The best race on Thirsk's eight race card was the twelve furlongs novice stakes won by Blazing Saddles. Ralph Beckett's colt paid a handsome compliment to Young Rascal having finished thirteen and a half lengths in arrears of William Haggas' Chester Vase runner at Newbury last time. Prominently ridden under Danny Tudhope, he beat Lucky Deal by a length and a quarter and is the sort to develop into a King George V Handicap Stakes contender at Royal Ascot next month. However, the one I will be following in the future is the fourth Great Beyond. Roger Charlton was complimentary about the son of Dansili in Ahead On The Flat and he stepped up on his sole outing as a juvenile last year. A half-brother to former stablemate Paling (won 3 times before being sold to race in the Far East), he looked ill at ease on the fast ground and may be better suited by a slower surface. Despite that, he was staying on at the finish and was only two and a half lengths behind Blazing Saddles. He needs one more run before being eligible for handicaps and I will be surprised and disappointed if he can't win his share of races over middle distances.
Purchasers of Ahead On The Flat will be aware that I nominated a horse for the Chester Cup on page 120. I contacted the owner of the horse in question on Saturday evening and he passed on a positive bulletin. The trainer has been very pleased with his preparation and, granted a favourable draw, a big run is expected. Any rain between now and Friday would also be in his favour because he wouldn't want rattling fast ground. Fingers crossed.
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