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Tuesday 31 May 2011

Notebook up-to-date

This is the 291st edition of the daily blog page.

No winners for the blog on Saturday, but I really should have followed my gut-feeling and gone with the Friday selection FLOWING CAPE (who was a non-runner on Friday) who ran at Catterick over 6-furlongs and ran-out a very strong winner at 6/1. Then, on Sunday, from the “Notebook” HUMIDOR ran at Nottingham. Unfortunately, he ran loose before the race and (despite have the best of the draw) he faded quickly in the final furlong having held a winning position, and I will forgive him this run.

This is a long blog as it contains all those named in the Notebook as only by posting them on a page like this means that the entries are kept on permanent record and can be looked-up using the “search” facility. Also, I am away for the rest of this week seeing my 8yo son in Cornwall. After that, things will be a bit quiet for the blog as I am “cramming” for some professional exams on 20th June, and then it’s 2 weeks in Ibiza!

I hope that this Notebook list provides some good winners. I am particularly hopeful of a few, such as ZUIDER ZEE who was due to run on Saturday but the going was too fast. KEPLER’S LAW is entered to run on Wednesday but he could be at short odds as he looks to be one of Sir Mark’s multiple handicap winners in the making.
No selections today but I have added a couple more to the Notebook in FLOWING CAPE and XILERATOR who both look capable of following-up last week’s winning efforts.

The Notebook
FLOWING CAPE: 6yo trained by Reg Hollinshead – currently in the form of his life and his latest win was a career-best effort over 6-furlongs. He needs a stiff 6f and I reckon is best at 7-furlongs on good or GF going (31st May).

XILERATOR: 4yo trained by David Nicholls - His half-bro’s Inxile (OR108) and Tax Free (OR112) were very talented and XILERATOR won LTO (only his 7th race) in a fast time racing alone. His close 2nd over 7-furlongs at Newbury last September showed he had potential, tho’ at time of writing I am unaware of his re-rating (31st May).

QUSHCHI: 3yo filly trained by William Jarvis – while everyone else was watching eventual winner Brown Panther, Qushchi (the only filly in the race) showed plenty of ability to stay-on from a similar position as the winner (to who she was giving 2lb) and finish well infront of the remainder of the field. The step-up to 12-furlongs was ideal and, with a revised rating of just OR86 (+3lb) she can prove equal to her dam (OR107) or maybe even her dam’s half-bro, Grand Lodge (2nd in G1 Champion Stakes and OR125) (26th May).

GRUMETI: 3yo trained by Michael Bell – stayed on very well in strong run race over possibly an inadequate, 10-furlong, trip. Half-bro’s were best over 12-furlongs so scope to improve and only raised 6lb to OR73. Could be lot better than this. Note: another boost for Four Nations (see below) (26th May).

KITTY WELLS: 4yo filly trained by Luca Cumani – if you can get odds about this one for the Ebor, do it now! This was only her 5th race and (off a 148-day break) this full sister to St Leger winner Milan (OR125) started slowly, was hampered when entering the straight, then couldn’t find a way thru’ beaten horses. Finally, when in the clear, she made ground hand-over-fist on the runaway winner. She’s been raised 5lb to OR85 so clearly the handicapper saw promise, and she looks well-up to matching her families achievements (26th May)

OUR JOE MAC: 4yo trained by Richard Fahey – challenged, but btn by going (needs give) and as such a tremendous run in a competitive h’cap. Stays on same rating of OR89 which is 2lb below his last winning mark and 7lb below his peak rating. He looks capable of staying beyond a mile (25th May).

TARTAN TRIP: 4yo trained by Andrew Balding – came to win his race and only btn by exceptionally well h’capped rival. Raised just 1lb for that to OR84, which looks lenient. He’s a 3-parts brother of Border Music (OR105) so may prove best at 7-furlongs on GF going. Only 7 turf runs, so probably unexposed on turf (25th May).

