Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Frustrating day

04-May-2019 18:35
in General
by Admin

Magna Grecia provided Aidan O'Brien with his tenth win in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. The son of Invincible Spirit, who won the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Doncaster last backend, was ridden by Donnacha O'Brien with Ryan Moore electing to partner stablemate Ten Sovereigns. While the winner ran out a comfortable two and a half lengths winner with 66/1 chance King of Change filling the runners-up berth, it is worth pointing out only three horses raced on the stands side with the first two home drawn in stalls 17 and 19. It was the William Haggas trained Skardu who filled third position having emerged from stall 3. One can't help thinking he would have been even closer with a higher draw having been taken widest of all to make his challenge. A Classic shouldn't be decided by the draw and hopefully the third can turn the tables in the Irish version later this month. It will be interesting to see where the well backed and aforementioned Ten Sovereigns heads next. Ryan Moore was forced to commit his colt a long way from home due to the advantage the trio had gained on the stands rail. He therefore paid for it late on as he son of No Nay Never faded in the closing stages. I would be tempted to drop him back to sprint trips and aim him at the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and set up a mouth watering clash with Calyx. Alternatively, he could remain at a mile and line up in the St James's Palace Stakes with less emphasis on stamina on the round course at the Berkshire track.

There are two other races I wish to highlight from Saturday. The best result of the day was provided by UAE Jewel in the Listed Newmarket Stakes over ten furlongs. Roger Varian's well bred son of Dubawi had made a lasting impression at the Craven meeting when winning the Wood Ditton Stakes by a wide margin. Stepping up in trip and class, David Egan's mount maintained his unbeaten record with a ready three parts of a length win from the 106 rated Walkinthesand. Sent to the front with three furlongs to run having raced keenly early on, he was always holding Richard Hannon's runner-up. With the Dante Stakes at York expected to come too soon, his trainer suggested afterwards that the Prix du Jockey Club (2nd June) could be his next target. Featured in the Top 40 Prospects, he is a terrific prospect.

Along with the 2000 Guineas, the other race which left yours truly feeling frustrated was the first division of the ten furlongs handicap for three year olds at 4.55. London Eye, one of the Maidens In Waiting in Ahead On The Flat, had caught the eye on his reappearance at Windsor last month and looked well treated off a mark of 72 on his handicap debut. Ridden by Pat Dobbs, he was as short as evens money on Saturday morning but drifted before the off with an SP of 3/1. Held up, his jockey was content to sit and suffer waiting for a gap to emerge. Once in the clear, he stayed on well but the winner Dreamweaver had already flown with Ed Walker's runner scoring by two lengths. Sir Michael Stoute's son of Australia should have won comfortably.

Ahead On The Flat produced the following winners on Saturday: Awesometank (11/4), Dreamweaver (10/1), Mabs Cross (6/1), Takumi (9/4) and UAE Jewel (8/11).


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