This week sees us start with the Class 4 3yo Handicap over 6f at Kempton on 20th September, this was won by the Godolphin owned Barq in a time just 0.78 secs outside standard and as a result he was raised 5lb to 85 so he has plenty of room for improvement if they choose to keep him. Dubai Media who had won his last 2 races was 2 1/2 lengths back in 3rd so it is form that should stand up. Rule of Nature in 6th was probably unlucky with her run as she could never get out to mount a serious challenge and she is now on a mark of 81 for Sir Michael Stoute.
The same day at Leicester the Class 3 Handicap over 5f went to Noodles Blue Boy by a head from Desert Phantom in a time of 58.79secs fast by 0.21. The winner has been raised 4lb as a result and is now on 86 and is reportedly to be aimed at the Portland next year.
On tuesday at Beverley we had the Class 3 Conditions Stakes over 5f and the winner here was what seemed the unlikely Tangerine Trees. He was rated only 81 prior to this and after his convincing 2 1/4 length win from hardened campaigners he was raised 12lb by the handicapper and that has since been proved to be justified when he followed up at Newmarket beating Tax Free once again. He certainly looks an improved performer and there is no knowing where this will stop when a horse is in this form. His win wont however have come as a surprise to his trainer as he has always stated that he works like a top class horse at home.
On Friday at Ascot the 6f Class 2 Handicap for 3yo went to Little Garcon who had shown good form when beaten behind Bated Breath at Haydock earlier in the year. Here he beat Dungannon by a neck after coming with a well timed run down the outside of the field and it was a decent effort with 6 last time out winners behind and as a result he has been raised 5lb to 95. The race itself had been won by the likes of Genki and Laddies Poker Two in the past and there's every chance he could turn out to be just as good. One who was slightly unlucky behind was James Fanshawe's Deacon Blues who had finished 3rd in the Portland and he remains on the same mark of 95 and he should be capable of winning off that whether it be this year or next.
I was over at Chester on Saturday and I chose to stand just by the turn into the straight and it was noticeable that in all the races the horses were finding the going stretching their stamina. In the sprint Green Park continued his love affair with the track and won the Class 4 Handicap run over 6f by 2 1/2 lengths from Cape Vale who is now back in the care of Dandy Nicholls. Green Park went up 6lb for this to 82 and that would be the highest rating he has had for sometime, whilst Cape Vale remains on 83 and the maestro might be able to coax a bit more from him in the coming weeks.
At Haydock there were 2 decent sprints, first up was the Class 2 6f Handicap which was won by Jeremy Noseda's 3yo Summer in the City who was only having his 6th start but he took the measure of some experienced sorts here. He won by 1/2 length from the unlucky Secret Witness with last time out winner Horseradish in 3rd so the form looks as though it should stand up. As a result the son of Indian Ridge, who may always need some cut to show his best, has been raised 6lb to a mark of 93. Of those behind a couple who have been dropped by a few pounds are Valery Borzov who is now on 82, he won a Class 2 off 97 for Dandy Nicholls last season and Invincible Force who drops to 89, his last winning mark was 88 and we may see the stable using the talented claimer James Sullivan on his next run.
The following Class 2 Hanicap over 5f went the way of Cheveton who made light of his new mark to win here going away after coming with a well timed run. He is in top form at the moment and it would be hard to argue against him winning again off his new mark of 97 if he gets his ground. Hoof It showed in 2nd that his unlucky run a couple of starts back was indeed that and he too has been raised 4lb as the handicapper was impressed with his effort and he is now on a mark of 94. Behind Fol Hollow emerged from the doldrums that he has been in of late and he may be capable of picking up something before too long.
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