Mark Howard Publications Ltd

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One Jump Ahead

The Top National Hunt Horses To Follow for 2023/2024

 

Foreword by Nick LUCK, 9 times Broadcaster of The Year

Owners’ Enclosure – Exclusive interview with Rich RICCI

Rich RICCI & racing manager Joe CHAMBERS nominate their horse to follow for 2023/2024

Stable Interviews:

Harry FRY (33 horses featured), Chris GORDON (37), Alan KING, Tom LACEY (23), Donald McCAIN (56), Gary MOORE (40), Olly MURPHY (48), Paul NICHOLLS, Jonjo O’NEILL (45), Nicky RICHARDS (29), Lucinda RUSSELL (57), Dan SKELTON (56) & Jamie SNOWDEN (25).

Quotes from last year’s One Jump Ahead:

Racing manager Joe Chambers on page 53 - LOSSIEMOUTH

“She is a gorgeous filly who we are very excited about. A ten lengths winner on her debut over hurdles at Auteuil in April, she was impressive and there was a lot of demand for her afterwards. She looks sharp and we are hoping she will develop into one of the leading juvenile hurdlers this season.”

LOSSIEMOUTH was a dual Grade 1 winner including the Triumph Hurdle

Gary Moore on page 92 – JUPITER DU GITE:

“A half-brother to Editeur Du Gite, he is a gorgeous horse who was purchased in April having finished third in his only AQPS Flat race earlier the same month. Gelded since arriving, he is a lovely horse who has the option of running in another bumper or going hurdling.”

JUPITER DU GITE won by 15 lengths on his British debut at Newbury (31/12/23) @ 66/1

One Jump Ahead also features the following sections:

The Top 40 Prospects – Last year’s Top 40 Prospects produced 44 winners at a strike-rate of 34%. They included Grade 1 winnersGAELIC WARRIOR, LOSSIEMOUTH & STAY AWAY FAY. 26 of the 40 horses won.

Changing Codes – Flat horses who are set to go hurdling for the first time.

English Pointers– my Racing TV colleague JONATHAN NEESOM picks those horses who raced between the flags in the UK last season and caught his eye. In the last couple of years, Jonathan has highlighted the likes of KING ROLAND, SANTINI and TEA CLIPPER.

French Revolution – one of the most popular sections in OJA, a selection of horses who have being plying their trade in France but have been bought to race in the UK and Ireland this winter. Last year’s article produced 26 winners at a strike-rate of 26%. The selections included Grade 1 winners IMPAIRE ET PASSE, GALA MARCEAU and IRISH POINT.

The feature has unearthed other Cheltenham Festival winners over the years, namely A PLUS TARD, ARAMAX, BURNING VICTORY, DEFI DU SEUIL, EL FABIOLO, the ill-fated Champion Hurdle winner ESPOIR D’ALLEN, KLASSICAL DREAM, QUILIXIOS and SAINT ROI. For the fifth time, triple French Champion jockey JAMES REVELEY has added his comments to the majority of those featured.

Irish Pointers - expert DECLAN PHELAN highlights the pointers to follow from across the Irish Sea who will race under Rules this winter. Last year’s feature yielded 46 winners at an impressive strike-rate of 33%. The latest success stories included Grade 1 winners HERMES ALLEN and INTHEPOCKET.

Unraced Bumper Horses – a selection of highly regarded youngsters who have yet to be seen in public. Last year’s batch featured winning debutants DUNNET HEAD (9/4), JUNTA MARVEL (85/40 & 4/1) and LA MALMASON (5/1), plus exciting prospect FIREFOX (2 wins).

Appendix – a full and comprehensive analysis of the 2 mile chasers, 2m 4f chasers, staying chasers & 2 mile hurdlers

Index – with full page numbers

How To Order

Price: £10.99 including postage (except £5 extra for overseas)

Available direct from:

Mark Howard Publications Ltd. 69 Fairgarth Drive, Kirkby Lonsdale, Carnforth, Lancashire. LA6 2FB.

One Jump Ahead Updates – VIA EMAIL ONLY

I shall be producing 5 One Jump Ahead Updates throughout the 2023/24 National Hunt season. Each Update comprises information about the horses in One Jump Ahead, Ante-Post Advice (recommendations for the major races), Big-Race Previews, News from Ireland from one of the most informed Irish experts Declan Phelan and Significant Sales. Please note, the Updates are ONLY AVAILABLE VIA EMAIL (Not Post).

It is £8 per Update (except £10 for the Cheltenham Festival version and £6 for the February Update) or £40 for ALL 5 via EMAIL.

Summary of the 2022/2023 Updates:

What The Clients Said:

“One Jump Ahead has been a massive success for me again this year. I always go through to pick one or two Cheltenham ante post bets. I picked Lossiemouth this year. £40 win @ 14/1. Paid for my hotel and tickets and travelling and a few bets. Estidama was a nice one as well. You are a genius, keep up the good work.” D.G.

“Congratulations to you on steering everyone towards Lossiemouth in the Triumph Hurdle. Following on from Vauban last year, that is proof lightning does strike twice - I backed both of them at 20/1 thanks to your comments in OJA - Already looking forward to the hat-trick next year.” S.H.

“Thanks yet again Mark. Nice Ante post bets on Lossiemouth contributed to another wonderful Cheltenham Festival. A huge well done to you, Declan and all your contributors.” K.E.

“As usual the recent update has been full of useful information, not just for Cheltenham but way beyond, it's something to refer back to next September/October. Congratulations on digging out Lossiemouth in One Jump Ahead, result was never in doubt.” A.A.

“Well done with El Fabiolo. Pleased to say I got a little bit of 6/1 in November. Great to collect 4 months later. The winnings will pay for my copy of AOTF & Updates.” I.P.

“A note to say thanks on the great work with the February Update, of course including the 12/1 tip on Our Power. A great bit of tipping and a very tasty price that has certainly come at a good time with Cheltenham around the corner. You can’t get them all right but as a follower of yours for many a year now I know you seem to get it right with great regularity.” D.R.

One Jump Ahead Updates

PADDY POWER UPDATE – NOVEMBER 2023

Price: £8.00

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Ante-Post Advice

EL FABIOLO – Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival @ 6/1

Quote: “It has yet to be confirmed the running plans of Cheltenham Festival winners Sir Gerhard and State Man but, in all likelihood, the former will go novice chasing with the latter staying over the smaller obstacles. The novice chaser the team are believed to be most excited about though is EL FABIOLO (6/1 generally) who looks tailormade for the Arkle Trophy. Described as ‘a monster,’ the five year old was compared favourably with the likes of Laurina, Penhill and Saint Roi when winning easily on his Irish debut at Tramore on New Year’s Day. Having missed Grade 1 engagements at the Dublin Racing Festival and Cheltenham, he wore a hood for the first time when an excellent second behind Jonbon in the Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in April. Stepping up from a maiden hurdle to the highest company, he was hampered at the third last but still got within a neck of Nicky Henderson’s Supreme NH runner-up with 19 lengths back to the third. A comfortable winner at the Punchestown Festival last time, he is all set to go over fences and is expected to be top-class.” WON the Arkle Trophy @ 11/10

WINNERS: QUEENS GAMBLE (9/4), I LIKE TO MOVE IT (17/2)

Quote: I LIKE TO MOVE IT: “I LIKE TO MOVE IT (Nigel Twiston-Davies) will become the first horse to carry 12st to victory since Leotard in 1993, if successful (Detroit City (2006) & Menorah (2010) shouldered 11st 12lb). A dual winner, the five year old scored three times over hurdles last season, including twice at Cheltenham – won the Grade 2 NH on this day last year. Beaten a short head in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in February off 138 (four pounds higher now), he was well held in the County Hurdle last time. Best fresh (240 days off), he is unbeaten on his seasonal reappearances (2 from 2) and appreciates decent ground. Eleven 5yo’s have won this race this century and this is likely to have been the plan for some time. Nigel Twiston-Davies won this with Khyber Kim in 2009 and he commented last month: “We’ve got some tasty races for him; the Greatwood Hurdle, the International Hurdle, things like that planned out for him. We’re going for the big races. There was temptation to go chasing with him, but there’s plenty of time. There’s still money to be won with him over hurdles. We attribute his disappointing run at Cheltenham to him just being a five-year-old at the end of his second season – he’d had enough racing by then. A fast run two mile race brings out the best in him, but I’m sure he’ll want further in time. A strongly run race, and he’ll be great. He’s won on everything so ground doesn’t matter.” WON the Greatwood Hurdle by five and a half lengths @ 17/2

Quote: QUEENS GAMBLE: QUEENS GAMBLE (Top 40 – Oliver Sherwood) couldn’t have been more impressive when winning over C&D in April streaking clear to beat 15 rivals by upwards of ten lengths. The form is strong, too, with the second and third winning since, while the fourth (Dollar Bae) looks a winner waiting to happen. The Getaway filly enjoyed the decent ground in the spring and this has been on her agenda for some time. Absent for 163 days, the only concern is the fact her trainer hasn’t had a winner since May – Dj Pete was runner-up at Bangor on the 25th October.” WON the Listed bumper by 8 lengths @ 9/4

