Diary: August 31 2009


177991_Training on the Heath

The following runners from my list to follow are entered tomorrow.

Epsom 5.30 Raaeidd

Ripon 4.45 Dark Lane

Epsom 5.20 Piquante and Speed Dating

Warwick 5.25 Bourne

Today’s picture is by kind permission of the artist Susan Shaw.

Diary; August 30 2009


There is a good card at The Curragh tomorrow where the Group 1 Moyglare Stakes at 3.45 tops the bill. Sent From Heaven boosted the form of Long Lashes when winning today and I will take the Godolphin filly to upset the favourite,

Later on the card in the 5.15 English horses look set to dominate with both Look Busy and Judge ‘N Jury in with chances. Look Busy gets my vote but I would be tempted to have a small each way saver on Judge ‘N Jury.


My selections at Goodwood are Cat Junior (3.55) and Mabuya (4.30) July Jasmine also represents my list to follow in the 2.45.

At Yarmouth Decorative and Blue Lyric are interesting newcomers in the 2.20 while in the 4.40 Tiger Flash, second over course and distance last time looks to hold a good chance.

At Deauville Mark Johnston’s Jukebox Jury looks more likely to be a hit than a miss in the Group 2 at 3.30.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Karen Davies.


Diary: August 29 2009


Saga de Tercey gave me a welcome winner today. He looks just the type of stayer that Alan Swinbank excels with and I will follow his progress with interest.

There is always a bit of a lull at this time of the flat season before the better quality action returns with the St Leger. There are plenty of meetings to go at over the weekend though and the quality of the racing isn’t bad after the modest fare served up midweek.

Starting at Beverley my old friend Dig Deep runs in the 2.30. I included him in my list to follow in the hope that things would drop right for him somewhere during the season and he would come in at a big price. He duly obliged last week at 16/1 although he probably isn’t the sort of animal that will necessarily follow up. He has been raised 4 lbs for his short head win and is still well handicapped on his best form. He has a chance but I don’t think the 5/1 currently quoted is value.

Goliath’s Boy has been running quite well without winning and has an each way chance in the 3.00.

The 3.35 is an interesting sprint. Some pundits fancied Invincible Lad at Chester last week but he had little chance from a poor draw and ran well in the circumstances. He should go well as should the Dandy Nicholls runner Masta Plasta.

Goodwood next and the 2.35 where the Godolphin runner Urban Poet is likely to be favourite. I am going to oppose him with John Dunlop’s King of Wands who has impressed me this season. There is perhaps a slight doubt about his ability to handle the track but he will do for me.

The form of the 2,000 Guineas this season has worked out remarkably well and on that basis you have to give Delegator a solid chance in the 2.35. Course and distance winner Zacinto is open to any amount of improvement after just 3 career starts and he could just be the danger.


The pair that make most appeal in the 3.45 are Sent From Heaven and Siyaadah. If pushed for a single selection it would be Sent From Heaven.

At Newmarket the Michael Jarvis pair of Noafal and Sard both hold group entries and any market support for them would be interesting while Palace Moon can bounce back to form in the 3.25 for the in form trainer Hughie Morrison.

Stoic has shown enough in his 2 outings to date to indicate he can win races and he is the selection in the 4.00.

There are two runners from my list to follow in the 5.05, Park Lane and Bullet Man. Now that Park Lane has got off the mark he may be able to build on that success and he is the tentative selection. Moheeb would come into the reckoning given plenty of rain.

At Windsor I will stick with Warringah in the 6.10 after his gallant effort in the Ebor.

Today’s picture is by kind permission of the artist Sarah Aspinall.

Diary: August 28 2009

Winners have been thin on the ground of late but One Good Emperor (3rd at 20/1) was a fair shout today. We live in hope!

I fancied Northside Prince on Tuesday when he found one too good for him at Ayr. Although his sire was a miler, winning the Irish Guineas, he has quite a strong influence for stamina on his dam’s side. She was a full sister to Ionian Spring who did his winning over 10 furlongs or more and a half sister to Conduit and Hard Top. I half expected to see him upped in trip in search of that elusive first win but he drops down to a mile in the Hamilton 7.00 tomorrow. Clearly one of those occasions when the trainer knows rather more than us amateurs! It is a weak race with the main threat coming from recent course and distance winner Mohawk Ridge. The latter didn’t beat much though and has a 6 lbs penalty whereas Northside Prince has a good apprentice on board claiming 3 lbs. On pedigree Northside Prince should handle soft ground and may be able to break his duck here.

katy newmarket july

At Newmarket Cactus Curtsey represents my list to follow in the 4.35.After an encouraging debut when 3rd at Doncaster at July she has not really progressed and runs in a claimer tomorrow. Strictly on ratings she has a chance of making the frame but this is a poor race.

Another horse dropped in class is the frustrating Charles Parnell in the 2.00 at Thirsk. He did well on the all weather last winter winning a couple of times at Southwell. Although in theory he has been well treated on turf this year he has not been able to make it count and most recently was 3rd to Turnkey at Carlisle. He runs in the claimer at Thirsk but has a bit to find with Mutamared who was once rated 104.

My main hope of a winner tomorrow is Saga de Tercey in the 4.15. A former bumper winner he has been running consistently and with few miles on the clock he should have more improvement in him. Runner up at York last week he can go one better tomorrow.


Baybshambles has done well for his small stable winning 6 races at the minimum trip. He has shown that he goes well for an apprentice as he has had a claimer on board for 4 of his wins. He runs in an apprentice handicap tomorrow in the 4.45 at Thirsk where he is a course and distance winner. He has won on soft but may prefer a sound surface.

Today’s pictures are courtesy of Katy Sodeau (top) and Ruth Buchanan.


