Latest News:

Monday 27 June 2011

Up a bit, down a bit - 23rd June

Sorry this is a little late but I have been in the Capital for a few days.

Some big races to cover from Royal Ascot and for the third year running The Wokingham Handicap winner recorded a faster time than the Group 1 Golden Jubilee winner !

Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) Class 2 - 7f - Soft - Royal Ascot
This went to the consistent Manassas by a length from Excellent Guest, he seems to thrive in big field handicaps and he got his deserved success here. The winner was put up 6lb for his win to 101 and he should still remain competitive off that mark, the second is up 4lb to 94, whist the 3rd Striking Spirit a neck further behind is up 3lb to 94. The latter ran a big race on his first start over 7f from what appeared to be an unfavourable draw and he can be relied upon to go well again now that he has hit form. There were also rises in the handicap for Decent Fella 4th up 2lb to 92, Docofthebay 5th up 2lb to 97 and Courageous 6th up 1lb to 89.

Golden Jubilee Stakes - Group 1 - 6f - Soft - Royal Ascot
Society Rock followed up hissecond in the race last year by winning here at the large odds of 25/1. For some reason he had been completely deserted by the betting public and as we saw over the last week horses that have run well at this track previously tend to do so again. He won by half a length from Monsieur Chevalier who had the assistance of Fallon on this occasion and his mark has been raised 6lb to 118 although that is of little relevance as he wont be running in a handicap for a while. Elzaam had created a good impression at Newbury and this 3yo ran well to finish 4th on only his 7th start and the July Cup and Nunthorpe are his next targets. Definightly went off a bit quick down the stands side and Roger Charlton had this to say about his run and future plans "Definightly made the running as planned, keeping 5 meters away from the stand rail where I thought that the grounds was less cut up, but having gone perhaps a little too fast in the early stages he faded just before the final furlong post. Being drawn high appeared to be a disadvantage. He seems to have developed tremendous speed and granted 5 furlongs on soft or heavy ground he should be winning another Group race this year"

Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) Class 2 - 6f - Soft - Royal Ascot 
Deacon Blues followed up here for James Fanshawe and you have to be happy for this quite achiever who didnt have a very good time of it last year and he is back with a bang. The winner had been showing progressive form and had been working well at home and being by Compton Place is probably a tough old sort. He won this by a diminishing neck from the running on Waffle who is another that saves his best for big field handicaps and as a result he has been raised 9lb to 107, whilst the second has been put up 7lb to 107. James Fanshawe said post race "Deacon Blues kept just missing out last year but always showed plenty of ability and really improved from three to four after being gelded. He's from a family that like cut in the ground and he's always had plenty of class. I thought he had a rubbish draw until the Golden Jubilee - then he had a perfect draw". The third Pastoral Player who had dwelt leaving the stalls would probably have been better suited by better going and he remains on the same mark of 103 and is capable of taking a big prize in the coming months. Anne of Kiev in 4th ran really well on going she would not have appreciated and her trainer says that she will go next for the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York in July. Gramercy in 5th was making his seasonal debut and ran very well in the circumstances and has been dropped a pound to 97. Fathsta came into the race on a fair mark and was well supported on the back of the softish going and he ran a good race to finish 6th and has been dropped 2lb to 96. Mac's Power was first home on the stands side by 2 lengths from Lui Rei and he has been left on the same mark of 100. Blue Jack is down 2lb to 100, Victoire De Lyphar 2lb to 101 and Mister Hughie 3lb to 100.

The BHB summed up the weeks sprinting action as follows :

This year’s renewal of the Group 1 6f Golden Jubilee Stakes didn’t quite boast the strong international challenge we’ve been accustomed to in recent years, with thirteen of the sixteen-strong field trained in Britain, writes Stewart Copeland.
Not surprisingly the prize was kept at home and the four-year-old colt, Society Rock, trained by James Fanshawe – who later in the afternoon landed a notable double when Deacon Blues won the Wokingham Handicap – went one better than last year.
Runner-up to Starspangledbanner in 2010, though still sent off at the generous-looking odds of 25/1, Society Rock in my view showed himself better than ever on Saturday with his ½-length defeat of Monsieur Chevalier. Having discussed the sprint division with my colleague, Graeme Smith, who’s responsible for assessing the King’s Stand this week, we took the view that his performance in the Golden Jubilee was worth a rating of 118, with Prohibit awarded 117 for his King’s Stand success, which is something I’ll go into in more detail later.
The Golden Jubilee form has a solid look to it, with the likes of the third Star Witness – who appeared not quite to last home on Saturday – Elzaam (114) in fourth, Bated Breath (113) in fifth, and Amico Fritz in sixth, all pretty much running to the level we’d expect based on what they’d achieved previously.
In a historical context this wouldn’t compare with Starspangledbanner’s 121 last year, and Choisir who recorded the same rating in 2003, but is about average for a winner of the Golden Jubilee from the last decade.
The King’s Stand figure of 117 is also about average in terms of what it’s taken to win the race in recent years. Prohibit’s ½-length defeat of Star Witness undoubtedly represents a career-best from Robert Cowell’s six-year-old, but an accurate rating isn’t that easy to come by at this stage given the international flavour of the finish – the first five represented England, Australia, Hong Kong, Hungary and France respectively.
Historical standards for the first four home proved a good starting point, suggesting a figure of 117 or 118 on Prohibit. Graeme took the view that it was hard to split Prohibit’s winning performance here and that of eighth-placed Sole Power (didn’t get the best of starts) in the Temple Stakes last month – when Prohibit was back in third – and increased Prohibit’s rating by 4lb to 117, the same figure as his rival. With several months of the season remaining there should be plenty of time for the pair to settle their score.

Ive noticed that the Racing Post have started using Trainer Quotes as part of their race analysis in their results section....I wonder where they got that idea from ?