My Stable pointers: Monday
We pick out some eyecatchers from Monday's racing and the Epsom Derby Festival to add to your My Stable tracker.
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It's been a busy few days with the small matter of a couple of Classics and a Triple Crown bid in the States and it's time to catch up on a few of the horses that caught the eye of our racing team.
For want of a better reason, I'll tackle them in chronological order which means starting with Daisy Boy who finished second at Lingfield on Thursday.
There's nothing clever about putting this fellow in as he's trained by the shrewd Stuart Williams and was backed at all rates down on his handicap debut only to have the misfortune to bump into one in the shape of Richard Hannon's Storm Rider who the trainer believes 'could run up a sequence now'.
The winner was always prominent whereas Daisy Boy came from a fair way back and, with the handicapper unlikely to take any severe action, he can soon make amends at a similar level.
Andrew Balding's fine record in that particular handicap made him of keen interest and he may well have continued it by hitting the frame but for finding all sorts of trouble in the closing stages.
He is, however, a relatively exposed six-year-old with a modest strike rate on turf so he's passed over but he's clearly in decent heart and competitively treated and it wouldn't surprise to see him run a big race somewhere in the coming weeks.
One runner that does make the grade from Epsom on Friday is Kafeel whose run was brought to my attention by Ben Linfoot. Always prominent in the market for the closing handicap, he beat all bar Almargo who rather slipped the field from the front.
A lightly raced half-brother to a couple of Listed class performers, he struggled with the cambers but still did more than enough to suggest that he can go one better in the coming weeks despite an inevitable rise in the weights.
While we're talking about horses trained by Roger Varian and Mark Johnston, I'll briefly break away from the chronological order and tradition in naming an eyecatcher that didn't actually run.
Baarez was all the rage ahead of his reappearance at Doncaster but was a late withdrawal after the going became very testing despite having won on soft. The market vibes strongly suggested that this Hard Spun colt could be a good deal better than his initial mark of 87 and he'll get the opportunity to prove that one way or t'other on Wednesday.
Coming back to Johnston and the Middleham handler enjoyed a decent weekend with four winners. He sent out 19 in each of April and May at strike rates of 15% and 11% but is up to 16% for this month with 6-37.
Granted he has a lot of runners but his stable looks well worth following from now on after a slower start than usual to the season and his horses at Royal Ascot will be well worth a second look given how well he's done at the meeting historically.
Back to the horses and Yenhaab who was just run out of the minor places behind impressive winner What About Carlo in the Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap at Epsom.
To my eye, he was another runner that failed to show his best form on this unique course but he still did enough to suggest that he can prove why he was supported into favouritism in a warm contest at Newmarket on his preceding start.
It is, perhaps, a slight concern that he's had a couple of near misses without converting the opportunities but he's only had the four career starts and is worth persevering with at present.
It was no surprise to see a few hard-luck stories in the 'Dash' where Smoothalkinrascal was the first to take the eye having found nowhere to go from a high draw under his usual hold-up ride.
He was second from the same mark 12 months earlier so is clearly capable of winning from his current mark but I don't think he's a horse that is ever going to be 'missed' by the market and he does need things to go his way to some extent given his style of running.
He, therefore, doesn't make the cut but I think there are a couple from the race that are worth adding to our list. First up is Barnet Fair, another horse to catch Mr Linfoot's eye, who stayed on into sixth on his fourth start for Lee Carter.
The six-year-old had the assistance of talented apprentice Louis Steward whose 5lb claim was undoubtedly a help given that he's still 2lb above his last winning mark. He did best of those drawn in single figures and it would be no surprise to see him hit the frame or better at a decent price in the coming weeks.
His last two victories have been achieved in the same race at Ascot at the end of July and it would be no surprise were his new handler to target the same contest.
We may also have to wait a little while to see the best of Lady Gibraltar who weakened into 13th from her draw in five. She was the first runner for Tim Jarvis and did enough to think that she can add to the four races that she won for his father, Alan.
The five-year-old has never won before the 30th June with her last two wins coming in July/August and she's slipping back to a mark from which she should be capable of scoring again in the late-summer with a return to Glorious Goodwood one of the likelier scenarios.
With four wins from 33 starts and five from 39 for Barnet Fair, they're not the easiest pair to catch right but both sprinters look capable of making their presence felt when getting the rub of the green.
Urban Moon may give his supporters some anxious moments with his two victories coming by a head and a short-head but Matt Brocklebank believes that there's more to come from the Galileo colt as he details below.
Johnny Murtagh has been finding things tough as a fully-fledged trainer so far this season, recording just one winner in both March and April, two in May and just the one so far in June. However, his training talents were there for all to see with the likes of Royal Diamond and Sweet Lightning winning major races and Urban Moon could be another for the big racedays in 2014.
The Galileo colt ran in a couple of hot maidens at two, finishing sixth to Free Eagle at Leopardstown in August, and the move to handicaps has seen him blossom this term.
He claimed his second victory of the season when scoring by a head at the Curragh on Sunday, his first outing over a mile and a half, and the manner in which he toughed it out from the front under a big weight, especially after having his wide advantage reduced in the final furlong, was encouraging.
The first two pulled over eight lengths clear of the third and Murtagh’s charge looks sure to get better with age.
On to Monday and Incurs Four Faults again failed to build on the relative promise of his run at Warwick when down the field at Ayr but, as at Hamilton, the conditions of the race didn't look at all ideal so he remains in the Notebook for the time being.
Stonefield Flyer went close to giving Keith Dalgleish success in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot three years ago and the Carluke handler is thinking of sending Doc Charm for the same race next week.
A son of Hellvelyn, winner of the Coventry Stakes in 2006, Doc Charm earned serious consideration for the Royal meeting with a facile victory at Ayr.
Doc Charm had been beaten nine lengths by The Wow Signal on his debut there but that form looks good as the third that day, Jungle Cat, was 11 lengths away in third and has gone on to strike at Goodwood. Whether Doc Charm goes to Royal Ascot or not, he seems sure to win more races.
There was to be no winning debut for War Alert in the first at Windsor as Son Of Africa provided Henry Candy with his first juvenile winner of the season.
The market and breeding suggested that there could be one or two useful youngsters in the line-up and connections of Orlando Rogue and Mistamel will be encouraged by their performances.
The former had finished in midfield in a hot maiden at Newbury on debut and looked to be struggling here only to finish strongly and he could be just the type to make his mark in nurseries.
The latter represents the in-form yard of Eve Johnson Houghton who went close to collecting with a well-backed newcomer at Brighton last week. By Rip Van Winkle and the first foal of a useful dam, this was a highly encouraging start to his career and he should have little difficulty going one better and it will be interesting to see how far he can go.