Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Hefty hikes

27-June-2018 18:34
in General
by Admin

Dash of Spice, who was an emphatic winner of the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot last Friday, has been raised nine pounds by the handicapper which leaves David Elsworth's four year old on a mark of 107. With the Skybet Ebor in August being touted as a possible target, it will be interesting to see if the progressive son of Teofilo is wrapped in cotton wool between now and then, or he takes his chance in the John Smith's Cup at the same track over ten furlongs next month (14th July) under a penalty.

Arguably the most unlucky loser at the Royal meeting was First Eleven in the King George V Stakes on Thursday. John Gosden's half-brother to Kingman and Remote met trouble in running in the homestraight before going down by a neck in third behind Baghdad. To add insult to injury, the son of Frankel has been handed a six pounds rise to a rating of 97. While he needs to improve and in a short space of time, I wonder if the former champion trainer may give him an entry in the St Leger and steer him towards something like the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood (4th August) or Great Voltigeur Stakes at York (22nd August) later this summer.

Agrotera was possibly the best handicapped runner at the Royal fixture as she streaked to an easy success in the Sandringham Stakes and, in doing so, providing Ed Walker with his first winner at the meeting. The Bjorn Nielson owned filly is now rated 98 following a ten pounds rise. Her trainer has indicated the Listed Dick Hern Stakes at Haydock (11th August) could be her next port of call.

While working at Beverley yesterday I received some information regarding a couple of northern trained horses who performed very well at Royal Ascot. The aforementioned Baghdad, who gave Mark Johnston his sixth win in the King George V Stakes, suffered an injury which will sideline him for the remainder of this season and, Vange, who was two and a quarter lengths fourth in the Coventry Stakes, has been sold to race in the Far East. The Iffraaj colt had previously won by seven lengths at Chester on his second start.

Finally, the unraced two year old I flagged up on page 42 of the Royal Ascot Update makes his racecourse debut on Thursday. Recent reports are very positive and his connections will be disappointed if he doesn't make a winning start to his career.


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