Gentleman Duke 0.5 Point Each Way
Gentleman Duke was not well backed as expected before this race and that is never a good sign regarding a JP McManus owned runner. He was settled mid field leading the second group as four horses led the rest out front. Once of those was the eventual Winner Enjoy Responsibly who jumped super enjoying the run of the race. Gentleman Duke jumped well enough but faded up the home straight not running up to his best. Hopefully, he can step forward if a runner at the upcoming Galway Festival.
Oor Jock 0.5 Point Each Way
Oor Jock always gives his best but seems destined to find one too good! The rain arrived which does not bother Oor Jock but did result in a few withdrawals resulting in a hefty 35p Rule 4. Oor Jock was sent off the favourite and looked like winning bursting through a gap after the 2 furlong pole. However, the winner was travelling better at that point and held on despite Oor Jock battling hard all the way to the line. A surprise result really with the winner having not shown anything on the track for a long time.
Commissioned 1.0 Point Each Way
Commissioned was not able to get into a good position running 4 or 5 deep around the tight turning Market Rasen track. This resulted in him losing ground to those that raced closer to the rail. Commissioned finished best of the John Ferguson pair of runners plugging on to finish mid-field. The 13lb hike in the weights for his latest win proved too much and he found life tough at this level carrying top weight despite being ridden by a good 5lb claimer.
Chancery 0.5 Point Each Way
Chancery is a very frustrating horse promising plenty but not always delivering. There is no doubting the fact he is back on a nice looking handicap mark. In this race he had every chance but didn’t quicken as well as he can when asked the question 2 furlongs out. On his previous run at York we could have reasonably expected him to finish closer to the winner. York’s Ebor Meeting might see this David O’Meara inmate put his best foot forward.
Master Speaker 0.5 Point Each Way
Master Speaker was unlucky not to place in this race having been the meat in the sandwich not long after the break. He was shuffled backwards and had to be taken wide in search of running room. He finished well but had to come from too far back and finished just outside the first three! He’s been busy of late but takes his racing well and can bag a win over 6 furlongs on nice ground with better luck in running.
Together Forever 0.5 Point Each Way
She gave her all but finished very tired in the end dropping back to fourth place. Seamie Heffernan rode a good race on her and she had them all at it expect the very impressive winner Covert Love heading up the long finishing straight. Unfortunately, she was unable to sustain the effort as her stamina gave way. The winner was the best filly for sure and Together Forever is proving slightly disappointing this season. She was well backed but looks just short of Group 1 class.
Majenta 0.5 Point Each Way
She ran a very good race just finding one too good in Tooreen Legend. The winner ran the best race of her life on the day. Majenta looked the most likely winner travelling very well to the furlong pole and was the last horse asked for her effort but didn’t quicken as well as she has in the past. A very good run but once again close but no cigar.
Gordon Lord Byron – 1 Point Win
The rain had arrived and Gordon Lord Byron looked to have an excellent chance of winning this Group 3 race. However, it was a weekend to remember for trainer Hugo Palmer as Home of the Brave proved too good under a positive ride. The result was not as surprising as many might think but with no form on easy ground and dropping in trip the percentage call was to back the older horse Gordon Lord Bryon against the 3 year old. Gordon Lord Byron made up good ground when in the clear having been stuck in a pocket on the rail allowing the winner too much rope. He remains in rude health and will follow a similar path to last season where he ended up running cracking races at Longchamp and Ascot. Earlier this week trainer Tom Hogan said he didn’t enjoy the ground and was spinning on it unable to travel as well as expected!
Bocca Baciata 0.5 Point Each Way
Bocca Baciata did very well to grab a place just failing to get second by a short head. The winner enjoyed a clear run down the outer to win nicely unlike Fran Berry aboard Bocca Baciata. She was settled in behind the lead on the rail but no gaps appeared as the race entered the final two furlongs. Eventually, Fran had to switch Bocca Baciata around three horses in front to get a run and finished well just failing to grab second. It is hard to know if she would have picked up well enough to win getting a gap up the rail. She is back in good form and will be of interest on proper soft ground later this season.
A very busy period of racing is almost upon us kicking off with the King George Meeting at Ascot this Saturday. As well as the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Ascot hosts the Group 3 Juddmonte Stakes and the competitive big field International Stakes a heritage handicap run over the straight 7 furlongs.
As if that is not enough of quality action York stage an excellent card including the Group 2 York Stakes and two class 2 handicaps. The Sky Bet Dash over 6 furlongs grabs our attention as a value betting opportunity. At this point Saturday’s big race feature is boiling down to a choice between the Dash at York or the International stakes at Ascot!
7 Day Galway Festival & 5 Day Glorious Goodwood
Whatever about Saturday’s top class action it is the following Galway and Glorious Goodwood festivals that I’m most looking forward to. The Galway Festival is a marathon festival covering a massive 7 days of racing. It may not be of the highest quality but as any owner will testify it’s damned hard to get a winner at the Galway Festival. The highlights are the Galway Plate on Wednesday and the Galway Hurdle Thursday afternoon. Of course there is a highlight race each day with a mix of flat and jumps racing combining to satisfy the tastes of all racing fans. Over on the Sussex Downs the action is all flat but of a much higher quality.
The Glorious Goodwood festival marks the height of summer racing and is a festival to enjoy for sure. The Lennox Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Goodwood Cup, King George Stakes & Nassau Stakes offer a chance to watch top class Group 1 and 2 horses. Of course the handicaps on each day are most competitive none more so than the Stewards’ Cup on the last day.
Let the fireworks begin this Saturday and run for each and every day up until Sunday the 2 August. Here’s to some results like we enjoyed last year or even close to those achieved in 2012! That’s all for now, Nicky