James Boyle’s Horses To Follow – Week Eight
Royal Ascot is over for another year and, as ever, it was a cracking spectacle well worthy of its billing. From a punting point of view it was exceptionally tough, however, and my week was defined by too many hateful seconds! Due Diligence was one of those as he found Slade Power too good in the Diamond Jubilee and that was quite gutting as he was selected at 20/1 (ante-post) before going off with an SP of 5/1.
The aim of the columns is to stick up horses I believe are overpriced and O’Brien’s 3-year-old sprinter sure was, but all he could do was land the each-way money having raced in the wrong group throughout. There’s no doubt that he’s a Group 1 winner waiting to happen and next month’s July Cup is sure to be on the cards. If he turns up there, he could be the one to beat on what will be an even more suitable track than Ascot.
Other seconds during the week include Bold Sniper in the Wolferton, as he ran into Contributer and did little to help Ryan Moore by lugging in behind horses in the straight, whilst Verrazano filled the same position behind Toronado in the Queen Anne on day one. No complaints on either count as both ran to their best, although the Coolmore colt could improve for a step up to 1m 2f and shaped like it’s needed on turf.
Some of the tracker horses also lined up. Burano was running in the Royal Hunt Cup, which I assumed was his big target of the season, and he performed well enough to finish in mid-division. The race didn’t really pan out to suit him as he needed a mental gallop to ensue and he remains of interest for another while. Continuum was in the Duke Of Edinburgh handicap on the final day and ran all right behind Group horse Arab Spring, finishing just 6-lengths back in a hot race. He’ll be found much more suitable targets in due course.
It’ll be calm after the storm and the only two of our previous eye-catchers potentially set to line up this coming week are Barnet Fair and Confessional. Both hold entries in the Gosforth Park handicap at Newcastle on Friday and it’ll be interesting if either run, particularly Barnet Fair as he has joined up with the Dandy Nicholls yard from Lee Carter’s.
Two more handicappers to add to the list this week and hopefully they’ll be winners in the coming weeks and months.
Horses To Follow – Week Eight:
Tales Of Grimm (18th June) –
This year’s renewal of the Royal Hunt Cup was typically competitive, but I don’t think that it was run at as fierce a gallop as you would expect for such a big field and a few of them who finished in behind the winner Field Of Dream will be worth another chance in the coming months. The one that I’ll take forward is the sixth placed animal, Richard Fahey’s 5-year-old Tales Of Grimm, as he could wind up being fancily priced in some winnable races. He’s a generally consistent sort who was unfancied to win on Wednesday but he shaped really well under Olivier Peslier, tracking the pace throughout and sticking on nicely for pressure to pick up some prize money. Reasons for upgrading the run include the fact that he would have found the underfoot conditions to be lively enough and the trip slightly on the short side. He was only beaten a short-head last October in a Newmarket Group 3 over 1m 1f, that on good-to-soft ground, and is clearly a well-treated animal off 102 if recapturing the same sort of level. I think that he will soon enough, especially as he wasn’t a million miles away from it in the Hunt Cup, and there will be plenty of upcoming targets for the horse both in handicaps and stakes races. He’s capable of winning something before too long.
Third Dimension (19th June) –
Ger Lyons is a trainer who knows his apples from his oranges and Third Dimension is a one who he has always spoken rather highly of. The son of Dubawi failed to live up to market expectations in three runs as a juvenile, for all that he wasn’t disgraced, but improvement as a 3-year-old was on the cards and it has been forthcoming. He got off the mark at the fifth attempt when winning his maiden by an easy 3-lengths (made most) and the form of that has worked out excellently with runner-up Table Rock winning twice since (including a handicap quite easily off 87) and the third horse, Maskoon, winning his next start at Navan (defeated Table Rock by a half-length there). The strength of the form and the bare impression created by the colt led me to fancying his chances in the ultra-competitive Britannia Handicap on day three of the Royal Meeting, with the draw in stall 31 appearing perfect. However, seconds after they left the stalls, my confidence disappeared as Lyons’ charge was hampered at the gates and had to sit towards the rear of the field as a result, instead of being positioned close to the pace as he ideally needs to be (he’ll gallop all day). Afterwards, he was hampered on the rail when trying to get through for a run, a hampering which checked his momentum completely, but still passed half the field in the last few hundred yards and that was without being beaten up. It’s a run that I feel bodes well for the future and as an added bonus, he wasn’t obviously unfortunate to most people so should be a decent price next time out, all going well. A nice race will come his way. 100%.
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