Quote: While the majority of National Hunt enthusiasts will be focussing on the first day of the Cheltenham November meeting, a low key seven race card at Southwell rounds off with a 0-105 handicap hurdle (3.40). Jennie Candlish sent out her first winner for 50 days at Newcastle on Thursday and I have been waiting since the spring for TOMMYDAN to run over two and a half miles over hurdles on decent ground and the ex-Irish gelding finally gets the opportunity at the Nottinghamshire track. Previously handled by Debbie Hartnett across the water, his sole victory came on good ground at Clonmel during the summer of 2021. He first came to my attention while working for Racing TV at Carlisle (2m 1f : Good) in March when a staying on second off a mark of 100. Speaking to Sean Quinlan afterwards, he felt the seven year old needed further. Tried a couple of times over fences in late summer/early Autumn, he ran respectably on testing ground at Carlisle last month finishing fifth (wore a visor). Dropped to a mark of 97, I have backed him each-way at 16/1 (Bet365).” Advised @ 16/1 - 2ND at Southwell (11/11/22) beaten three parts of a length @ 12/1

TALKING TRAINERS: JAMIE SNOWDEN: WINNERS: COLONEL HARRY (1/4), DATSALRIGHTGINO (8/1), GA LAW (5/1), GIT MAKER (8/13 & 8/11), HARDY DU SEUIL (4/1), MILLDAM (15/8), PARK THIS ONE (8/15), PASSING WELL (7/2 & 4/5), ROGER POL (9/4), SUPER SURVIVOR (85/40), YOU WEAR IT WELL (16/1, 5/4, 2/7)

Quote: GA LAW: “Runs in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday and he is in great order at home having schooled well on Wednesday morning. I have been delighted with his preparation and he is in very good form. A Grade 2 winning novice chaser a couple of years ago, he missed the whole of last season due to a leg injury. However, he returned to action at Aintree last month running well in the Old Roan Chase finishing third. We knew he had retained plenty of ability at home and he ran as we had hoped. It was very much a case of using the race as a prep for this weekend and, having made a mistake at the fifth last, he got detached but then stayed on strongly in the homestraight. Good to soft ground is ideal for him.” WON the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham @ 5/1

Quote: PASSING WELL: “A very nice horse who finished runner-up in a bumper at the Punchestown Festival for Robert Tyner before we bought him in May. He is a big gross horse who takes his work well and is a gorgeous individual. The plan is for him to run over hurdles towards the end of November and, then if everything went to plan, aim him at the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury (31st December).” WON on his British debut at Uttoxeter (20/11/22) @ 7/2

FRENCH REVOLUTION – Part II: WINNERS: IBERICO LORD (9/1), INDIANA DREAM (9/4), SINBAD LE MARIN (9/2)

Quote: INDIANA DREAM: A most exciting prospect and very much a horse to follow this winter, the J.P.McManus owned son of Cokoriko joined Willie Mullins in the Autumn. Previously owned by Lord Daresbury, the four year old was trained by Emmanuel Clayeux who has been a rich source of winners for Mullins over the years. Half-brother to Grade 2 winning chaser Ebonite, he won his only start in an AQPS Flat race at Fontainebleau (1m 7f : Very Soft) in February. A big imposing gelding, he raced handily before making his move in the homestraight. Pushed along by Gaetan Masure once pulled out, he ran on well to beat Iceberg Du Large (won over hurdles since) by a length and a quarter. The fourth Invincible Nao won over hurdles by nine lengths at Auteuil in April before being sold to Gary Moore / Harry Redknapp for €155,000. Mullins has been impressed with him since arriving and is likely to be suited by two and a half miles over hurdles.”WON on his Irish debut at Fairyhouse (1/1/23) by 15 lengths @ 9/4

Plus: FLAME BEARER (2/5, 11/10, 17/2), FONTAINE COLLONGES (7/2), HIGH DEFINITION (9/2), IMPAIRE ET PASSE (4 out of 4 including twice at Grade 1 level), KILCRUIT (1/5, 11/4), NED TANNER (7/2 & 5/2), RARE MIDDLETON (2/5), TOMMYDAN (10/1)

Quote: FONTAINE COLLONGES: Venetia Williams’ mare held an entry in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday but the drying ground ruled her out. She remains attractively treated off 132 and her trainer is ready to strike form (no winners this season but 7 seconds during the last fortnight) but I think we will see the ex-French mare at her best when the mud is flying. Look out for when she tackles three miles for the first time, too.”WON at Haydock (3m 1f : Soft) in November @ 7/2

Quote: IMPAIRE ET PASSE (French Revolution): A four year old by Diamond Boy, he has impressed at home since arriving at Closutton with Willie Mullins commentating: “A really nice individual who jumps well and will go novice hurdling. He looks a really nice prospect.” Owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, he could be very useful and shouldn’t be missed on his jumping debut.” WON 4 out of 4 including the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham @ 5/2

Quote: “Nick Alexander had only trained one winner this campaign prior to sending out a treble at Ayr at the end of last month. NED TANNER’s chasing debut didn’t quite go to plan at Kelso last Saturday but the Milan gelding ran much better than his finishing position of fourth suggests. A half-brother to the County Hurdle winner Ted Veale, he won twice over hurdles at Kelso and Ayr last season and returned to the former track for his fencing bow. Sent off 11/8 favourite for the three miles novices’ handicap chase, Sean Quinlan’s mount travelled strongly in behind the leaders and was mounting his challenge when blundering at the second last – he may have been unsighted at the fence because Castletown jumped across him. Quinlan wasn’t hard on the six year old thereafter and that kindness is set to be rewarded in the long run. Rated 117, he is likely prove a good bit better than that over fences in time. He stays well and handles soft ground and will be hard to beat on the Scottish circuit this winter.” WON twice at Kelso @ 7/2 & 5/2

Quote: “The lightly raced THANKSFORTHEHELP is a horse I highlighted in the February Update and David Pipe’s youngster ran a cracker when finishing third in a competitive 24 runner handicap hurdle at the Punchestown Festival. Fitted with a tongue tie and racing off a mark of 109, the Martaline gelding is rated 117 in the UK and remains fairly treated. The Pond House team put him in the two miles five handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday but then removed him before the 10am deadline. The five year old has only raced a handful of times and is favourably treated. Speaking to David during a preview for the season for Value Racing Club, he said the grey has strengthened up since last year and returned from his summer holiday in Ireland looking well. There are definitely races to be won with him from a stable who are in excellent form (40 winners already this season compared to 47 for the whole of last term).” WON twice @ 9/2 & 5/4

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2023

Price: £8.00

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KING GEORGE CHASE: WINNER: BRAVEMANSGAME (11/4)

WELSH NATIONAL: THE BIG BREAKAWAY (Advised @ 14/1) 2nd

Quote: BRAVEMANSGAME (Paul Nicholls) bids to provide the champion trainer with a record breaking thirteenth win in the race. The seven year old has won 5 of his 6 races over fences and is rated 164. A most impressive winner of the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over C&D on this card twelve months ago, he beat Ahoy Senor by seven and a half lengths. Withdrawn from the Brown Advisory NC at the Cheltenham Festival due to soft/heavy ground, his only defeat over fences came at Aintree in April when seemingly over the top. The former Irish pointer returned in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and he stayed on strongly to beat Eldorado Allen by three and a half lengths (the fourth Paint The Dream has won by 14 lengths since). Off since (58 days), this has been his main target all season and it is possible he is at his best during the first half of the campaign. A dual Grade 1 winner, his record racing right-handed is 13611.” WON by 14 lengths @ 11/4

Quote: THE BIG BREAKAWAY (Joe Tizzard) is a horse I have always had a lot of time for having been purchased for €360,000 in May 2019 following an impressive win in his only Irish point for Donnchadh Doyle. Fourth in the Grade 1 Ballymore NH and third in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020 and 2021 respectively, the seven year old was also a close second in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton. Without a win in four races last season, he reportedly suffered with sore shins but made an encouraging return to action at Haydock last month. Lining up in a competitive three miles handicap chase off a mark of 144, he came off the bridle early on but was back in contention leaving the backstraight on the final circuit. Denied by a head behind Fontaine Collonges, he was conceding twelve pounds to Venetia Williams’ progressive winner. Raised four pounds since, he is unbeaten at the track and his record on soft ground is 114122 (never raced on heavy). Trainer Joe Tizzard commented in the Autumn: “He seems lovely, and we had issues with his shins all of last season that was holding us up and then he didn’t run very well at Kempton. They have been treated and there’s a big pot in him - I could see him running well in a Welsh National or something like that. He gallops all day and the slower pace in those long-distance events would allow him to just lob along. I still rate him highly – he still shows us a lot at home and he’s not an old horse, either.” Speaking last week, Tizzard remarked: “It has been the plan all season and he has come out of the race at Haydock really well, he seems really good. The way he ran at Haydock ticked a lot of boxes – the first circuit wasn’t great but then he seemed to gain his confidence. He ran a blinder and was unfortunate to just get touched off. So next stop is Chepstow which has always been the plan. He is a horse we have always held in high regard and although he hasn’t quite delivered yet, on his day he is a good horse and hopefully this race will work out well for him.” The stable won this with Native River (2016) & Elegant Escape (2018). Best Price: 14/1 (William Hill)” Advised @ 14/1 – finished 2nd

