Notebook: Here's our Proposal

  • By: Will Hayler
  • Last Updated: August 14 2014, 9:07 BST

It was admittedly a quiet week for Notebook fans, but with half a dozen horses on the latest list holding engagements in the days ahead and a handful more likely to line up at next week's Ebor meeting, there ought to be plenty to get the punting teeth stuck into in the days ahead.

Grand Proposal finishes third at Goodwood (black and white colours). Can he go in at Beverley on Thursday?
Grand Proposal finishes third at Goodwood (black and white colours). Can he go in at Beverley on Thursday?

As ever, there have been a few transfers in and out of the list since last week's update and a full list of Notebook horses - complete with updated comments - is available for your perusal here.

But if you can't be bothered with all that and just want some near-to-hand winners, my colleague Ben Linfoot is positively a gibbering wreck at the prospect of seeing Grand Proposal in action upped to seven and a half furlongs for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Nursery at Beverley on Thursday.

Grand Proposal went into the Notebook after an eyecatching run at Glorious Goodwood last time and that form was considerably boosted at Salisbury on Wednesday when the first and fourth in Sussex, Grigolo and When Will It End, finished first and second despite a hike in the weights for the former.

Kevin Ryan's charge went up 2lb for his Goodwood run, but that rise is more than offset by the fact that he is reunited here with 5lb-claimer Shane Grey, who has already ridden him to finish a close third over the course and distance in a maiden. He should have a fine chance of opening his account and early prices as big as Sky Bet's 5/1 look worth taking.

Another runner to look out for on Thursday is Koala Bear. It's no surprise to see the hood retained for her at Salisbury after she returned to form with a good third in the headgear at Doncaster last time. She stays on a handicap mark of 62 and should be competitive against her own sex in this handicap.

Barnet Fair has gone up 6lb for his victory in the consolation event for the 32 Red Stewards' Cup at Goodwood, which on the face of things looks harsh enough given that he only scored by a short-head.

Nor is it likely that at the age of six, he is suddenly about to develop into a pattern-race performer. But we do know that Dandy Nicholls has a track record of finding unexpected levels of improvement from exactly this type of horse and it's far from impossible now he has reached a peak for his new trainer, he could go in again. It will be interesting to see if he is declared for the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon on Saturday.

Daisy Boy only has a handful of rivals for the Bet and Watch on Racing UK Handicap and could also have competition for the early lead against Shimba Hills, but nevertheless he probably hasn't finished winning yet having begun life in handicaps on a decent mark.

Bold Lass heads to Newmarket on Friday evening with her stable in flying form and she also looks to have no excuses in the Encon Group Fillies' Handicap. This immaculately-bred filly won like a good'un last time, and provided there is a fair gallop in the early stages, she should go very close to following up.

Pivot Point has an entry over seven furlongs at Chester this weekend, when we'd thought he might do better back at six. It is a little surprising to see Brian Meehan persist in taking the maiden route with him when his mark for nurseries looks fair, so it could be best to keep a watching brief with him for now.

As for next week, a host of valuable handicaps - in some cases, notably valuable - at York's Ebor meeting ought to guarantee some of our team turn up in search of a piece of the pie.

A return to action for the likes of Top Tug or Tall Ship, for example, would be most interesting. The trainers of both horses have pinched decent handicap prizes at this track in the past.

Min Alemerat holds an entry in the Ebor, having sidestepped a couple of alternative possible engagements since his last appearance. He really is as dark as they come and the handicapper has really only guessed in allloting him a mark of 92.

His chance of getting into the Ebor field is minimal as three-year-olds all but have to be Derby winners in order to qualify for the race, but it would be interesting to see him turn up in the Melrose instead.

His trainer Marco Botti is no great windmill-tilter, so it's well worth noting that this colt remains engaged in both the Doncaster and Irish St Legers.