Diary: August 26 & 27 2009

It is always nice to tip a winner but some give you more of a buzz than others. Bagber is no world beater but he finally got off the mark at my lucky track at Kempton, fairly storming up the straight – well he went quicker than the others anyway. This was his 11th start and he had only been out of the first 4 once previously and this success was well deserved. Ryan Moore had ridden him on his previous outing, also at Kempton and had chosen to stay with him which I always think is a good sign. Sometimes when a horse keeps getting placed it is because he is not genuine but with Bagber it was more that he is not the quickest and kept finding one or two too good for him. Harry Dunlop found him a winning opportunity at Kempton though and Ryan Moore gave the horse a good ride from the front.

There is flat racing at Ayr, Catterick and Warwick tomorrow. And there are a few runners from my list to follow dotted about. There are a couple in the Ayr 2.40, Northside Prince and Jachol. Northside Prince has been running well enough but like Bagber has not managed to get his head in front. He remains capable of winning off a mark of 65. Jachol is also a maiden after 7 starts and was a beaten favourite last time out at Newmarket. That was over 12 furlongs and the drop back in trip tomorrow may well see him in a better light. This is probably not a race to get too carried away with but Northside Prince should go well as long as the soft ground does not present him with any problems. He does have plenty of stamina on the dam’s side.

In the 3.40 Woodsley House has dropped to the same mark as his last two wins which should enable him to be competitive. He is a course winner and seems to act on any ground. On the negative side the stable could be in better form.

Catterick Racecoure

Casual Garcia had shown nothing in his races this season until finishing 4th at Pontefract 10 days ago. A change of tactics may have helped on that occasion as he was ridden with much more restraint. He runs in the 3.20 at Catterick tomorrow and in an open race he has a sporting chance.

I have been tipping Cook’s Endeavour all season with no success. He turns out again in the 3.50 at Catterick after running poorly at Redcar last time. I still have the feeling that he is better than he has shown this season but it is difficult to drum up a case for him on the form book.

Burma Rock was not beaten far by the highly rated Glass Harmonium last year as a 2 year old but has disappointed in his 2 starts this season. He may well be capable of better and is worth another chance in the Warwick 5.00.

Moving on to Thursday I would fancy Prince Rhyddarch in the 2.40 at Ayr if the ground is riding soft. He has dropped a few pounds in the handicap and if getting his ground should go well.

I thought that One Good Emperor made an encouraging debut at Goodwood and should benefit from the experience in the 3.50 at Lingfield.

My thanks to David Hebb for the photo of Catterick racecourse.

Bye for now.



Quito ran his first race for trainer David Chapman in July 2002 as a 5 year old having previously won twice in Dubai. He soon showed himself to be a tough competitor on the all weather and ran up a hat trick within a fortnight that autumn under the jockey who was to be his regular pilot, Tony Culhane.

I began following him at the start of the 2003 season having been impressed by his performances on the polytrack, especially a 6 length win at Wolverhampton where he trounced a reasonable performer called Geronimo. The first time I actually backed him was in a handicap at Doncaster when he looked all over the winner running hard against the stands rail until just caught on the line by Grey Cossack. Despite that narrow defeat Quito was a very profitable horse to follow that season with wins at Thirsk (7/1) and Newcastle (14/1) beating the useful Celtic Mill in the latter handicap. The best was yet to come that season though when, with a late flourish which was becoming his trademark, he got up close home to land the Ayr Gold Cup at 20/1. His first win for David Chapman was gained off a mark of 59 but such was his progress that he won at Ayr off a rating of 92.

Quito’s career took off from there and in total during his career he won 20 times from 121 starts. The son of Machiavellian struck up a fine partnership with Tony Culhane who rode him to 14 of his career victories. More than handicapper later in his career Quito won seven times in listed company notably when accounting for New Seeker in the John O’Gaunt Stakes at Haydock in 2006. Arguably his finest performance was when finishing strongly to when 2nd, beaten a neck by Reverence in Haydock’s Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup at the age of 9.

David Chapman bought Quito for only 3,500 gns in 2002 and by the end of his career he had won nearly half a million pounds in prize money. In fact his trainer maintained that the horse never really fulfilled his potential as a result of problems with his joints.

A horse with a lot of ability and a great engine, ee was initially retired after suffering from sore shins in the summer of 2007 but after not finding retirement to his liking made a brief comeback running 3 times in 2008 at the age of 11.

Although he always ran in blinkers Quito was 100% genuine and the old warrior was as tough as they come. He is now enjoying a well earned retirement with trainer Ruth Carr, who always looked after him and has now taken over the license from her grandfather David Chapman.

Diary: August 24 2009


Simon Callaghan introduces an interesting 2 year old in the Kempton 2.40 tomorrow in Mount Juliet. There have been some promising reports about this filly although she may need this first run. Certainly one to keep on eye on.

Later on the Kempton card there are a couple of runners from my list to follow, Hyades in the 3.40 and Bagber in the 4.10. Since winning a Yarmouth maiden on fast ground (the 2nd won next time out) Hyades has been running well enough in some hot handicaps. He seems to have quite a difficult task against some of these rivals however and I couldn’t tip him with any real confidence. Bagber has been running consistently and deserves to win a race. Tomorrow’s race looks to be the best opportunity he has had to get his head in front and with Ryan Moore riding he looks to hold a good chance.

downwarrenhill Sally martin

The 4.00 at Windsor looks an open race with all 6 runners in with a shout. If Mick Channon’s Aattash settles he could be the answer.

Annice Stellato returns after a 2 month absence in the 4.30. She ran in the Lingfield Oaks Trial and the Ribblesdale earlier in the season so clearly had shown some form at home. She might be worth considering. Cherish the Moment represents my list to follow in the 5.00 but there appear to be others with better claims.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Sally Martin.

The next update will be on Tuesday evening.