stodge

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stodge last won the day on April 27

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  1. Looking back on the first day of the Chester May meeting with overnight and morning rain turning the ground Good to Soft, Soft in places. John Gosden thought the ground "tacky" and Aidan O'Brien withdrew a couple of his runners from the Vase. The Oaks Trial saw DUBAI FOUNTAIN score a narrow win over the arguably unlucky ZEYAADAH who had to sit and suffer as the winner got first run in the straight. I thought DUBAI FOUNTAIN was a steal at 7/4 based on his fourth in the Fillies Mile last autumn when she was just a neck behind MOTHER EARTH who won the 1000 Guineas. Group 1 form in Listed com
  2. This isn't relevant but another ex-UK galloper in LE DON DE VIE took out the Cup race. Won a Listed at Windsor last autumn and the owners got £14,000 - six times as much for taking out the Warrnambool Cup. As for the Grand Annual - shades of Punchestown, shades of Galway and shades of French provincial cross country. An exciting race though.
  3. One of these days I'll get round to Chester but the action comes up quick at this time of year and the final decs are through for Saturday. Seven meetings in the UK but quantity well ahead of quality if truth be told. Ascot's card isn't that strong so it's off to Lingfield for their biggest turf flat day of the year. The ground is Good ahead of a card that features Derby and Oaks Trials as well as a Group 3. For those who don't know, Lingfield has some resemblances to Epsom inasmuch as there is a significant run downhill before a left-hand turn into the straight which isn't far remo
  4. Yes, PLEASANT MAN may not be the best in the yard - the maiden he won on debut at Haydock was probably not the best either. He's the dam's second foal - the first has run 14 times in Japan without troubling the judge. Staying up until 2.30am to watch a steeplechase at Kelso - we've all done it. Seriously, I'm delighted a little bit of UK racing gets shown in NZ. We are having earlier starts - 1pm at some meetings so that would be midnight with you. LAKE TAKAPUNA has been around a while - he was once trained by the great Dermot Weld. He's a full to a horse called DROP THE ANCHOR who w
  5. I'll catch up on Day One of Chester in time but some are getting excited about the Cheshire Oaks winner - well, maybe. Friday is the final day of the meeting and with the ground deteriorating to Good to Soft, Soft in places after showers , the 3650m Chester Cup (basically three times round the track) is going to be a test but in terms of quality, the Group 2 Huxley us the feature for the older horses over 2050m. Just five go to post and favourite is SANGARIUS, a horse of talent, no question, but he's coming back from a five month layoff and a second wind op. He won the Hampton Court
  6. Day Two at Chester and the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes over 2600m has JAPAN installed as 11/8 favourite. The ground on the Roodee has eased to Good to Soft following plenty of rain yesterday and this morning and that would have to be a concern as JAPAN's best form is on top of the ground. On his third to Ghaiyyath in last year's Eclipse he's home in this company but his subsequent runs were uninspiring albeit at the highest level. He's actually joint top-rated with TRUESHAN who put up a stunning performance to win the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day romping home by seven lengths. The
  7. On then to Sunday and the second day of the Guineas meeting at Newmarket. The ground remained Good to Firm with a strengthening wind through the afternoon. The second classic, the 1000 Guineas, looked to revolve around SANTA BARBARA, the subject of glowing reports from Ballydoyle, but in the end she was easy enough to back on the day ending up joint favourite at 5/2 with ALCOHOL FREE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3OffWW0YDE There's an old saying - "there's no point getting older if you're not getting wiser" - and after 54-year-old Kevin Manning won the colts' classic, it was
  8. More catching up to do from Saturday in the UK and Ireland. Plenty of comment after the Listed 2000m race for the 3-y-o which saw MOHAAFETH absolutely bolt up by five lengths. In truth, he was never out of a canter and visually it looked hugely impressive and he was immediately brought in to the Derby market at 10s. A little perspective - he won a 2000m handicap at the mid April meeting off 85 and followed up here off 92 so he needs to find, I'd have thought, another 20 lbs to be a Derby contender. He's by Frankel and is the second foal of a Sea The Stars mare called French Dressing
  9. After the excitement of Guineas weekend, attention turns to the unique turns of Chester (to be fair, Taupo makes Chester look like a galloping track) and its 3-day May meeting. It's not a meeting high on quality though the races are usually exciting. There's a sprinkling of Group 3 races and on the opening day we have the Vase, an established Derby Trial over 2400m. The race has a strong rollcall of past winners and the winner of the 2019 renewal was none other than SIR DRAGONET, who has of course gone on to win a Cox Plate and a Tancred. The favourite is SIR LAMORAK from the Aidan O
  10. Thank you, my friend. I was on at 20s and he returned 12s so I can't quibble.
  11. The first day of the Guineas meeting at Newmarket took place on a dry, cool and windy afternoon. The ground was Good to Firm (watered) and the breeze was behind a slightly across the runners down the Rowley Mile. The feature was the 2000 Guineas and ten years on from Frankel, this year's renewal was one of the most open for years. At one point the bookies were going 5/1 the field but a late surge of money (including a £50,000 each way bet) saw BATTLEGROUND emerge as 9/2 favourite. If you've not seen the race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tmcp4xEmyw NAVAL CROWN set
  12. GRAND CANYON was, like TINGLE CREEK, a brilliant jumper and excelled at a track like Sandown. It was the era of the southern hemisphere jumpers such as CRISP and the 1973 National which is etched in the memory. FOOTPAD will go on to the Virginia Gold Cup and then the Iroquois which is one of the top US jump races. He was brilliant at Cheltenham and Punchestown in 2018 but he was never as good over further. In terms of buying new "talent" for the UK jumps scene, it's France for the 3-y-o ad Ireland for the older types. Today's concluding Bumper at Punchestown was due to feature a hors
  13. One of the toughest horses I've seen for many years. Mixed it in all the top 1600m races as a 3-y-o and an older horse. If his progeny inherit his courage, they'll do well.
  14. Catching up on more of the midweek action and Wednesday's opening Flat card at Ascot was as always of interest. Two Group 3 events at the contrasting distances of 3200m and 1200m. The Sagaro for the stayers saw the return of the multiple Gold Cup winner STRADIVARIUS and the old boy (well, he's a 7-y-o stallion) did it well coming from off the pace under a well judged Dettori ride to lead with 300m to go and he was always holding the challenges of OCEAN WIND and NAYEF ROAD - I though the latter did plenty up front with STAG HORN, who led to the home turn and faded to finish fourth. I'
  15. On then to Sunday and 1000 Guineas day at Newmarket. Just 12 line up in the first fillies' classic and the betting is dominated by SANTA BARBARA who is 5/4 favourite. This is extraordinary for a filly who has won one race, albeit impressively. The price collapsed following some positive comments pre-season from Aidan O'Brien and if one of the Ballydoyle handler's wins the 2000 Guineas, I suspect the price will shorten further. SANTA BARBARA is by Camelot out of a Danehill mare and she is a half to Breeders Cup Mile winner ORDER OF AUSTRALIA (you can guess the sire) and IRIDESSA and b