Catching Pigeons: Kate looks great
Catching Pigeons has the inside track from the major training centres and a host of tips for the Flat and jumps action on Saturday.
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Patience is a fine virtue and one that team Cole have needed by the bucket-load since Berkshire blew his rivals away in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Inevitably there will be a degree of suspicion from some punters over the fact that the colt hasn't been seen on track for more than three months since that success, but the Coles were adamant almost as soon as they hit the Ascot winner's enclosure that this was a horse who did not want to be over-raced as a juvenile.
Everything that this handsome beast has done at home since that victory suggests that the right decision has been taken. And although both wily old trainer and eager young assistant both want to try and keep expectations as realistic as possible, it is Classics that they are both already thinking of.
Victory in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket will keep them dreaming... at least until the Dewhurst!
Charlie Hills thought long and hard before committing opting for the Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes ahead of the Fillies' Mile and his decision looks to have been rewarded with a slightly easier race for Kiyoshi.
Connections will be keen to put last month's disappointing trip to Ireland behind her and hopes are high she can reproduce her Royal Ascot form on her return to six furlongs.
She was in front plenty soon enough in the Moyglare at the Curragh, but her chance was done no good by veering off to the right - much as she did at the big meeting. Hills is fitting a new bit to help alleviate that problem here and she has worked well when fitted with the device in her recent homework.
The best message from Newmarket concerns Elusive Kate, who having worked in front of an appreciative Open Day audience on Warren Hill on Sunday, strode out well with The Fugue in a canter along the Al Bahathri in midweek that drew together arguably the two most-talented fillies in the town.
While The Fugue might not win any beauty prizes despite her very considerable talents as a racehorse, Elusive Kate looked magnificent and is such a likeably intelligent lady.
Did she beat Sky Lantern on merit in the controversial Falmouth Stakes? We'll probably never know, regardless of the result here, but connections are full of confidence for a big run here in the Sun Chariot Stakes.
Whether William Haggas can hit the target with one of his six runners in the Cambridgeshire remains to be seen - Queensberry Rules is probably the pick of the sextet but Nine Realms is liked by a few in the yard too - but he should at the least enjoy a winner up at Haydock.
Ehtifaal is not quite among the premier division for Haggas, but he shaped well enough behind God Willing in a decent maiden at Newbury on his debut and should improve sufficiently from that outing to make a bold bid in the Celebrating The Unsung Heroes of Racing Maiden at Haydock.
Marco Botti has been keen to appoint a stable jockey for months, and finally got his man when Martin Harley signed up as the trainer's first-choice rider earlier this week.
With the settling-in period now firmly behind them at Prestige Place, the form of Botti's team has hit an upward curve in the past couple of weeks and the trainer and his new retained rider are fancied to strike with top-weight Masamah in the Betfair Supports Racing Welfare Handicap.
This old boy's work has reportedly been excellent in recent weeks and this contest appears to provide a great opportunity for him to boss essentially inferior animals.
Another Newmarket trainer in top form at present is Hugo Palmer and his Short Squeeze is worth a bet in Haydock's closing contest too - especially if King George River can frank his form with a big run earlier in the day in the Cambridgeshire.
The jumps season is starting to warm up with Market Rasen staging a valuable meeting and some of the bigger yards are ready to strike.
Alan King has a good record in the the opening juvenile hurdle and saddles another interesting candidate this time around. Duroble Man was a useful handicapper on the flat for Roger Varian, winning his maiden at Brighton and finishing placed on his other three starts.
He has been schooling for around a month since joining the Barbury Castle trainer and a recent run on the level at Kempton will have sharpened him up. This will be no straightforward task, but it is believed that the McNeill family, who owned smart juveniles Grumeti and Walkon among others, have another useful young hurdling recruit on their hands.
Ittirad from the John Ferguson emporium is just preferred to Watered Silk in the Bet totescoop6 At totepool.com Handicap Hurdle.
Most of the Ferguson team seem at home on the faster ground, and he has performed with plenty of credit in three runs over timber.
He won with plenty in hand on his latest start and connections, who have already won a big handicap here in July are hoping the assessor has let him in a bit light here.
Meanwhile, looking to the future, Ralph Beckett - like Sir Henry Cecil - loves to run some of his better youngsters at Nottingham and he could be up to his old tricks at the next fixture at Colwick Park on Wednesday. He has a handful of interesting entries in the mile juvenile maiden, including a daughter of Galileo called Sea Goddess, owned by Sue Magnier, Derrick Smith and Micheal Tabor.
Emma Lavelle may have lost one of her very best prospects in Aintree bumper winner Killyglass following his accident on his hurdling bow at Stratford, but her team are in good form and a note should be made for Le Bec when he steps out for a beginners' chase in the next couple of weeks. Proven to go well fresh, he was a decent hurdler, but is very much seen as a chaser and has jumped with aplomb over schooling hurdles at home.