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I am certainly hoping the three months service does a lot better than the Autumn Update at Newmarket this afternoon. It was a poor day at the office and let's hope for better at Chantilly tomorrow.
Roaring Lion just got the better of Nelson in the opening Royal Lodge Stakes. John Gosden's colt had won well at Kempton last time but I must confess to having reservations about him on easy ground. However, he overcame the conditions and, despite edging to his left late on, he was too strong for Aidan O'Brien's charge in the closing stages. The runner-up looks an out and out stayer and, even at this early stage, one can envisage him lining up in something like the Queens Vase next June. All he does is stay. It was a decent contest but I don't think we saw a future star.
Clemmie may not have been seen since landing the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on the July course but the absence didn't prevent her from capturing the Cheveley Park Stakes. Nearly five lengths behind Different League in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, the full sister to Churchill has thrived ever since winning her next three races. Yet to race beyond six furlongs, she was entered in the Moyglare Stud Stakes over seven furlongs but withdrawn on account of heavy ground. I would expect her to stay a mile next year and she looks set to play her part in the 1000 Guineas next spring. Threading was the big disappointment of the race only finishing seventh. Despite her pedigree, perhaps she needs more testing conditions. Mark Johnston's filly never looked like making it three out of three.
I am afraid the Cambridgeshire was a complete non event as far as my selections were concerned. Due to the lack of front runners on the stands' side, Qassem was forced to commit too early and had nothing left inside the final couple of furlongs. The other two never looked like getting involved. It is safe to say I wouldn't have picked any of the first three home if I had studied the race for another week. Then, just to put the icing on the cake, Shanghai Glory ran like the majority of his stablemates in the rearranged 32Red Gold Cup at Haydock. On that showing, it is a blessing the Ayr Gold Cup was abandoned and all bets were refunded. While the four year old likes ease in the ground, I don't think he handled the heavy conditions - he was beaten at halfway. It has been one of those days.
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