Fran Berry's Sporting Life blog: Super Sprint day

Global Giant and Fran Berry edge out Tribal Quest
Global Giant and Fran Berry edge out Tribal Quest

Top jockey Fran Berry enjoyed one Global winner at Newmarket's July Festival and is hopeful of another this weekend.

It's been a relatively quiet week rides-wise so it's good to head to Nottingham on Friday for six rides and I've also done okay to pick up four rides at Newbury on Saturday - I'd originally planned to go to Ripon and Haydock, but there was a late switch with all the rain about.

I start off on Saturday with Early Morning for Harry Dunlop in the opening Bathwick Tyres Handicap. He needs to bounce back from a poor run at Royal Ascot but you'd forgive any horse a bad run there. He'd been in good form before that, finishing second on his reappearance, and had some strong handicap form to his name last year and he'd have every chance if getting back to that level.

I ride Glass Office for David Simcock and Mrs Fitri Hay in the Group Three bet365 Hackwood Stakes. He made a pleasing return at Salisbury and he's entitled to come on for that and improve from it as it was his first run since 2015. On ratings he's right in there with every chance and it may not be the strongest race for the grade, post-Royal Ascot.

Like me, Global Academy was switched from Ripon because of the rain and he'll wear blinkers in the bet365 Novice Stakes which looks a competitive enough race on paper. However, he was expected to go well at Redcar but he got unbalanced and connections do feel he's better than that. He could step up on that performance and the blinkers may be no bad thing as he's far from the first Zebedee that's been tried in them and headgear has brought about some good results for them.

The handicapper has put Knight Destroyer up by 9lb for winning a weaker race at Chepstow and every bit of rain ahead of the Grundon Recycling Handicap will help and there's more forecast. He's lightly raced and if he could step up again then he should be bang there and the more galloping track will suit him far better than Chepstow did.

I'm looking forward to riding Mahabba at Nottingham as she's a beautifully-bred daughter of Galileo. She ran a nice race on debut at Salisbury and being trained by Luca Cumani, you'd expect her to improve with racing and step up on that form.

Ehtiraas has been off since September but I'm hopeful of him showing up well in the ratedbookies.com Handicap. At the moment he's only got a Thirsk maiden to his name and a rating of 83, but he did run in the St James's Palace last year and even if he was just there to help set the pace for Awtaad, he's still got to have his share of ability to do that.

Sausage Fingers should give me a good spin in the opening maiden. He's trained by Tom Dascombe and stepped up on the form of his debut when fifth at Chester. He showed lots of pace that day so the drop back to six furlongs should suit.

Global Exceed makes his nursery debut off 61 and he's actually 2lb well in despite not being out since the end of May! It's a fluid time with ratings for two-year-olds as the form beds down and the handicapper has obviously decided to put him up since the weights came out on the basis of some collateral form. Whether he's right or not remains to be seen, but he ran well over course and distance on his second start and a repeat of that would give him a chance.

Sir Billy Wright won last time out and is back up to a career-high 87 as a result but he's in good form at least and should have every chance.

It's probably a day to watch Prince Jai as he's having his first run back with Ian Williams after a spell in Dubai.

It was nice to get a win on the board at the July Festival last week and Global Giant was great in the Weatherbys EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes where we edged out a horse of Godolphin's.

He improved a lot from his debut as we hoped he would and he's an exciting prospect. The time was quick in comparison to the first division which bodes well because he's still immature and he should keep improving with experience.

I rode another nice prospect for owner Dr Johnny Hon at Windsor on Monday and was very pleased with Global Rose despite just missing out. She's definitely a filly to watch. She can only improve from her debut and Gay [Kelleway] has given her an entry in the Lowther Stakes. I'd imagine connections would try and win a maiden with her first but it would be no surprise to see her end up in a race of that calibre.

It was encouraging to see Swift Approval return to form in the Bunbury Cup consolation race, where he finished fourth at a big price. He's back below his last winning mark now and he could be worth following in the coming weeks now he's come back to himself.

It was a slightly frustrating day at Chester on Saturday where I went close on Tom Dascombe's two-year-old Ginbar. He ran well but was just caught on the line. I also felt Jallota travelled like the best horse in the race in the City Plate Stakes and I've suggested to connections that he could be worth trying in headgear. Sometimes it just does the trick with these older horses and I think he could find a bit of improvement for blinkers or cheekpieces.

I may have been largely out of luck, but hopefully a few readers were on Kryptos who won the apprentice handicap for John Berry at 11/1. I gave him a good mention in the blog after riding him at Newmarket and I was delighted for his connections to see him win.

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