Neal Hough | Weekly Flat Racing Blog

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Monday 2nd:

7 meetings but not much quality but at the Curragh we saw two note worthy performances. Awtaad won the Tectreach Stakes beating Blue De Vega comfortably he will improve for the step up to a mile and can go very well in the Irish 2000 guineas and carries e/w claims.

Found, who got bogged down first time out this year, put in a very impressive performance when winning the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes cantering her way to the front close home. She now heads to the Tatts Gold Cup over course and distance before heading possibly to Epsom for the Coronation Cup but her later season target will no doubt be the Arc.

The only horse to note from the Uk meetings was the Roger Varian trained Morandi who won his maiden at Windsor by five lengths and this scopey three year old may make up in to a nice handicapper as long as there is cut in the ground.

Tuesday 3rd:

On a quiet day Hint Of Grey landed a nice little touch for the much respected Don Cantillon team at Brighton ridden by one of the apprentice finds of the early season George Wood keep an eye on this lad on whatever he is booked up on all season.

Wednesday 4th:

Chester took centre stage but it doesn't matter where he sends them - Hugo Palmer trained two year old Copper Knight won the Lily Agnes and now heads possibly to the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot possibly taking in the National Stakes at Sandown en-route.

Somehow won the Cheshire Oaks at prohibitive odds but needed the whole trip to get there racing lazily but greenly throughout she might go to Epsom where she wouldn't be good enough, but I'd imagine she will end up at Royal Ascot in the Ribblesdale. O’Brien has a fine bunch of three year old fillies and for me the fillies have the call over the colts so far this season.

No Heretic won the Chester Cup for our NH Ambassador Nicky Henderson with Jamie Spencer doing the steering a very good training performance with a horse that's been hard to keep sound.

Thursday 5th:

Only 1 thing to talk about here and that's the ride of Seamie Heffernan aboard Port Douglas. Now some will tell you that Port Douglas hung off the rail and then got too close to US Army Ranger so that Heffernan was unable to use the whip, but I’ve seen an asthmatic ant with heavy shopping make more of an effort in the last 100 yards. Shameful that people will put up with that and more shameful that when given the chance to question the ride we don't have people up to the task either on tv or in print media for worry that it will upset the biggest juggernaut operation in the game.

Going back to the race, i’m not sure the bare form is actually worth much as Port Douglas was giving weight to US Army Ranger however O’Brien is adamant that the winner will show a lot more improvement. It must be noted however that usually O’Brien runners show massive improvement from run one to run two in any season therefore for me I’ll be looking to oppose US Army Ranger next time out as I don't believe the substance of the form stands up to scrutiny.

Friday 6th:

The last day of the Chester May meeting and two performances to note both trained by local trainer Tom Dascombe firstly by Kachy who having tried and failed at 7f in his first run this season reverted back to 5f and carried top weight impressively to victory handicaps will be a thing of the past now and the Temple Stakes may be next on his agenda.

The second horse to note and the first notebook horse of the week is Golden Glimmer bred and owned by Chasemore Farm she impressed by winning the 7f maiden after travelling very well in front quickened well to win by an eased up 4.5 lengths she will be chasing black type now to increase her value and even though the quality of the field may not have been anything out of the ordinary the manner of her win and how she went about it was very pleasing , expect to see her up in grade and up in trip next time ou .

Over to Nottingham and the other notebook horse of the week the 2 year old Spin Doctor trained by Richard Fahey and owned by Cheveley Park who overcame the well backed and experienced Rapacity Alexander to win nicely and Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot will definitely be on the agenda for this daughter of Mayson. 

It’s rare that I will flag up a race to follow but the 6.30 race at Ascot needs to followed very closely and in particular Skiffle and Haddajah who both making their racecourse debuts having not made the best of starts made eyecatching late progress to finish 3rd and 6th respectively behind the Sir Michael Stoute trained Abingdon this was a strong maiden and the form will hold up well.

Saturday 7th May:

Lingfield Derby and Oaks trials day but i’ll be jumping out the front window of the trading floor if either Humphrey Bogart (Derby trial) or Seventh Heaven (Oaks trial) win on the Downs. Humphrey Bogart’s  connections are thinking of supplementing him for the Derby for £70,000 but they might as well burn it a case of more money than sense.

Up at Haydock the unbeaten Don’t Touch made it 6/6 in his career getting in-front late on in his seasonal reappearance this gelded 4 year old has some bigger targets down the line and connections were talking about a bid later in the season for the Group 1 Prix Maurice Du Gheest.

Sunday 8th May :

Two big Derby trials both won by Godolphin let us first go to Leopardstown where Moonlight Magic trained by Jim Bolger won the Derrinstown beating a battalion of Aidan O’Brien horses - he will go to the Derby with ew claims but the form of his win is questionable.

Over at Saint Cloud in the Prix Greffulhe and this is my idea of the Derby winner trained, owned and ridden by the same team that scored in this race then the Derby with Pour Moi. The Andre Fabre trained, Mikael Barzalona ridden and Godolphin owned Cloth of Stars powered his way to the front in the last furlong and went away from previous Group 1 winner Robin Of Navan to win by 2.5 lengths , next stop Epsom where he will appreciate the 1m4f trip. 10/1 is still available and he makes decent appeal in a year where things are still up in the air.

I hope the above helps and the 2 notebook horses this week are:

Golden Glimmer - Tom Dascombe

Spin Doctor - Richard Fahey

Next week York May meeting!

Cheers

Houghy

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