Trainers don't come much more astute that Hughie Morrison and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Programme and European Pattern Book has ensured rich dividends for his loyal band of owners.
Hughie has plundered valuable prize money in France through the season with the likes of Nearly Caught who head to Chantilly for the Prix Du Cadran this weekend, Marmelo, and Last Tango Inparis and closer to home has a strong looking team of contenders for the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket on October 8 with Fun Mac, Sweet Selection and Star Rider all possibilities.
The progressive Dutch Law gives Morrison reason for further excitement with his recent progress and just for good measure he has two-year-old Temple Church to keep him dreaming over the winter after a recent victory in the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Stakes at Newbury.
There also a handful of jumpers and some familiar names to AW followers to consider and all in all it looks like the good times are rolling for the East Ilsley trainer who had notched 35 domestics winners and over £413,000 in prize money at time of going to press.
Hughie kindly spoke to Tony Elves of ATR about his team.
4 b c Azamour - Capriola
Winner of three of his 13 starts. Made a winning reappearance at Nottingham (1m 6f) in May when beating Hurry Home Poppa two and three quarters lengths off a mark of 67. Currently rated 68.
"He won well first time out and has been a bit disappointing since but is just a big weak horse. He will probably run once more then go to the Horses-In-Training Sale and he would make a lovely hurdler."
5 b g Baltic King - Negria
Winner of two of his 30 starts. Unplaced to Jack's Revenge at Epsom (7f) on Sunday off current mark of 81. Probably best effort this term when second, beaten half a length, to Battlement at Newmarket in July off a mark of 83.
"He is a delightful horse to have in the yard and the problem is that he tries too hard and keeps coming second or third so never gets below 80 which is the level he should be running in."
4 b f Stimulation - Flirtation
Winner of her only bumper at Newbury (2m 1/2f) in March by two lengths from Poisoned Berry.
"She is back doing steady canters. She has a feisty temperament but obviously has loads of ability. Whether we go for a bumper or go straight novice hurdling all depends on how we get on schooling when the ground gets better."
CHIL THE KITE
7 b g Notnowcato - Copy-Cat
Winner of six of his 36 starts. Unplaced to Spark Plug in the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket (1m 1f) on Saturday off his current mark of 105.
"The ground was too firm at Newmarket on Saturday but that should have put him spot on and let's hope we get some rain before his next intended engagement in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot."
4 b g Compton Place - Classic Millennium
Winner of two of his 15 starts. Scored by half a length from Cottesloe at Newmarket (1m 2f) in June off a mark of 73. Currently rated 77.
"He is another honest horse who will be aimed at the series final at Nottingham on September 28. We could do with a bit of rain really as he doesn't quicken and he needs soft ground to help him. He's a fun horse to own and I expect next year he will stay a mile and a half and we can win a few races with him over a longer trip."
9 b g Sakhee - Cugina
Winner of 10 of his 48 starts. Unplaced in two run this season over hurdles at Cartmel (2m 6f) in May and on the Flat at Newcastle (2m 1/2f) in June. Currently rated 85 on the Flat and 122 over hurdles.
"After a great Autumn last year he's never really been firing since then but had been in really good form until he stood on a stone when we were about to run him. Hopefully he will be back when the ground turns soft but he is off 85 which is a tough mark for a nine-year-old."
4 b g Dutch Art - Lawyers Choice
Winner of four of his 18 starts. Found winning form with a vengeance since July and winner of three of his last four starts. Score by a half a length from Firmament at Ascot (7f) in September off a mark of 93. Currently rated 99.
"He has surpassed himself in the past two months with a string of victories and he is being aimed at Ascot this weekend but our major concern is whether he will get into the race or not. Based on last year we won't as there is a safety factor of 18 which would be a tragedy."
4 ch g Nayef - Snow Goose
Winner of three of 14 starts. Successful three time on the AW this year latest success coming at Kempton (2m) in September when beating Kristjano half a length off a mark of 71. Currently rated 73.
"He is very difficult horse to judge as he pops up and shows fairly decent form then he loses it. If we knew why he wouldn't and he would be rated 90."
5 ch g Shirocco - Favorite
Winner of four of his 22 starts. Returned to winning form with a two length victory from Vive Ma Fille at Salisbury (1m 6f) in September and beaten only a nose and half a length by Justice Bell and Seamour in a listed event at Newmarket (2m) last Thursday. Currently rated 100.
"He returned to form at Salisbury and ran extremely well at Newmarket on Thursday. I suspect he will go for the Cesarewitch but I haven't had time to look at other races than that. If there is a good alternative I would take an alternative."
4 ch g Shirocco - Spring Fashion
Winner of one of his 13 starts. Finished runner-up, beaten only three quarters of a length, by Nietzsche on his reappearance at Ayr (1m 5f) this month off a mark of 71. Currently rated 74.
"He ran easily his best race the other day at Ayr after having time off. He took time to recover from an injury he picked up at Chepstow and we will be looking for a couple of more race with him and we will probably not go hurdling with him this year."
4 b g High Chaparral - Break Time
Winner of two of his 12 starts. Unraced this year and last victory at Wolverhampton (1m 1/2f) in September of last year when beating Virtual Reality three quarters of a length off a mark of 69.
"He is just coming back now and is probably too high in the handicap."
6 b g New Approach - Katch Me Katie
Winner of six of his 22 starts. Successful in his last two outing at Deauville (1m 7f) in July and August on latest occasion beating Candarliya three and a half lengths in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay. Currently rated 113.
"Going right-handed around a nice flat track like Deauville has made him a different horse. We hope he can reproduce the same level of form in the Prix du Cadran over an extra half a mile. If he can he will be the one to beat."
