Ian Heit­mann as­sesses the July meet­ing and Royal Ascot

Ian Heit­man looks at the New­mar­ket July meet­ing and the rest of Royal Ascot

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Two of Flat rac­ing big­gest meet­ings take place in Au­gust, the five-day Qatar Fes­ti­val at Good­wood at the begin­ning of the month and York’s Ebor Fes­ti­val four-day from 22nd to 25th. Both meet­ings of­fer some of the best prize money of the year and with plenty of Group races and in­ter­est­ing maid­ens, they are meet­ings to look for­ward to.

The last is­sue fea­tured the first three days of Royal Ascot, be­fore go­ing to look at New­mar­ket’s July Fes­ti­val and the other sig­nif­i­cant races that have taken place re­cently, here’s a catch-up on the three two-year-old races held on the fi­nal two days of the Royal Meet­ing.

The Group Two Al­bany Stakes over 6f on day four saw MAIN EDI­TION ex­tend her un­beaten record to three with a neck win over LA PELOSA with FAIRYLAND do­ing best of those that raced on the far side of the track half a length away in third. Main Edi­tion was just the sec­ond Royal Ascot two-yearold win­ner for Mark John­ston in the last 10 years.

John­ston was widely ex­pected to take the Listed Che­sham Stakes over 7f on the fi­nal day with NATALIES JOY who had pro­duced one of the fastest 6f times seen at Good­wood for a long time and was the 5/4 favourite to con­firm that de­but prom­ise. She lost her chance at the start, awk­ward out of the stalls and never land­ing a blow from mid­field. The clock at Good­wood sug­gested she was high class but af­ter this per­for­mance she has a bit to prove. Vic­tory went to ARTHUR KITT trained by Tom Das­combe who held off the chal­lenge of NATE THE GREAT in­side the last 100 yards, a neck sep­a­rat­ing the pair at the line with three and a quar­ter lengths to DUKE OF HAZ­ZARD in third. Arthur Kitt has the scope to progress through­out the year and he em­u­lated his dam Ceil­ing Kitty by win­ning at Royal Ascot, she won the 2012 Queen Mary. Duke Of Haz­zard ran well in de­feat on his next start at Sal­is­bury on July 14th, beaten a neck by FED­ERAL LAW who was win­ning at the sec­ond at­tempt for Archie Wat­son.

Hav­ing lost out by a neck in the Che­sham, Nate The Great’s trainer, Archie Wat­son went one place bet­ter in the 28 run­ner Listed Windsor Cas­tle Stakes over 5f when SOL­DIER’S CALL beat SABRE by half a length and gave Wat­son his first Royal Ascot win­ner, lead­ing the group that raced to­wards the stands side and hav­ing enough in hand to hold off Sabre who fin­ished strongly hav­ing been held up. DOM CAR­LOS ran a re­mark­able race to be third for Joseph O’Brien, as he was last and seemed to be strug­gling in the larger group that raced far side be­fore pick­ing up strongly with a fur­long and a half to go to snatch third on the line.

Sol­dier’s Call will head for one of Good­wood’s fea­ture two-year-old races, the Mole­comb Stakes where he will have a lead­ing chance given the pace he showed at Ascot.

NEW­MAR­KET JULY FES­TI­VAL

The three-day July Fes­ti­val has a mix of Group races and maid­ens for two-yearolds. The Group Two July Stakes over 6f was one of the fea­ture races on the open­ing day and with per­fect fast ground a field of eight lined up. AD­VER­TISE, sec­ond in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, was the well sup­ported 11/10 favourite for Mar­tyn Meade and Frankie Det­tori and look­ing in good shape in the pad­dock be­fore­hand it was easy to see why he was pre­ferred in the bet­ting to LEG­ENDS OF WAR who had missed the Coventry due to ill­ness. Whereas Ad­ver­tise is a strong well­made colt, Leg­ends Of War, who was sold for 900,000 guineas at a breeze-up sale in the spring, is a much racier type and doesn’t have the scope of Ad­ver­tise, he was the 2/1 sec­ond favourite. VAN BEETHOVEN, rep­re­sent­ing Ai­dan

O’Brien had fin­ished fourth in the Windsor Cas­tle and had sub­se­quently won the Group Two Rail­way Stakes at the Cur­ragh, the 13th time O’Brien had won the race since 1997, com­fort­ably beat­ing Bri­tish raiders, MARIE’S DI­A­MOND and CER­TAIN LAD.

