Alfarris could only finish fifth in the first division of the seven furlongs juvenile maiden at Newmarket. However, William Haggas' Shamardal colt effectively lost all chance with a sluggish start. Paul Hanagan looked after his mount thereafter before running on in the closing stages. His lack of experience proved to be his downfall but I expect him to have learned plenty and hopefully go close next time. His stable have introduced the likes of Yuften, Mitraad and Hathal in the same event in recent years.
Talking of the head of Somerville Lodge, the progressive Dal Harraild made a smooth transition into Pattern company by winning the Listed Godolphin Stakes. It was his third win of the season and, having missed the Melrose Stakes at York due to a bout of ringworm, he was reportedly in need of the run at Ascot last time. His trainer views him as a potential Melbourne Cup horse for next year. One wonders whether something like the Yorkshire Cup next spring may come into consideration en route. However, he does need fast ground to show his best form.
Worcestershire based trainer Tony Carroll is a shrewd operator and it will be interesting to see what he achieves with the well bred Twilight Spirit, who finished third in the six furlongs fillies' maiden at Haydock. A half-sister to Twilight Son and Music Master, she had finished third on her debut at Ffos Las in August before disappointing next time at Goodwood during the same month. She was therefore having her third race in six weeks this afternoon and certainly wasn't subjected to an aggressive ride in the closing stages. Now qualified for nurseries, she is unlikely to be overburdened and is one to watch out for. It is possible she will be put away for next season because her family invariably improve with age.
I will be back to update the Diary on Sunday because I am heading to Hamilton tomorrow for a twilight fixture. There is plenty of rain forecast for the west of Scotland so conditions look sure to be testing. I must confess to have been distracted from the racing this afternoon by the conclusion to the Cricket County championship. In many ways, it produced the perfect outcome because Lancashire somehow managed to avoid relegation, thanks to Durham's win at Hampshire, and arguably just as satisfying, Yorkshire were denied their third successive title by Middlesex. It couldn't have worked out much better.
There is still time to order a copy of the Autumn Update before tomorrow's Cambridgeshire, plus One Jump Ahead and the 5 Updates. The Flat Updates have been in fine form this year with 9 winners at Royal Ascot and another 6 at York, including the Ebor winner Heartbreak City advised at 20/1. Please head to the Publications section of the site to order.
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