The Class 5, mile & 75yds maiden at Nottingham on 17th May was won by MASHAAREF trained by Roger Varian, but I was far more impressed with a couple who finished behind him: MAALI in 2nd and WATERCOURSE in 4th. MAALI did not go on with the winner about 3f-out and had 3+ lengths to make-up. Then, we he got moving he was knocked sideways and virtually stopped by the fast-fading Dervisher (finished in 6th), but picked himself up again and ran-on strong to fail by just a head! MASAAREF has been rated OR82, but MAALI is unrated as yet. WATERCOURSE (finished 4th) stayed on in eye-catching fashion and looks desperate for 10f+. He has been rated OR76. Both MASHAAREF and WATERCOURSE look well-treated, and it may be we’ll have to wait until one of them runs again before we can establish a rating for MAALI (25th May)

KEPLER’S LAW: 3yo gelding trained by Sir Mark Prescott - won this class 6 h’cap over 12-furlongs in a canter off a mark of OR57, and so he should. Bred to run in the Derby, KEPLER’S LAW is a full bro’ to Bashkirov who is still in training in Ireland and was btn less than 5-lengths in the Irish Derby. His half-bro’ Summitville was 2nd in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes and rated OR109. I rate this one 72+ but he could easily be 90+ by September (25th May).

THE MELLOR FELLA: 3yo gelding trained by Richard Fahey – improved over winter and won with contemptuous ease on 3yo debut in good time. Raised 6lb to OR84 for that and it does not look anywhere near enough. Dam-line has some top milers, so he could well get a mile and looks capable of much improvement (23rd May).

JARROW: 4yo gelding trained by David Nicholls – Altho’ not a winner on turf (yet) he’s shown some cracking form, including LTO at Doncaster when 2nd over 6f on “good”. Collect Art (in 3rd) has since won, and the 2lb hike to OR78 looks very lenient considering he raced well as a 3yo (when with Mark Johnston) when 2nd off OR90 over 6f at Newmarket. The winner that day (Cockney Class) is now rated 10lb higher, the 3rd (Kanaf) is 8lb higher, whereas JARROW is now 12lb lower! Johnston could not get the horse to run last summer in sprints and gradually increased his trip till he ran over 9-furlongs. Bought by Nicholls for £27,000, he reverted to 6f and ran well in the race that has thrown-up Karaka Jack and Doctor Parkes. Nicholls trained JARROW’s half-bro Moss Vale (OR109) to win group races, and he was best at 6f and on GF going (23rd May).

BAWAARDI: 5yo gelding trained by Richard Fahey – won well, beating in-form rival aimed at the race, in fast time (TS92). Raised just 4lb to OR90. Only 8 “turf” races – 3 wins, 3 places; at 7-furlongs – 8 runs, 3 wins, 4 places; on GF going – 5 runs, 2 wins, 3 places. At 7-furlongs on GF going, he must be on any shortlist as he has yet to reach his ceiling (20th May).

PIANO: 4yo filly trained by John Gosden – was withdrawn from December sales and, after sauntering to victory LTO, you can see why. Her dam is a full-sister to Mighty (btn a head in G3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes) rated OR112, and half-sis to Group winning sprinter Danehurst. She only raced for the first time last July and has progressed well, if slowly at first. I reckon she’ll be even better over 12f as the progeny of her sire Azamour seem best of 10-furlong-plus. She was raised 10lb to OR90 for that LTO win, which seems a bit harsh, but against her own sex and over 12-furlongs I reckon she can defy it (20th May).

FINE THREADS: 3yo filly trained by Barry Hills - stayed-on well to win 3yo debut over 10f in decent time. Half-bro stayed 12f (4th in Great Voltigeur) and was probably G3 standard. Raised 6lb to OR77, this looks a fair mark if she’s progressive (20th May).

