Fast ground was the order of the day at Newmarket on Saturday. Indeed there were eleven withdrawals from the Cambridgeshire Handicap - nine of those were due to the underfoot conditions. Admittedly, there has been unseasonable warm temperatures in the South East in recent days (22 and 23 degrees on Thursday and Friday), but it was a surprise to see so many runners pulled out at this stage in the season. It is hard to believe the ground was rattling fast such as in the middle of summer, especially with the early morning dews. The non runners obviously impacted greatly on the race and there was a stands side bias, too.
Victory in the nine furlongs event went to Bedouins Story who was given a typically patient ride by Jamie Spencer and produced late on. Ironically, I had tipped the six year old for the Clipper Logistics Handicap at York last month but the Saeed Bin Suroor trained gelding missed the race and headed to Chelmsford instead. Unexposed over the trip, he had run well at 'Glorious' Goodwood from a wide draw in the Golden Mile Handicap before finishing sixth at the Essex track.
It was a disappointing afternoon for the selections in the Autumn Update, although Coroebus (advised @ 11/4) should have won the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes. An impressive winner on his debut on the July track, the Dubawi colt travelled strongly and was outclassed his opponents for the majority of the one mile event. However, William Buick elected to set sail for home with over three furlongs to run and paid the price late on. Only he knows why he went so soon. Outstayed at the death by the Acomb Stakes winner Royal Patronage it was, in the words of Charlie Appleby, a 'hard one to take.'
Sacred Bridge was poor in the Cheveley Park Stakes, while Illustrating didn't appear to get home over six furlongs having moved well through the race. Irish Admiral wasn't well drawn in the Cambridgeshire but was never going to win ridden so prominently. I knew our fate after a couple of furlongs. Then, to round things off at Ripon, Andrew Mullen couldn't have found more trouble on Innse Gall if he had tried. We have had better days.
Switching codes, Haseefah (4/1) was the second winner in the Talking Trainer's section of the new edition of One Jump Ahead. Alan King spoke favourably about the ex-French filly on page 73, who is rated 79 on the Flat. Considering it was her first run over obstacles, the daughter of Teofilo produced a very assured round of jumping and quickened up well between the final two flights. Pulling clear after the last, she crossed the line nine and a half lengths in front of the runner-up. It was a fine start to her hurdling career.
Please head to the Publications section of the site to order a copy of One Jump Ahead, plus the Updates, if you haven't already done so.
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