Monday, we start at Wetherby where Mr Sundowner was an impressive winner of the one mile two furlongs apprentice handicap (division 1). Mr Sundowner won by two and three parts of a length from Hannington , who looked liked a step up in trip would suit. Hannington was advised to our members 1pt each way at 9/2. At Kempton, it was the jumps Midnight Cowboy won again despite jumping out to the left for Alan King and Wayne Hutchinson. There was a winner for Nicky Henderson as OK Corral made a comeback from a very long layoff to win by twelve lengths. At Brighton, there was a double for Silvestre De Sousa with In Ken's Memory and Morning Suit. At Windsor, it was abandoned for the second consecutive year after four races due to unsafe ground on the bend. I was impressed with two horses however. Crowned Eagle who won well, however the second horse Secret Advisor made up a stack of ground having been messed around early on.
At Towcester, there was a double for jockey Caroline Fryer with Riddlestown and Goodnight Charlie. At Killarney, Plinth got the better of Flaxen Flare in a thrilling finish to win by a nose with Lachares who ran a nice race in third. Lachares was advised to our members 1pt each way at 7/1. Ballycasey again picked up another graded race for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh as he ran out a fourteen length winner from Rock The World. The bumper saw the mother and father of a gamble landed as Summerville Boy having been 50-1 overnight went off 7/2 winning by four lengths.
Tuesday, we start at Sedgefield . Dan and Harry Skelton continued the golden run with a double. The horses were Ravens Hill and Too Many Diamonds. There was also a winner for Jamie Codd in the bumper on board Way Out West. At Beverley, there was a double for John Quinn and Jason Hart with Lord Riddiford and Mr Strutter. At Warwick, there was a double for Paul Nicholls with El Bandit and Rebel Rebellion.There was a winner for Jonjo O'Neill and Aidan Coleman with As You Like. There was another winner for Jonjo O'Neill and Aidan Coleman making it an across the card double, as The Tailgater got a deserved turn taking the handicap hurdle by four lengths. At Chepstow , Richard Hughes was on the mark with Evening Hill. I think Hughes has his horses going well. At Killarney, the auction race went to Bumbasina who saw off Angel Island by three parts of a length.
Wednesday, we start at York a lot of rain had turned the ground soft. The Duke Of York a Group 2 run over six furlongs went to Tasleet who bolted up. Tasleet traveled into the race powerfully, running out a ready two and a half length winner from Magical Memory. The Musidora stakes a Group 3 race for fillies went to Shutter Speed who won well. It was another big winner for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. At Worcester, there was a treble for Noel Fehily with A Three Eighty , Steel Bob and Old Harry Rocks. The last two named horses formed a double for Harry Fry. At Yarmouth, there was a treble for Silvestre De Sousa on board Sean O'Casey, Kestrel Dot Com and Moi Aussie. At Bath, the conditions were very testing. As highlighted in yesterdays blog . I felt Richard Hughes had his horses coming into form. There was a double on the night at Bath for Hughes and jockey Shane Kelly with Jashma and Nathania.
At Perth, I was really impressed with Welcome Ben who jumped a great round, winning with any amount in hand. I think Welcome Ben is a horse to keep on the right side of on quick ground. There was a double for trainer Dianne Sayer with Gold Chain and Sergeant Pink. At Punchestown, there was a double for trainer Shane Nolan . The first leg was Caolaneoin who took the two mile handicap chase from Shadow Catcher and Mr Fiftyone in third. Mr Fiftyone advised to our members 1pt each way at 8/1 placed there was a (Rule 4 = 20% deduction). The second leg of the Shane Nolan double came as Simone took the bumper, this horse is closely related to Simonsig and could have a bright future. There were comprehensive winners for Willie Mullins with Townshend and Gordon Elliott with Delta Work. It is hard to know what both horses actually achieved.
