ANDREW BALDING has his team coming nicely to the boil as the turf season hits overdrive and six winners since last Thursday have taken him to the respectable total of 44 for the year and over £600,000 in prize money.
The Kingclere trainer has some way to go to overhaul last year's total of 95 winners and over, 1,545,000 in prize money but there looks busy times ahead for the like of Absolutely So, Ballynanty, Here Comes When and Tullius, to name but a few, amongst the older brigade and the likes of Dancing Star, Ormito and Viscount Barfield in the three-year-old division.
Balding has some potentially smart two-year-olds at his disposal in Bohemian Flame, Isomer and South Seas and it looks like another lucrative season is in store for him.
Andrew kindly spoke to Tony Elves of ATR about his prospects for the coming months.
6 b g Acclamation - Week End
Winner of five of his 17 starts. Highly commendable effort in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot (6f) on latest start this month when fourth of 28, beaten only two and a half lengths, to Outback Traveller off his current mark of 109.
"He ran a great race in the Wokingham and sadly he was probably on the wrong part of the track. He won his side by a couple of lengths but unfortunately there were three faster than him on the stands side. It was a great run, he is still lightly raced and, hopefully, he can go on from this. He was just a bit sore after Ascot but should be fine in a week and I had it in mind to run him in the Bunbury Cup but he may have to wait for the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood. He handles soft ground well and will have plenty of options in the Autumn."
4 gr c Yeats - Reina Blanca
Winner of one of his 8 starts. Beaten only a length when third to Moonrise Landing in the AW Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes when last seen out at Lingfield (2m) in March. Currently rated 102.
"He has had a breathing operation since finishing a fine third in the Marathon on AW Championships day at Lingfield in March. Oisin (Murphy) just felt he choked a little bit in the Marathon and he has been working well since coming out of it and goes for the Coral Marathon at Sandown on Saturday. He's a decent horse and I think he has got a decent race in him at some stage."
4 ch f Tamayuz - Holda
Winner of three of her 9 starts. Unplaced to Usherette in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot (1m) this month but had previously scored nicely by three and a half lengths from Oakley Girl at Goodwood (1m) in April. Currently rated 107.
"She was unsuited by the soft ground in the Duke of Cambridge and didn't run her race. Happily, she is fine and we will probably look at the Summer Stakes for her at Ascot on July 9. She has won twice at listed level and we are keen to win a Group race with her."
4 ch g Manduro - Landinium
Winner of three of his 9 starts. Better effort this season when runner-up, beaten only a length and a quarter to King Bolete at Ascot (1m 4f) in May off a mark of 92. Currently rated 94.
"Unfortunately, he missed the cut for the Duke of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot and that has been his target for some while. It was annoying a horse rated 94 couldn't get in that race but he will have an entry for the Old Newton Cup and I think he's a useful horse and probably stakes class. He is still handicapped to win a big race but it is a question of getting him into a big race when everything is right. He is better with some give in the ground and I think he will have a very productive season if we are patient with him."
5 b m Mount Nelson - Masandra
Winner of four of her 14 starts. Scored by a head from Tears Of The Sun in a listed event at Nottingham (1m 2f) this month. Currently rated 98.
"She won a listed race well last time and I think she is still relatively well handicapped. Now that she has won her listed race there is no harm in going for a nice handicap chasing some good prize money. I think we will probably end up going for the Magnet Cup and she need four or five to come out there."
5 ch g Shirocco - Spring Dream
Winner of six of his 22 starts. Gained his last success at Kempton (2m) in April when beating Gavlar a length and three quarters off a mark of 84. Currently rated 88.
"He run in the Northumberland Vase (today) but is drawn terribly in 20. We will try him on the grass at some stage again but he's a decent horse and I'm sure there's a nice race to be won with him at some stage."
HERE COMES WHEN
6 b g Danehill Dancer - Quad's Melody
Winner of five of his 20 starts. Best effort this season when third, beaten two and a half lengths, to Home Of The Brave in a listed event at Leicester (7f) on his reappearance in April. Currently rated 109.
"He runs at Newmarket on Saturday in the Criterion Stakes. He should have the ground at Newmarket and he's very well and he's won two Group 2's in the past and I'm sure there's a good race to be won with him this year. Seven furlongs to a mile suits him well."
8 b g Le Vie Dei Colori - Emma's Star
Winner of nine of his 49 starts. Respectable effort when fifth, beaten three lengths, to Namroodah at Newmarket (7f) in June off a mark of 93. Currently rated 92 on the turf and 97 (AW).
"He has run a couple of solid races this year with the visor on. He is in the Bunbury Cup and won't make the main race but could get into the consolation race. He just wouldn't want the ground too fast and it's sure to dry out some time."
MAN OF HARLECH
5 b g Dansili - Ffestiniog
Winner of three of his 16 starts. Beaten only six and a half length when 16th of 28 to Portage in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot (1m) in June off a mark of 100. Currently rated 98.