ADMIRAL OF THE RED: 3yo colt trained by AP O’Brien – bred to win an Ascot Gold Cup, he won his 2nd start over 12f massacring the opposition. Beaten stablemate Nantucket Bay (cost £425,000) won a week later. Also behind was Olympian (cost £650,000). It was the style and speed show over this trip that was exciting, and he looks well up to winning Group races, IMO he’s easily 110+. Entered for King Edward VII (Royal Ascot) and Irish Derby. (17th May)

BAISSE: 3yo filly trained by Henry Cecil – a half-sister to 2010 Dee Stake winner Azmeel, she won this in emphatic manner, and in my opinion looked a lot better than the OR80 rating she’s been given for this performance. She should stay 12f and looks an exciting h’cap prospect NTO. (17th May)

FREE FOR ALL: 4yo gelding trained by Sylvester Kirk – won class 4 h’cap (made all) in fast time. Only 4th race and only ran once as a 3yo (won). Half-sis (Miss Gorica) was a consistent “Listed” class performer between 5f-7f, best on GF. Free For All has been raised 8lb to OR90, but looks well up to defying that (17th May).

IMPERIAL GUEST: 5yo trained by George Margarson – won in fast time with more in hand than seemed; Ran in 2009 Guineas, had a short 3yo season. Won 4yo debut, 3rd in Buckingham (off OR90), enjoys big fields, 3rd to Redford & Side Glance (won twice since) at Ascot. Raised just 4lb to OR98, he could be much better than that (17th May).

ZUIDER ZEE: 4yo trained by John Gosden – impressed me when 4th in the Melrose H’cap at York on Aug-2010; LTO on 7th May, ZUIDER ZEE was well placed and coming with a run till being bumped hard by the eventual winner Rock A Doodle Doo from which he did not recover, but stayed on to be 4th. I reckon he could well have won from where he was without that bump, and I’ll be looking to recoup NTO (17th May)

BOOGIE SHOES: 4yo gelding trained by Roger Varian - won decent h'cap, looks progressive. Half-bro's both decent types who were (are) rated OR100+, so OR90 rating looks fair. Yet to be tested fully (16th May)

FOUR NATIONS: 3yogelding trained by Amanda Perrett - won 10f C5 h'cap on seasonal debut, came from long way back in good time. Must be a lot better than his. Raised only 7lb to OR72 looks very lenient indeed (16th May)

SPACE WAR: 4yo gelding trained by Michael Easterby - stayed on well from long way off the pace, and looks like wanting further than a mile. Bought from Gosden's stable for £30,000 in Oct'10, this was only his 8th race (didn't run as a 2yo) and he looks on the upgrade (16th May)

COLOMBIAN: 3yo colt trained by John Gosden - won maiden in striking fashion at Chester, showing good turn-of-foot off a face pace; OR93 rating looks lenient as half-bro Clodovil won French Guineas (16th May)

TRES CORONAS: 4yo gelding trained by David Barrons – showed tremendous turn-of-foot at Chester and despite short of room only just failed. Jky Graham Gibbons now 2 wins from 3 rides (and short-head 2nd in other). Gets any going, best at 10-furlongs (16th May)

WINTER’S NIGHT: 3yo filly trained by Clive Cox – won seasonal debut off 195-day break (raised 3lb to OR90) beating race-fit runner-up (3 wins in 2011) in fast time. Handles any ground, but needs a strong pace. Was unfortunate to not get a clear run thru’ when trying a mile LTO and was 3rd, but has been raised a further 6lb to OR96 which looks tough. (26th May)

HUMIDOR: 4yo gelding trained by George Baker - won class 3, 5f h'cap in time just 0.28 o/s track record. That performance looks exceptional, and only raised 6lb to OR93. He seems to go on any ground and stays 6-furlongs. A late foal (1st May) he's improving hand-over-fist. Ignore his latest run as he got loose prior to the race and lost vital energy.

MUSIC FESTIVAL: 4yo colt trained by Jim Goldie - won Class 4, 7f h'cap in very good time on 4yo debut. Lightly raced (9 starts), and unraced as a 2yo. Cost Goldie only £3,000 (bought out of Mark Johnstons stable) as 3yo despite dam having won French Guineas in 2003 (Musical Chimes). Raised only 4lb for that win to OR64, he seems best on good or quicker going (his dam was best on fast going) (10th May). Btn over 6f LTO, almost certainly needs 7f+ now (16th May).

