Notebook update: Paid in Yen
It's been a busy week for the Flat Notebook with Estidkhaar's victory in the Superlative Stakes one of the highlights.
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Finding winners isn't an exact science as we all know which is probably just as well given that I was a pretty feeble scientist in my school days.
There have been a couple of notable successes for the Notebook horses and a few more that we've lost patience with after they've failed to live up to our expectations so it's time for a clear out!
Baarez went into the list having been heavily supported ahead of his intended return and again on his actual reappearance but he flopped that day and again at Ascot on Friday. He clearly shows up well on the gallops and may yet translate that ability to the track but it's time to cut our losses and he's out.
Patience has also been lost with Ganges following his fourth of five at Windsor on Monday night. Once again, the run wasn't devoid of promise as he did keep on in the final furlong having received a couple of reminders having been the first under pressure.
It's possible that he wasn't entirely at ease on the ground and may appreciate a return to an artificial circuit or conditions with a little more ease but the fact is that he has become too expensive to follow.
Out goes Misplaced Fortune, despite finsihing a respectable third at Pontefract, and out also goes Estidkhaar after winning both starts (at 7/4 and 15/8) since being added to the Notebook.
He was quoted for the Guineas after winning the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket and there should be more to come from this highly regarded half-brother to Toronado, but two from two since being added he's now done his work as far as this feature is concerned.
Yenhaab's form keeps being franked with the horse that beat him at Windsor, Torchlighter, winning at the Newmarket July Meeting, as did Golden Town who finished one place behind him when the pair were fourth and fifth in a handicap on the Rowley Mile won by Hors De Combat with Born In Bombay second.
William Haggas found a decent opening for him at Chester on Friday night but several non-runners saw him sent off at 10/11 and he duly obliged with the minimum of fuss. He has been raised by 6lb but looks progressive and his form is working out so well that it will be surprising if he can't win another race before the season's out.
A watching brief was advised for Kafeel following his facile success at Ffos Las for which he's been handed a 7lb rise. It would have been preferable to escape with a couple of pounds less but, equally, it could have been worse with his Epsom run working out well, so he also keeps his place in the Notebook as he should be able to win again from his revised mark.
There were a couple of differences of opinion on the racing desk with regards to Mighty Yar and Barnet Fair.
I was prepared to lose Lady Cecil's grey after he narrowly failed to get past the unexposed Kings Fete but Will Hayler makes a solid case for him being an ideal type for the Ebor back at York and so he stays in the list.
Similarly, Ben Linfoot lost patience with Barnet Fair after his staying-on sixth at Ascot but I'm keen to give him one more chance as I expect him to return to the venue later this month for a race that he's won in each of the last two years.
It would have been nice if the handicapper had dropped him by a pound or two but he's still on his last winning mark and I think he's worth one more crack of the whip.
There are a handful of horses in the Notebook that were added as potential handicappers and it will soon be time to see if they can cut the mustard.
Orion's Bow (given a mark of 74 - higher than we might have hoped), Obsidian (rated a not-unfeasible 87 on the basis of his Sandown second) and Harlequin Striker have now had the requisite three runs and we'll soon be able to add Orlando Rogue to that list as he runs in the opener at Yarmouth on Tuesday evening.
He's actually second favourite in some books but I would be surprised if he were good enough to win with some choice newcomers in opposition. A quick glance at the recent winners of the race reveals that it's a maiden that often goes to a smart sort.
It also revealed that not everything goes quite as expected as the 2007 renewal was won by a certain Raven's Pass at 20/1!! Yes, that's the very same Raven's Pass who won two Group Ones as well as making the frame in another three - 20/1 on debut, you wouldn't believe it.
Dr Red Eye has been declared to run at Epsom on Thursday where he will sport a hood in addition to his customary cheekpieces - if he lines up.
He has finished first, third and fifth in three visits to the Downs and is thrown in on his old form if the new combination of aides has the desired effect. Not for the first time, he was a non-runner at the track recently but encouragingly he had a couple of other entries at Epsom which haven't been taken up which suggests that this might just be 'the plan'.
Spark Plug faces a tough task on paper at Leicester where he tackles two runners in a conditions stakes, including Dante second and Derby fourth Arod.
Will Hayler is still mourning the loss of his potentially-favourable handicap mark but he remains a horse with pattern-race potential and could just surprise.
There have, of course, been several new additions to the Notebook and you can check out the full list by clicking here or via the link above.