Newmarket news and tips for the weekend from our ‘Man at HQ’
Warren Place was given a great boost when Lady Cecil’s Noble Mission put in a high quality
performance to win the Huxley Stakes at Chester during the week. Her fine form can
continue on Saturday when she saddles Hamelin in the 2.05 at Ascot. This late
maturing son of Cape Cross and Love Divine will relish the soft ground conditions
underfoot, and if his latest gallops are anything to go by he will take all the beating.
I really think he could be well ahead of the handicapper.
On the same card James Fanshawe runs Ribbons in the 3.15. It was a good run on her
seasonal reappearance at Kempton three weeks ago. After breaking sharply from the
stalls she was quickly restrained and held up in rear off a slow pace, but she finished to
good effect chasing home the classic placed Zurigha. Ribbons has come on a ton for the
outing and must go close as she is the trainer’s main hope of winning a Group race this year.
Luca Cumani is another trainer from HQ with his string seemingly coming to hand sooner
than is usually the case. He has Ayaar in the Victoria Cup 3.50 Ascot who had a nice blow out
at Kempton 21 days ago. Even though he raced freely off a steady gallop he knuckled
down and stayed on well to finish 3rd. With the 2nd in the race franking the form since
and Ascot specialist Frankie Dettori on board I’m sure 16/1 is a huge EW price and can
give new connections a huge boost.
With the Guineas weekend behind us all eyes are heading towards Epsom. There are
Derby Trials all over the place including Lingfield, Leopardstown and more importantly
York, which is where my Derby hope runs. I couldn’t fail to be impressed by the manner in
which True Story won the Fielden Stakes at the Craven meeting. He was far too keen
early on but the way he changed gear and put the race to bed had me rushing to get on.
He has come out of that race in fine form. The fact that Kieren Fallon is now a major
player with the Godolphin operation and has been given the ride is one of the brightest
decisions they have made in the last ten years and only good will come of it. He is still 6/1
for the Blue Riband at Epsom but when he wins next week that price will surely half.
The Derby favourite Australia might be a good horse but to me he still looked leggy and
unfurnished in the 2000 Guineas and will come into his own from late summer onwards.
Other horses to note next week at York are the Sir Michael Stoute trained pair Arab Spring
and Rye House. Both look like they are Group winners waiting to happen.