Also in the line-up were KONCHEK and CHARM­ING KID, fifth and eighth re­spec­tively in the Nor­folk Stakes on their pre­vi­ous starts, DUNKERRON, win­ner of two novice races for Alan King and only the sec­ond two-year-old to run in Group com­pany for the yard since 2015 and SPORT­ING CHANCE who had been a beaten odds on favourite at Kemp­ton on his pre­vi­ous start.

There weren’t too many con­cerns for those who had sup­ported Ad­ver­tise as he made good progress from the rear to take the lead a fur­long from the fin­ish and only had to be pushed out by Det­tori to win by two lengths from Konchek who ran well on his first try over 6f with Charm­ing Kid a neck away in third. Dunkerron ran a fair race to be fourth but both Leg­ends Of War and Van Beethoven were dis­ap­point­ing, fin­ish­ing well beaten in sixth and sev­enth re­spec­tively.

Ad­ver­tise has no im­me­di­ate tar­gets but races like the Gim­crack at York and the Mid­dle Park at New­mar­ket would be ideal races for him. His pedi­gree sug­gests he should stay 7f which could bring the De­whurst into play, but he has only raced on fast ground and 7f on soft ground in the au­tumn could stretch him.

Konchek could be one for the Group 2 Rich­mond Stakes at Good­wood given this good show­ing whilst Charm­ing Kid, who doesn’t have too much scope, could eas­ily drop to 5f for his next start.

A 6f maiden fil­lies race was the sec­ond two-year-old race on the open­ing day card. HANDMAIDEN was the 7/4 favourite to im­prove on her good de­but sec­ond at the track a cou­ple of weeks ear­lier. Tak­ing on fil­lies only this time, she was beaten by Quorto on her de­but, she at­tracted plenty of sup­port, ahead of POETRY who was nar­rowly beaten at Pon­te­fract on her de­but with LOVER’S KNOT, also sec­ond over course and dis­tance on her de­but, third favourite.

Half of the field were mak­ing their race­course de­buts with LADY COSETTE, the first two-year-old run­ner of the year for Jeremy Noseda, im­press­ing in the pad­dock be­fore­hand, a scopey filly by Woot­ton Bas­sett, she wasn’t given a hard time by Paul Hana­gan fin­ish­ing sixth.

Lover’s Knot led all the way un­der Wil­liam Buick and held off the chal­lenge of Handmaiden, who trav­elled strongly, in­side the last fur­long with YOURTIMEISNOW far­ing best of the new­com­ers in third. NO WAY JOSE was very un­lucky not to be closer than her fin­ish­ing po­si­tion, fourth. She was de­nied a clear run in­side the last 100 yards and will be very hard to beat next time. Less than four lengths cov­ered the first eight horses and the time was rel­a­tively slow (slow­est 6f two-year-old race to be run at the track in 2018) so it might not be the strong­est form but there should be a cou­ple to win next time. Lover’s Knot will be aimed at the Group 3 Princess Mar­garet Stakes at Ascot on July 28th.

The Group 2 Duchess Of Cam­bridge Stakes (for­merly the Cherry Hinton) was the fea­ture two-year-old race on the sec­ond day with Main Edi­tion look­ing to ex­tend her un­beaten record to four. Amongst her eight ri­vals were four who had fin­ished be­hind her in the Al­bany, La Pelosa (sec­ond), An­gels Hide­away (fourth), Pretty Pollyanna (fifth) and Chi­cas Ami­gas (sev­enth). The run­ner-up in the Queen Mary, Gos­samer Wings and im­pres­sive Le­ices­ter win­ner, Chaleur also lined up, this was a good re­newal of this Group 2 con­test.

