Having tipped Astro King in the Royal Hunt Cup in the Royal Ascot Update last month, I must confess to having a feeling of being hard done by with the Godolphin owned Real World beating Sir Michael Stoute's runner by nearly five lengths with the pair separated by the width of the track. However, Saeed Bin Suroor's four year old proved it wasn't a fluke by following up in Listed company at Newbury on Saturday. Stepping up to ten furlongs, Marco Ghiani's mount was hemmed in on the rails for much of the homestraight and Derab got first run on him. Once extricated off the fence, he quickened up in the manner of a high-class horse to reel in the Gosden trained runner and won going away by a length and a quarter. Unbeaten on turf, it will be interesting to see where he goes next but on the evidence of his last two starts, Real World looks a Group horse in the making. The Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock (7th August) appeals as a likely target.
Derab ran well in second but had no answer to the winner's turn of foot inside the final furlong. John and Thady Gosden's colt is capable of winning a similar event and could be one for something like the Group 3 Strensall Stakes at York (21st August) over nine furlongs. The half-brother to Enable has sufficient speed to drop back in trip.
I was very disappointed by the performance of King's Lynn in the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes later on the same card. Andrew Balding's four year old hadn't enjoyed the rub of the green in either the King's Stand or Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot last month but this looked an ideal opportunity for him to regain the winning thread. Oisin Murphy's partner travelled well and looked set to play a leading role passing the two furlongs marker. The response thereafter though was limited to say the least and he only beat one rival in sixth position. The champion jockey reported afterwards that King's Lynn had run flat. Entered in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York next month, he needs to improve dramatically on his latest effort to justify his place in that line up. Alternatively, there is the Listed Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket (28th August). He is much better than he showed on Saturday.
It was a warm evening at Haydock Park on Saturday and there were some smart performances. It was go to see Frankie Dettori there for a couple of rides and his decision was justified with Albahr winning easily in the seven furlongs novice stakes for two year olds. A previous course and distance winner, Charlie Appleby's runner had been gelded in the meantime - rather like stablemates Kinari and Yibir - and he produced an even better effort. Overcoming a wide draw and a penalty, he made all and powered clear inside the final furlong and a half. He looks ready to mix it at Pattern level. Amongst the beaten horses, there are a few to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. Kevin Ryan's juveniles have been in fine form this summer but have invariably improved from their debuts. That is likely to be the case for Fast And Loose who filled third position. A son of No Nay Never who cost 72,000gns, he is a half-brother to 12 times winning sprinter Pipers Note. Beaten around seven lengths, he is the sort to take his chance in the Convivial Maiden Stakes at York's Ebor Festival. Time will tell whether he is good enough but the Steve Ryan owned colt is more than capable of winning races. Richard Fahey's Tudor ran a solid race in fourth and is now eligible for nurseries - he is out of a 1m 4f and 1m 6f winner and is crying out for a mile plus. Despite only finishing fifth, Hypersonical ran well having been wiped out at the start. Karl Burke's runner was therefore immediately in the rear and playing catch up throughout. A 335,000gns purchase at the breeze-ups during the spring, the son of Kingman made up ground at halfway before his effort petered out inside the final furlong and a half. He will be an interesting proposition next time and is one for the notebook.
The plan is to start interviewing for One Jump Ahead this week - I will be contacting various trainers over the next few days and will keep readers informed on here.
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