Even allowing for his cramped odds, it was good to see Time Test win the Group 2 Skybet York Stakes. Roger Charlton’s four year old was forced to dig deep inside the final furlong to get the better of Mondialiste by three parts of a length. The Juddmonte International over the same course and distance will be next and, while more will be required, he will go there with solid claims, granted lively ground.
It proved a very good day for Khalid Abdulla and Charlton with Fair Eva produced a most impressive performance in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot. An easy winner on her debut at Haydock, the daughter of Frankel took the step up in grade in her stride quickening away to win by four lengths. While the Lowther Stakes at York is an obvious target, I feel she will be even better over seven furlongs with the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes more appealing. The further she goes, the better she has looked in both her races.
It was somewhat galling to see two of my Royal Ascot selections, namely Librisa Breeze and Mustashry, win on the same card this afternoon. The first named landed a wholesale gamble in the seven furlongs handicap under Robert Winston. As was the case in the Royal Hunt Cup, Dean Ivory’s charge travelled strongly throughout before showing a sharp turn of foot to win going away. He is already proving a bargain buy out of Jeremy Noseda’s yard and looks a Pattern horse in the making. A strongly run seven furlongs may prove his optimum trip – don’t be surprised if he ends the season in something like the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket during the Autumn.
I received a text from leading Bloodstock agent Anthony Bromley the other day informing me that the Simon Munir owned Istanbul Bey has been sold to race in Hong Kong. The three year old has won his last couple of starts, including by five lengths at York this month off a mark of 80. Lightly raced, it will be interesting to see what he achieves in the Far East.
Switching codes, I visited Malcolm Jefferson’s Malton yard yesterday before working at York last night. I interviewed Malcolm for One Jump Ahead and the Cheltenham Festival winning trainer feels he has his strongest ever team of horses. I am sure it will prove a terrific addition to OJA. I am planning to do more interviews next week and will keep readers informed.
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