Monday, 21 April 2014

Success For Cotton Club

It was an impressive success for three-year-old Cotton Club stepping up to ten furlongs at Nottingham on Saturday night. He was outpaced early off a very strong pace but switched wide by Pat up the home straight, he effortlessly made up the ground to hit the front inside the final furlong to win going away. While plenty was in his favour, he looks as if the further he goes the better he will be and The Links Partnership have another progressive three year old on their hands.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Three Easter Saturday Runners

It's three runners at three different meetings on Easter Saturday and with all three in sixteen runner fields, some luck will be needed. At Bath Gladiatrix goes in the Listed race as she aims to get some black-type for her owner-breeders. She has come back from her winter break in great shape and should prove much better than her current mark of 86. However, that mark leaves her with a lot to find and having drawn stall fifteen, it is a near impossible task unfortunately.

At Nottingham, Pat takes the ride on Cotton Club and he should prove another well handicapped three-year-old for the stable this season. He did not get much luck in running when fourth on his handicap debut and should have been second at least. The step up to ten furlongs should suit but this handicap looks pretty competitive with lots of unexposed types that could be anything it won't be an easy task.

Finally, it is a rare jumps runner for the yard as Dance goes to Newton Abbot for the Mare's Maiden. The Erhaab mare is a full sister to Shy, won three for the yard and Money Money Money, who won five in one season, so she should know how to win. However, although proved consistent in both bumpers and AW handicaps, she hasn't quite got her head in front so we revert to hurdles. She jumped big when unseating on her debut back in November and needs decent ground, hence the AW campaign when everywhere was waterlogged this winter. She has done plenty of schooling in recent weeks and although a clear round is the main aim, she is definitely capable of being placed in this kind of grade.

Cracking Greenham Third For Master Carpenter

Last Saturday was a brilliant day for the yard as Master Carpenter confirmed the Group-race potential he showed as an early season two-year-old by finishing third at 80/1 in an extremely competitive Greenham. When we planned to run him in the race, we assumed there would be five or six runners and hoped to pick up some minor prize money. However, when the declarations came out, there was ten runners and it looked the hottest Greenham run for sometime, we thought we might have made the wrong decision. With five horses rated above 109 and everything rated above Master Carpenter's official rating of 91, we would have been pleased with eighth, never mind third!

However, he surpassed expectations by staying on extremely strongly to grab third in the final yards and although he was seven lengths behind the superstar that could be Kingman, he beat some very useful horses on merit. Plans are fluid for now, the way he stayed on suggests a mile will suit, although ground conditions will be a strong consideration for future races as he jarred himself up in the July stakes and he does appear to be better on an easy surface. Either way, it is great to have a proper Saturday horse and is the best we have had since Roi De Vitesse back in 2009, with his official rating now at 103.

Winning Return From Injury For Burnt Fingers

After Biotic made a winning handicap debut on the Monday, it was nice to follow up just twenty four hours later with four-year-old filly Burnt Fingers at Kempton. She had one start as a two-year-old for experience and looked promising at three when finishing third on her seasonal reappearance before finding a sprint trip too short at Bath next time out. Sadly she then broke her pelvis and missed the rest of the season. However, her owner-breeder has been extremely patient and it was excellent to see that rewarded when she made a winning return. In what was a quite competitive handicap, she raced a little green in the early stages but really stayed on strongly inside the closing stages to suggest she has a bright future this season.

Winning Return For Biotic

The massive three-year-old that is Biotic made a winning handicap debut at Kempton. He was very weak as a two-year-old but showed promise in his three starts and looked well handicapped off an initial mark of 55. Although it was not the strongest of races, he could not have done it easier, travelling comfortably at the front before easing clear inside the final furlong to win by two lengths.

With few upcoming options he made a quick return under a six pound penalty at Kempton nine days later in what turned out to be a very competitive handicap. Although he was beaten into second, it was pleasing to see him battle off the bridle. He still has plenty of strengthening up to do and will not be rushed this season. His mother was rated 90 while his half-brother Isis Blue won off 72 last year so he should have plenty of improvement left in him off a mark of 62.