James Boyle’s Horses To Follow – Week Eleven
A cracking week to report. Continuum being the big winner, one of two for the HTF list. Peter Hedger’s 5-year-old made it second time lucky for us when landing a Listed handicap at York on Saturday, clearly appreciating the step up to 1m 6f on top of fast ground at a flat track. 11/1 was the SP (14’s in the morning) and it’s nice to get rewarded with a big one! The horse will find it hard to score again after the handicapper gets a hold of him and my interest ends now (mark blown for the Ebor). Remove him from the tracker.
Head Space was having his first run for us at Doncaster last Thursday having been added to the list in week nine. In a first-time visor and dropped in trip to 5f, Ruth Carr’s charge was subject to a lot of market support throughout the day (7/1 into 3’s) and duly obliged in a race that panned out to suit perfectly. Whether he will get such a favourable pull through next time is debatable and he’s out of the tracker too. Short and sweet!
Despite ground worries, Integral was given the nod in the Falmouth at 2/1 for one of the preview columns and duly made no mistake in getting a first top-level success. The conditions didn’t seem to bother her too much, whilst it did for some of the others, and she scored nicely under an intelligent ride from Ryan Moore.
Plenty of others lined up, albeit without success. Barnet Fair ran a good race at Ascot, finishing 3-lengths behind a smart-looking sort in what was a very good event. He remains of interest and looks likely to peak sometime soon. Confessional ran a cracker at Chester, finishing second at 8/1 despite running over 6f (is better at the minimum trip). It’s clear that he finds winning hard but he’s on a good mark now and should pop up in a handicap before long. Moviesta ran all right in the July Cup and can build upon that, whilst Running Reef was gambled on at Catterick before finishing second to a well-backed Mick Easterby horse. Both are persisted with and the former, in particular, will be of interest soon. Others from the ante-post and preview columns that lost include Astaire, Glen Moss and Jamsie. The last mentioned ran well (got going too late, sadly), whilst the other two were well below-par.
All in all, a good week, and hopefully there’s more to come. HTF entered this week; Burano, Hopes N Dreams, Kyleakin Lass & Monsieur Chevalier.
Horses To Follow – Week Eleven:
Boomerang Bob (12th July) –
Another sprint handicapper to keep on side, surprise, surprise! Boomerang Bob, a Listed winner for the late John Hills last year, is the horse in question and I would expect him to gain a first handicap success in the coming weeks or months. He’s ticking over nicely at present having run a blinder in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, finishing fifth of 28 and only beaten a few lengths. That came off a mark of 98 and is worthy of a lot of respect as he was always up in the van and liable to being vulnerable to the fast-finishers late on, as was the case. Last time out, on Saturday, he was well supported in a 6f handicap around Chester, again off 98, and performed encouragingly from a less than ideal sit in the middle of the field. If you don’t have a tonne in hand around that track, you need everything to pan out to suit and it didn’t on this occasion. He can do even better in a nice race soon.
Queensberry Rules (12th July) –
Last year, I thought that Queensberry Rules was a Group-class performer waiting to happen, mainly based on how well he did to finish third of 27 in the Britannia at Royal Ascot off a mark of 95. A bit like the above, the front-runners didn’t come back to him and the line came a few strides too soon, but he looked a really promising sort who would achieve plenty for William Haggas. That hasn’t materialized at all but, having been stepped up to 1m 2f to contest the John Smith’s Cup at York on Saturday, the now 4-year-old showed that his ability remains in tact and may be better than the bare form suggests. The main reason to say that is because it seemed impossible for those patiently ridden to make up any ground into the pace and Queensberry Rules had be held right off the speed by Seb Sanders. When he did get going, the progress made wouldn’t exactly blow your mind but it was an encouragement nonetheless and he appeared to stay well. There should be more options open to his connections now and I’m interested to see how he does over this trip next time.
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