Telecaster looked a colt with a big future when winning the ten furlongs novice stakes at Windsor on Monday by nine lengths. Hughie Morrison's son of New Approach had chased home the highly regarded Bangkok on his debut at Doncaster last month and was well supported to go one better at the Thames track. Oisin Murphy's mount took up the running at an early stage and dictated matters thereafter powering away in the home straight. Out of the stable's Dual Oaks runner-up Shirocco Star, he is bred to be even better over a mile and a half. A Derby trial will presumably be next. I thought the runner-up Deal A Dollar shaped with plenty of encouragement even though he never laid a glove on the facile winner. Sir Michael Stoute's horses invariably improve for their initial outing and Ryan Moore didn't subject him to a hard race. He is a winner waiting to happen and won't always bump into a rival as good as Telecaster.
Another three year old who impressed over the weekend was the Andre Fabre trained Persian King in the Group 3 Prix Fontainebleau at Longchamp on Sunday. The Kingman colt won the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last Autumn and he looked every inch a Guineas contender when making all at the Parisian track before scoring by five lengths. Although bred to stay further, he didn't look short of speed and, with a question mark currently hanging over the ante-post favourite Too Darn Hot, it would be no surprise if he is steered towards a return visit to the Rowley Mile at the start of next month. Fabre has already won the colts' first Classic twice but not since 1995.
Its early days but the Top 40 Prospects in Ahead On The Flat haven't set the world alight yet but the Talking Trainers section produced two good winners at Pontefract on Monday. Hortzadar (12/1) and Mokaatil (10/1) both received favourable mentions from David O'Meara and Ian Williams respectively.
I spent an enjoyable couple of days at Ayr on Friday and Saturday. The Scottish National proved a terrific result for Cumbria with Takingrisks winning for Penrith owner Frank Bird and Greystoke trainer Nicky Richards. Bought for €35,000 in April 2015 having won one of his two Irish points, he was fitted with cheekpieces for the first time at Carlisle last month when beating Jepeck by nearly three lengths off a mark of 129. Raised six pounds, he produced a fine performance at the weekend to beat Eider Chase victor Crosspark by four lengths. It crowned a good season for his trainer who enjoyed Grade 1 success at Leopardstown over Christmas and 39 domestic winners.
Azzuri produced a blistering performance to win the opening two miles handicap chase on the same card. Dan Skelton's seven year old galloped and jumped his opponents into the ground before recording a nine lengths win off a mark of 132. The Azamour gelding is in his second spell with Paul Nicholls' former assistant having had a handful of runs for Richard O'Brien in Ireland. On his return to Skelton, he dropped twelve pounds in three races (twice on unsuitable soft ground) and underwent a wind operation. Having skipped the Red Rum Chase at Aintree last week (due to the slow ground), he was heavily supported beforehand and never gave his backers an anxious moment. Given an aggressive front running ride by Harry Skelton, his jumping was superb and it immediately got most of his rivals out of their comfort zone. The stable is on the brink of matching Martin Pipe by training 200 plus winners in a season and Azzuri's win on Saturday brought back memories of the head of Pond House in the late 1980s/early 1990s. It was so clinical and such a well executed plan.
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