Top 40 entry Young Rascal made it two from two as a three year old in the Group 3 Chester Vase and put himself firmly into the Epsom Derby picture. William Haggas' colt was an easy winner at Newbury last month and took the step up in class in his stride at the Roodeye. Despite his lack of experience, the son of Intello overcame traffic problems in the homestraight before staying on well under James Doyle. Only half a length separated him and runner-up Dee Ex Bee but the winning margin flattered Mark Johnston's charge because Young Rascal appeared to be well on top at the line. While he may not possess the speed of 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior, he is guaranteed to stay at Epsom and I will be disappointed if he isn't in the shake-up. He is a fast improving colt who couldn't be in better hands.
The horse featured on page 13 of Ahead On The Flat may not have troubled the judge at Chester but he remains one to keep a close eye on. Drawn wide and slowly away, he didn't look comfortable on the track and had a far from clear run through the race. Now qualified for handicaps, he is bred to stay further and could be a different proposition next time. Keep an eye out for his official rating, which will be published next Tuesday.
Magic Wand, who is featured on page 127 of AOTF, stepped up markedly on her reappearance at Leopardstown by taking the Listed Cheshire Oaks under a terrific front running ride by Ryan Moore. The beautifully bred daughter of Galileo made all the running and had the prize in safe keeping once sent for home rounding the final bend. A three and a half lengths winner, she needs to improve again to win the Epsom Oaks but Aidan O'Brien's filly has already made giant strides between her and second runs this year. Well done to one of my clients who emailed me on Monday to say both Paddy Power and the Betfair Sportsbook went 33/1 about Magic Wand when they first priced up today's race. That's what I call a result.
Overseas, both Orbaan (page 126) and Study of Man (page 140) produced impressive performances to win easily at Maisons-Laffitte and Saint-Cloud respectively within the last 24 hours. The pair look very talented performers who could really make a name for themselves later this season. Indeed, the latter still holds an entry in the Epsom Derby and he would be a fascinating contender if making the trip across the English Channel.
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