The HORSE I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING RUN OVER CHRISTMAS

RICH RICCI – ALLEGORIE DE VASSY & QUAIS DE PARIS – Both WON

ANTHONY BROMLEY – BLUE LORD – WON at 2/1

Quote: STAY AWAY FAY: Another cracking young prospect, the winning Irish pointer had his palate cauterized in September and reportedly doesn’t show a great deal at home. However, there was plenty to like about his Rules debut when responding to pressure before winning decisively at Newbury’s Winter Festival last month. Contesting a 2m 4f novice hurdle which Paul Nicholls has won with subsequent Challow Hurdle winners Bravemansgame (2020) and Stage Star (2021), the Shantou gelding was fitted with a tongue tie and was returning from an absence of 355 days. Pushed along before the third last, he picked up strongly on the approach to the final flight before taking over on the run-in. A five lengths winner from Heezer Geezer (won since - Harry Skelton felt it was the strongest novice hurdle he had ridden in all season), the second is rated 129 and they pulled a further ten lengths clear of the 125 rated third. His finishing effort suggested the five year old will be more at home over further and, after contacting the champion trainer last week, it is possible he will head to Kempton (14th January) for a three miles novice hurdle – Nicholls won the race in 2020 & 2021. He is also toying with the idea of aiming him at the Grade 2 River Don Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster (28th January) a fortnight later. The Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle is expected to be his spring target and, longer term, he will make a lovely staying chaser.” WON the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham @ 18/1

Quote: HERMES ALLEN (Irish Pointers): Paul Nicholls has won the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury (31st December) four times during the last 20 years, including the last two renewals. The Poliglote gelding is expected to be a warm order to ensure the prize returns to Somerset once again. Purchased for £350,000 in December 2021, the five year old has looked smart in both starts under Rules for Team Ditcheat. He made all to win a two miles six maiden hurdle at Stratford during the Autumn by 27 lengths before elevated in class. A month later, the same tactics were employed in a Grade 2 novice at Cheltenham’s November meeting. With the exception of the second last, his jumping was electric and he lengthened away to beat the 131 rated Music Drive by nine lengths. In terms of the best of British middle distance novice hurdlers, the five year old is near the top but Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins (Hubrisko) fielded the second and fourth respectively and neither are anywhere near the summit of their own novice hurdlers, let alone the whole of Ireland. The former pointer will be hard to beat at Newbury but, rather like Bravemansgame in the Ballymore NH a couple of years ago, I fear he will find one or two too good in March. A superb jumper, he is future Brown Advisory NC material.” WON the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury (31/12/22) @ 11/10

TALKING TRAINERS: SANDY THOMSON: WINNERS: BENSON (2/1 & 11/1), BLUE BALOO (10/1), CARCACI CASTLE (7/4), DONNA’S DOUBLE (100/30), EMPIRE STEEL (4/1), STORM NELSON (6/5)

Quote: BENSON: “Purchased for £7,000 during the spring, he has already earned over £25,000 in prize-money finishing runner-up on all three starts since joining us. Having finished second at Carlisle and Haydock, he was narrowly beaten in a competitive handicap hurdle at Aintree’s Becher Chase meeting this month. The handicapper has raised him three pounds since and the plan is to run him in the 0-140 two and a half miles handicap hurdle at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day (3.20). We are still learning about him and, in all likelihood, he will be wearing some headgear next time.” WON at Musselburgh (1/1/23) by 11 lengths @ 2/1 – wore cheekpieces.

Quote: BLUE BALOO: “From the family of Oscar Whisky, she is leased to us by her breeder Stephanie Hanly and she took on the geldings in a newcomers bumper at Ayr in late October running well in fourth. She will contest the mares’ bumper at Newcastle on Boxing Day (3.10) and is a nice filly.” WON the mares’ bumper at Newcastle (26/12/22) @ 10/1

The IRISH ANGLE - Declan PHELAN: WINNERS: BALLYBURN (7/4 & 10/11), CARBON KING (15/8 & 2/1), DOWN MEMORY LANE (5/6), TULLYHILL (4/6)

Quote: BALLYBURN looked very smart when winning for team Dennison on their home track at Loughanmore.  This fine big son of Flemensfirth already looks like a Graded track winner in waiting,” WON two bumpers at Punchestown (7/4 & 10/11)

Quote: “Team McManus were smitten by the smooth victory of DOWN MEMORY LANE at Umma: he made light work of modest rivals: a son of Walk In The Park with natural gears, he may prefer nice ground and can make hay in a spring bumper...posted to Gordon Elliott to train.” WON on Rules debut in a bumper at Fairyhouse (25/2/23) by four and a half lengths @ 5/6

WINNERS: DIVERGE (10/11), FUN FUN FUN (9/4), GREY DAWNING (5/4 & 9/2), IMPERIAL MERLIN (7/1), OUTLAW PETER (4/9, 3/1), ZENTA (4/9 & 5/4)

Quote: Kempton’s Boxing Day fixture on Monday rounds off with a competitive looking handicap hurdle over two miles five (3.40). Dan Skelton is set to run the novice GREY DAWNING who doesn’t look overburdened off a mark of 123. The Flemensfirth gelding won both his bumpers at Wetherby last season and was viewed as a potential Graded novice hurdler (see page 130 of One Jump Ahead) at the start of the campaign. Beaten a length and a quarter on his first start over obstacles at Aintree (2m 4f) in November, he then successfully dropped back to the minimum trip at Exeter when beating Lallygag (won since) when in receipt of three pounds. Well clear of the remainder, he will appreciate the return to this longer distance and the track will suit. It will be disappointing if the grey doesn’t prove considerably better than his opening mark.” WON at Kempton (26/12/22) @ 5/4 & Grade 2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick (14/1/23) @ 9/2

Quote: “James Reveley also partnered ZENTA to victory on her hurdles bow at the same track in a Listed mares’ hurdle in September and the triple French champion jockey was impressed. The Pastorius filly was also trained by Mele and she had finished six and a half lengths third on the Flat at Clairefontaine (1m 4f : Good/Soft) in early August. Switched to hurdles, she was patiently ridden before making her move turning for home. Switched to the stands’ side, she produced a big jump at the second last and hitting the front soon afterwards. Driven out to win by a length and a half, her rider stated: I pressed the "turbo" button and she accelerated to win very easily. She is a professional filly.The sixth has won since.” WON twice including the Grade 1 4YO Hurdle at Aintree (13/4/23) @ 5/4

FEBRUARY 2024

Price: £6.00

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CORAL TROPHY HANDICAP CHASE: WINNER: OUR POWER (Advised @ 12/1)

Quote: “The Coral Trophy Handicap Chase at Kempton (25th February) has attracted 35 entries. At first glance, there appears to be no shortage of front runners, namely Annsam, Black Gerry, Bobhopeornohope and Remastered amongst others. At the time of writing, the weights haven’t been published but former King George winner Frodon will carry top weight off with his rating of 161, if given the go-ahead by Paul Nicholls. The entry which appeals most is OUR POWER who finished third in the race twelve months ago. Formerly trained by Christian Williams, Alan King and Nigel Twiston-Davies, the Dai Walters owned gelding joined Sam Thomas at the start of last season and he won twice at Wincanton and Huntingdon and is well suited by flat, right handed tracks. Beaten eight and a quarter lengths off 136 last year, he didn’t get the clearest of runs turning for home and nodded on landing at the last. Charlie Deutsch’s mount crossed the line with plenty more to give and he looked better than ever when winning on his reappearance in a Grade 3 handicap chase at Ascot in October. A two lengths scorer off 136, he led after the last and won going away by two lengths from Danny Kirwan. The Power gelding was due to contest the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury in late November but was a late withdrawal. Absent since, he will arrive fresh and we know he goes well following a break. Five pounds higher than his Ascot victory, Our Power boasts decent course form (3353) and, while he handles soft ground, he is more at home on good or good to soft ground. Having only raced seven times over fences, he is open to further improvement especially over this trip (31). If Frodon runs off top weight with 11st 12lb, Sam Thomas’ runner will carry 10st 6lb. He is available at 12/1 (Bet365, Coral, Paddy Power, Unibet).”Advised @ 12/1 won the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase at Kempton (25/2/23) @ 11/2

FIRST TME OUT BUMPER WINNERS: BRIGHTERDAYSAHEAD (2/1 & 5/4), PREDATORS GOLD (4/1), SPECULATRIX (4/6), WHAT’S UP DARLING (3/1)

Quote: The O’Leary’s also bought a selection of well bred stores last year. Arguably their most exciting purchase was BRIGHTERDAYSAHEAD, a four year old filly by Kapgarde out of Matnie. She was bought for €310,000 at the Tattersalls Derby Sale last summer and is a half-sister to dual Grade 1 winner Mighty Potter. She is believed to be in training with Gordon Elliott and is one to watch out for in a mares’ bumper during the second half of the season.” WON 2 out of 2, including on her debut at Gowran Park (18/2/23) by 13 lengths @ 2/1

