Paul Fer­gu­son gives his list to see us through the rest of the Flat sea­son

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Our lead­ing tipster’s fan­cies for the end of the Flat sea­son


Off the mark on his sea­sonal reap­pear­ance at Wind­sor in May, Cen­tral Square fin­ished run­ner-up in the Zet­land Gold Cup be­fore get­ting up in the dy­ing strides to score at Ayr in June, hav­ing missed the cut for the Royal As­cot hand­i­caps.

Still very much a work in progress, the Azamour geld­ing then dis­ap­pointed when upped in trip atYork,but he re­mains an in­ter­est­ing prospect and one that could still de­velop into a very use­ful per­former. Green­ness has still been ev­i­dent in his last cou­ple of runs, but he is ca­pa­ble of win­ning a nice prize from his cur­rent mark once the penny drops.


A rather ob­vi­ous se­lec­tion, the Frankel filly looked a po­ten­tial start when beat­ing Na­tions Alexan­der (Listed win­ner next time and sub­se­quently Group 2 placed) eas­ily at Hay­dock and she built on that when forg­ing clear to land the Princess Mar­garet Stakes at As­cot on King Ge­orge day.

She might well have run in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York by the time you read this and I would like to see her head over to Ire­land dur­ing Septem­ber, for the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Cur­ragh.Wher­ever she turns up next she will be very dif­fi­cult to beat and it will be a shock if she is not head­ing into her win­ter break as a warm or­der for the 1,000 Guineas next May (al­ready clear favourite).


A maiden win­ner at New­cas­tle in June, Huge Fu­ture looked aptly named when im­pres­sively win­ning on his hand­i­cap de­but at New­bury the same month. The three-year-old cruised through the con­test un­der James Doyle, clearly cop­ing with the soft ground,and he was value for more than the of­fi­cial mar­gin.

Af­ter miss­ing a cou­ple of pos­si­ble engagements at Glo­ri­ous Good­wood,the Ebor meet­ing re­mains an op­tion for him while this fea­ture goes to press – he holds an en­try in the Ebor it­self, but al­most cer­tainly won’t get in, so con­nec­tions will pre­sum­ably con­sider the Mel­rose on the same card. The Shamardal colt looked to pos­sess plenty of pace last time,how­ever, and I cer­tainly think he is ca­pa­ble of win- ning an­other hand­i­cap over shorter.He is now rated 95.


An eye-catcher on his sole start at two,this chest­nut went down by just a head on his reap­pear­ance (off for more than 10 months) be­fore go­ing one bet­ter just 13 days later,in a mile maiden at New­mar­ket.

Handed an open­ing mark of 82 fol­low­ing this length suc­cess, In The City should be more than ca­pa­ble of win­ning a hand­i­cap be­fore the sea­son is out. He saw the mile out well,hav­ing run over 7f the twice be­fore.


Af­ter im­press­ing when win­ning a warm Not­ting­ham maiden in May (form worked out well),read­ers of my Be­tres­cue col­umn may re­mem­ber that I was pretty keen on Poet’sWord for the three-year-old hand­i­cap at Ep­som on Derby day. He failed to han­dle the track when fourth that day, but bounced back when win­ning a 14-run­ner af­fair at Glo­ri­ous Good­wood.Held in a pocket af­ter trav­el­ling well,the Poet’sVoice colt burst clear in the clos­ing stages to record an au­thor­i­ta­tive suc­cess.

Upped an­other 8lb (to 96) by the hand­i­cap­per, he could land an­other valu­able pot be­fore the sea­son is out – the Novem­ber Hand­i­cap is one pos­si­ble op­tion, though I sus­pect Sir Michael Stoute will want to find some­thing be­fore then.


Twice a non-run­ner at Glo­ri­ous Good­wood (also de­clared a non-run­ner at Ch­ester dur­ing the sum­mer) Sabre Squadron won a de­cent Le­ices­ter maiden when last seen in May and looks on a fair mark, once he does get the go-ahead.

The Lope De Vega geld­ing had Is­tan­bul Bey (won his next two, in­clud­ing a York hand­i­cap, be­fore be­ing sold to race in Hong Kong) and Al Neksh (also won his next two) in be­hind and looks open to plenty of im­prove­ment. Clearly con­nec­tions don’t want to risk him on quick ground, so he should find con­di­tions to his lik­ing as we en­ter the con­clud­ing weeks of the sea­son, and it will be dis­ap­point­ing if he can’t be placed to win a hand­i­cap off 80.


An­other Frankel two-year-old that made an im­pres­sive win­ning de­but, Seven Heav­ens beat Lock­head (won his maiden next time at Glo­ri­ous Good­wood) at As­cot in July,with the pair pulling nicely clear.Out of classy race-mare Heaven Sent, the Cham­pagne Stakes is a pos­si­ble tar­get for John Gos­den’s colt.


An­other im­prov­ing Sir Michael Stoute­trained three-year-old, Shraaoh ac­tu­ally fin­ished be­hind Poet’s Word at Not­ting­ham be­fore shed­ding his maiden tag on the all-weather at New­cas­tle. Again, read­ers of my Be­tres­cue col­umn might re­mem­ber me putting this horse up at Royal As­cot, where he was backed off the boards (8/1 into 5/2) be­fore beat­ing just one horse home in the King Ge­orge V Stakes.

The Sea The Stars colt got no sort of run that day, how­ever, and bounced back on quick ground at Glo­ri­ous Good­wood, get­ting go­ing late when fin­ish­ing a short-head sec­ond in the valu­able Qatar Hand­i­cap. Up 2lb to 93, again it will be a sur­prise if he can’t land a nice prize be­fore de­vel­op­ing into a pat­tern-class per­former down the line – he ap­peals as the type to do well as a four-year-old, if kept in train­ing, too.


An­other who is un­likely to get into the Ebor, Sir Chauvelin has im­proved since re­vert­ing to the Flat in the spring,win­ning twice at Hamil­ton be­fore find­ing a race at Ch­ester run at an un­suit­ably slow pace (hold up horse).He im­proved again when run­ning a blinder in the Northum­ber­land Vase and again trav­elled well when out of his depth at York.

He re­mains ca­pa­ble of win­ning an­other hand­i­cap off his cur­rent mark and some­thing like the Mal­lard Stakes at Don­caster dur­ing Septem­ber could be a pos­si­bil­ity, af­ter which he should be noted if go­ing back over hur­dles.


An­other that was hur­dling last sea­son and he made a re­ally pleas­ing win­ning re­turn to the Flat on his be­lated reap­pear­ance at Ch­ester in late-July.The four-year-old ran out an im­pres­sive five-length win­ner (off 85) and has gone up 9lb for that.

He was quickly turned out un­der a penalty at Not­ting­ham where he ran well but the race might have come too soon. He has plenty of op­tions, how­ever, and, granted his favoured quick ground, he looks ca­pa­ble of pro­gress­ing fur­ther on the level. The Mal­lard would also be a vi­able op­tion for Who Dares Wins, es­pe­cially as he won a Grade 2 hur­dle at Don­caster last De­cem­ber,though I doubt he will get quick ground at the St Leger meet­ing.

It will be a sur­prise if he can’t land a nice prize be­fore de­vel­op­ing into a pat­tern-class per­former

Fair Eva

Sabre Squadron

Who Dares Wins

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