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Riches And Rubies was only fifth in the nine-furlong handicap at Redcar on Sunday but she probably would have gone close had she not been badly hampered when staying on strongly.
Riches And Rubies came off the bridle at an early stage but she was keeping on powerfully and looked a danger until she was badly hampered and her rider had to take back half a furlong out. That incident cost her all chance and she wasn't given a hard time afterwards, so the finishing position and distance beaten (three and a quarter lengths) does not offer an accurate reflection of her performance.
Her pedigree as well as her run style suggests that she will be suited by a step up in trip - her dam, Diamondsandrubies, finished fourth in the Oaks in 2015 - and she can prove better than her lowly mark.
There was a controversial finish to the novice event which kicked off Saturday’s card at Newbury, with Home City passing the post in front before losing the race in the stewards’ room after causing interference to the runner-up Tropez Power.
Amidst all that drama, the performance of the fourth Dark Swansong may have gone slightly under the radar, but it’s well worth going back and giving the race another watch to see just how well he shaped in faring best of the newcomers.
Settled in mid-division in the early stages, Dark Swansong was briefly caught flat-footed when the leaders quickened entering the final two furlongs. He also showed signs of greenness under pressure, edging left and finding himself rather isolated on the far side as a result.
There was plenty to like about the way Dark Swansong finished his race once the penny dropped, though, making steady headway in the final furlong despite jockey Adam Kirby resorting to no more than hands-and-heels riding. He snatched fourth in the final strides and appeared to finish with running left, albeit five lengths behind the pair who pulled clear of the rest.
Dark Swansong is open to plenty of improvement with this experience under his belt and he will be one to look out for in a similar event in the coming weeks. The way he shaped suggests he will stay beyond six furlongs, though he certainly isn’t bred to want much further than that (by Dark Angel out of a mare who showed useful form at up to six furlongs).
It isn’t often that we select winners in this column, but the manner of Bayside Boy’s win on debut at Newbury earlier today marks him out as a colt to follow. It was the John & Thady Gosden-trained Find who was all the rage in the market, starting the 3/1-on favourite having found only subsequent July Stakes winner Lusail too good at Newmarket on his previous start.
However, he had no answers for Bayside Boy, who broke well enough from the stalls and was settled in midfield before running green in the early and middle part of the race. He had around four lengths to make up on Find at the two-furlong pole, but the penny quickly dropped from there on in and Bayside Boy displayed a good turn of pace to soon be on terms with the eventual runner-up.
When Bayside Boy was upsides Find, Jack Mitchell only had to shake the reins to make him concentrate, and it was the turn of foot that he showed from that point which marks him out as an above-average two-year-od. He hit the line strongly under hands-and-heels riding and will have no problem staying a mile when the time comes. Bayside Boy doesn’t hold any fancy entries as yet, but he is clearly a smart juvenile in the making, and one well up to making his mark at a higher level when the time comes.
This maiden looks sure to throw up plenty of winners given the pedigrees on show and the yards involved. Suwayra, a daughter of Siyouni and a half-sister to the very smart Sinawann, is certainly one to keep on the right side after making a winning debut for Dermot Weld, while Livia Celeste also shaped with plenty of promise in behind having lost all chance when fluffing the start.
Livia Celeste had finished fifth in a barrier trial at Dundalk at the end of June, but she clearly still has some learning to do on this evidence. She completely missed the break and was detached from the rest of the field before tagging on to the back of the pack after a furlong or so. She travelled sweetly after regaining her position, but it was always asking too much for her to make a serious impact given how much ground she forfeited at the start. In fact, she did very well under the circumstances to finish as close as she did, making gradual progress in the straight to pass the post nearly seven lengths behind Suwayra in fourth.
The three who beat Livia Celeste were all ridden much closer to the pace and she probably would have finished a good third at the very least if getting away on terms. This experience is sure to bring her on again and her entry in the Moyglare would suggest that she is expected to do better somewhere down the line. Her breeding would give also give cause for optimism in that regard – she arguably had the most attractive pedigree of all in a good bunch here, being by the late Galileo out of a sister to Rock of Gibraltar.
Milwaukee Blizzard offered something to work on in finishing a staying-on fourth on debut, faring best of those held up in a steadily-run race.
Milwaukee Blizzard showed her inexperience from the outset, breaking slowly from the stalls, and she took a keen hold in the early stages. It was an advantage to be prominent and nothing held up landed a blow, but Milwaukee Blizzard kept on in encouraging fashion inside the final furlong, shaping like she ought to be sharper next time.
She is in excellent hands with Grant Tuer, who is enjoying his best year to date and operating at a remarkable strike rate of just under 25%, which is bettered by only Charlie Appleby, Sir Mark Prescott and William Haggas.
Proclivity is bred to be sharp and she made a promising start to her career in the second division of the fillies' novice at Beverley on Tuesday, chasing home a previous winner with plenty of experience.
Proclivity is by Acclamation and out of a mare who won over six furlongs as a juvenile, so there is a lot of speed in her pedigree. She is also in the care of a trainer who excels with sprinters - Michael Dods has done brilliantly with the likes of Mecca's Angel, Mabs Cross and Dakota Gold - so there is a lot to like about her profile.
Proclivity was notably strong in the finish once getting gathered and hitting top stride, and it would be little surprise were she to improve markedly on this encouraging introduction.
Last Crusader, a 150,000 guineas purchase as a yearling, had presumably been showing plenty at home for Karl Burke as he holds a Gimcrack entry and was sent off the 11/10 favourite on debut at Ayr. His supporters would have had a few anxious moments as the runner-up Claim The Stars wasn't stopping inside the final furlong, but Last Crusader stayed on powerfully close home to win by a cosy neck.
Claim The Stars had the benefit of a couple of runs under his belt and was given a well-judged front-running ride along the standside rail, so it is to Last Crusader's credit that he was able to get on top inside the final 50 yards. The highly regarded Last Crusader is better than the bare form would suggest and he is entitled to improve for the experience, so he should take some beating under a penalty in a novice next time, while his Gimcrack entry suggests connections expect him to make an impact at a higher level.
July 5- July 11 - Hurricane Ivor remains a sprinter to be positive about
June 28-July 4 - Maglev one to note moving forward for William Haggas
June 21-27 - Clive Cox's juvenile Codify has more to offer in future
June 14-20 - Naval Crown is a horse to take forward from Royal Ascot
June 7-13 - Night Hunter caught the eye at Leicester
May 31-June 6 - To Be Wild was among the latest horses to take the eye
May 24-30 - Eyecatchers from Timeform including Bernardo O'Reilly
May 17-23 - Check out the week's eyecatchers from Timeform including Bezzas Lad
May 10-16 - Including a two-year-old to note from the Sunday meeting at Ripon