Catching Pigeons: Gossip and tips from the gallops

Get all the latest whispers from the major racing training centres
Get all the latest whispers from the major racing training centres

Kevin Ryan's juvenile Vega Magic features among the selections as our gallops expert rounds up the selections from all the major training centres.

Morando (2.35 Ascot)

1
3
69-5OR: 112BFD
2/1
Last RunWatch last race

Morando is a proven performer in the mud and looks hard to beat in the Group 3 Property Raceday Targets £3M Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. The early autumn deluge has made conditions testing at the Berkshire course and Andrew Balding's six-year-old looks to have found a great opportunity to add to his emphatic win in the mud at Chester on his comeback in May. A repeat of that performance or his excellent second to Technician at Newbury on his latest start, should be good enough to see off the progressive Sextant, who was well beaten into fourth that day.

Came From the Dark (4.50 Ascot)

3
12
39-3OR: 90D
9/2
Last RunWatch last race

Came From the Dark can confirm he is at his best over five furlongs with a big run in the McGee Group Handicap. Ed Walker's three-year-old had proved expensive to follow after winning at Haydock in the summer until he tackled the minimum trip for the first time on his return to the Lancashire course last month. He duly hosed up, and should improve sufficiently to make his presence felt again on his favoured surface.

Maygold (2.00 Ascot)

9
2
48-9OR: 97D
11/2

Maygold, has a little to do at the weights and should go well for Walker in the UK Hi-Fi Show Live Rous Stakes. She will also love the very soft ground and her win at Haydock last month suggests she is still improving.The runner-up Arecibo has run well in both the Ayr Gold Cup and the Portland Handicap to hold the form up since, but he may struggle to reverse the placings at these more suitable weights, especially as Maygold won with a bit in hand.

Finest Sound (4.00 Newmarket)

6
8
29-2OR: -
10/3
Last RunWatch last race

Finest Sound can make it third time lucky in the Weatherbys Design And Print Novice Stakes at Newmarket. Both his two outings have been at Sandown, and he has acquitted himself well on each occasion, finishing third to Palace Pier and then Via de Vega. Having pitched into battle early in the straight on the latest effort, he did not quite last home, and connections have opted to revert to seven furlongs rather than the mile this time. He works very well at home, and the experience should stand him in good stead.

Al Khabeer (2.50 Newmarket)

4
2
29-2OR: -
20/1
Last RunWatch last race

Al Khabeer, a stablemate of Finest Sound, is bred to handle some give underfoot and has shown enough at home in his preliminary work to suggest an each-way interest, in the Lettergold British EBF Novice Stakes.

Vega Magic (1.45 Redcar)

13
9
29-2OR: -
2/1
Last RunWatch last race

Vega Magic can kick off proceedings at Redcar with a win for Kevin Ryan in the Andy Curtis Triple Paralympian 50th Birthday Novice Stakes. There was plenty to like about his debut effort at York a month ago when he just tired in the closing stages and went down by a neck to the well fancied Wyclif. He has taken those exertions well, and has shown enough improvement to suggest he can go one better.

Highway One O One (3.00 Fontwell)

1
711-12OR: 140BFC
5/2
Last RunWatch last race

Highway One O One can concede weight all round in the Marstons Kaltenberg Handicap Hurdle at Fontwell. A classy novice chaser last season, he is having a pipe opener in readiness for a crack at some valuable events over the larger obstacles in the weeks ahead, but his mark of 140 looks lenient enough, and the Chris Gordon camp are more than hopeful he has improved for his summer break.

Japan (3.05 ParisLongchamp)

10
10
38-12OR: 122CD
6/1

Japan did little to cheer the Irish with their victory over the Emerald Isle in the Rugby World Cup last week, but it could be a different story on Sunday if the equine Japan can beat the mighty Enable and win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for Aidan O'Brien. It might seem a bit of a stretch to think he can see off John Gosden's star, but the Ballydoyle team are convinced their son of Galileo continues to improve and the form of his game win in the International at York suggests he has a tremendous chance of getting in the money. His recent work has been of a high order.

Ballyhill (3.20 Kelso)

4
810-8OR: 142
3/1
Last RunWatch last race

Nigel Twiston-Davies will have his kilt at the ready for his trip to Kelso with the talented Ballyhill in the big chase at Kelso on Sunday, but he also has a handy team staying closer to home at Uttoxeter. Another Frontier's latter form last season boasts almost as many P's as a Birds Eye processing plant, but they all came over fences and he had clearly lost his confidence. He reverts to timber for his comeback in the Christian Hardwick Handicap Hurdle, is well handicapped on his best form, and won at this meeting first time up last season.


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