Quote: PREDATORS GOLD is also stationed at Closutton and he is an unraced four year old by Masked Marvel. The French bred cost €100,000 at the Goffs Land Rover Sale last year and is out of Shabby Gold. He is a half-brother to Le Ribardon who won 19 times in France.” WON the valuable Goffs Defender Bumper at the Punchestown Festival (25/4/23) @ 4/1

Quote: SPECULATRIX is another four year old filly to keep an eye on. A daughter of No Risk At All, she is out of Scorpio Queen who won on her racecourse debut for Nicky Henderson. Bought for €115,000 at the Goffs Land Rover Sale by Gordon Elliott on behalf of the O’Leary’s, she has Samro and Sound Man amongst others in her pedigree.” WON on her debut in a bumper at Punchestown (22/2/23) @ 4/6

Quote: “Gigginstown’s renewed spending spree continued throughout 2022 and they paid £280,000 for the winning pointer WHAT’S UP DARLING at the Cheltenham December Sale. A gelded son of Shirocco, he is a full-brother to Ben Pauling’s useful chaser Your Darling and he raced twice for John Costello. Having unseated his rider at the second last on his debut at Dromahane last spring, he made amends in no uncertain terms at Quakerstown a few days before going through the sales ring. A thirteen lengths winner under Conor Costello, his trainer said: “This is a really nice horse who is owned by my wife Grainne. She picked him out herself and he is the first horse since Florida Pearl to carry her colours. This horse was running a big race on his debut at Dromahane last season when he would have been placed.” In training with Gordon Elliott, he is considered a top-class horse in the making according to those at Cullentra and is one to watch out for on his Rules debut, which is likely to be in a bumper shortly.” WON by 6 lengths at Tipperary (4/5/23) @ 3/1

TALKING TRAINERS: BEN PAULING: WINNERS: BANGERS AND CASH (6/1), DENSWORTH (13/8), HENRY’S FRIEND (2/1), JOE DADANCER (5/4), MUCHO MAS (4/1). THE JUKEBOX MAN (3/1)

Quote: BANGERS AND CASH: “A progressive young chaser who has won twice this season, including the Lincolnshire National at Market Rasen on Boxing Day. His ability has never been an issue, it has been more a case of letting him do things in his own time. Even at Market Rasen, he was still green and will only improve with racing. Long-term, I view him as a Welsh National type but more immediately he runs in the Masters Handicap Chase at Sandown on Saturday (3.30). Depending on how he performs, we might consider the Eider Chase at Newcastle (25th February) or the Midlands National at Uttoxeter (18th March). The Highland National at Perth (28th April), which we won with Slipway last season, is another option. Still maturing, he is developing into a lovely staying chaser.”WON at Taunton (13/3/23) @ 6/1

Quote: THE JUKEBOX MAN: “Another very nice young horse we purchased at the Goffs UK Tingle Creek Sale at the end of last year. A six lengths winner of his Irish point, he achieved a high rating in the process and he didn’t cost the earth due to his confirmation. He is a sound horse though who goes nicely at home. He will want a trip in time but isn’t slow. A lovely individual, he will make his debut in a bumper shortly and I am expecting him to run well.”WON at Ffos Las (9/4/23) @ 3/1

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL PREVIEW 2024

Price: £10.00

Example t

WINNERS: EL FABIOLO (11/10), GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (7/5), IMPAIRE ET PASSE (5/2), LOSSIEMOUTH (11/8)

Quote: GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (Willie Mullins) won his only race for Arnaud Chaille-Chaille in France before joining Willie Mullins. The Timos gelding won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival before registering his first Grade 1 win at the Punchestown Festival. Sent chasing last term, the seven year old looked even better winning three of his four starts with his only defeat coming when falling after the last in the Turners Novices’ Chase with the race in safe keeping. Grade 1 wins either side of that at Leopardstown and Fairyhouse have been added to in two outings this campaign. A thirteen lengths winner of the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Fairyhouse (2m 4f), he successfully returned to three miles in the Irish Gold Cup at the DRF at Leopardstown. Pulling away after the last, Paul Townend’s mount beat stablemate Stattler by eight lengths and it took the champion jockey some time to pull up his partner afterwards. Unbeaten over three miles (2 from 2 with wins by 12 and 8 lengths), it will be a surprise if he doesn’t stay further – in fact, it is expected to bring about even more improvement. His record at Grade 1 level is 611F111. Cheltenham Gold Cups are invariably won by classy chasers nowadays who have the speed for shorter trips – Kauto Star, Sizing John and A Plus Tard were Grade 1 winners over two miles – and the Mullins trained superstar fits that bill.”WON the Cheltenham Gold Cup @ 7/5

Quote: IMPAIRE ET PASSE (French Revolution – Willie Mullins) was an impressive winner of a bumper at Nancy (1m 4f : Soft) in France when trained by Yannick Fouin in March last year. Subsequently bought for €155,000 at an online sale 10 days later, he has quickly established himself as an exciting prospect winning twice over obstacles for Willie Mullins. An eighteen lengths scorer at Naas (2m 3f) in December, he stretched away in the homestraight and was elevated in class soon afterwards. The Diamond Boy gelding then provided Ireland’s champion trainer with his ninth victory in the Grade 2 Sky Bet Moscow Flyer NH at Punchestown (2m) in mid January. Jumping fluently, Paul Townend’s mount led before the last and then pulled clear on the run-in to beat the 131 rated mare The Model Queen by six and a half lengths conceding seven pounds (the third was runner-up in a Listed mares’ NH next time). While he is blessed with plenty of speed, the return to this longer distance shouldn’t be an issue.”WON the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle @ 5/2

Quote: LOSSIEMOUTH (Top 40 – Willie Mullins) has looked a class act this winter and was unlucky not to maintain her unbeaten record at Leopardstown last time having been badly hampered by a stablemate in the backstraight. A ten lengths winner at Auteuil (Very Soft) last spring when under the guidance of Yannick Fouin, the daughter of Great Pretender produced two impressive victories in Graded company at Fairyhouse (both on soft ground) and Leopardstown in December. A four lengths scorer in a Grade 3 on her Irish debut, the Rich and Susannah Ricci owned filly had subsequent dual Grade 2 winner Comfort Zone back in third. She then comfortably saw off the challenge of the aforementioned Gala Marceau conceding three pounds at Leopardstown three weeks later in Grade 2 company. Sent off 1/3 in the Grade 1 at the DRF (Yielding), Paul Townend elected to sit in behind the leaders on the rail and found himself stuck in traffic when the same owner’s Jourdefete was on the retreat. That allowed the leaders, including her old rival Gala Marceau to get first run with Townend forced to bring his mount around the whole field. Beaten two and a half lengths, she pulled ten lengths clear of the third. Willie Mullins felt she had an unduly hard race, but she has had nearly six weeks to recover and she reportedly worked very well at the beginning of the week.”WON the Triumph Hurdle @ 11/8

Quote: IROKO (Olly Greenall & Josh Guerriero) ran two promising races in France when trained by Emmanuel Clayeux finishing fourth behind the aforementioned Icare Allen in a bumper (1m 4f) and then runner-up over hurdles at Auteuil (2m 2f) – that form worked out well with the first, third, fifth and seventh winning subsequently. Acquired by J.P.McManus and sent to Cheshire, the Cokoriko gelding raced twice in Graded company over two miles last term. While not disgraced in either the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle at Chepstow or the Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle at Kempton, he wasn’t quick enough for two miles. Stepped up in distance and sent handicapping, the five year old has shown progressive form winning twice at Wetherby (2m 3f) on good and soft ground off marks of 121 and 128. He was particularly impressive last time when scoring by 14 lengths and his jockey Kevin Brogan was reportedly very taken by him. Raised ten pounds since, I have spoken to a contact within the yard of Olly Greenall and Josh Guerriero, who have had an excellent campaign with 51 winners, and they want to save him for Aintree but his owner is keen to run at the Festival. James Reveley rode him at Auteuil and liked him a lot. His best form is on flat tracks but he was fourth at Chepstow staying on as a juvenile hurdler. His record on soft ground is 4241. The softer the ground, the better his chance.”WON the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle @ 6/1

Quote: YOUR WEAR IT WELL (Jamie Snowden) brings the strongest form into the contest having finished less than five lengths behind Hermes Allen in the Grade 1 Challow NH at Newbury (2m 4f : Soft) on New Year’s Eve. The form has worked out particularly well with the fourth, fifth and sixth winning since (plus Crambo (twice) and Thomas Mor, who both pulled up, have also scored subsequently). Successful in her other three runs over hurdles, the daughter of Midnight Legend won a Grade 2 mares’ hurdle at Sandown (2m 4f : Good/Soft) by seven and a half lengths last time – Love Envoi won the same event en route to glory here. The drop in distance may not be ideal but the New course will suit with more emphasis on stamina. Jamie Snowden remarked on the Value Racing Club preview on Friday evening: “We were a bit concerned about dropping her back to two miles on dry ground but now the rain has arrived, she should be fine. I love her and she has done nothing wrong throughout her career. I thought she was impressive at Sandown and the form of her Challow Hurdle run couldn’t have worked out any better. She is in great form at home.” WON the mares’ novice hurdle @ 16/1

