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Bracelet a lively 1,000 Guineas contender at Newmarket

By James Boyle

Yesterday’s 2,000 Guineas was a spectacle to behold, a truly exciting race worthy of its billing. Sadly, I picked the wrong Hannon horse as Toormore clearly failed to get the trip against such talented rivals (also reported to have run flat). He performed all right in fairness to him, but wasn’t good enough on the day and may be best served by a mile on a turning track, either that or a drop back to 7f if there are any suitable races. There’s no doubting his talent, but on a line through The Grey Gatsby, he definitely wasn’t near his best on this occasion and most of what I said was off the mark, well off!

Now, it’s time to attempt to solve the Fillies’ edition of the race and the obvious place to start is with Clive Brittain’s Rizeena, currently the 9/2 favourite with Richard Hughes on board for the first time (Doyle has to ride Abdullah’s). The Group 1 winning daughter of Ifraaj is undoubtedly laden with talent and whilst yet to win over a mile, she was second to the ill-fated Chriselliam in the Shadewell over C&D at the back-end of last season, showing that it’s not a massive issue.

Having another winter under her belt won’t do any harm and I wouldn’t write her off by any means. I am, however, worried that she might be too speedy to truly see this test of stamina to the line and it’s safe to say that is off-putting! It’s entirely possible that I’m well wide of the mark but the 9/2 is short enough considering and I’ll plump for something else.

Miss France is a close second-favourite at 5/1 (could be punted into favouritism) to give Andre Farbe yet another top-level success and although she hasn’t won a good race over a mile to date, she’ll get this far at least. Her sole run at this track yielded a Group 3 win over 7f as well, so there shouldn’t be any qualms with the Rowley mile. I just don’t think that the price offers much value (was twice it a couple of weeks ago) and whilst there’s plenty on which to recommend her as a definite contender/possible winner, I won’t be doing so at 5’s.

Many others are respected, but I’m going to give Aidan O’Brien’s Bracelet (10/1) the nod with Ryan Moore on board. She’s a beautifully bred daughter of Montjeu who should improve plenty for this step up to a mile in a properly run race and showed her current well-being when winning a Leopardstown Group 3 five weeks ago. There, she managed to get the better of an odds-on Weld horse despite plenty being wrong (race not run to suit, trip too short and ground too testing) and, visually, it was quite impressive.

What the form amounts to is an entirely different question that I can’t answer, but she looks a work-in-progress with some more to offer and the demands of a race like this could be absolutely spot-on. It’s difficult to say much with excessive confidence, but if Bracelet isn’t capable of getting involved here, it would be disappointing. She has plenty of raw ability, appears to have a nice “turn of foot” and is just the sort to thrive off a proper pace over a mile on decent ground. On form, she has it all to prove, but sometimes form can fly out the window in these events (especially in a field full of young, unexposed fillies!) and I’ll happily play the Coolmore “second-string” at 10/1. It’s a couple of points on the large side, IMO.



Bracelet – 10/1, available with a few firms.

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