Catching Pigeons column with all the weekend gossip

All the latest rumours and whispers from the gallops...
All the latest rumours and whispers from the gallops...

Our gossip column is back and Ed Walker is taken to enjoy a super Saturday while there are interesting two-year-old newcomers to note this weekend.

Agrotera can continue her climb through the ratings with a first Listed success in the Smarkets/British EBF Dick Hern Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.

Ed Walker had high hopes for this three-year-old at the start of the season and she has already more than justified his confidence. A good second on her return to action at Ascot in May, she duly went one better in a good class race at Windsor before justifying a big move in the market with a comfortable success in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot.

After such an emphatic win, this looks the logical next step for the daughter of Mastercraftsman and she should be able to see off local rival Queen Of Time, who showed she was on the way back after a quiet spell at Goodwood last week.

She is just preferred to La Figlia, who stretched out well on the Al Bahatri this week and continues to please new trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam, and William Haggas' Dynamic.

7
4
38-9OR: 99D
10/11
Last RunWatch last race

Fille de Reve can complete a double for Walker in the Smarkets Duke Of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry Handicap. The race represents a return to this company and a step back to six furlongs for this highly-rated filly, who ran her best race of the campaign here in the early summer.

She looked a shade unlucky not to beat the smart Lethal Lunch that day and was consequently quietly fancied to run a big race in a Listed event at Carlisle. She disappointed there but has been given a nice break and may also appreciate the return to a less undulating course. Fille de Reve has always shown plenty of ability at home and the likely fast pace in this competitive looking event should play to her strengths.

Equitation is fancied to chase her home.

Eyelool can see off old rival Pogo and win in the Poppy Nursery at Newmarket. Both well regarded juveniles made their debuts in a hot maiden won by subsequent Group Two winner Advertise at the Newbury May meeting and it was Pogo who came out on top by more than four lengths.

However, the selection lost ground at the start that day and seems to have made the most progress since, which may be down to the fact that the William Haggas team have been in pretty good form. In contrast, Charlie Hills, the trainer of Pogo, has been a bit up and down. It may be close between the pair but Eyelool will have gained confidence from his win at Epsom last time and is now in receipt of six pounds from his Lambourn rival.

3
4
29-0OR: 79D
11/4
Last RunWatch last race

California Love should go well at a decent price in the Group Three german-thoroughbred.com Sweet Solera Stakes. Richard Spencer has enjoyed a lucrative summer so far and this daughter of Power did her bit to add to the coffers with an emphatic win over course and distance three weeks ago.

This represents a much stiffer test but California Love quickened up very well that day, and may handle the likely easy ground a bit better than some of her rivals. Pennywhistle won well at Kempton last time and is feared for the John Gosden team.

3
6
29-0OR: -CD
11/1
Last RunWatch last race

Apprentice of the moment Jason Watson takes over at the helm of Ripp Orf and this ultra-consistent performer can make full use of his three pounds allowance allowance in the BBAG Germany's Yearling Sales Handicap.

The winner of the Victoria Cup at Ascot back in May, he showed his liking for this track by landing a handicap here last month and was having his third race on consecutive Saturdays when only a length third to Burnt Sugar two weeks ago. He has taken those races well and still looks on a winnable mark.

2
3
49-7OR: 94CD
2/1
Last RunWatch last race

Bella Ragazza can double her career win tally in the Royal British Legion Handicap. She has been handled in typically patient style by Hughie Morrison and looked a useful filly when landing her second start, a novice at Goodwood in May.

She failed to reproduce that form on a faster surface at Carlisle on her latest start but that was in Listed company and the easier ground here should be more to her liking. She does not look harshly treated on the strength of her Goodwood form and should handle the step up from seven furlongs to a mile.

7
3
38-6OR: 83
5/1
Last RunWatch last race

Wiretap shaped with some promise on his first start behind the useful Legends Of War at Yarmouth back in the spring and can show plenty of improvement for a subsequent gelding operation in the Lexus Gatwick EBF Novice Stakes at Lingfield.

9
7
29-2OR: -
5/1
Last RunWatch last race

Clive Cox has some promising juveniles entered up over the next few days and one of the more interesting is Red Armada, who is due to make his debut in the opening novice stakes at Leicester on Sunday. The Beechdown trainer has not introduced too many youngsters during the very hot summer and it will be interesting to see how this half-brother to the much travelled and talented Dux Scholar fares both here, and in the future.

However, it could be a warm heat with Noble Ancestry giving the Simon Crisford team all the right signs ahead of his debut in the same race.

The Al Bahatri has again been busy in Newmarket as trainers looked to the skies to bring the Limekilns back into play.

Enable was among those to stretch out - she went ok under Frankie Dettori but no buttons have been pushed yet.

The John Gosden team have a number of lovely two-year-olds to unleash in the coming weeks, Albert Finney (Newmarket Friday) amongst them.

Sir Micahel Stoute is another trainer close to revealing the strength of his juvenile hand and Sangarius and Accommodate are two names to note while the Freemason Lodge team worked Convey and Adamant on the Al Bahatri this week and both pleased connections.

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