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Friday 1 May 2015

The Pearl Bloodstcock Palace House Stakes and other races

Its not the greatest renewal of this event as stalwart Sole Power is not present.
Pearl Secret was his nearest rival in the betting last year but he ran a bit free and was slightly disappointing. He ran some good races in defeat though following at Haydock in the Temple Stakes and the Haydock Sprint Cup. He prefers a bit of cut so it will all depend on how much watering goes on at Newmarket (5mm applied on Friday) as it doesn't look like there will be any significant rain arriving.
Kingsgate Native finished 2nd following up his second in 2013 and whilst I respect his and Tangerine Trees record its difficult to expect them to win at the age of 10 although they will have the stamina.
5f is probably too short for Watchable and Glass Office and Online Alexander and Wind Fire face a tough re introduction. Justice Day probably needs soft to produce his best and Goldream should be in a handicap.
That leaves just Stepper Point who was second in both the Group 1 Kings Stand and Nunthorpe last summer behind Sole Power which is by far the best form we have on offer, although he has run here 4 times and never won finishing 9th and 4th in  this very race.

In truth I am not keen on anything but a gun to my head I would go for the form horse Stepper Point.

History : Named after Palace House, a famous building in Newmarket on the site of a royal residence of King Charles II. The race was established in 1961, and the first running was won by Galivanter.
Draw Record last 7 years :
2014 - 6, 9, 3, 4, (11 ran) Good to Firm, Good in places - Ryan Moore - 58.74s
2013 - 9, 11, 10, 7 (17 ran) Good to Firm - Johnny Murtagh - 57.02s
2012 - 2, 4, 6, 10 (16 ran) Good to Soft - 1m 1.42s
2011 - 3, 10, 5, 11 (15) Good to Firm - 59.70s
2010 - 4, 3, 12, 2 (12) Good to Firm - 58.40s
2009 - 4, 1, 14, 9 (16) Good to Firm - 57.73s
2008 - 11, 8, 10, 5 (10) Good to Firm - 59.00s
Age of Winner (last season first) - 7, 6, 4, 6, 5, 3, 3
2014 : 1st Sole Power, 2nd Kingsgate Native, 3rd Hot Streak, 4th Stepper Point
2013 : 1st Sole Power, 2nd Kingsgate Native, 3rd Tangerine Trees, 4th Heeraat
2012 : 1st Mayson, 2nd Definightly, 3rd Elusivity, 4th Spirit Quartz
2011 : 1st Tangerine Trees, 2nd Rain Delayed, 3rd Sole Power, 3rd Jonny Mudball
2010 : 1st Equiano, 2nd Borderlescott, 3rd Blue Jack, 4th Sole Power
2009 : 1st Amour Propre, 2nd Hoh Hoh Hoh, 3rd Borderlescott, 4th Strike The Deal
2008 : 1st Captain Gerrard, 2nd Sakhee's Secret, 3rd Enticing, 4th Matsunosuke

Other horses to note on Saturday are as follows :

6.45 Doncaster : Auspicion - Led from the off last time out and was able to repel the late sustained challenge of the second. Probably capable of further improvement and given a mark of 85 for first handicap. Nathan Alison takes off 3lb and he drops back from 1m to 7f.

7.15 Doncaster : Desert Law - Falling down the handicap at a rate of knots. His trainer Paul Midgley is in good form and it shouldn't be too long before he wins a handicap as he went well at Beverley under Graham Lee from a poor draw and the form of the race has been franked since. Dropped 2lb from 91 to 89 following last run he is now 12lb lower than his last win. Paul Mulrennan takes over from Graham Lee who rides Sunraider a horse he has won on previously.
However they are up against Rex Imperator who won the Stewards Cup in 2013 by two and a quarter lengths for William Haggas off a 14lb higher mark than he runs off here on this his first start for David O'Meara. The comments in running following his Stewards Cup win read as follows "Held up and travelled well in midfield, closed to track leaders over 1f out, switched left and quickened to lead inside final furlong, ran on strongly, readily".
Haggas always maintained that Rex Imperator wanted a fast, flat track to show his best form and he gets that here.
With David O'Meara's knack of rediscovering lost form and his stall 5 draw it makes him a bet worth making.