La Pelosa was just pre­ferred in the bet­ting to her Ascot con­queror Main Edi­tion, but the pair lost any chance they had when Frankie Det­tori aboard An­gel’s Hide­away edged right into the pair a fur­long and a half from the fin­ish, James Doyle do­ing very well to stay on board Main Edi­tion. Pretty Pollyanna was in front at the time and she stayed on very strongly to record a sev­en­length win, the widest mar­gin of vic­tory in the race since 2006, with An­gel’s Hide­away keep­ing on for sec­ond and Chaleur mak­ing late progress to snatch third. La Pelosa and Main Edi­tion fin­ished fifth and sev­enth re­spec­tively but would have been con­tenders for places had the in­ter­fer­ence not oc­curred. The stew­ards gave Det­tori a 10-day sus­pen­sion which rules him out of the King Ge­orge meet­ing at Ascot at the end of July and all of the Qatar Good­wood Fes­ti­val where he would have had strong chances in the Group 1 races aboard With­out Pa­role and Stradi­var­ius.

There was no fluke about Pretty Pollyanna’s win and she pro­vided Michael Bell with his big­gest two-yearold suc­cess since 2008 when Art Con­nois­seur won the Coventry Stakes. The book­mak­ers were im­pressed enough to pro­mote her to favourite for the 2019 1000 Guineas ahead of Ai­dan O’Brien’s im­pres­sive maiden win­ner, GOD­DESS, who ran away with a maiden at Leop­ard­stown the pre­vi­ous even­ing.

Pretty Pollyanna will have no prob­lem stay­ing the mile trip of the 1000 Guineas and will be hard to beat in the Lowther Stakes if con­nec­tions de­cide to run her with a penalty she will have to carry for this Group 2 win.

Hav­ing been out of luck with Gos­samer Wings in the Duchess Of Cam­bridge, Ai­dan O’Brien had the favourite, MOUNT TABORA, in the 7f maiden. Sent off at 2/1, he had ev­ery chance rac­ing in touch with the pace in the cen­tre group but was no match for the im­pres­sive win­ner, AL HILALEE who stayed on strongly to lead in­side the last fur­long to win by three and a quar­ter lengths from AL MUREIB who col­lared Mount Tabora close home to grab third.

Al Hilalee was the fourth de­but win­ner of 2019 for Char­lie Ap­pleby and his 16th from 59 run­ners at the July course. A well-bred colt by Dubawi out of a Group 1 win­ning mare, Al Hilalee had the pedi­gree to be high-class and he should be mak­ing his mark in Group races be­fore too long with the Group 1 Rac­ing Post Tro­phy a long-term tar­get.

The two-year-old high­light on New­mar­ket’s fi­nal day was the Group 2 Su­perla­tive Stakes over 7f which saw a strong favourite in QUORTO who had im­pressed on his de­but over 6f at the

July course three weeks ear­lier when he eas­ily beat Handmaiden by two and three-quar­ter lengths. CAPE OF GOOD HOPE, a brother to high-class pair, High­land Reel and Idaho, and the win­ner of his third start in Ire­land was joint sec­ond favourite with CER­TAIN LAD, who had fin­ished third in the Group 2 Rail­way Stakes on his lat­est start hav­ing won his first two races. Also part of the seven strong field were novice win­ners, NEVERLAND ROCK, DAAFR and FORSETI with BLOWN BY WIND hav­ing his sev­enth start of the year on the back of a con­di­tions win at Pon­te­fract last time out.

Cape Of Good Hope was al­lowed an easy lead, but he had no an­swer to Quorto who swept past with a fur­long to go and stayed on strongly in­side the last 100 yards to record a very im­pres­sive three and three-quar­ter lengths vic­tory from Cape Of Good Hope who out­stayed Neverland Rock for third with a fur­ther four and half lengths to Cer­tain Lad in fourth. Blown By Wind dropped right away and fin­ished well beaten last of the seven.

