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Wednesday 18 May 2011

Up a bit, down a bit - 18th May

Quite a lot to get through this week, incidentally if anyone spots anything that they think is worthy of a mention on this sprint based blog that Ive missed then please provide your comments below, I'm open to ideas !!

Duke of York Blue Square Stakes - Group 2 - Class 1 - York - 6f Good
Delegator won this in impressive fashion and looks sure to add to this victory during the summer with his training saying "In a morning he has always shown plenty of speed. He'll improve a lot for today and his next target will be Royal Ascot for the Golden Jubilee. After that we will think about the July Cup and then see". Tiddliwinks has paid the price handicapping wise for finishing 3rd here by being raised 13lbs to a mark of 106, however he is well entered up and maybe he will be staying in this divison from now on. Hitchens ran another good race in finishing 4th and he goes up 3lb to 105, most of the others stayed on their same mark.

Totepool Stakes - Class 2 - York - 5f - Good
This went to Ancient Cross by 1/2 length from Fallasteen who ran much better than his Chester run last week. The winner goes up 6lb to 95 whilst the 2nd moves up 4lb to 96. In 3rd Racy was making his debut for Kevin Ryan having moved out of Stoute's yard and he was unlucky in that he didnt get a clean run through and he was staying on well at the finish. He has been raised 3lb to 91 but this was a competitive race and that shouldnt stop him from improving on this effort next time as this was only his eighth start. Secret Millionaire also ran well and the form of his run behind Racy last season was confirmed here. Johannes and Swiss Franc didnt get clear runs either and the latter has been dropped 3lb to 92, a lightly raced 6 year old he is dropping to a winable mark. Time 57.97s.

The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Sprint Conditions Stakes over 5f went the way of Night Carnation who continued her winning run to record a time of 58.99s, however the following day the 2yo Miss Work of Art recorded a time of 58.70s over the same distance and she should be followed.

Whitman Howard Investment Bank Carnarvon Stakes Listed Race - Class 1 - 3yo - 6f8y - Newbury - Good To Firm
Roger Varian has made an excellent start since he took over from Michael Jarvis and he looks to have a smart sort in Elzaam who waltzed away with this race to win by six lengths from Richard Hannon's Cape to Rio on this his sixth start. He certainly looks back to the form he showed at the begining of last season and he could be set for a good year although he looked slightly ill at ease on the going which made his performance even better. He is entered in the Golden Jubilee for which he is quoted at 16/1. Connections of the winner had this to say about him this week "We were delighted to see him come back to form and while we haven't really discussed his next target, in the back of my mind is the Golden Jubilee. That is a big step up for him, but he seems to have come out of the race in very good form and we'll just see how he is nearer the time. I'm not saying he's good enough to take on the best sprinters in the world, but at the same time he looked a pretty decent horse the other day. Hopefully Sheikh Hamdan will be keen to have a go and we'll leave him in. There isn't a lot for him beforehand anyway, so we won't be rushing him. We'd lost our way with him a bit, but to be fair to the horse, he didn't do a lot wrong last year. He was sick after he disappointed in the July Stakes and he then ran a good race in ground that probably didn't suit at Newbury. The only surprising one was his first run this year at Newmarket, but we dropped him back in trip, removed the headgear and rode him differently last time and it seemed to help him. We saw the true horse which he has always looked at home and hopefully we have a sprinter to go to war with." Dinkum Diamond was back in 3rd and he had run Genki and Iver Bridge Lad close in the Abernant at Newmarket.

Ralph Raper Memorial Stakes - Handicap - Class 4 - 3yo - 5f - York - Good To Firm
Thirteen Shivers won this by 1 length from Apace with Swiss Dream back in third. I was taken though with the runs of both Mr Optimistic and Barnet Fair in 5th and 8th. Mr Optimistic raced towards the stands side and made very good headway when in the clear to be a running on 5th, he has been left on the same mark of 80 and he is progressing well. Barnet Fair ran an extraordinary race as he was left by several lengths at the start, he then made steady progress through the field before finding the effort all too much, if he had broke on terms he would have gone very close to winning. He hadnt run since January prior to this and he looks sure to come on for the run for his in form stable, he remains on a mark of 80. Stakes Handicap - Class 2 - 6f - York - Good To Firm
This was run in a slightly faster time than the Duke of York won by Delegator even though there had been a heavy shower of rain about half an hour earlier. Hoof it prevailed to win by a length from the consistent Horseradish with Oor Jonathan in third. The winner is considered by his trainer to be the best in his stable, however he only holds an entry in the Wokingham. He has been raised 6lb to a mark of 105 for this and he surely can go very well in the Wokingham before making his mark in better company. A few behind ran very well including Docofthebay, Medicean Man and Damika, the latter is now on the same mark of 94 from which he won the Great St Wilfred last season and although he is 8 he looked to be on good form with himself here and it can only be a matter of time before he wins.

Berry Bros & Rudd Magnum Handicap - Class 2 - 6f8y - Newbury - Good To Firm
Mac's Power was making his return here and he only just failed to win, he was beaten a head by Novellen Lad with 1 1/2 lengths back to the consistent bridesmaid Secret Witness. Macs Power has gone up 3lb to a mark of 100 whilst the winner has gone up 4lb to 90. There didnt seem to be any major hard luck stories but Henry Candy who knows a thing ot two about sprinters ran Dorback and although he hadnt run for over a year he made headway despite suffering some trouble in running and he could come on for the run, he remains on a mark of 90.

Stoneacre Ford Handicap - Class 3 - 6f - Thirsk - Good
Mon Brav continued his good run by winning here from Advanced, he hung away from the far side and ended up in the middle of the track but despite that he seemed to be well in command at the finish and a 4lb rise to 85 mightnt be enough to stop him winning again. I was taken with the run of Ursula back in 4th who stayed on well up the stands side and she should be capable of winning from her mark of 76 if finding the right race.

Filey Handicap - Class 4 - 5f - Thirsk - Good
Later in the afternoon Le Toreardor and Strike up the Band fought out a close finish but it was Lost in Paris who stayed on well from off the pace to finish third having had to come round horses. He is on a mark of 80 having been raised 2lb for this and although he hasnt won above 75 he could be running into form and he may appreciate a fast pace.

There is no better way of convincing yourself of a horses performance than watching the race with your own eyes. If any of you reading have the time then please try and watch some of the races mentioned above on the various free platforms and see if you come to the same conclusions as me.