Ben Linfoot has been at the July Festival all week and he reveals five horses that he’s added to his My Stable tracker during the meeting.
Aplomb – 3.00 Newmarket Thursday July 11
William Haggas’ APLOMB shaped well in the bet365 Handicap on the opening day of the July Festival and could well be the one to take out of the race.
Ante-post favourite for the contest on the back of an easy win at Nottingham in June, he drifted to 10/1 on the day of the race, largely on account of the fast ground. He ran well in sixth, though, was only beaten two lengths and was third of nine horses home in the near side group.
His mark will likely remain unchanged and he can resume his progress when he next encounters cut in the ground.
Led Astray – 4.05 Newmarket Thursday July 11
Experience came to the fore in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes with the first two home, Miss Lucy and Daily Times, having the third races of their careers.
Beaten five-and-a-half lengths in sixth was Michael Bell’s debutant LED ASTRAY, a 175,000gns foal and a daughter of Oasis Dream that is related to good horses like Hatta Fort and Blue Bayou. She displayed signs of greenness and was switched to make her challenge down the outside, keeping on nicely with a view to her next racecourse appearance.
She can improve and is one to watch out for next time.
Desert Skyline – 3.00 Newmarket Friday July 12
DESERT SKYLINE, 2017 Doncaster Cup winner, is still only five and he put in his best performance of the season by far when finishing third off a big weight in the very hot bet365 Trophy on Friday. He’s seen the backside of Stradivarius on eight occasions and he’s clearly beginning to enjoy handicap company where he’s guaranteed not to run into John Gosden’s behemoth stayer.
Gerald Mosse rode him and was pleased with the run, saying afterwards: “He ran a beautiful race with so much weight on his back and he really fought to the line. Very pleased with that. The ground was a bit quick for him and when he gets a little bit of give he will be strong.”
That is a good point and it will be interesting to see what the assessor does with him, as he was 2lb wrong on Friday, running off 107 when already dropped to 105. He’ll look very dangerous off that sort of mark in staying handicaps when there’s a bit of soft in the description on this evidence.
First Receiver – 4.10 Newmarket Friday July 12
The Weatherbys British EBF Maiden Stakes is always a race to keep an eye on and beaten horses in the contest in recent years include Postponed, D’Bai, Dal Harraild, Best Of Times and Nayef Road, so it’s worth looking out for future stars.
The first four home were all making their debuts and plenty of winners look sure to come out of this. Tsar made up plenty of ground after missing the break, while Telecaster’s half-brother Al Suhail was pipped at the post after travelling strongly throughout.
However, if I had to pick one to follow it would be FIRST RECEIVER for Sir Michael Stoute, owned by the Queen. The son of New Approach showed up well and was short of room two furlongs out before staying on for third. This was really encouraging seeing as he looks sure to improve with racing, considering his brilliantly patient handler, and he could develop into a nice prospect.
Craylands – 1.50 Newmarket Saturday July 13
First-season sire Golden Horn has had one winner from nine goes in his fledgling career as a stallion, but his daughter CRAYLANDS shaped well on her debut in the Rossdales British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes and can be adding to that winner tally soon.
A bit keen and green in the early stages, she soon found her stride and looked to have the race won on the stands’ rail inside the final quarter mile before Charlie Appleby’s Light Blush regathered her effort to make a winning debut.
Craylands very much caught the eye in second, though, showing plenty of speed over this seven-furlong trip. Indeed, she could even drop to six on this evidence and her dam is a half-sister to the dam of the same owners’ Pretty Pollyanna.