The Sir Michael Stoute trained Adamant (13/8) provided the Top 40 Prospects in Ahead On The Flat with another winner in the ten furlongs handicap at Salisbury. The son of Dalakhani made all the running under Ryan Moore and was forced to dig deep in the closing stages to fend off the challenge of Elas Ruby. I wouldn't be in a rush to underestimate the runner-up because John Gosden's filly had finished in front of Serenada (won at Sandown on Friday) at Newbury last October. Adamant will appreciate a step up to twelve furlongs in due course and his running style is likely to mean he can remain ahead of the handicapper for the time being. He looks a progressive three year old and, while he coped with fast ground at the Wiltshire track, he scored on a slower surface as a juvenile and may prove best with some ease underfoot.
Roger Charlton has his string in splendid form and the Beckhampton's horse to follow in AOTF is Stone The Crows. The gelded son of Cape Cross was a winner on his reappearance this afternoon taking the twelve furlongs maiden at Salisbury in comfortable fashion. A big strapping individual, he will be even better over further and could develop into a Melrose or Queens Vase type. He looks to have a bright future and is a stayer to follow.
Jessica Harrington, who enjoyed a fantastic week at the Punchestown Festival, has taken charge of the twice raced Red Label (featured in Luca Cumani's interview in AOTF) and the son of Dubawi won the extended nine furlongs conditions stakes at Gowran Park (4/1). A maiden winner at Leicester last Autumn, he ran on strongly to beat Taj Mahal by a neck and looks a very recruit for his new stable. He is one for the notebook and could develop into a Royal Ascot horse.
Indeed, it was another good day for AOTF with the two Pattern winners at Chantilly highlighted in the Appendix. The Black Princess (17/10), who ran a cracker in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer, made all in the Group 3 fillies' event under Frankie Dettori, while Marmelo (77/10) landed the Group 3 Prix de Barbeville over a mile and seven. The pair look capable of winning at an even higher level this season.
The curtain came down on the 2016/2017 National Hunt season yesterday. I have therefore done the final statistics for One Jump Ahead. The Top 40 Prospects produced 51 winners from 153 runners at a strike-rate of 33%. The most prolific winners were Altior (6 out of 6), Capitaine (3 wins), Cloudy Dream (3), Mount Mews (3), No Comment (3), Samcro (3) and Waiting Patiently (3). Bromley's Best Buys yielded 40 winners from 150 runners (27%) and Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers gave 27 winners at a strike-rate of 27%. French Revolution, a new section this time around, produced 23 winners from 93 runners, including triple Grade 1 winner Defi Du Seuil (7 wins) and Bapaume (Grade 1 winner at Punchestown yesterday). Thank you to everyone who bought a copy of One Jump Ahead - I hope you found it value for money - your support is much appreciated.
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