Interview with PAUL NICHOLLS: WINNERS: STAGE STAR (15/2) & STAY AWAY FAY (18/1)

Quote: “STAGE STAR (Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (Wednesday) or Turners Novices’ Chase (Thursday)): “A Grade 1 winning novice hurdler, his form fell apart during the second half of last season. We operated on his wind during the summer and that has made a difference. Having won well on his chasing debut at Warwick, he didn’t jump well next time at Newbury and I think he hated the fast ground. It was a different story on slow ground at Plumpton and Cheltenham on his next two starts and he jumped brilliantly. Rated 152, we have a couple of options this week and he could run in the Brown Advisory over three miles, if the ground is decent. I certainly wouldn’t be afraid to go for the longer trip, especially on good ground. He is not quite as forward in his coat as Bravemansgame, but I am still pleased with him.” WON the Grade 1 Turners Novices’ Chase at 15/2

Quote: STAY AWAY FAY (Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Friday)): “Won an Irish point and we gave him plenty of time and, once again, it has made a huge difference. He won well on his hurdles debut at Newbury and should have followed up in the Grade 2 at Doncaster last time. Narrowly beaten in second, things didn’t work out because he didn’t get any daylight and never saw a hurdle that day. He is rated 136 and I view him as a 150 horse one day. He goes for the Albert Bartlett on Friday and, while he lacks experience, there is a lot more to come from him and I think he is worth a bet because he is a huge price. I am excited about seeing him over fences next season.” WON the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle @ 18/1

Plus: Friday 17th March – NEWCASTLE (5.45)

Quote: “William Haggas believes the twice raced ESTIDAMA is favourably treated and the four year old has the opportunity to prove it in the ten furlongs handicap at Gosforth Park on Friday. Her trainer commented: “Nice filly who is well handicapped off a mark of 78, she won on her debut at Southwell last Autumn. Runner-up next time behind Al Agaila at Kempton, she was conceding seven pounds to the winner who has followed up in her next two starts and is rated 92. She will run at Lingfield on Good Friday (7th April) and we are hoping to gain some black type at some stage.” WON at Newcastle @ 9/4

 

AINTREE GRAND NATIONAL PREVIEW 2024

Price: £8.00

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Quote: BANBRIDGE (Joseph O’Brien) was ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival due to soft ground and therefore arrives fresh (68 days). The seven year old won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last season off a mark of 137. Three weeks later, he was sent off 5/2 favourite for the Grade 1 Sefton NH at this meeting but ran flat and trailed in a well beaten twelfth. Sent chasing this Autumn, he jumped well at Gowran (2m 4f) before winning by eight and a half lengths. Joseph O’Brien’s charge then beat Tommy’s Oscar in a Grade 2 novice chase at Cheltenham (2m : Good) in November. A distant third behind Mighty Potter in the Grade 1 Drinmore NC at Fairyhouse (2m 4f : Soft), the conditions were too slow for the Doyen gelding. A staying on second behind El Fabiolo in the Grade 1 Irish Arkle at Leopardstown (2m 1f) in February, he will appreciate the return to this longer trip. His record over 2m 4f is 4113 and the key to him is the ground – his form figures on good/good to yielding/good to soft are 14110112. His record at Grade 1 level is 032. Ireland won the race in 2015 courtesy of Clarcam – they are 1 from 10 overall.”WON the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices’ Chase @ 2/1

Quote: DANCING ON MY OWN (Henry De Bromhead) hasn’t won since October 2021 and has only been successful in 2 of his 15 starts. However, it should be pointed out he spent 687 days on the sidelines between November 2019 and October 2021. Good fresh (89 days), the nine year old ran an excellent race in this last year (Good/Soft) finishing two and a half lengths second off a mark of 141 (three pounds higher now). He attempted to make all producing some spectacular leaps in the process until being collared approaching the final fence. Well held in two starts this season at Fairyhouse, his best performances have come on left-handed tracks (234P161302) and this is likely to have been the plan for the whole season. Henry De Bromhead won the race in 2019 with Moon Over Germany and racing handily in this from the outset isn’t usually a bad thing. Rachael Blackmore (234P41) rides him for the first time since October 2019. With the weights rising by six pounds, he now carries 11st 10lb (has carried 12st to victory) – Fota Island shouldered the same weight when successful in 2005.”WON the Red Rum Chase @ 15/2

Quote: ZENTA (Christmas Special – Willie Mullins) brings a similar profile to the 2016 winner Apple’s Jade (ex-French filly trained at Closutton who was placed in the Triumph Hurdle on her previous start). The daughter of Pastorius finished third over a mile and a half on her sole outing on the Flat before sent jumping by Daniela Mele. A winner over 2m 2f in a Listed mares’ hurdle at Auteuil in late September, she was bought soon afterwards by J.P.McManus. While her jumping left something to be desired on her Irish debut, she proved too good in a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse (2m : Yielding)beating Hypotenus by three lengths. She then took her chance in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and ran a cracker to finish third behind stablemate Lossiemouth. Beaten two and a half lengths, she moved strongly through the contest and looked a big threat between the final two flights. Provided the Mullins filly is in similar form here, she will take plenty of beating and could prove a class above this opposition.”WON the Grade 1 4YO Hurdle @ 5/4

TALKING TRAINERS: LUCINDA RUSSELL: WINNERS: APPLE AWAY (16/1), CORACH RAMBLER (8/1), EL ELEFANTE (2/1), GIOVINCO (10/1), SERIOUS OPERATOR (6/5)

Quote: CORACH RAMBLER: Runs in the Grand National on Saturday (5.15) and is in great form. While it is not ideal running at the Cheltenham Festival only a month before, we wanted to give him another run and he produced a very good performance to win the Ultima Handicap for a second consecutive year. Ten pounds well in compared to the future, Scu (Peter Scudamore) feels he has improved since and his preparation has gone smoothly. If he takes to the fences, and I don’t see any reason why he won’t, then he goes there with every chance. We have built some National type fences at home and he has had a school over those, which has gone well. He is a smart horse who finished fourth in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury earlier this season and this has always been his target. Our previous winner One For Arthur was a bigger horse and a relentless galloper, whereas Corach has more of a turn of speed. Their running styles are similar though because they both liked to come off the pace. He is effective on most types of ground.” WON the Grand National @ 8/1

Quote: APPLE AWAY: Bought at the Cheltenham April Sale nearly a year ago having won an Irish point, she has developed into a useful novice hurdler. A three times winner this season, including a Listed mares’ novice hurdle at Doncaster last month, her target is the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree on Friday (4.40). We won the race with Ahoy Senor a couple of years ago and Haut Estime was third last season. Indeed, she is similar to the latter in that she stays very well and is a strong traveller. In many respects, she reminds me of Brindisi Breeze, too. A relentless galloper, she gets on well with Derek (Fox) and we have been pleased with her since Doncaster. Good to soft ground is ideal.” WON the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle @ 16/1

Quote: GIOVINCO: He ran in three Irish points winning in November before we bought him at the Cheltenham December Sale. He has taken well to hurdles, too, winning both his starts at Ayr and Carlisle last month. Quite an edgy sort, he is a bit of a worrier and has needed his confidence building. However, he is going the right way and is ready for a step up in grade. It is all about gaining experience and we are going to run him in the Listed novice hurdle at Perth (26th April). Despite the fact both his wins over hurdles have been over two and a half miles, Scu thinks he is a three miler in the making. He is another very nice horse to look forward to over fences in the future.” WON Listed novice hurdle at Perth (26/4/23) by 12 lengths @ 10/1

ALL 5 UPDATES (One Jump Ahead)

Price: £40.00

ONE JUMP AHEAD & ALL 5 UPDATES

Price: £46.99

£10.99

(Print copy sold out - digital PDF copy available)

 

Ahead On The Flat

The Top Flat Horses To Follow for 2023

Foreword by Ed CHAMBERLIN, ITV Racing

“I’ve known Mark Howard for many years now and he’s an outstanding analyst and judge. He’s also got a contact book that is the envy of everyone in the game.”

Stable Interviews:

Charlie APPLEBY, Andrew BALDING, Ralph BECKETT, George BOUGHEY, Karl BURKE, Michael DODS, Tim EASTERBY, William HAGGAS, Roger VARIAN.

