It was good to see crowds back on British racecourses on Monday. Carlisle staged its first Flat meeting since Wednesday 11th September 2019 and their first crowds since Sunday 15th March 2020 (428 days) - around 1000 racegoers packed into the Cumbrian venue and there was some decent action on the track. Arguably the most interesting event on the card was the opening juvenile with victory going to El Caballo. Karl Burke's colt had shaped with plenty of promise on his debut at Doncaster and confirmed with an all the way win. Following his two and a half lengths win, he may have booked his ticket to Royal Ascot. His trainer feels he will be even better over six furlongs, which brings the Coventry Stakes into the equation. I am not convinced the son of Havana Gold is that class. The runner-up Bond Power is worth keeping an eye on. A colt by War Command, he did his best work late on. I spoke to Bryan Smart before racing and I got the impression he would improve for the experience, which bodes well for his future career. The stable's juveniles have been in excellent form - 3 winners from only 6 runners. The Hambleton trainer also gave me a juvenile to note - provided the horse in question doesn't run in the meantime, the name will be revealed in the Royal Ascot Update.
Elsewhere, Potapova provided the Top 40 Prospects with a winner at Redcar. Sir Michael Stoute's filly had impressed when winning readily on her racecourse debut at Chelmsford in late November. The daughter of Invincible Spirit returned to action at the Cleveland track and carried her penalty to victory with ease under Danny Tudhope. Always moving strongly, she barely came off the bridle before sauntering to an eight lengths victory. Entered in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot next month, it will be interesting to see where she heads next. I suspect she will be tried in a Listed or minor Group event, as opposed to plunged into the highest company on only her third start. However, it is worth remembering former stablemate Jubiloso had an identical profile prior to finishing third in the Coronation Stakes in 2019. Either way, she is a filly with a bright future. The Top 40 Prospects have been bitterly disappointing thus far but at least it has unearthed some promising types in recent days, namely Bay Bridge, Derab, Movin Time and Potapova.
Bashosh (2/1) is another three year old to keep close tabs on following his emphatic victory on his debut at Leicester. Roger Varian spoke positively about the son of Dubawi on page 103 of Ahead On The Flat and so it proved as he ran out an emphatic four lengths scorer. A full brother to the stable's Group 1 winner Nezwaah, he led inside the final furlong before powering clear. The runner-up Thaler is well regarded by the Sir Michael Stoute team and he was made to look ordinary - the pair pulled sixteen lengths of the third. It will be a surprise if the winner isn't competing in Pattern races sooner rather than later and threatens to be even better over a mile or further. He looks a high-class colt in the making.
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