Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Weekend Review

02-October-2022 17:23
in General
by Admin

Alpinista won her sixth Group 1 when capturing the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp with another fine display edging out the three year old and French Derby winner Vadeni. Sir Mark Prescott's five year old mare hasn't suffered defeat since September 2020 winning eight races on the bounce. Luke Morris always had his mount in an ideal position and was still on the bridle with a furlong and a half to run. Pushed out, she fended off the late challenges of Vadeni and last year's winner Torquator Tasso. Having advised the runner-up at 11/1 in the Autumn Update, it was a frustrating defeat but there are no complaints. The conditions almost certainly suited the winner more so than the second but Christophe Soumillon rode a brilliant race on Jean-Claude Rouget's colt. He saved ground on the inside from his low draw and produced Vadeni at the right time but he couldn't get past the Prescott runner.  

Above The Curve (Maidens In Waiting) and Tuesday (Top 40) both ran well in the Group 1 Prix de L'Opera finishing third and sixth respectively. The former won a Group 1 over C&D in May and she stayed on strongly at the death being beaten less than a length, while the latter got tired late on having held every chance in the homestraight. Aidan O'Brien's filly has endured a long campaign which began at Naas in late March and has contested seven Group 1 events since.

Kelina was most disappointing in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac but we knew our fate early on. Previously unbeaten, Carlos Laffon-Parias' filly was much too keen during the first couple of furlongs and was never going to see out the trip in such conditions. It was no surprise to see her drop away tamely inside the final 200 yards. It was a poor effort. 

There were a couple of noteworthy performances over jumps over the weekend. Former Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle winner Banbridge couldn't have made a better start to his chasing career at Gowran Park on Saturday. Joseph O'Brien's gelding looked a natural throughout the two and a half miles beginners' chase before stretching away after the last to register an eight and a half lengths victory from the 134 rated hurdler Indigo Breeze. The Doyen gelding was rated 143 over timber and looks set to reach an even loftier mark over the larger obstacles. He doesn't want the ground too slow though. Cheltenham is sure to be his long-term target although it remains to be seen what his target will be.

Champ Kiely featured in Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers article in One Jump Ahead last season but the six year old missed the whole of the campaign. However, Willie Mullins' horse is beginning to make up for lost time and recorded his second victory over hurdles in a Grade 3 contest at Tipperary on Sunday. Making all, he jumped well and powered away to cross the line four and a half lengths in front of the 143 rated Cheltenham Festival winner Brazil. It was Ireland's champion trainer's seventh win in the race during the last eight years. The Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse (4th December) could be his next target, although we know the Ocovango gelding stays further.

The Talking Trainers section in OJA unearthed a few more winners over the weekend with Are U Wise To That (Evens), Aucunrisque (4/6), Red Windsor (9/2) and Serious Operator (5/2), while Al Husn (7/2) was another winner for the Top 40 in Ahead On The Flat. Roger Varian's filly has won 3 out of 3 this term following her half length victory on the Rowley Mile on Saturday. The daughter of Dubawi was tackling ten furlongs for the first time and winning off a mark of 92 - she has earned a crack at Pattern race now.

As discussed, Lucinda Russell has made an excellent start to the season and it is worth pointing out that Apple Away (£35,000), Jem In Em (£55,000) and Serious Operator (£37,000) were all purchased from Ireland during the spring/summer sales. There is nothing wrong with the Scottish handler's recruiting policy. 

Thank you to those clients who ordered a copy of One Jump Ahead over the weekend - those copies will be posted out on Monday and subscribers will receive them in time for Chepstow's two day meeting on Friday and Saturday. The entries at the Welsh track certainly make for interesting reading. If you haven't ordered our copy or the Updates, please head to the Publications section of the site.


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