Quotes from Talking Trainers:

“Bred to stay a mile and a half, I think he will develop into a top-class middle distance horse.” CHARLIE APPLEBY

“He has a lovely attitude and we are going to run him in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York (18th May) and, if he stays a mile and a half, I think he will be a major player in the Epsom Derby (3rd June).” ANDREW BALDING

“The gelding operation has made a difference and he could be a Britannia Stakes horse at Royal Ascot.” RALPH BECKETT

“I think she is a very nice filly who will have a good year this season. She could develop into a Sandringham Handicap contender at Royal Ascot over a mile but it is possible a mile and a quarter will be more of her trip.”WILLIAM HAGGAS

“A racey colt, I like him and am hoping he will develop into a Britannia Stakes contender at Royal Ascot.” ROGER VARIAN

Ahead On The Flat (160 pages) also features the following sections:

The Top 40 Prospects – 41 winners in 2022. 3 British Classic winners – COROEBUS (2000 Guineas), ELDAR ELDAROV (St Leger) & TUESDAY (Oaks). 10 individual Pattern race winners, including Group 1 scorer BAY BRIDGE (Champion Stakes) & German 2000 Guineas winner MALJOOM.

Ballydoyle Juvenileswell bred unraced Two Year olds trained by Aidan O’Brien. Last year’s selections included 4 Group 1 winners – BLACKBEARD (5 wins), LITTLE BIG BEAR (4 wins), MEDITATE (5 wins – Breeders’ Cup) & VICTORIA ROAD (4 wins – Breeders’ Cup).

Maidens In Waiting – a selection of lightly raced three year olds who ought to be shedding their maiden tags shortly. There were 16 winners in the 2022 edition, including Group 1 winner ABOVE THE CURVE.

Significant Sales – 10 horses who will be racing for new connections this summer having gone under the hammer in recent months. The winners last season included BLUE FOR YOU (11/2), MAKSUD (12/1) & MASHHOOR (7/1).

Stable Gossip – the latest news from Sir Michael Stoute’s powerful yard.

Unraced Three Years & Horses to follow from Ireland & France

Appendix – a comprehensive analysis of the leading sprinters, milers, middle distances and stayers for the season ahead

Index – anextensive index covering over 500 horses

 

How To Order

Price: £10.99 including postage (£15.99 overseas)

Available direct from:

Mark Howard Publications Ltd. 69 Fairgarth Drive, Kirkby Lonsdale, Carnforth, Lancashire. LA6 2FB.

Available from specialist horse racing shops:

RACEFORM (via www.racingpost.com/shop)

ISBN: 978-1-9161259-5-7

Ahead On The Flat Updates – VIA EMAIL ONLY

Once again, I shall be producing 3 Ahead On The Flat Updates. The first Update will be a preview of the prestigious Royal Ascot meetingin June, the second will be a preview of the historic four day York Ebor meeting in August and the third will concentrate on the major Autumn races. There will be an in-depth analysis of races such as the Cambridgeshire, Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe and Cesarewitch. Please note, the Updates are ONLY AVAILABLE VIA EMAIL (Not Post).

It is £10 for the Royal Ascot Update and £6 for the York & Autumn Updates (or £19 for ALL 3) via EMAIL.

Summary of last year’s 3 Ahead On The Flat Updates:

What The Clients Said:

“Once again it is an outstanding piece of work, with so much detail. You have said to me before it's your hobby, but you deserve nothing but the highest praise not only for each publication but the updates as well, as all are thoroughly researched and are compulsive reading. And already the winners are beginning to flow.” M.M.

“Another outstanding day for the Top 40 inclusions Mark with both Blackrod and Coroebus winning quality races at Newmarket. Thank you for the information & l hope this great run continues.” K.M.

“Absolutely excellent publication, worth its weight in gold, year in, year out. A lot of punters are very indebted.” K.F.

“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for your brilliant book. They’re always brilliant but what I really enjoy is the Talking Trainers section where early / main season targets are highlighted. I had a lovely result today ante post on Cruyff Turn at 16/1 based solely on page 73 of AOTF 22. Just fantastic.” J.J.

“Terrific early season strike with Al Husn and Maljoom today Mark. I received my copy of Ahead On The Flat on Saturday and my first bets of two singles and a double have paid dividends two days later. Thank you and may the outstanding information continue.” K.M.

“Thanks for all your hard work leading up to Royal Ascot. Had a great week and with your input invaluable. Had a bet in every race and ended £400 up. Thanks Mark, top class as always.” A.S.

“I've had a great week thanks to the Ascot update but also for this year's Ahead On The Flat. Highlighting Candleford, Deauville Legend, Perfect Power and Heredia. Thank you so much for the many years I've been following your brilliant publications.” E.E.

“Candleford! Brilliant, just brilliant Mark. I didn't get the 14's but did get 12's.

Keep up the good work mate.” I.P.

“Thanks for the incredible service and depth of Knowledge passed on this year.” C.H.

“What a Friday! Perfect Power & Candleford both given fantastic write ups!

My Cheltenham membership is paid for.” S.T.

“Thank you for Blue for you. What tipping, you even said what race in AOTF. Brilliant.” T.B.

“Just a quick note to say that, not only is the OJA fantastic, but the autumn update is still paying for itself on the flat.  I wouldn't have found Knight before his debut without a tip, and he's taken two cracking wins now.  Looks a smart one and long may the bookies keep ignoring him.  Thanks as ever.” A.B.

“Thanks for the info. re Spit Spot, well worth waiting for!” A.T

Ahead On The Flat Updates

ROYAL ASCOT

Price: £10.00

Example t

7 WINNERS: NATURE STRIP (Advised @ 11/4), LITTLE BIG BEAR (Advised @ 3/1), MAGICAL LAGOON (Advised @ 4/1), KYPRIOS (13/8), PERFECT POWER (Advised @ 9/2), CANDLEFORD (Advised @ 12/1), HEREDIA (Advised @ 14/1)

2 selections in the KING’S STAND STAKES – NATURE STRIP (Advised @ 11/4) & TWILIGHT CALLS (11/1) – 1st & 2nd

Plus: DEAUVILLE LEGEND (Advised @ 14/1 – 2nd in the King George V Stakes)

Quote: NATURE STRIP (Chris Waller) represents Australia who dominated this event earlier this century – Choisir (2003), Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007) and Scenic Blast all won this. The seven year old is trained by Chris Waller (his fifth different trainer) and he is an eight times Group 1 winner. Successful in 20 of his 37 races and rated 124, he was a triple Group 1 winner last season. Beaten twice over five furlongs earlier this year, including behind stablemate Home Affairs on his reappearance at Flemington in February, he won the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes for a third time at Randwick (6f) in April. Three seven year olds have won the race this century, including the aforementioned Takeover Target. His record in Group 1 events over five furlongs is 81412 compared to 411211 over six furlongs. James McDonald (1441141124721121131) who rode Expert Eye to win the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2018, is on board and he is drawn in the middle in stall 10 which gives his rider options. His rider commented over the weekend: “Nature Strip is the best sprinter I’ve ridden and one of the best sprinters Australia has seen. I think he will really appreciate the stiff five furlongs at Ascot.” Advised @ 11/4 WON the King’s Stand Stakes @ 9/4

“There is pace across the track with Winter Power (stall 1), Khaadem (4), Nature Strip (10), Ponntos (12), Golden Pal (13). I think NATURE STRIP (11/4 Skybet) will take some stopping with his vast experience and he is a proven top-class sprinter. I also suggest backing TWILIGHT CALLS with conditions very much in his favour. Drawn in stall 6, he should travel strongly into the race under Ryan Moore and will relish the fast ground.”TWILIGHT CALLS 2nd @ 11/1

Quote: LITTLE BIG BEAR (Ballydoyle Juveniles - Aidan O’Brien) is a son of No Nay Never who was bought for €320,000. Beaten a short head on his first start at the Curragh (6f : Yielding), he was suited by the drop back to the minimum trip next time at Naas (5f : Yielding/Soft). Sent off 4/9 favourite, he travelled powerfully before taking over inside the final furlong and stretching clear of the well regarded Alexis Zorba (had been runner-up behind Blackbeard on his debut) to win by three lengths. Seamie Heffernan did the steering and said afterwards: “He's a big colt with loads of pace. Little Big Bear finished out the race well so hopefully he keeps progressing. He's a massive colt with plenty of boot. I was always comfortable. He was the class horse of the race and he finished well. He has buckets of pace. He started off at six and came back to five. He has buckets of pace but he relaxes. They need to progress from run to run and be up for the fight. He ticks all the boxes.” Fast ground is the unknown quantity because his dam won on good and soft. Aidan O’Brien has won this twice (Washington DC (2015) & Southern Hills (2019)).”Advised @ 3/1 WON the Windsor Castle Stakes @ 6/5

Quote: “MAGICAL LAGOON (Jessica Harrington) hasn’t raced beyond ten furlongs but is a half-sister to the King George winner Novellist. Bought for 305,000gns as a yearling, she is rated 107 and won the Group 3 Flame of Tara Stakes at the Curragh last summer. Seventh in the Fillies Mile at Newmarket, the Galileo filly was beaten a short head by Concert Hall (fourth in the Oaks since) on her reappearance at Navan. A short head behind Aidan O’Brien’s winner, the subsequent Listed winner Cairde Go Deo was third and Group 3 winner Tranquil Lady was fourth. Given her pedigree, she is a strong contender although she has yet to encounter a fast surface.” Advised @ 4/1 WON the Ribblesdale Stakes @ 11/4

