Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Weekend Review

22-October-2018 14:05
in General
by Admin

John Gosden dominated Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday with a treble and was crowned champion trainer for the third time. While Stradavarius and Roaring Lion won the Long Distance Cup and QEII respectively despite the testing ground, stablemate Cracksman relished the underfoot conditions before taking the Champions Stakes for a second time by six lengths. The son of Frankel had looked as good as ever in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp during the spring but wasn't at his best in the Coronation Cup or the Prince of Wales's Stakes at the Royal fixture during June. However, he was back to his best at the weekend as he destroyed his seven rivals. Sporting blinkers for the first time, Frankie Dettori's mount travelled much better and powered clear inside the final couple of furlongs. Retirement now beckons with four Grade 1 wins against his name.

I was disappointed with Tasleet's performance in the Champions Sprint Stakes. He, too, was fitted with blinkers for the first time but William Haggas' charge failed to pick up having moved well enough through the race. His low draw didn't do him any favours but it still doesn't explain his lacklustre effort. The five year old has failed to fire this term.

Sharja Bridge won the concluding Balmoral Handicap for Roger Varian. The four year old has been knocking on the door for much of the season having run well at Newmarket's Guineas meeting and York's Ebor Festival amongst others. Ease in the ground appears to bring out the best in the son of Oasis Dream and, having scored off a mark of 105 on Saturday, his connections are likely to be looking towards Pattern races next season. For the first time this year, Kynren ran creditably in fifth having held every chance. David Barron's four year old had conditions to suit and there were no excuses. I suspect the Lincoln will be his early season target next spring, although he is likely to be vulnerable to a lightly raced improver.

It was interesting to read Gordon Elliott's stable tour in the Racing Post this morning. The horses featured on pages 15, 20, 24, 25, 32, 45 and 121 of OJA which are trained by the dual Grand National winning handler all received positive updates which is encouraging.

The Talking Trainers section produced Bags Groove (8/1), Beau Sancy (8/11), Equus Amadeus (4/1), Itchy Feet (5/2), Quel Destin (30/100) and Rocky's Treasure (Evens) over the last few days. Equus Amadeus is trained by Tom Lacey and there have been signs during the last seven days that his Herefordshire yard are in good form. The stable ran four horses last week finishing 1412. Lacey must have been very pleased with Jester Jet's chasing debut at Ffos Las on Saturday. The Overbury improved forty two pounds over hurdles last season winning on five occasions. Beaten two lengths by Bags Groove at the Welsh venue in a strongly contested novices' chase, she will take some beating in mares' novice events this winter.



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