The heavens opened in the North West over the weekend with around 56mm of rain falling on Haydock Park during Friday and Saturday. I was working at the Merseyside track on Saturday and, while there was some decent action, the meeting was spoilt with 21 non runners. It was still a good day for Roger Varian though with Fantastic Fox and Waliyak ploughing through the testing conditions to register convincing wins. The latter has threatened to produce such a performance for some time and she readily saw off her rivals to win the Listed Dick Hern Stakes. Her task was made considerably easier with half a dozen non runners in the one mile contest but she relished the underfoot conditions and is capable of winning at Group level, if encountering slow ground in the Autumn. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Fantastic Fox could win at Pattern level, too, provided he learns to settle.
Edgewood finished runner-up in the seven furlongs handicap and is a name to remember for the rest of this year. Julie Camacho's gelding won twice last term but has only raced three times in 2021. The son of Garswood was having his first outing since undergoing wind surgery and he ran a cracker under Clifford Lee. Beaten a neck by Cold Stare, who is another who revels in bottomless ground, the five year old is only four pounds higher than his last win. He could be one for the Ayr Bronze Cup next month (18th September). A strongly run six furlongs will be ideal. Alternatively, look out for him at Hamilton Park where his form figures are 131.
I am delighted to announce that the new edition of One Jump Ahead will include interviews with leading owner Rich Ricci and Alan King. Regular readers will be aware that Rich has been a tremendous supporter of my publications and he has always been very helplful and obliging. His famous pink and green silks will be sported by some exciting recruits from France which have been purchased during the spring/summer.
Alan King has been making a big splash on the Flat in recent years with the likes of Trueshan winning the Group 1 Goodwood Cup last month. However, the head of Barbury Castle remains a potent force over jumps as last season proved. The stable won 9 Pattern races last winter, including the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown. Alan's team is certainly not lacking quality for this term either and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.
Thank you to those clients who emailed over the weekend following my successful tipping for sportinglife.com on Saturday. All three selections managed to win, which makes a change after what can only be described as a tough season on the Flat. The good news for readers of the site is that it was a one off appearance - I was filling in for Matt Brocklebank who had been called up for jury service. However, I will be writing a piece for the same website next week re the York Ebor Festival.
Talking of the four days on the Knavesmire, I am starting work on the York Update this week. It will be emailed to clients on Monday week (16th August). If you haven't ordered a copy, please go to the Publications section of the site. The Update is £6.00.
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