Quote: KYPRIOS (Aidan O’Brien) has yet to race beyond a mile and six but is a full brother to the Chester Cup winner Falcon Flight and the dual Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song. A winner over ten furlongs at Cork last year, he was fourth in the Lingfield Derby Trial before being withdrawn from the Queens Vase having got upset in the stalls. Absent for 350 days, the son of Galileo has improved this term since stepped up in distance. A two and three quarter lengths winner from his older sibling Search For A Song in the Listed Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan in April, Leading Light won the same event en route to Gold Cup glory in 2014. Aidan O’Brien’s four year old then produced an even better performance to land the Group 3 Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown making all the running before stretching 14 lengths clear of the 101 rated Sunchart. Order of St George completed the Saval Beg / Gold Cup double. Another former Ballydoyle inmate Fame And Glory completed the Vintage Crop / Saval Beg / Gold Cup treble in 2011. Yet to race on fast ground (his siblings Falcon Flight, Free Eagle and Search For A Song won on good to firm), he handles good and heavy conditions with Aidan O’Brien hoping to scoop the prize for an eighth time. This will be his sternest test to date and his first run above Group 3 company but goes there at the top of his game.”WON the Ascot Gold Cup @ 13/8

Quote: PERFECT POWER (Richard Fahey) drops back to sprinting having been tried over further during the spring. Having won the Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury in April, he didn’t appear to stay when six and a quarter lengths seventh in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket (connections feel the drying ground was against him, too). Richard Fahey’s son of Ardad was a top-class juvenile winning four times, including the Norfolk Stakes twelve months ago. A dual Group 1 winner, he captured the Prix Morny at Deauville (Good/Soft) before following up in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. Despite form figures of 111 on good to firm, Fahey believes he prefers an ease in the ground. Still unexposed over six furlongs (511), he gets on well with Christophe Soumillon (3 from 4) and his trainer went close to winning this with Sands of Mali in 2018.” Advised @ 9/2 WON the Commonwealth Cup @ 7/2

Quote: CANDLEFORD (William Haggas) isn’t guaranteed to get a run off his mark 91 (number 36) but this has been his target all year (see page 84 of AOTF). A half-brother to Royal Ascot winner Atty Persse, he has won 2 of his 7 races and is open to further improvement. Successful over ten and twelve furlongs at Windsor and Kempton respectively last year, he beat the subsequent Chester Cup runner-up Coltrane at the latter venue by three lengths off a mark of 85 in November. Off since (219 days), it has always been the plan to come straight here. Runner-up in a heritage handicap over C&D in September (later disqualified), he is a horse to keep an eye on.” Advised @ 12/1 WON the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes @ 11/2

Quote: HEREDIA (Richard Hannon) maintained her unbeaten record when overcoming a slow start and meeting traffic problems to win by a head at York (7f : Good) last month against older rivals on her handicap debut off a mark of 91. Raised seven pounds since, he won at Windsor and Newbury last term and handles fast ground. Yet to race beyond seven furlongs, her dam won a Group 3 over a mile and the daughter of Dark Angel is expected to be suited by this longer trip. The stable won this with Osaila in 2015.” Advised @ 14/1 WON the Sandringham Handicap @ 7/2

Quote: MISSED THE CUT (George Boughey) is proving to be another terrific buy for George Boughey having been acquired unraced for 40,000gns in February. A $400,000 foal, he was unraced for Roger Varian before going the sales ring once again. The Quality Road colt was fourth behind New London and Aldous Huxley on his debut at Newmarket (1m 2f) in April before winning by eleven lengths next time at Pontefract (1m : Good/Firm). Stepped back up to a mile and a quarter, he won under a penalty at Salisbury (1m 2f : Good) by five and a half lengths and the third and fourth have won since. Given an opening mark of 95, his trainer feels he is his best chance of the week and is improving at a rate of knots.” WON the Golden Gates Stakes @ 5/2

WINNERS: AIGHEAR (15/2, 11/2), SOPHIESTICATE (11/8, 16/5), SPIT SPOT (14/1), STAY ALERT (5/1), TUXEDO JUNCTION (10/11)

Quote: SPIT SPOT: Chris Wall has his team in good order with 3 winners during the last fortnight, including handicap debutant Chips And Rice dead heating at Haydock on Thursday evening. Earlier in the week, the former assistant to Sir Mark Prescott introduced a promising filly at Windsor. SPIT SPOT is a daughter of Sir Percy and is bred to stay well being out of a two miles hurdle winner. Homebred, she contested a ten furlongs novice stakes at the Thames venue (Soft) and was sent off 80/1. Drawn in stall 12, Callum Shepherd’s mount was slowly away and ridden with the future in mind. She stayed on stoutly inside the final quarter of a mile as the runners headed for the far rail. Beaten a dozen lengths, she is bred to stay further and we probably won’t see the best of her until she is handicapped.” WON @ 14/1 at Chelmsford (24/9/22) off a mark of 68 over one mile six.

YORK EBOR FESTIVAL

Price: £6.00

Example t

5 WINNERS: CHALDEAN (Advised @ 7/1), SHOULDVEBEENARING (5/2), BLUE FOR YOU (Advised @ 8/1), NOBLE STYLE (Advised @ 7/2), SOULCOMBE (Advised @ 6/1).

Plus: EMARAATY ANA (Advised E/W @ 16/1 – 3rd @ 12/1)

Quote: CHALDEAN (Andrew Balding) was an expensive foal (550,000gns) and is a half-brother to Group 2 winner Alkuwait. A promising fifth on his first start at Newbury (6f) in June behind Seductive Power, he stepped forward next time and produced a fine effort to win by three parts of a length at the same track over an extra furlong. Drawn on the outside in stall 13, he was kept wide throughout by David Probert before staying on well. The second, third and fourth have won since. Entered in the Champagne, Royal Lodge and Dewhurst Stakes, he is ready for a rise in class and Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle.” Advised @ 7/1 WON the Acomb Stakes @ 7/2

Quote: “Richard Hannon has dominated this valuable prize in recent years with Stormy Clouds (2016), Tangled (2017), Mums Tipple (2019) and Happy Romance (2020) all scoring for the Wiltshire trainer. Sean Levey rode three of those winners and he is set to partner the twice SHOULDVEBEENARING – Hannon’s only entry. A colt by Havana Gold who cost £40,000, he hasn’t been seen for 95 days but brings a good level of form into the race. An eyecatching fourth on his debut at Goodwood (5f : Good) in late April, he stayed on strongly five and three quarters of a length behind Rocket Rodney (won twice since including a Listed race and is rated 105 – and was beaten a neck by subsequent Group 1 winner Little Big Bear in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot). Back in action less than three weeks later, he appreciated the step up to six furlongs at Ripon (Good/Firm) registering a cosy success. Travelling well on the outside, he only had to be nudged out to record a length and three quarters victory and the form has worked out well. The third (twice), sixth (twice), eighth (twice) and tenth (twice) have all won since. The Middleham Park Racing owned colt has presumably had an issue since but Hannon will have him in top shape for this. He should have plenty more to offer but needs to break quicker.” WON the Premier Yearling Stakes @ 5/2

Quote: BLUE FOR YOU (Significant Sales – David O’Meara) is one of eight entries trained by David O’Meara in a race the Upper Helmsley stable have won twice (Mont Ras (2013) & Firmament (2016)). Purchased for 65,000gns last Autumn having won twice for Dermot Weld in Ireland (beat subsequent National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes runner-up Wembley in a maiden at Galway as a two year old), he has yet to strike in five runs for his current yard. The New Approach gelding has run well in defeat though finishing third at Sandown before filling the runners-up berth on his last three outings (wore visor each time). Having chased home Eilean Dubh and Ghaly over C&D in July, he then ran very well behind stablemate Orbaan in the Golden Mile Handicap at Goodwood last time. Danny Tudhope’s mount moved through the race like the best horse until being checked for room on the far rail. Once pulled off the fence, the winner had got first run and was beyond recall. A fast run mile at the Knavesmire should be ideal and he handles any surface. Danny Tudhope (7222) rides him ahead of his other stablemates.” Advised @ 8/1 WON the Clipper Logistics Handicap @ 11/2

Quote: HASKOY (Ralph Beckett) is one of five entries for Ralph Beckett (never won the race) and the only once raced filly in the line-up. Owned by Juddmonte, Ryan Moore is provisionally booked to partner the daughter Golden Horn who produced a striking debut at Wolverhampton (1m 4f) last month – Trueshan won the same event in 2019. From the family of Group 1 winner Spinning Queen, she overcame a slow start before making her move on the hometurn. Pulled to the outside by Hector Crouch, she stretched away to register a seven lengths victory. There is some substance to the form, too, with the second and third rated 89 and 87. The 135 rated hurdler Luttrell Lad was eighteen lengths back in seventh. Beckett is a master when it comes to training fillies and it looks significant she immediately heads down the Pattern route.” WON the Listed Galtres Stakes @ 13/2

