Qazyna (6/4), who is Roger Varian's horse to follow in Ahead on The Flat and featured in the Maidens In Waiting section, looked a smart filly in the making when taking the first division of the one mile fillies' maiden at Newmarket this afternoon. The daughter of Frankel had shown plenty of promise on her sole outing at Yarmouth last backend and is held in high regard by the head of Carlburg Stables. Racing prominently, Andrea Atzeni's mount soon took control and strode clear to win by three and a half lengths. Entered in the Oaks, it will be interesting to see how far she stays this year. If kept to a mile, a race such as the Listed Michael Seely Memorial Stakes at York's Dante meeting (18th May) could come under consideration. The same connections won the race last year with Tomyris. If stepped up to ten furlongs, either the Pretty Polly (6th May) or Musidora Stakes (16th May) at Newmarket and York respectively are possible targets.
The Top 40 Prospects sent out its first winner this evening at Kempton when Il Primo Sole (5/2) defied his penalty in division one of the seven furlongs novice stakes. John Gosden's Raven's Pass colt overcame a wide draw and was given a canny front running ride by Robert Havlin. Kicking for home a furlong out, he beat the well regarded Major Partnership and looks set for a fruitful three year old campaign.
Switching codes, Diese Des Bieffes (5/2) provided the Top 40 Prospects in OJA with another winner in the opening novices' hurdle at Cheltenham. Rated 138, the five year old was winning for the third time this season having run well in both the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' HH at the Cheltenham Festival. Given an excellent ride by Noel Fehily, the Martaline gelding appreciated the drying ground and pulled clear after the final flight. Nicky Henderson was winning the race for a fourth time in six years, including with the likes of Whisper and Might Bite, and it is possible chasing will be on the grey's agenda next Autumn.
Steely Addition, who is also in the Top 40, may have only finished eighth in the staying handicap hurdle but remains a horse to keep an eye on. Twice a winner this season, Philip Hobbs was racing off a fourteen pounds higher mark than his win at Chepstow and having his first outing since early November. Held up by Richard Johnson, he made stealthy headway on the run to the second last before being tapped for speed. However, he stayed on at the death and is one to bear in mind if running again before his summer break. There is a £40,000 handicap hurdle over two miles seven at Haydock (12th May), which the Minehead trainer has won in the past. Don't be surprised if the former pointer heads to the Merseyside track next month.
At the same meeting, I have provisional pencilled in John Quinn's Project Bluebook for the Swinton Hurdle. Four and a half lengths sixth in a two and a half miles handicap hurdle at Aintree last week, he will appreciate the likely drying ground and isn't badly handicapped off 134 (dropped two pounds since Aintree). His stable won the race in 2007 courtesy of Leslingtaylor.
I am heading to Scotland tomorrow evening for the two day Scottish National meeting at Ayr. I will therefore update the Diary on Sunday. It promises to be an exciting weekend. Please head to the Publications section of the site to order a copy of Ahead On The Flat, if you haven't already done so.
“Thank you for a very successful and profitable email service. My personal highlight was the win of Aloomomo whose romp round Uttoxeter was a joy. Keep up the good work with all your services, the books and updates, they are simply the best by a very long way.”
“Just want to say thanks for running the service again this year, I have ended up with a nice £756 profit from it so I'm obviously very happy with that so thanks a lot!”
“Thanks for your email Mark would just like to say your selections and insight has been awesome. Keep up the good work sir your service is the best.”
“Thank you for an excellent tipping service throughout the three months. It has been a pleasure and profitable to be a member of your service. Your indepth knowledge and analysis of the race has been excellent. I honestly rate your service as one of the best and most profitable.”
“Thanks very much for the fantastic service you have supplied, I have been involved with racing tipsters for over 30 years and never had as good a strike rate as yourself, out of this world.”
“The email service as usual has been brilliant and this season's OJA seems to continue to unearth amazing insight if you have the time to trust and follow it in detail over a period. Thanks as always for your outstanding value for money publications.”
“Superb information again Mark, I managed to get some 11/4, will certainly pay for Xmas. Different class.”
“Awesome result the magicman strikes again. Won with plenty in hand and not a moments worry great write up spot on again and results speak for themselves best service I've tried, keep up the fantastic work sir. Very happy customer!”
Mark Howard Publications Ltd.
69 Fairgarth Drive