Sunday, 20 July 2014

Maisons-Laffitte Group 2 For Master Carpenter

We break new ground with Master Carpenter heading to Maisons-Laffitte for the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam and hopefully he can emulate his Chantilly success three weeks previously. The son of Mastercraftsmen keeps on improving this season and is back at his racing weight and training well so we are hopeful of a good run. There are only six runners, with one a pacemaker, so with prize money down to fifth he should cover his expenses whatever happens! Sadly Christophe Soumillion has to ride the favourite but Christophe Lemaire is an ideal deputy.

Obviously it is a step up in grade and he re-opposes the John Gosden trained Western Hymn, who beat him nearly four lengths in the Sandown Classic Trial and has subsequently finished sixth in the Derby behind Australia. However, Master Carpenter didn't handle the extremely heavy ground and has since improved and most importantly his confidence is sky-high after two facile successes while the Derby can leave its mark on horses so there should not be much between them.

The hot Evens favourite (Western Hymn is 9/4, Master Carpenter 11/2 third favourite) is the Aga Khan owned Shamkiyr, a son of Sea The Stars that was second in the French Derby behind The Grey Gatsby and is still unexposed having had just four starts and is probably the one to beat. French Godolphin's Army Bulletin was only fourth behind Master Carpenter last time out, Norse Prize could be exposed and Askkannd is a pacemaker for the favourite so there is every chance of Master Carpenter picking up some more black-type and valuable prize money. 

Biotic Back On The Winning Trail

It was a slightly frustrating few days before Biotic got us back on the winning trail at Sandown on Wednesday evening, the tall son of Aqlaam needing every yard of the seven furlongs to get up on the line. While a record of two wins, two seconds and a third as a three-year-old is solid, we have been disappointed with his progress this year. His homework is very strong, he shows plenty of speed but has not really shown that on the track so far. However, it looks likely that he may well need further to be seen at his best and as long as he is not too keen in his races, he should progress well beyond his current mark of 63, especially as he still has plenty of strengthening up to do.

We also had plenty of seconds, Taws ran a cracking race to finish second to a Sir Mark Prescott hotpot in Deauville Dancer at Nottingham and she showed she can handle a fast surface but will need extreme trips. She will be winning again in the right races. Galatian missed the break at Kempton which cost him victory from stall 1, when angled wide he stayed on extremely well. It appears an AW surface suits him best with his foot problems but opportunities are not so frequent in the summer months. While Eugenic atoned for a slightly disappointing effort at Lingfield when second at Salisbury four days later. Despite his breeding, it appears that he is most effective at eight to ten furlongs!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Galatian Down To Class 6 Company

It is a shame to see Galatian racing in Class 6 grade as we had such high hopes for him after a progressive three-year-old campaign but serious foot problems have stopped him from progressing and he has been rarely seen in recent years. He made a promising comeback when seventh, beaten just two lengths, in a stronger race at Kempton before disappointing on the turf at Leicester. We feel that with his feet issues, an AW surface is what he needs nowadays. His last win came off a mark of 72, so off 65 with Pat taking off seven pounds as well he should go close.

Galatian's older brother also runs at Kempton and despite being ten-years-old Masai Moon is actually rated higher! The veteran has had a cracking career, winning EIGHT races and nearly £75,000 in prize money and although he dropped down the ratings, returned to form on the fibresand this winter. He has not run quite so well for Pat on the polytrack at Kempton but used to have good form at the Sunbury venue (career best RPR101) so could go close if everything goes well.

Eugenic has taken a long time to get the hang of racing but finally came good when landing an apprentice contest at Salisbury ten days ago. That came off a mark of 50 and has gone up 4lbs to 54 but as it is an apprentice race, he can run without a penalty at Lingfield today. However, there were no suitable races over a mile and he is forced to step up to ten furlongs. While he looked as if he would stay last time, his pedigree suggests he should be a sprinter, so that has to be a concern. If staying and handling Lingfield, he has each-way claims. 

Gladiatrix Gets Back On Track

With her owner-breeders keen to chase black-type, life has been a little tough for Gladiatrix this year but back down to Class 4 level she returned to the winners enclosure at Windsor on Monday evening. She enjoyed the heavy rain that fell before racing and as she likes being in space, the race panned out ideally as they spread out across the track and she ran out a convincing winner by two and a quarter lengths. Obviously life will be harder back in Class 3 company but with confidence boosted, hopefully she can get back on track and will probably try to get black type again later in the season.

Purple Spot showed her first bit of form when finishing fifth in the fillies maiden at Windsor on Monday and her future lies with the handicapper but she should continue to progress. Burnt Fingers was a little disappointing at Haydock, but it was difficult to come from behind that day and it may be that she just runs best for Andrea Atzeni.

Biotic has not progressed as much as we liked but still ran a solid race when second at Kempton on Wednesday, he is still a giant of a horse that needs to strengthen up so should improve with plenty of time on his side. Shavansky ran a nice comeback race, looking dangerous for place money before weakening inside final furlong to finish fifth and Nelson's Trick made a promising debut in sixth.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Biotic Back At Kempton

Three runners at Kempton on Wednesday evening and Biotic is probably the yard's best hope of keeping up the winning run, four winners in the last seven days. Biotic was impressive when making a winning handicap debut back in March and was not disgraced when second under a six pound penalty a week later. After a short break he probably did not stay seven furlongs in a big field at Salisbury last time, although that form received a boost with the runner-up winning at Ffos Las on Monday. Returning to the polytrack at Kempton and dropping back to six furlongs should suit but the main concern is a wide draw in eight. It is a short run to the bend and he could be posted very wide, however, the favourite is in nine so that could help.

Veteran Shavansky had a cracking winter campaign, winning twice and often running with credit, striking up a good relationship with five pound claimer Shelly Birkett. Unfortunately he picked up a slight injury when fourth in the Rosebery last time out which meant he missed the £50,000 Apprentice Final at Lingfield. He returns for his summer campaign off a mark of 91, which might be on the high side but it does not look a strong contest so place money could be on the cards once again.

We have had a cracking 2014 with our 2yos so far, all five that we have run have found their way into the winners enclosure. However, four of those won on second start and most of our two-year-olds improve plenty for the initial experience and we expect the same for Nelsons Trick, especially as she has got the outside stall in eleven, which is always hard for a newcomer.

Victoire Fran├žaise For Master Carpenter

Our first runner at Chantilly was a winner as Master Carpenter put up a career best performance to land the Group 3 Prix Daphnis. It was the yard's second French winner, having won the Group 1 Prix Du Cadran back in 2006 with Sergeant Cecil and our first Group success since Cecil landed the 2007 Yorkshire Cup and it is a massive boost for the yard. Given a brilliant ride by Christophe Soumillion, he tracked the leaders in fourth place and was best placed to challenge off a steady early pace. Only asked a question inside the final three hundred metres, he eased to the front and ended up winning a shade cosily, with ears pricked as he crossed the line half a length in front and looked to have plenty more in the tank.

With Master Carpenter clearly most effective on a soft surface, we decided to miss Royal Ascot and our decision was certainly vindicated by success at Chantilly. It also showed that he can travel abroad which certainly opens up more options, especially as there is often ease in the ground in France. He could well head back across the English Channel for a Group 2 at Maisons-Laffitte in three weeks time. Long time aim could be the QEII at Ascot's Champions meeting, with soft ground likely and Top Notch Tonto showed last year that place prize money is achievable for horse that might not be true Group 1 class but are most effective in soft ground.