Bernie can Bolt in
All the whispers ahead of the weekend action and interesting snippets from the Cecil and Godolphin teams.
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At this stage of the Flat season, backing short-priced favourites can frequently prove an expensive strategy and Bernie The Bolt may be up to overturning the market leaders in the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket on Saturday.
Patience has been tested with this horse in the last couple of years, as niggling injury problems have more than once forced him back on to the sidelines. But he still wasn't fully would up when fifth over course and distance in the 18-runner trial for this race last month and trainer Andrew Balding has turned the screw in his homework since.
With the handicapper also having helpfully eased his grip, Bernie The Bolt is definitely capable of taking a hand at a meaty price.
Neither connections of Reckless Abandon nor Moohaajim can conceive defeat for their horses in the Middle Park Stakes, which probably means both will be beaten. Reckless Abandon is probably not ideally drawn in two, but just when connections were wondering if he might have done enough for the year, he obliterated a four-year-old stablemate by eight lengths in his final serious piece of work on the Beechdown gallops last week.
The full story as to how Adam Kirby came to choose Mohaajim instead still hasn't quite emerged. Perhaps we will find out more after the race.
Later on the card, Jim Bolger brings the colt he considers his "Derby horse" Trading Leather across for the Autumn Stakes, but it will require a very smart performance if he is to get the better of the Richard Hannon-trained Montiridge.
This colt doesn't have the same profile as some of his stablemates, but he's as good as the best at Herridge and is yet to be fully extended on the racecourse.
Frankel continued his preparations for his supposed farewell concert at Ascot next week with two canters up Warren Hill on Friday, but his siblings are also ready for action in the days ahead. While Noble Mission was working on Racecourse Side on Wednesday morning, Tom Queally was instead in action aboard the younger brother Morpheus, who could make his debut at Nottingham next week.
Along with Morpheus, other two-year-olds to take the eye on the Al Bahathri that morning were Emperical, an unraced half-brother to Jet Away, and a half-brother to Picture Editor called Venue, who was partnered by Eddie Ahern.
First Mohican's victory last weekend, as forecast on this page, was a reminder of how adept the Cecil team can be at bringing a horse back from a long absence and World Domination is a name to keep in mind for the final weeks of the season.
He went badly off the rails earlier in the year, but has been spotted shaping nicely after a welcome break and something like the November Handicap could be on the cards for a horse who was considered to be one of the trainer's very smartest prospects at the start of the year.
Godolphin's decision to quarantine their Melbourne-bound team on Chippenham Hill has seen them lose some of their private gallop facilities, so there has been an influx of Godolphin horses in the week using the public areas of the town.
Eyecatching among them was Delegator, unseen since blowing out at the Dubai Carnival but a horse who has an impressive record when fresh. He holds an entry in the big sprint at Champions Day and can be backed at 33-1.
Whether or not he will be ready for that race is uncertain, but Delegator is most definitely a legitimate contender, particularly if the ground dries up in the build-up to the race.