"He ran very well in the Hunt Cup. He has had minor setbacks which might just have robbed us of work and in the circumstances he's ran an excellent race. He was fourth in the Cambridgeshire last year and he will probably be aimed for that."
5 b m Invincible Spirit - Thought Is Free
Winner of two of her 16 starts. Finished fifth of eight, beaten four and a half lengths, to Gabrial in a listed race at Windsor on Saturday. Currently rated 95.
"She is in foal and won't have too many more runs but she's be Group and listed placed and it would be nice to win a stakes with her if we can before she retires to the paddocks."
5 b g Yeats - Le Badie
Winner of three of his 14 starts. Commendable effort in the Ascot Stakes Handicap at Royal Ascot (2m 4f) latest start in June when fifth of 20, beaten eight lengths, to Jennies Jewel off his current mark of 94.
"He ran a super race in the Ascot Stakes to finish fifth on what was only his second run in 12 months. He stayed well and we will let the dust settle and not rush him back. I think there is a very decent staying handicap in him.
5 br g High Chaparral - Splendeur
Winner of five of his 14 starts. Last success when beating Anglophile a head in the AW Marathon Championships at Lingfield (2m) in April 2015. Currently rated 95 on the turf and 101 on the AW.
"He has had problems with his breathing and sadly has had to have a second breathing operation. He will probably be geared with an AW campaign this Winter."
5 b g Rock of Gibraltar - Landinium
Winner of three of his 8 starts. Last seen out when finishing second, beaten two and three quarter lengths, to Clever Cookie in a Listed race at York (1m 6f) in May 2015. Currently rated 104.
"He picked up an injury after finishing second to Clever Cookie in a listed race at York last year. He is back in training and swimming and we are trying to get him back to full fitness. I think we are looking at an Autumn campaign for him but he looks tremendously well physically and is a high class horse."
5 b g Monsun - Sqillo
Winner of one of his 12 starts. Failed by only a head behind Elite Army on his reappearance in a listed event at Ascot (1m 4f) in May and subsequently tailed off in the Ascot Gold Cup at Royal Ascot (2m 4f) in June.
"Scotland got an aggravated suspensory problem when running in the Gold Cup so we are going to have to regroup with him. He's a good stayer and needs fast ground and he got pulled around on the soft ground. On his second to Elite Army he has all his ability and we will look at our option when we get him back."
8 ch g Le Vie Dei Colori - Whipped Queen
Winner of 11 of his 37 starts. Returned to winning form in the Group 3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom (1m 1/2f) in June when beating Decorated Knight a short head. Currently rated 110.
"He won the Diomed in game fashion and we were thinking of waiting for the York Stakes in July which he won last year. He likes a bit of cut in the ground and we want to see if the ground will be suitable for him and that is where we want to go but he doesn't want it too quick."
b g Shirocco - Lady Brora
No wins from 7 starts. Beaten only three quarters of a length by Jabbaar in a maiden at Beverley (1m 1/2f) in June. Currently rated 74.
"He was unlucky not to win his maiden at Beverley last time and he was just a little too relaxed and missed the start then got a bit of misfortune in his run. He will go for maiden and then take it from there. We have always thought a fair bit of him and I would hope he can progress once he wins his maiden."
b f Aqlaam - Strictly Dancing
Winner of three of her 6 starts. Successful in her first two starts this season beating Cultured Knight a head off a mark of 75 at Salisbury (6f) in May and following up with a two and three quarter length victory from Buying Trouble off a mark of 80 at Goodwood in June. Further improvement when beaten only half a length by Mr Lupton off a mark of 89 in a valuable event at York (6f) later in June. Currently rated 96.
"She was just beaten by Mr Lupton at York last time and is progressing well. She will go for the big sprint handicap at the Newmarket July meeting and will also have a Stewards' Cup entry. A three-year-old won it last year and if she won at Newmarket that would probably then become the next logical step."
b g Acclamation - Dark Missile
Winner of one of his 10 starts. Gained an overdue first success (runner-up four times previously) at Windsor (5f) on Saturday when scoring by six lengths from Silver Bid. Currently rated 81.
"He had been unlucky not to get off the mark but enjoyed a resounding success at Windsor on Saturday. He thoroughly deserved to win a race and, now he has got his head in front, there will hopefully be more to come."
DREAM OF SUMMER
b c Canford Cliffs - Danehill's Dream
Winner of one of his 7 starts. Finished fourth, beaten two lengths, to Bastille Day at Kempton (1m) last week off his current mark of 76.
"Tom (Queally) rode him the other day and he finished fourth in a handicap. He just had a few problems in the Spring, nothing serious, but we lost some ground with him and he badly needed his run at Newmarket first time out. He was somewhere near his capabilities at Kempton and I think there is more improvement still to come. He should be up to winning a decent handicap or two this year."
GREAT AND SMALL
b f Galileo - Gryada
Unplaced in both her starts.
"She is a beautifully bred filly and was a little bit lively at Salisbury last week on her return. She got a little bit tired and she's a lot better than she showed then. She is capable of going close in the right race next time."
b g Makfi - High Cross
Winner of two of his 7 starts. Winner at Wolverhampton in March and Chester in May and beaten only three quarters of a length when third to Oh This Is Us at Goodwood (7f) off a mark of 91 later in May. Currently rated 93.