Quorto em­u­lated his sire Dubawi by win­ning the Su­perla­tive, the sec­ond win­ner in three years for Char­lie Ap­pleby, and he will bid to fur­ther fol­low in Dubawi’s hoof­prints by win­ning the Group 1 Na­tional Stakes at the Cur­ragh on his next start. A first foal for Listed win­ner Vol­ume, Quorto is a very ex­cit­ing prospect.

Hav­ing won three of the five twoyear-old races at the meet­ing, Ap­pleby was re­spon­si­ble for the favourite in the con­clud­ing ju­ve­nile race of the meet­ing, ASSEM­BLY OF TRUTH who was nar­rowly beaten into third on her de­but by sub­se­quent Duchess Of Cam­bridge win­ner, Pretty Pollyanna at Yar­mouth. Sent off the 9/4 favourite in a field of 11, Assem­bly Of Truth had ev­ery chance lead­ing the main group but was headed a fur­long from the fin­ish by new­comer NEW JAZZ who was her­self headed by AN­TO­NIA DE VEGA with 100 yards to go and she saw it out well beat ZAGITOVA by a length and a quar­ter with New Jazz third. GAL­LIC kept on well to take fourth ahead of Assem­bly Of Truth who faded to fifth.

An­to­nia De Vega was the third win­ning new­comer of the year for Ralph Beck­ett, his sec­ond win­ner, SCINTILATING was an im­pres­sive win­ner at New­bury on July 5th and both fil­lies have good fu­tures. Zagitova is a half­sis­ter to smart sprinter Gar­swood and she is sure to win races for Ai­dan O’Brien as too will New Jazz for John Gos­den. MISS SEREN­ITY trav­elled well for a long way be­fore tir­ing in­side the last fur­long and a half and was beaten six lengths in sixth. She should im­prove a lot next time for Hugo Palmer who has had a quiet year with his ju­ve­niles, only one in­di­vid­ual win­ner at the time of writ­ing.

Away from New­mar­ket, Karl Burke con­tin­ued his ex­cel­lent record his France when LIT­TLE KIM got up close home to beat Chelsea Clois­ters and Shu­mookhi, who had fin­ished be­hind her in the Queen Mary, in the Group 3 Prix du Bois on July 3rd. This was the third Group win­ner in France for Burke in 2018 fol­low­ing the Group 1 suc­cesses of Lau­rens in the Prix Saint-Alary and the French Oaks. The Queen Mary has pro­duced a num­ber of next time out win­ners, SO PER­FECT also recorded a Group suc­cess when she won the Group 3 Grange­con Stud Stakes at the Cur­ragh on July 1st. Other win­ners from the Queen Mary in­clude SEC­OND GEN­ER­A­TION who won at Windsor in good style on June 30th, RED BAL­LOONS in novice com­pany at Not­ting­ham on July 7th and nurs­ery win­ners, LUCHADOR (won the first nurs­ery of the year at Hay­dock on July 5th) and KODYANNA who won at York on July 13th. It will cer­tainly be worth keep­ing an eye out for Shades Of Blue who fin­ished third and Ku­ri­ous who fin­ished ninth in the Queen Mary.

Karl Burke was dou­bly rep­re­sented in the Listed Dragon Stakes over 5f at Sandown on July 6th with LIFE OF RI­LEY and COL­LECT CALL with Life Of Ri­ley far­ing best of the pair, beaten three quar­ters of a length by WELL DONE FOX who won com­fort­ably for Richard Han­non and Ryan Moore. Al­ways go­ing strongly close to the pace, Well Done Fox picked up well

to lead in­side the last fur­long and kept on well with Life Of Ri­ley and CHAPELLI keep­ing on tak­ing sec­ond and third. Well Done Fox looked in good shape in the pad­dock be­fore­hand, has got warm be­fore his races pre­vi­ously, and he will head to Good­wood for the Mole­comb Stakes for a meet­ing with Windsor Cas­tle win­ner Sol­dier’s Call with pref­er­ence for Sol­dier’s Call who showed so much speed at Ascot.