Thursday, we start at York for Dante Stakes day. The Dante itself a Group 2 which is always seen as a Derby pointer. There was a significant non runner as favourite Cracksman was withdrawn in the morning. The race itself looked a good contest to my eyes. The race went to Permian for Mark Johnston and Franny Norton. Permian got the better off Benbatl by three parts of a length with Crystal Ocean back in third a further half length back in third. I thought Permian did it well I felt and I can see him running well in a Derby . I still really like Benbatl who looks to have a lot of ability to me, I think there is a big race in this horse. Benbatl was advised to our members 1pt each way at 7/1 (Rule 4 = 25% deduction).The Middleton Stakes a Group 2 for fillies went to Blond Me who saw off the favourite The Black Princess by a length and a quarter , continuing a very good week for Oisin Murphy and Andrew Balding. The duo completed a double on the day as Here Comes When bolted up in the Hambleton handicap.
At Perth, there was a double for trainer Stuart Crawford with Baby Bach and Don Franco. The former horse was part of a double for Richard Johnson who also won on board Enzani. At Newmarket, Silvestre De Sousa had a treble on board Fire Brigade, Harmonise and Red Roman. At Salisbury, Andrew Balding made it three winners on the day with Scorching Heat. The card at Salisbury featured an avalanche of non runners due to the change in the going. At Fontwell, it was hunter chase evening. Darwins Fox came over from Ireland to win the finale. At Clonmel, there was a double for Rahael Blackmore on board Millen Dollar Man and Nicaragua.
Friday, we start at York . The Yorkshire Cup was the feature. It was a fantastic race as Dartmouth for her majesty the Queen got the better of Simple Verse by a neck, with another neck back to High Jinx in third and only a head to the fourth horse Endless time. The four horses will surely head on to Royal Ascot. I thought the run of High Jinx was incredible after over 700 days off the track. Dartmouth looks Hardwicke horse to me a race his trainer Sir Michael Stoute likes. At Newbury, there was a double for trainer Richard Hannon with Almoreb and Fast and Hot. There was also a double for jockey Adam Kirby Mutoondredashorse and Dubai Thunder who looked a brilliant prospect for Godolphin winning by ten lengths. At Newmarket, there was a double for jockey Pat Cosgrave with Art Echo and Saigon City.
At Newcastle, Flymetothestars was an impressive winner for Sir Mark Prescott. The Fillies handicap, went in really good style to Prying Pandora who won well for Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan. At Hamilton, the Braveheart stakes served up a cracker .It saw Sir Chauvelin win the contest for the second year in a row. Sir Chauvelin won by a short head from Kensington Star and a nose to Yorkidding in third. At Aintree, the tremendous run of Dan and Harry Skelton continued as Virgillio took the feature race by seven lengths. At Cork, there was a double for Aidan O'Brien and Seamus Heffernan with Venezuela and Sioux Nation. There was a double for Billy Lee with Patuano and The Last Marju. At Downpatrick, there was a double for Gordon Elliott with Station Closed and Dorans River.
Saturday, we start at Newbury for the Lockinge . This race has a proud tradition won by horses such as Frankel and Hawk Wing. This years renewal produced a good field. Ribchester clashed with Galileo Gold yet again. There was a pile of money for Somehow before the off 7/1 - 10-3.The race itself was very good. Toscanini who was supposed to make the running as a pacemaker for Ribchester, however Toscanini totally missed the break . Ribchester had to make his own running having seen off the attentions of Galileo Gold who raced wider of the main group. Ribchester powered away for an impressive three and three parts length win from Lightning Spear with Breton Rock in third. Ribchester was advised to our members 3pts win at 7/4. Ribchester was the second leg of a William Buick double earlier on board the Eclipse winner Hawkbill. The combination powered to a brilliant success from the front by two lengths from My Dream Boat. I thought Hawkbill was brilliant here and can kick on from here. Hawkbill was advised to our members 2pts win at 4/1.I was impressed with Defoe in the London Cup and I think this horse will improve for a step up in trip.