3.45 Newmarket : Intilaaq - Very impressive at Newbury - He was sent to the front early on and then with about a furlong to go he was sent to win the race and boy did he do that. Looked in a different league to the rest.
Roger Varian states “Intilaaq has been in great form since winning at Newbury. He is a colt we have always held in very high regard and his win at Newbury was in the style of a high-class horse. This is obviously a huge step up in grade but we felt that he warranted to take his chance in what looks an open 2000 Guineas on paper.”

4.20 Newmarket : Desert Force - Always travelling well at the head of affairs at Newbury whilst others making heavy work of it. Quickened well when challenged to repel the second and looks a progressive type. He was raised 11lb following that win and he appears up against it having to concede 11lb to Henry Candy's progressive Twilight Sun.
Henry Candy commented about Twilight Sun in Mark Howards "Ahead On The Flat" as follows "From a very good family, he is a half brother to Music Master and Spring Fling and I think he is suited by being held up in his races. Unbeaten in two races at Salisbury and Thirsk, he appears to be on a decent mark and I am expecting him to be effective over five and six furlongs. I think he will be suited by a bit of cut in the ground, being by Kyllachy. I am very happy with him".
He is drawn in stall 5 which should allow him to be held up and with the new cutaway at the 2f marker he should, all being well, be able to get a position to get a clear run.
Richard Fahey has two runners and his comments are as follows "Sarista is having her first run for us. She had a problem after running at Royal Ascot last June. She tries hard and I’m led to believe she shows more on the track than she does at home. It will be interesting to see how she goes". "Fullon Clarets is the polar opposite. He shows more here at Musley Bank than he does when he’s racing but he did win at Lingfield the last day and that could just do him the world of good and give him a bit of confidence".

4.55 Newmarket : Azmaam - He was very unlucky at Newmarket and in all probability would have won had he not been trapped in a pocket.
He is up against O'Brien's Aloft "He had to work hard to win his maiden at Newmarket before finishing second in the Racing Post Trophy on soft ground, which was far from ideal for him. He's almost ready to start and will go for one of the Derby trials. It could be Chester, Leopardstown or York, although there's a 1m2f Listed race at Newmarket on Guineas weekend that might suit" - RP24/04/2015.

4.00 Thirsk : Signore Piccolo - There was a bit of monkeying around pre race last time which may have used up energy and his young rider had him too far back in what was a fast run race. Josh Doyle is replaced by Sam James and stable stick with 5f, he can be given another chance off a 4lb higher mark.

5.40 Thirsk : Birdman - Won off 70 at Thirsk, being held up and then coming with a run down the outside as they came up the straight. Once he got to the front he could have gone on and won by 10 lengths but he was eased down. Ran again under 6lb penalty at Doncaster winning easily.
Birdman is now 15lb higher than his first win at Thirsk but he won so well at Doncaster, under this jockey, that he has to be backed again.

2.50 Goodwood : Emell - 1-20 prior to his last run, he was runner-up in last season´s Celebration Mile. He was down to 7f at Haydock for the first time in 2 years and had blinkers on first time, but produced a devastating turn of foot to sweep past his rivals entering the last furlong, despite edging to the left, and he was clear at the line.
He looked an improved performer at Haydock and it's difficult not to be tempted to back him again.

5.50 Goodwood : Joshua Potman - Tried to make every post a winning one at Nottingham in his first handicap. He had everything on the stretch and was leading by several lengths before being worn down by the winner close home despite battling back. He is up 7lb but granted some improvement from his first run back he can hopefully dominate from the front and hold on.

Also take a look at the 2yo speed ratings page which I have recently started. It's basically a list of the speed figures taken from the Weekender results section in an orderly list.