Sandown’s 7f novice races on July 6th are sure to pro­duce fu­ture win­ners. The first divi­sion went to ARCTIC SOUND for Mark John­ston and Sil­vestre de Sousa, he had the ben­e­fit of a pre­vi­ous run and beat FOX TEL, an ex­pen­sive son on Sea The Stars, and LINE OF DUTY who would have gone very close to win­ning had he not been short of room over a fur­long from the fin­ish and had to switch around the first two and was only beaten a neck and a short head. Fourth placed ALRAJAA was green in the pad­dock, has plenty of scope, he fin­ished well from the rear and will get a lot more in­volved next time.

KING OF COM­EDY looked a smart prospect win­ning the sec­ond divi­sion, al­beit in a slower time than the first divi­sion, when he picked up well for Adam Kirby and beat PER­SIAN MOON by two and a half lengths with TOP­I­CAL run­ning a promis­ing first race in third. Adam Kirby had only had one ride aboard a John Gos­den two-yearold debu­tant prior to this win­ning ride and it will be a sur­prise if there aren’t more to come in the com­ing weeks. King Of Com­edy was the sec­ond win­ner Gos­den has trained by his star miler stal­lion King­man, Ca­lyx was the first, and with plenty of well-bred and ex­pen­sive two-year-olds to run, King­man is cer­tainly a stal­lion to take note of when he has run­ners. LOOK AROUND added to King­man’s im­pres­sive start when she won at Kemp­ton July 4th for An­drew Balding whose horses have im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly from their de­buts.

With the ground re­main­ing on the quick side due to a lack of rain, a cou­ple of two-year-old course records have been bro­ken in the last cou­ple of weeks. COM­EDY de­fied a penalty at Don­caster on June 29th over 6f. Show­ing good pace through­out, she was never in any dan­ger win­ning by two lengths from STAR TERMS who fin­ished well but couldn’t get to the win­ner. PINK ICEBURG, who had fin­ished fourth to Com­edy when the pair met at Pon­te­fract on June 11th, was well sup­ported at Yar­mouth on July 11th and ran out a com­fort­able win­ner of an or­di­nary novice auc­tion over 5f. She should be able to build on this in nurs­eries in the com­ing weeks.

Ascot’s first meet­ing af­ter the Royal meet­ing was a two-day fix­ture on July 13th and 14th. The open­ing two-yearold novice race only at­tracted six run­ners with DIRTY RASCAL first past the post but was de­moted for bump­ing into MARHABA MILLIAR in­side the last fur­long, a short head the mar­gin be­tween the pair. Marhaba Milliar has an ex­cel­lent pedi­gree, a half-brother to Queen Kindly who won the Lowther Stakes in 2016, he is a strong sprint­ing type who is sure to make his mark in pat­tern com­pany for John Gos­den be­fore too long. GAMBON kept on well to be third for Eve John­son Houghton and with a pedi­gree for fur­ther than this 6f, will be seen to bet­ter ef­fect over 7f next time.

Ge­orge Peck­ham’s SEMOUM was a warm favourite to win the 6f nurs­ery and this $400,000 pur­chase was made to work in­side the last fur­long to land the odds from NAYSLAYER who fin­ished well to be sec­ond and won’t be too long in get­ting off the mark. Semoum was a first run­ner at the track for Peck­ham who was win­ning his third two-year-old race of 2018.

The novice auc­tion on the sec­ond day of the meet­ing went to Michael Bell’s new­comer NUREMBURG who trav­elled well for Danny Tud­hope and made good progress to lead in­side the last fur­long and won well by a length and three-quar­ters from GLORY. He has plenty of scope and could develop into a use­ful prospect.

The fi­nal men­tion must go to Mark John­ston who has sent out 42 twoyear-olds at the time of writ­ing, the last of them, DARK VI­SION, looked a smart prospect when he fol­lowed up his de­but win by win­ning at York on July 14th. Al­ways go­ing strongly, he only had to be shaken up by David Probert (only the third win­ner for the yard) to win eas­ily by a cou­ple of lengths from AB­SO­LUTE DREAM in sec­ond.

With the ground on the quick side due to a lack of rain, a cou­ple of TWOyear-old course records have been bro­ken

Handmaiden at New­mar­ket

Blown By Wind

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