While Frankellina ran respectably to finish sixth in the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday, I must admit I was expecting the daughter of Frankel to finish closer. In fairness, I think she ran better than her finishing position suggests having raced keenly early on and was held up in a slowly run race. James Doyle's mount made her move on the outside with two furlongs to run but her early exertions took their toll late on as her effort petered out. Beaten less than five lengths, her preparation was far from ideal and I still feel she will develop into a high-class middle distance filly. Her performance typified a lot of the horses in the Top 40 at the moment, running well without winning.
Roger Varian continues to train winners like it's going out of fashion and the Newmarket handler sent out his second Group 1 winner in the space of five days. Hot on the heels of Zabeel Prince's victory in the Prix D'Isapahan in France last Sunday, Defoe (11/1) scored at the highest level at the sixth attempt in the Coronation Cup at Epsom. A Group 2 winner last term, the five year old had run well at Newmarket last time but stepped up on that effort to wear down St Leger winner Kew Gardens in the closing stages to win by half a length. The head of Carlburg Stables has trained 38 domestic winners in 2019 and nine Pattern race successes. He is enjoying a terrific campaign.
I am starting work on the Royal Ascot Update over the weekend. Last year's Update produced 8 winners, including Settle For Bay (Advised @ 16/1 for the Royal Hunt Cup), Agrotera (Advised @ 14/1 for the Sandringham Handicap) and Dash of Spice (Advised @ 10/1 for the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes) amongst others. In addition to the five day meeting, I will be highlighting some extra horses to follow, news of which I have picked up on my travels in recent weeks. Thank you to those clients who have already ordered a copy of the Update, the response has been excellent and much appreciated. If you haven't already ordered, please head to the Publications section of the site. The Update is £10.00.
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