"He done very well and we are in the process of agreeing a deal for him to go to Hong Kong. That could happen in the next week so we can't make any plans for him but he has done us proud."
b c Authorized - Kingston Acacia
Winner of two of his 8 starts. Successful at Windsor (1m 1/2f) on Sunday when beating Grand Inquisitor a neck off his current mark of 87.
"I thought he was a horse that was better than his performances suggested this season and he proved that at Windsor on Sunday when resuming winning ways. He had been a bit unlucky and doesn't want extremes from a ground point of view. Hopefully, we can move on from here and he is best at around nine furlongs."
b f Makfi - Raymi Coya
Winner of one of her 7 starts. Best effort this term when beaten only three quarters of a length by Smuggler's Moon in a listed event at Epsom (7f) in June. Currently rated 98.
"Sadly, she just got swamped in the Sandringham and didn't have the run of the race. To her credit she boxed on to finish seventh and that was a good run in the circumstances. She is well up to winning a listed race if we can get things right. She needs a bit of give in the ground and she ran very well in the Surrey Stakes and showed she can mix with them at that level."
b c Rip Van Winkle - Jabroot
No wins from four runs. Beaten only a short head by Chelsea's Boy on his handicap debut at Goodwood (1m 4f) in June off a mark of 75. Currently rated 78.
"He was second at Goodwood last time out after an encouraging run at Haydock. He looks like he will stay further and wants a sound surface. He is well up to winning a nice handicap."
b c Mamool - Ormita
Winner of one of his 7 starts. Best effort this season when third, beaten a length, to Algometer in a listed event at Goodwood (1m 3f) in May. Currently rated 98.
"He will hopefully be going for the Bahrain Trophy at the July meeting at Newmarket. Sadly, he got very worked up in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot which is very uncharacteristic of him. He was a bit battered and bruised afterwards but he is on the mend and hopefully he can show his true colours in the Bahrain Trophy."
b/br colt Cape Blanco - Real Doll
Winner of one of his 6 starts. Off the mark at Kempton (1m 3f) in May when beating Gold Faith half a length off a mark of 80. Currently rated 82.
"He won well at Kempton last time and I think he is the type to go on from that. He wants a sound surface and he has yet to do it on the grass but we could go to Sandown this week if it dries out."
ch f Dutch Art - Swan Wings
Winner of one of her 3 starts. Successful on her debut at Windsor (6f) last September when beating Gravity Flow a neck. Currently rated 95.
"She has had a number of setbacks and has just had a soft palate operation. We think her breathing effected her during her comeback run and she has had that dealt with. She is very fast and I'm sure there's a nice race to be won with her this year. Probably over five furlongs."
b c Raven's Pass - Madonna
Winner of two of his 7 starts. Easy four and a half length winner from Bell Heather at Chester (7 1/2f) last Friday off a mark of 73.
"He is improving with experience and was an impressive winner at Chester on Friday. He is entered later in the week and we will see how he is but he could run under his penalty."
b g Zoffany - Lioness
Winner of one of his five starts. Currently rated 75.
"He has been a big disappointment in his three runs this season and has been gelded as a result. He will be out again in two or three weeks time and he can hopefully step up on his previous efforts."
b c Zoffany - Red Japonica
Winner of one of his two starts. Made a winning debut at Salisbury (5f) in May when beating Davarde three quarters of a length and creditable third, beaten three and three quarter lengths, to Global Applause in the Listed National Stakes at Sandown (5f) later in that month.
"He is a nice horse who finished third in the National Stakes and is due to run in the July Stakes. He purposely missed Royal Ascot but the form wasn't done any harm by the National Stakes runner-up Mehmas who finished second in the Coventry Stakes too. It's a big step up in class but we will see how he goes."
ch c Cape Blanco - Nimue
Runner-up in both of his starts. Beaten only three quarters of a length by Cunco on his debut at Newbury (6f) in May and only half a length by Churchill in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot (7f) in June.
"He ran a cracking race in the Chesham and is probably one to follow. He should stay further in time."
ch c Lope De Vega - Let It Be Me
Impressive eight length winner from Winning Ways on his sole start at Windsor (6f) in June.
"He is a horse of Qatar's who clocked a decent time when winning impressively on his debut at Windsor. That was most encouraging and he might well go for the Superlative Stakes if the ground isn't too fast at Newmarket."
ABSOLUTELY SO - didn't have the kindest draw in the Wokingham and can soon get back on the scoresheet.
TULLIUS - stable stalwart who still possesses the winning knack.
VISCOUNT BARFIELD - impressive winner at Chester last Friday night and more to come
BOHEMIAN FLAME - has done little wrong in two starts and can make his presence felt in decent company.
ISOMER - probably the best two-year-old maiden in the country right now and can soon rid himself of that tag.
SOUTH SEAS - created a very favourable impression when winning on his debut at Windsor and plenty more successes to come