At Thirsk, there was a double for Ben Curtis with Validator and Kickboxer. There was also a double for Charlie Appleby and Martin Lane with Key Bid and Ottonian. At Bangor, there was a double for Dan and Harry Skelton with Lieutenant Gruber and Too Many Diamonds. The run the Skelton's are on is bordering on ridiculous. There was a double for Donald McCain with Lofgremm who smashed Hargam by twenty lengths . The second leg of the McCain double came as The Clock Leary bolted up by five lengths in the Two Mile four furlong handicap chase. The Clock Leary advised to our members 1pt each way at 7/2, capping a great day for us. At Newmarket, there were a couple of decent races. The King Charles II listed stakes went to Taamol for Sir Michael Stoute and Jim Crowley. Taamol had a neck to spare over Larchmont Lad. The Betway Sprint went to Ekhtiyaar under Silvestre De Sousa who won by a head from Poets Princess.
At Uttoxeter, there winners for some of the big yards. Gordon Elliott and Richard Johnson combined with Lillywhite Gesture winning the mares handicap hurdle.The Three Mile handicap chase went to In The Rough for Jonjo O'Neill and Aidan Coleman. The Skelton team completed an across the card treble on the day with Holyrale in the bumper. Richard Fahey had a Saturday to remember it continued with a double at Doncaster the horses were Monaco Rose and Khelman. At Navan, the Yeats listed stakes went to Naughty Or Nice who won by a head from Grandee. I thought Belgravia got a rough run, I would not give up on him yet. Naughty Or Nice will now head for Royal Ascot.The five furlong two year old race went to Guessthebill Pat Smullen and Johnny Murtagh. The race saw Himmah run loose before the start and also force a rival to lose his jockey. If you have not seen the video check it out. Himmah ran a remarkable race to finish second.
Sunday, we start at Limerick whee I was in attendance myself. Limerick is a very nice track with great facilities viewing wise and betting wise. There was a boil over in the beginners chase as Windsor Higgins got the better of Everyday Everyhour by just over two lengths at an eye watering 66/1. I thought there looked to be no fluke about it.The feature race the mares went to Listen Dear who bolted up by ten lengths. Listen Dear has a serious engine but much of the interest in the race ended when Westerners Lady pulled up after an early bad mistake. At Naas, Texas Rock captured the listed seven furlong race beating Drumfad Bay by a head, with Whitecliffsodover very disappointing a half length away in third. The Fillies Sprint stakes went in breathtaking fashion to Alpha Centauri for Jessica Harrington winning by five lengths. Alpha Centauri is surely a serious Royal Ascot contender. Caravaggio showed his class in the Group 3 Lacken Stakes winning by four and a half lengths from Psychedelic Funk. It will be very hard to stop Caravaggio in this mood. Caravaggio will now head for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
At Stratford, there was another winner for Dan and Harry Skelton with Petro in the Two miles six furlongs handicap hurdle.The feature race went to Kerry Lee as Altiepix bolted up to win by eleven lengths. Altiepix was advised to our members 1pt each way at 7/2 (Rule 4 = 15% deduction). At Market Rasen, the Skeltons made it three winners on the day with a double here. Too Many Diamonds recorded a fourth win in a week at Market Rasen when taking the two mile handicap hurdle. The other Skelton winner was I'll Be Your Clown who took the novice hurdle. The feature race the two mile three furlong handicap chase went in good style to I'dliketheoption for Jonjo O'Neill and Aidan Coleman. I thought this was good from I'dliketheoption. At Ripon, there was a treble for Silvestre De Sousa on board De Bruyne Horse and Rita's Man who formed a double for Richard Hannon.The treble for De Sousa was completed with Gurkha Friend who was well backed even allowing for a rule 4 deduction. Silvestre De Sousa is riding at the top of his game.