Grant Copson of The Final Flight Publications has selected his eyecatchers from the last week and you can add them to your My Stable by clicking on the horse's name below.
New Queen – 2nd 2.15 Bath, Monday
Signora Cabello did her job well at Bath last week, rewarding the readers of this blog with a decent next-time-out winner, but it was the runner-up that caught the eye after being slowly away. The well-related daughter of Charm Spirit showed signs of immaturity under Oisin Murphy in the early stages but finished with a rattle down the outside of the field and got to within a length of the winner at the line. Assuming that she makes the expected improvement from her first run, she looks certain to prove hard to beat next time.
Coral Beach – 3rd 1.40 Naas, Monday
It is common knowledge that a lot of Aidan O'Brien-trained horses improve significantly for their first runs and this daughter of Zoffany – the horse that gave the mighty Frankel the biggest scare of his unbeaten career at Royal Ascot – certainly fits that description. The fact that she was a fast-finishing third to the potentially top-class Fairyland was noteworthy in itself, though that doesn’t tell the entire story. She was bumped around as soon as she left the stalls and although she was still travelling well with two furlongs to race, she was again left with no room to make her challenge. Once in the clear, she stayed on well under an easy ride, which was sensible given that the winner had already flown. She looks set to get off the mark in the near future and can prove herself as a smart performer.
Spanish City – 6th 4.00 Ascot, Saturday
What a week it has been for Hayley Turner, firstly landing the Victoria Cup on Ripp Orf and then her and the ITV team winning a Bafta. However, it was the sixth home Spanish City – trained by a handler that I have the utmost respect for in Roger Varian – who caught my eye when travelling very strongly at the rear of the field for the majority of the race. It was far from all style though, as the gelding really knuckled down when Andrea Atzeni asked him to quicken and could even be marked down as a fast finisher. The fact that this was Spanish City's first try at a big field handicap, he looked to take to it superbly and it must only be a matter of time before this lightly raced five-year-old lands a big pot. Having already progressed from an opening mark of 77 (over an extended 5f) to 88, he's certainly going the right way and there is a possibility that he could improve even further when tackling a mile for the first time. He jumps out to me as a pretty exciting handicapper for the season ahead.
Mutawaffer – 4th 4.35 Ascot, Saturday
This colt, by the prolific Kodiac, was arguably the most obvious eyecatcher of the last seven days after his taking debut at Ascot. The Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned juvenile, who is very well-related on the dam’s side of his family, showed a useful level of ability on his first racecourse appearance, where he was held up in the early stages. He was pushed along to close on the leaders inside the final quarter of a mile and it appeared that once he got the message close home, he was running on best of all at the line. The winner, Blown By Wind, has already proved himself to be a useful horse in his own right and is well on the way to Royal Ascot now. Though don’t be surprised to see Mutawaffer also make a Royal appearance next month, as a predicted win beforehand will surely book his place.
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