My Stable Eyecatchers: Thursday
Will Hayler picks out a couple of horses that caught his eye at the Knavesmire on the second day of York's Ebor meeting.
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Any debate that includes the phrase 'What would you with him if he was yours?' is always destined to get the same reply from me of 'I'd go for the money'.
Tiggy Wiggy's owner, financier Jared Sullivan, isn't short of a few quid - and besides the filly had already lifted a decent sales-race pot in the Super Sprint at Newbury - so along with trainer Richard Hannon, they decided to head for the Group Two Lowther Stakes rather than the £60,000 bigger first prize of the opening DBS Premier Yearling Stakes.
Had she been mine, I'd undoubtedly have gone for the cash and blown the prestige of the pattern-race. But that's just me. With my car having now been in the garage for fast approaching six weeks and facing transplant surgery if it's ever to get back on to the road, I could do with the dough.
What the big pots have done, however, is boost the quality of the horses taking the cash option and going for the sales race, hence today's line-up in the contest taken by Mubtaghaa was probably a strong one - his trainer William Haggas (whose love for having winners at York becomes ever more apparent to all) rates the winner highly.
Interestingly, Hannon initially felt that there were no excuses for favourite Kool Kompany either. I suspect the form of the race is hot and will work out well over the next couple of months.
So therefore follow runner-up New Providence and third-home Valley Of Fire closely. The former was left isolated by her low draw, but showed some mean cruising speed and a smart turn of foot. She could now go to Salisbury for the Dick Poole, run for the first time as a Group Three this year.
Valley Of Fire took more time to get going, but just as he did at the track on his winning debut, rattled home once reaching top gear. Without the bumping match he got into with fifth Kasbah at the furlong-pole, he'd have got even closer to victory. He's a smart horse who might just be ruled out as having been third in 'just a sales race' in pattern-race company in the future. That would be unwise.
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Andrew Balding worked a bunch of horses that are poised for action at the remainder of the Ebor festival at York.
The Kingsclere trainer has two contenders for the Sky Bey City Of York Stakes with HIGHLAND COLORI and ABSOLUTELY SO.
Both are versatile trip-wise and have chanced their arm at sprinting at various stages of the season.
Highland Colori found six furlongs on the sharp side and he should relish the City Of York trip after doing an eyecatching piece of work on grass.
Absolutely So did everything right in the Bunbury Cup on the July course, only to be mugged in the closing stages.
He appears to have every asset required for another big run and confirmed that as he pulled clear of his lead horse.
Ebor runner VAN PERCY landed a valuable handicap at Goodwood from which he's progressed.
He isn't completely straightforward and needs to be produced late as he dosses in front, but he has the chance of staying glory on the Knavesmire.
COMMUNICATOR deserves to pick up a decent prize and he could hardly be in better form.
After hitting the crossbar a couple of times, he moment will surely come soon.
DEBDEBDEB could head to Newmarket and was another to stride out purposefully while unraced juvenile BRANDON CASTLE has shown promise ahead of his intended debut at Goodwood.