CAPTIVATOR: 4yo filly with James Fanshawe - won with huge amount in hand very easily LTO off OR75. Raised 8lb for that win to OR83. However, has 4 x half-sisters rated OR100+ so has plenty of potential for improvement (26th Apr).

BELGIAN BILL: 3yo colt with George Baker - very confidently ridden and won well LTO off OR92 in fastest time of the day (TS95). Only raised 5lb to OR97, he needs GF going to be seen in best form (26th Apr).

BEATEN UP: 3yo colt trained by William Haggas – won debut at 3yo win commanding style despite running green. Half-bro Harris Tweed (OR112) won same race in 2010 in similar fashion and was rated OR85. So, OR86 rating for this win looks reasonable (27th Apr).

BUZZ LAW: 3yo gelding trained by Mrs K Burke - won this race (class 5) with more in hand than winning margin and in fast time too. Hung closing stages so not driven out. Raised 6lb to OR75, looks fair(published 27th Apr). NTO on 6th May at Ascot, unable to quicken despite every chance. Drop in grade to Class 5 should suit (9th May).

KARAKA JACK: 4yo gelding trained by David Nicholls – ran best race in ages, was 2nd in Esher Cup over a mile (class 2) off OR90. May run best on “Good” or GS, wants 7f (27th Apr). NTO on 30th April, came 3rd over 7f when met very well h'capped rival. On 21st May over 6f only just btn. Raised 2lb to OR77 - give another chance (26th May).

CHIEFDOM PRINCE: 3yo colt trained by Sir Michael Stoute - carried 10lb more than Flipando (won on same card) yet won his race in same time – but was rated 9lb inferior to Flipando by RPR?!? Stoute may have a good one here as his half-bro Rising Shadow won the Cammidge and was rated OR110. CHIEFDOM PRINCE has only been given a rating of OR87, which is 11lb less than Flipando on OR98. He looks thrown-in for a good handicap (published 28th Apr). NTO on 7th May, held every chance final furlong when badly bumped, not pushed thereon. Can win off this OR87 rating - give another chance (9th May).

PARLOUR GAMES: 3yo colt trained by Al Zarooni - well-bred (dam won Irish Oaks) and looks best produce so far of the dam. Showed tremendous pace to pick-up long-time leader, could be much better than this. Only raised 5lb to OR84 (29th Apr). Btn on GF going LTO, almost certainly want Good or GS going (16th May).

NASRI: 5yo gelding trained by David Nicholls - was decent 3yo (2nd Listed race with OR112 Donativum behind) but lost way as 4yo when moved to David Simcock. Bought by Nicholls at Oct2010 sales for £20,000 and he has found the "key" - 7f on GF from the front. Was rated OR104 as a 3yo (yet to be re-rated). (published 28th Apr). NTO on 7th May was 3rd in Victoria Cup off OR97. Was leading inside final furlong, and likely to remain on a winning mark after this. (9th May).

NIGHT CARNATION: 3yo filly trained by Andrew Balding - only 5 runs but ignore 1st-2 as a 2yo over 7f, she's a sprinter! LTO at Sandown, she quickened readily to pick-up the leader, and then quickened again to go clear. She was able to sustain the run to the line winning easily in a fast time. Balding knows how to handle these sprint horses who is expected to be better with some "give" (28th Apr). Won NTO, can improve again (16th May).

CAPTAIN BERTIE: 3yo colt trained by Barry Hills - has improved with every run, unfortunately met a good'un in Tazahum here. Was 2nd btn neck by Pausanius (now OR106) last season, so OR84 was lenient, and 4-lengths gap to 3rd reinforces that. May be best at 7f, but must be on NTO (28th Apr). NTO on 5th May at Chester on Good-to-Firm and was never happy, perhaps the going was too quick for him. Give another chance, tho' runs next off OR90 (9th May).

CHAIN LIGHTNING: 3yo colt trained by Richard Hannon - ridden with extreme confidence by Richard Hughes in what looks a very good class 3 h'cap. Plenty of hard-luck stories behind, but they all look well held. He looks to have lots of potential and should stay 12f (28th Apr). Several have come out of this race and won since (17th May).

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