newmarket, A Star Above took the feature race for William Haggas.
Saturday, we start at Newbury. Palace Pier showed a brilliant turn of foot to power to glory in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. It was an imperious performance from a very good horse. One of last year’s pre-eminent milers, the John and Thady Gosden-trained colt returned to action in style last month at Sandown, tuning up perfectly for his latest Group One assignment. Settled towards the rear of the pack as Lord Campari took them along, jockey Frankie Dettori was assessing dangers approaching two furlongs out – and, satisfied the time was right, he let the 1-2 favourite go about his business.
Al Aasy oozed class and is now a short price for the Coronation Cup following what amounted to a victory stroll in the Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury. Sent off the 10-11 favourite for the Group Three following a similarly impressive display in the John Porter earlier in the year, the four-year-old faced stiffer opposition this time. Last year’s Dante winner Thunderous and 2019 St Leger winner Logician were among the opposition – but Jim Crowley did not move in the saddle as the William Haggas-trained colt breezed to a four-length success. Thunderous chased him home, but the winning distance could easily have been doubled. Creative Force looks like a sprinter on the up after blitzing his rivals in the BetVictor Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury. Charlie Appleby’s three-year-old, who is gelded so will be unable to run in the Commonwealth Cup, came from last to first under James Doyle to beat Spycatcher by a comfortable three lengths.
At Newmarket, John Leeper kept his Cazoo Derby dreams alive with victory in the Betway Fairway Stakes. Bred in the purple by Frankel out of Ed Dunlop’s brilliant race mare Snow Fairy, the imposing colt carries the name of the trainer’s late father and suggested he was a smart performer in the making with an emphatic success in a novice event at Newcastle last month. At Navan, Aidan O’Brien’s Sir Lucan just edged out his better-fancied stablemate Wordsworth in a tough tussle for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Yeats Stakes. He was sent off at 11-2 this time – with Wordsworth the 8-15 favourite – but he just got the better of the argument in a driving finish. Siobhan Rutledge excelled again and as a result, Siobhan's claim is down to five pounds. Siobhan gave Santorini Son an excellent front running ride to win by four and a half lengths. It is a brilliant achievement for Siobhan who works very hard.
Sunday, we start at Longchamp. St Mark’s Basilica provided Aidan O’Brien with his fifth victory in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains at ParisLongchamp.It is 19 years since the Ballydoyle handler first landed the French 2000 Guineas with Landseer in 2002, subsequently adding to his tally with Aussie Rules (2006), Astronomer Royal (2007) and The Gurkha (2016). Making his first appearance since winning the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October under Frankie Dettori, St Mark’s Basilica was a 9-4 chance in the hands of Loritz Mendizabal, who initially settled his mount in midfield. Some early scrimmaging meant he got shuffled back in the back, but he began to make inroads on the pacesetters rounding the home turn and was switched wide to deliver his challenge. Once asked to extend fully, St Mark’s Basilica showed a sizzling turn of foot to charge to the front and he was well on top at the line. Jim Bolger’s 2-1 favourite Poetic Flare – bidding to double his Classic tally following success in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket a fortnight ago – was stuck behind a wall of horses early in the home straight. He was staying on at the finish and passed the post in sixth.
Coeursamba denied Mother Earth a Classic double with a shock victory in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at ParisLongchamp.Having swooped to victory in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket a fortnight ago, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Mother Earth was the 6-4 favourite to follow up in the French equivalent, with Christophe Soumillon coming in for the ride. The Zoffany filly travelled strongly for much of the one-mile contest and briefly looked set to prevail after picking up well inside the final two furlongs. However, she did not pick up as well as Jean-Claude Rouget’s Coeursamba, who was a 66-1 shot under Cristian Demuro but won with something to spare.
At Naas, A Case Of You relished the soft ground at Naas to take the Group Three Goffs Lacken Stakes for Ronan Whelan and Adrian McGuinness.The three-year-old bounced back from a disappointing performance in the 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in April, when he started as the 9-4 favourite. This time the colt ran on the heels of the leading group when dropping back to six furlongs, eventually involving himself in a tight four-way finish and crossing the line a neck ahead of Mooneista.
Ger Lyon’s Power Under Me was third past the post, but following a stewards’ inquiry, he was awarded second place with Mooneista demoted to third after the pair got close together in the dying strides.“We gave him a break after Leopardstown where we were a bit disappointed with him,” McGuinness said of the 7-2 shot.“He pulled hard that day and we said we’d drop him back to sprinting.“Obviously, that is his forte, he had to dig deep there today and he’s tough. I think he’ll improve a little bit as I haven’t been very hard on him, I gave him an easy time after Leopardstown. “It’s great for the lads and at least they will be able to go to Royal Ascot now.