John Gosden claimed the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown for the fourth time when Mostahdaf beat Highland Avenue by half a length. A well bred colt by Frankel, he is a half-brother to the stable's dual Group 1 winner Nazeef and he had won on his debut at Newcastle in March before following up at Kempton less than a month later. This had been the plan ever since, according to connections, and he stayed on well inside the final furlong to get the better of the Godolphin owned runner-up. Similar to his older sister, he had no trouble with the ground and it will be interesting to see if he takes up his entry in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next month. It is worth nothing former stable companion Without Parole won both the Heron Stakes and St James's Palace Stakes in 2018.
Ralph Beckett's interview in Ahead On The Flat has been an excellent source of winners and the Hampshire based handler sent out an across the card double on Thursday evening. Ralph described Abstinence as 'a sleeper' on page 62 and the daughter of Lope De Vega made a winning reappearance at Chelmsford in the mile novice stakes. Fifth on her only outing at Lingfield last winter, she was sent off 33/1 but belied those odds by running on strongly to collar warm favourite Mashhoor by a neck.
Stablemate Zinc White made it two out of two this year when galloping his six opponents into the ground in the staying handicap at Sandown. Out of the high-class Chinese White, the son of Vadamos relished the step up to a mile and six at Wetherby earlier this month and had no trouble following up at the Esher track. A seven and a half lengths winner off a mark of 75, he revels in soft ground and there are plenty of more races to be won with this progressive three year old. Virtually every season, Beckett unearths an improving staying three year old who goes through the ranks - Brimham Rocks (2017), Moon King (2019) and Prince Alex (2020) won 14 races between them during their Classic year. Zinc White appears to be the 2021 version.
Switching codes, the most interesting race on Market Rasen's card was the concluding bumper. Readers of last season's One Jump Ahead will be aware that Brian Ellison highlighted Huntsman's Call as an unraced bumper horse to keep an eye. Bought unraced out of Simon Crisford's yard last July for 22,000gns, he is a son of Golden Horn out of the 106 rated mare Fragrancy. For whatever reason, Huntsman's Call didn't run for Ellison last season and was transferred to Rebecca Menzies. Making his racecourse debut at the Lincolnshire track (well supported overnight), he travelled like a useful horse until his stamina appeared to give way inside the final quarter of a mile. It is possible he needed the run but I suspect it was more of a case of him not staying two miles. Beaten ten lengths in third, it wouldn't be a surprise if he went Flat racing next. He is one to keep an eye on because he possesses some talent.
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