Well its good to be back from the holidays and be able to put up some more posts.
However whilst I was away I went to a big cat Zoo in the Isle of Wight which focussed on Lions and Tigers and when it was time for the Lions feeding time the keeper reminded us that most of the big cats food came from ex racehorses. There was about 20 of the big ones to feed each day !!....and it makes you think just how many unwanted ex racehorses go to the abatoir to feed all these animals up and down the country ??
Anyway back on to the racing and the handicappers "ups and downs" of the last few weeks.
First up is the Class 2 Japan Racing Association Sprint Stakes Handicap run over 5f at Ascot on the 25th July which went the way of Masamah by 1 length from Matsunosuke. It was thought that the best of the going would be down the middle however Spencer chose to come up the stands rail and was rewarded with victory, as a result Masamah was raised 6lb to 102, the 2nd 3lb to 90 and the 3rd Secret Witness 5lb to 91. The consistent Prohibit finished in 4th and was raised 1lb to 100 and of those behind Sohraab, who was running on, was dropped 1lb to 89... he is becoming favourably handicapped of late. Also Abraham Lincoln was down 2lb to 86 and Hoh Hoh Hoh down 5lb to 78, the latter has really lost his from this year but if he can turn it round he is also well in now on previous form.
The same afternoon at Carlisle Farhd Ar Bith delivered on the promise of his last run at Pontefract by being closer to the pace this time and was raised 6lb to 79 for his 3/4 length win from Amethyst Dawn, however he looks a progressive type and can win again.
At Pontefract the admirable Mr Wolf continued his love affair with the course (8 wins) and won the Class 5 Handicap off 65.
On Monday 26th July the Class 4 Fillies Hcap at Windsor over 6f went to Caledonia Princess by 1 1/2 lengths (winner again tonight) from Bougainvilia, the latter was carrying 10 stone and did well in the circumstances as there was 2 3/4 lengths back to the 3rd. Bougainvilia can improve on this and may drop to 5f next time, the winner went up 7lb to 73 and Bougainvilia 3lb to 83.
At Yarmouth the same day Fathsta was given one of Spencer's hold up rides in the Class 4 over 6f and as a result finished 3rd beaten 1 length, he remains on 85 and can go well again. Behind Angus Newz was dropped 2lb to 80 and Green Manalishi 3lb to 82.
At Goodwood the Group 2 Audi Stakes went to the consistent Borderlescott by 1/2 length from Group Therapy over the very fast 5f course. The 3yo Astrophysical Jet showed that she is an improving sort in finsishing a 3/4 length 3rd receiving only 7lb as did Mister Hughie who was only a further head behind in 4th and he is clearly capable of winning a decent race on this showing. Tropical Treat is another 3yo who had showed good form previously and was probably unlucky in this in finishing 6th. The American horse Starfish Bay would never have encountered a course like this in her life before and she was unable to get to the front, if she was to return on a more conventional track she would surely win. Amour Propre finished down the field in 12th and has been dropped 5lb as a result to 105 and we may now see him back in a handicap.
Later in the afternoon the Class 3 5f Handicap went to Hamoody by a head from Bajan Tryst. The winners time was only marginally slower than the Group 2 and he has only been raised 3lb to 85 so remains favourably handicapped if Nicholls wishes to pay another trip to the well. Bajan Tryst also looks in good sorts and can go well again now that he is coming too hand. The old stager Indian Trail was probably the fastest finsisher once again and he remains on 81 for his efforts and must remain on the short list particularly if his sights are set a little lower.
On the Friday of Goodwood week was the Class 2 Stewards Cup Consolation race over 6f and it was won by another Nicholls inmate in Joseph Henry who beat his more fancied stablemate Victoire De Lyphar by a head and as a result has been raised 5lb to 89, the latter however remains a most likeable individual and he is certainly in the right hands to reach the very top of the sprinting ladder, he is now on a mark of 101. Wildcat Wizard who had lost his form a bit of late and Tiddliwinks both ran well in 3rd and 4th and are well capable of winning on their day as is the 5th placed Crimea who had finished 3rd the day before. The 3yo Kelly's Eye and Oldjoesaid are ones to keep on the right side of from those out the back.
The Stewards Cup itself went to Evens and Odds, last years 2nd, and it was another winner for Sprint King Dandy Nicholls who dominated them all week here. The winner won by 1/2 length from Johnny Mudball and the latter showed that his run at Newcastle wasnt all down to the draw as many had thought. Evens and Odds goes up 8lb to 106 and Johnny Mudball 5lb to 104, with the 3rd Prohibit and 4th Rileyskeepingfaith each going up 1lb to 99 and 102 respectively, both of those remain in good form too. Noverre to Go remains on 97 for his 5th Place and he may be a better proposition on firmer going, he had also finsished 7th in the Wokingham. The ease in the going was the excuse for poor showings from Genki, Enact, Palace Moon(better than his current mark according to Fallon), Striking Spirit and Kaldoun Kingdom and all remain as winners to come and were all left on their same handicap marks. Hitchens though looks one to bear in mind for future races and goes onto the horses to follow list.