The Roger Varian trained Defoe has enjoyed a tremendous three year old campaign winning all four of his races and setting up a possible tilt at the St Leger. Rated 88 when he won the London Gold Cup at Newbury in May, the son of Dalakhani collected the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at the same venue this afternoon. Ease underfoot is crucial to him and, granted such conditions at Town Moor next month, he warrants plenty of respect regardless of the opposition.
Although not quite at the same level, Alan King also has an improving three year old on his hands courtesy of Nathan. Previously trained by Simon Crisford, he was a winner on his handicap debut at Bath last time and the Normandie Stud owned colt had no trouble following up at the Berkshire track in the opening ten furlongs event. Bred to improve over much further, I asked Alan about the prospect of sending him jumping this winter when we spoke earlier this month but he said his owner isn't keen, which is a pity because he would surely make a terrific juvenile hurdler.
Talking of jumping, I interviewed multiple champion trainer Paul Nicholls yesterday for One Jump Ahead. We got through approximately 80 - 90 horses and, needless to say the Ditcheat yard has received a new intake of horses from the English and Irish pointing scene, plus some fresh new talent from France. It is exciting times for the stable.
I am working at Pontefract tomorrow but just a reminder the York Update will be emailed to clients on Monday evening - there is full analysis of the four days on the Knavesmire, plus a detailed look at the majority of horses covered in the Top 40 Prospects in Ahead On The Flat, some new horses to follow including a select bunch of unraced two year olds, and an ante-post selection for the Autumn. If you would like to order a copy, please go to the Publications section.
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