Stephen Mullen with some horses to note from recent Flat action
Stephen Mullen with horses to follow from recent Flat action
THE NEW PHAROAH (Leicester, Sept 12, 1m4f, Class 4 Handicap, GS)
You might not expect to see a six-year-old in an eyecatchers feature but Chris Wall’s handicapper definitely has another win in him. This wasn’t a bad race for the grade with progressive three-year-olds filling the places.
The New Pharaoh was fourth home after being held up for a long time – too long a time — by Ted Durcan.He finished strongly despite having to be switched and was gaining well by the line.
He seems to like a little cut in the ground and is capable of striking from somewhere near his current mark of 75.
TIVOLI (Leicester, Sept 12, 7f, Class 4 Fillies’ Novice Stakes, GS)
John Gosden may choose to drop this beautifully bred filly back to 6f after she didn’t seem to get home here.After being well backed, she looked all over the winner under Frankie Dettori before running out of petrol in the final 100 yards.
This distance will clearly suit in time but, for now, she can strike over a sprint trip. She went in quicker ground earlier this season so all going seems to come the same.
BALGAIR (Kempton, Sept 13, 1m, Class 6 Handicap, ST)
After a frustrating early summer on turf, this three-year-old took well to Kempton’s all-weather surface, finishing a close second. Considering it was the first time he’d been on the sand, it was an encouraging effort and one that can be built on.
A mark of 65, which may rise slightly, looks more than suitable and there will be plenty of opportunities this winter. He came from a long way off the pace here and clearly did better than expected here. This mile is an ideal trip.
KNOWING GLANCE (Chester, Sept 15, 7f, Class 4 Nursery Handicap, HVY)
The ground was testing on the Roodee and it clearly didn’t suit Knowing Glance, who would prefer a faster surface.Despite that he travelled well but just couldn’t go through with his effort in the conditions.
He was coming back from a break and looks capable of improving on this. He doesn’t need it fast but just not as deep as this. He can win off this mark of 71 with the 7f trip not an issue.
NATHAN (Chester, Sept 15, 1m2f, Class 3 Handicap, HVY)
Only four turned up for this and that disadvantaged Nathan who didn’t like the
dawdling pace. He still performed well and was only run out of it inside the final furlong.
The ground wasn’t really the issue as he likes some cut.What he needs is a slightly bigger field and a more even pace to get back in winning form.
SIMMY’S COPSHOP (Chester, Sept 16, 5f, Class 3 Nursery Handicap, HVY)
Being drawn in stall eight over 5f at Chester is never easy so Simmy’s Copshop did well to finish third over a trip that’s on the sharp side too.He didn’t mind the heavy ground because it made this more of a stamina test but he clearly needs 6f and a better draw if he heads back to the Roodee. If the handicapper sees fit to lower his mark slightly from 89 he would be a threat anywhere in the coming weeks.
WILLIAM HILL ST LEGER (Doncaster, Sept 16, 1m6f Group 1, GD)
It’s worth taking a look at the St Leger because it looks a strong renewal of a race that doesn’t always hit the heights.
Having won the Irish Derby,CAPRI isn’t getting the credit he deserves for going on to take this in fine style. He stepped up in distance to beat two very smart performers in CRYSTAL OCEAN and STRADIVARIUS.
The second home proved just a little short of stamina for this Classic level but should be a real force in 1m4f contests next season granted the usual improvement Sir Michael Stoute’s horses make from three to four.
As for Stradivarius, he will be around for many years to come and looks set for a bright future in Cup races. John Gosden would be wise to keep him over 2m and beyond from now on, even though this performance was good enough to win many a St Leger.
Capri has options now, although it would be a surprise to see him drop to 1m2f for the Champion Stakes at Ascot. He has the option of going the other way and the Long Distance Cup on the same card — and then there’s the Arc.It’s hard to see him beating Enable there but he must have strong place claims at odds that look a little too long at 20-1.
REKINDLING is another who deserves praise. Every time he’s gone up in distance, he has improved.He’s being aimed at the Champions Cup and shapes as though the 2m will be right up his street.
BRETON ROCK (Doncaster, Sept 16, 7f Group 2, GD)
Andrea Atzeni rightly gets plenty of plaudits but this wasn’t one of his better efforts on Breton Rock.While horses close to the pace fought out the finish, he asked his mount to make up a lot of ground and the task was a little too much.
He was closing on them at the line but needed to make his challenge from closer.He has come from a long way back before but could do with a track where it’s easier to do that, like Goodwood where he was successful earlier this season.
REGIMENTED (Doncaster, Sept 16, 1m Class 2 Nursery Handicap, GD)
Richard Hannon’s two-year-old was beaten by the usefulWesterland in a bobbing finish and both youngsters look worth keeping an eye on.
The former is well bred and improving nicely,which Regimented looks in need of a bit further than this mile distance. He comes from a family that stays middle distances and that will be where his future lies next season.This run was off 84 and a reasonable rise would be fine, especially if allied with a rise in distance too.
The New Pharoah