Royal Ascot juveniles to follow
Excluding the obvious, with plenty of the week’s winners looking very useful i.e. Berkshire Shadow, Point Lonsdale and Sandrine, there were a handful of eye-catchers in behind and could well be worth keeping an eye on in the future.
Vintage Clarets - 3rd
VINTAGE CLARETS put up a really smart performance behind Berkshire Shadow after well over a month off of the track. The colt travelled sweetly for Paul Hanagan and moved up menacingly before taking it up with a furlong or so to go. At his first attempt upped to 6-furlongs, he may not have seen out the trip as well as a few of them and just seemed to tie up 100 yards or so from home. He did have the run of things up the fence but demonstrated plenty of speed and is well worth keeping an eye on, I imagine over a slightly less testing 6-furlongs.
Ebro River - 5th
EBRO RIVER didn’t have it his own way on the day, having had to make his way home up the centre of the course. Barring a rattling finish from Eldrickjones who came from well off the pace, Ebro River fared best of those up the middle, hitting the line a hugely commendable 5th under the circumstances. Having only ran over 5-furlongs in three previous starts, he took the step up in distance in his stride and could have a very productive future for an up-and-coming sire.
Get Ahead – 6th
In a race dominated by those racing up the stand’s side rail, Artos and GET AHEAD showed plenty of promise in defeat having raced up the centre. Despite Artos seemingly seeing out the trip better than Get Ahead, the Clive Cox filly was only making her second start and looked to get competitive before finishing tamely. She finished lame in her right hind leg, so there's a chance she could prove smarter than that all being well and looks promising.
Desert Dreamer - 10th
DESERT DREAMER only narrowly went down in defeat on Saturday in a Listed event at Newmarket’s July course, but there were a handful of signs suggesting she’s capable of even more when disappointing in the Queen Mary. The daughter of Oasis Dream broke typically slowly but given her draw, she was forced to follow a pace set up by Artos on the wrong side of the track. The filly travelled very easily for Oisin Murphy and looked to begin to make headway about a furlong and a half out but with Get Ahead falling back in her lap, the filly seemed to hold back and didn’t finish with her usual zest. Interestingly, she did a similar thing on Saturday, swerving away from a horse in front but she’s clearly got gears, and when things go her way, she could prove very difficult to beat.
Bond Chairman – 4th
BOND CHAIRMAN demonstrated tonnes of guts to get up for a very admirable fourth in the Windsor Castle, given he’d come from a mile back up the stand’s side. Dig Two made similar progress but looked to get first run on the Kodiac colt and only hit the line with a half of a length to spare from the Bryan Smart-trained colt. Long-time leaders Boonie and Ruthin (either side of the course) stayed on for a very good third and seventh respectively so it’s not obvious that the race fell apart and I’d even mark up this performance on that evidence. Could prove to be a smart individual.
Kaboo - 6th
There was lots of interest surrounding KABOO pre-race and there’s lots to like about how this well-supported debutant acquitted himself here. The colt raced on arguably the least favoured strip of ground on the day (up the centre) and made seriously eye-catching headway, virtually on his own, to get involved at the finish, finishing in and amongst a handful of proven performers. Exciting, to say the least!
Project Dante - 3rd
PROJECT DANTE faced trouble in running when trying to get competitive in the Norfolk Stakes. The chestnut colt had to wait for an opening before weaving his way to the rail and quickening up stylishly for an arguably unlucky third, beaten just a quarter of a length. The colt travelled powerfully throughout for Graham Lee and looked to be struggling for an opening in behind the leaders when eventual winner Perfect Power began to make his challenge up the middle, from a similar sort of position. Lee had to wait for Khunan to tow him into contention before the gap finally opened up and the colt sprouted wings up the fence. A horse with a big engine and I imagine a fair few fancy targets this season.
Oscula - 3rd
OSCULA ran an absolute belter to finish third in the Albany Stakes, given she came across to the nearside rail on her own with nothing to take her into the race. As the race unfolded, she was still very much in the firing line on the run for home and despite looking like getting weary in the final half of a furlong or so, she really stuck her neck out to make the frame. For all the rail had been a game changer throughout the week, there’s an argument that with the way the going had changed and the race had panned out, she may have fared much better with the main pack, staying in the centre. That’s just my view but I’m sure there will be bigger days for this filly going forward and she looks a bright talent for the Boughey team.
Prettiest - 4th
Watching the Albany back, PRETTIEST ran a blinder to get up for a never nearer fourth. The Dubawi filly settled in the rear of midfield and under a patient ride from Ryan Moore, had to bide her time and wait to be produced. However, this filly, and others around her, displayed signs of greenness, weaving all over the course when brought under the drive. She was always behind those involved in the finish but showed plenty of spirit to get up for fourth and could prove much better than that on a sounder surface. One to watch closely.
Reach For The Moon - 2nd
REACH FOR THE MOON went toe-to-toe with Point Lonsdale in an epic duel to kick things off on the final day of racing with the latter marginally edging out the former. Reach For The Moon attempted to make all with the eventual winner a couple of lengths back with plenty of cover, but the son of Sea The Stars proved incredibly difficult for the Coolmore hotpot to reel in. Both could prove much better for the experience, having drifted markedly across the course in either direction and for all he remains a Maiden, Reach For The Moon looks to have all the credentials to give Her Majesty the Queen something to get really excited about.