Quote: NOBLE STYLE (Charlie Appleby) was a leading fancy for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot until an unsatisfactory blood sample ruled him out a couple of days prior to the meeting. A well bred colt by Kingman out of Listed winner Eartha Kitt, he made a striking impression when winning by a length and three quarters on his debut at Ascot (5f) in May beating Walbank (placed in the Norfolk and Molecamb Stakes since) and Royal Scotsman (won the Group 2 Richmond Stakes and placed in the Coventry Stakes). Following a break of 83 days, Charlie Appleby’s colt returned with a comfortable half length victory on the July course (6f : Good/Firm). Having travelled powerfully, he only had to be nudged out close home and his trainer immediately pinpointed this afterwards. The stable won this with subsequent four times Group 1 winner Blue Point (2016) and he could be a similar type one day. William Buick will ride him for the first time in public.” Advised @ 7/2 WON the Gimcrack Stakes @ 3/1

Quote: SOULCOMBE (William Haggas) landed this prize in 2012 and 2019 and this son of Frankel (out of Group 1 winner Ribbons) has improved markedly since gelded and fitted with blinkers. Well held on his first three starts, he was a ready three and a half lengths winner on his handicap debut at Haydock (1m 3f : Soft) in June off 68. He then followed up off 74 at Ascot (1m 4f : Good/Firm) before finishing strongly at Goodwood (1m 4f : Good) last time. In rear early on, he responded to his jockey’s urgings when staying on to get within a length and three quarters of Secret State. His finishing effort suggested this longer distance will be to his liking. He handles any ground.” Advised @ 6/1 WON by four and a quarter lengths @ 3/1

Other WINNERS: LA YAKEL (100/30), SHAARA (7/2)

Quote: “John Gosden has won the Listed John Musker Stakes at Yarmouth (3.20pm – 14th September) five times, including three of the last six renewals. The former champion trainer may have another prime contender for the 2022 edition in SHAARA. She won at the seaside venue on her debut last Autumn before being tried in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury in April. That didn’t go to plan with the Shamardal filly finishing ninth and she was then given a three months break. Returning to action in a fillies’ novice stakes at Haydock (1m : Good/Firm) in July, she ran out a comfortable one and a half lengths winner from Shampion (won next time and York bound). Sent handicapping off a mark of 91 at Nottingham last week, she appreciated the step up to a mile and a quarter stretching away for a length and three quarters win. She is ready for a return to Pattern company and the short trip to the East Anglian track could be just the ticket. A winner on slow and fast ground, she is versatile and looks at least Listed class.” WON the Listed John Musker Stakes at Yarmouth (14/9/22) @ 7/2

STABLE INTERVIEW with JULIE CAMACHO: WINNERS: BALLYCONNEELY BAY (100/30), HOUGOUMONT (11/4), JUDICIAL (5/1), LOOK OUT LOUIS (11/1), MAKANAH (5/4), OSCAR’S SISTER (8/1), RIVERSWAY (15/2, 5/1), SHAQUILLE (12/1)

Quote: BALLYCONNEELY BAY: “Runs at Hamilton on Tuesday in the six furlongs handicap (3.15) and I hope he will give a good account of himself. A likeable sprinter with some good form, including when placed behind Inver Park at Ascot last season, he suffered a serious injury shortly after that run when he collided with the vet’s car at Leicester. He must be a tough horse to have come back from that. We operated on his wind earlier this year and he ran well at Hamilton in June finishing second. He went back there last time but Paul (Hanagan) said the ground was loose on top and he hated it.”WON @ 100/30 at Hamilton (16/8/22)

Quote: LOOK OUT LOUIS: “Even though he handles good to soft, he wants fast ground to show his best. He is in good form at home.”WON @ 11/1 at Haydock (3/9/22) on Good to Firm

Quote: OSCAR’S SISTER: “A full-sister to Wilde Inspiration who won three times for us, she is a nice filly with a lovely attitude. She has run three times finishing second at Haydock last time. We will keep her to seven furlongs this year before stepping up to a mile as a three year old. She will either go to Redcar for a fillies’ novice stakes (27th August) or a nursery at Haydock (1st September). She has come out of her last race well and is in good form at home.” WON @ 8/1 at Haydock (1/9/22)

AUTUMN

Price: £6.00

Example t

Quote: BAY BRIDGE: Despite falling short in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Eclipse at Sandown, Sir Michael Stoute’s lightly raced four year old remains capable of winning at the highest level. Both those defeats were on fast ground (the only times he has raced on such a surface) and the key to him is some give underfoot. An emphatic five lengths winner of the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on his reappearance, he readily accounted for Mostadhaf (runner-up in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes and won the Group 3 September Stakes since) at the Esher venue. A length behind State of Rest at Royal Ascot, he reportedly returned jarred up and it was therefore no surprise to see the son of New Bay struggle in the Eclipse seventeen days later. Four lengths behind Vadeni in fifth, he hasn’t run since but worked well on Sunday and is ready to return to the fray. Entered in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp (2nd October) and Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot (15th October), he wouldn’t disgrace himself in either of those contests granted ease in the ground. Don’t lose faith in him because he looked top-class at Sandown in late spring.” WON the Group 1 Qipco Champions Stakes at Ascot (Good/Soft) @ 10/1

Quote: NOBEL is hoping to make up for lost time this Autumn having been sidelined since winning on his debut at Kempton in December. A colt by Lope De Vega, he cost 825,000gns as a yearling and is out of a middle distance winner trained by Dermot Weld. A three lengths winner over a mile at the Sunbury track last winter, his trainer Andrew Balding was very complimentary about the Qatar Racing owned three year old on page 52 of Ahead On The Flat saying: A very nice colt who won impressively on his debut at Kempton last backend. His victory wasn’t a surprise because we have always liked him. Unfortunately, he has incurred an injury since and won’t be in action again until the second half of the season, which is a real shame because he is very talented.” Entered in a novice stakes over ten furlongs at Epsom (4.00) on Sunday, he is one to look forward to for the rest of this year and beyond.” WON @ 6/4 at Epsom (25/9/22) by two and three quarters of a length.

Quote: THE FOXES (Andrew Balding) has yet to race beyond seven furlongs but is bred to thrive over this extra distance being a full brother to a Listed winner over fourteen furlongs. The Churchill colt is also a half-brother to Group 2 winning stablemate Bangkok and Group 3 winner Tactic (1m 6f). Purchased for 440,000gns, he shaped well on his debut finishing fourth at Newbury – the form has worked out well with Mysterious Night (Grade 1 and Group 3 winner since) and Marbaan (won Group 2) filling second and third. Too keen in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot next time, he faded inside the final furlong finishing a remote ninth. However, he shed his maiden tag at Goodwood on his most recent start staying on well to beat Classic by a neck suggesting a step up to a mile will suit. The runner-up and third have won since. Andrew Balding, who won this with Elm Park eight years ago, commented afterwards: “I was crestfallen when The Foxes was beaten at Ascot, but he ran no race. I've always thought a lot of him and seven furlongs is the bare minimum; he should stay a lot further. In terms of ability, he's up there with Bangkok, but is more relaxed, forward and switched on. I think we'll go for a Stakes race next.” On form, the King Power owned colt needs to improve but that is not impossible over this longer distance.” WON the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket (24/9/22) @ 17/2

Quote: VADENI (Jean-Claude Rouget) runs here in preference to the Champion Stakes at Ascot and tackles a mile and a half for the first time. A Listed winner at two, he was a brilliant five lengths winner of the French Derby at Chantilly (1m 2f : Soft) in June before edging out Mishriff in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown (Good/Firm). Christophe Soumillon didn’t feel he was at peak fitness when a running on third in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown (Soft) in September. The Churchill colt was beaten a length and three quarters by the aforementioned Luxembourg but would have been closer had he not encountered trouble in running in the homestraight. The trip is the unknown having not tried beyond a mile and a quarter. His dam won over a mile at three at Le Mans ten years ago. Despite winning the Prix du Jockey Club on testing ground, his jockey feels he prefers a sounder surface. If he stays, he is a major threat with his trademark turn of foot. Best Price: 11/1 (William Hill).” Advised @ 11/1 – 2nd in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp (2/10/22)

The JUVENILE SCENE – UNRACED TWO YEAR OLDS

Quote: “Owners KHK Racing Ltd have enjoyed a purple patch during September with Eldar Eldarov winning the St Leger and stablemate Sakheer impressively landing the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury by three and a half lengths. Their increasingly familiar yellow and black silks are set to be worn by a couple of highly regarded unraced two year olds in training with Simon and Ed Crisford. KNIGHT is a son of Mehmas who was acquired for 210,000gns as a yearling. Entered in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Doncaster next month, he is a half-brother to the Group 2 winner and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf runner-up Malavath. He is entered in a ‘newcomers’ seven furlongs maiden at Yarmouth (2.24) on Sunday.” WON first time out at Yarmouth (25/9/22) @ 11/2 & WON the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury (22/10/22) @ 10/1

Quote: Charlie Appleby has trained 37 domestic two year old winners from 91 runners (41%) this year and hopes are high the well bred REGAL HONOUR will prove above average in the future. An unraced son of Dubawi who cost 625,000gns, he is a half-brother to Clive Brittain’s dual Group 1 winner Rizeena and Godolphin’s Group 2 winner Summer Romance (won first time out).” WON @ 5/6 at Newmarket (19/10/22)

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