NOT SO SLEEPY
4 ch g Beat Hollow - Papilon de Bronze
Winner of two of his 13 starts. Came closes to victory this season when fourth, beaten two lengths, to Articus in a Group 3 at Hanover (1m 2f) in July. Currently rated 100.
"He is very difficult to place and needs the ground the softer the better. His best run was at Germany when the meeting was abandoned!"
9 b g Pastoral Pursuits - Copy-Cat
Winner of seven of his 63 starts. Added to his score when beating Easy Tiger a head at Goodwood (7f) in June off a mark of 85. Currently rated 88.
"He is a good old servant and won his race this year and has been placed. He might run at Ascot on Friday but he has won his race this year and if he remains sound then he might as well carry on racing as he isn't really a hacking horse."
4 b g Paco Boy - Red Blooded Woman
Winner of two of his 16 starts. Came closest to victory this year when second, beaten a length and a quarter, to West Coast Flyer at Kempton (1m 3f) in August off a mark of 83. Currently rated 77 on the turf and 82 (AW).
"He has lots of ability and will win a decent race on day but he will probably go to the Sales. I find like a lot of Paco Boy's that you don't know what is going to turn up on the racecourse."
5 b m King's Theatre - Rose Of The Erne
Winner of one of her two bumpers. Successful at Towcester (2m) in December when beating Graceful Legend a length and a half.
"She is back in training and will be going for mares novice hurdles this winter."
4 gr f Cape Cross - Starfala
Winner of three of her 13 starts. Scored by two lengths from Percy Veer in a handicap at Goodwood (2m 5f) in July off a mark of 85. Currently rated 91.
"She didn't have a hard race in the Park Hill when she was just out of her comfort zone in a quality race over a shorter distance. If we can get her in the same form as she was at Goodwood she has every reason to be running in the Cesarewitch."
4 b f Stimulation - Sweet Coincidence
Winner of five of her 17 starts. Completed a hat trick when beating Sea Of Heaven a length and three quarters at Newbury (2m 2f) in July off a mark of 82 and much improved form in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup at Doncaster this month when fifth, beaten seven and three quarter lengths, to Sheikhzyaedroad. Currently rated 104.
"She is being aimed at the Cesarewitch and has been for two months now. The worry would be that she won't get in - she has gone up 17lb for a great run at Doncaster and all being well and she is in good form and she gets in she would have a great chance."
THE POODLE FAKER
5 b g Pastoral Pursuits - Flirtatious
Placed in two of his four bumpers
"He will go novice hurdling this year. We hope that the hurdles might help produce a better horse and he might even go novice chasing with him as he has a great jump in him."
Three Year Olds
b f Mount Nelson - Early Evening
Runner-up in two of his 4 starts. Failed by only three quarters of a length behind Muaither at Newbury (1m 4f) in June off a mark of 68. Currently rated 73.
"He has got lots of ability and is just a very big mare who needs a chance. She hasn't been right nothing serious but she could be a very progressive filly as a four-year-old."
b f Archipenko - Rekilda
Winner of two of her 8 starts. Latest win when beating Danecase a length and a quarter at Lingfield (7f) in July off a mark of 62. Currently rated 67.
"She is well-named but has been progressive and won two races. She runs at Wolverhampton on Tuesday."
LAST TANGO INPARIS
ch f Aqlaam - Strictly Lambada
Winner of one of her 4 starts. Beaten only a neck by Golden Valentine in a listed event at Saint-Cloud (1m 4f) in July. Currently rated 100.
"She is waiting for soft ground. She went to France last week but it went fast and she maybe a filly for the Autumn if she doesn't go over the top."
b c Roderic O'Connor - Union City Blues
Winner of one of his 6 starts. Runner-up, beaten two and a half lengths, to Icefall at Beverley (1m 4f) this month off current mark of 78.
"He had a setback back in April and is still coming back to himself. We think he is better than he has shown and probably has a handicap in him this year. If not he should be progressive next year."
b c Duke of Marmalade - Capriolla
Winner of one of his four starts. Scooted up by ten lengths from Lord Napier in a maiden at Doncaster (1m 4f) in July and subsequently runner-up, beaten two and a half lengths, to Cleonte in a listed contest at Deauville (1m 7f) in August. Currently rated 95.
"He ran a good second in a listed race in France last time. He had a bit of a blip and we are trying to get him to France next weekend for the Group 2 Prix de Chaudenay and that will probably be his last race before he has a holiday."
ch f Pivotal - Passiflora
Winner of two of her 9 starts. Finished runner-up, beaten two and three quarter lengths, to Laugh Aloud in a listed contest at Newmarket (1m) last Friday. Currently rated 100.
"She ran a huge race to finish second last week on ground that was pretty fast for her. She might be put away but there is a listed race at the end of October that might be the only option for her."
b g Sakhee - Some Sunny Day
Winner of one of his 5 starts. Off the mark with a three length defeat of Nanny Makfi at Ffos Las (1m 4f) last week off his current mark of 62.
"The owners very wisely decided to give him a holiday after a perfectly respectable effort at Chepstow in May and the plans came off in spades at Ffos Las last week. He stays well and likes soft ground and will have one more run before going off to the Sales. He will make a really nice hurdling prospect."
SENZA UNA DONNA
b g Sir Percy - Sensationally
Winner of four of his 12 starts. Unplaced to Guns of Leros in the Apprentice Derby at Epsom (1m 4f) on Sunday but had won three of his four previous starts and gained his last success off a mark of 75 when beating Rose Above two lengths at Chepstow (1m 4f) in August.
"He has surpassed himself this year. He has been offered for Sale either in a claimer or seller and has not had a bid. He's won four races now and is rated 80 and the reason he doesn't sell is that he can't walk but he wins races."
ch f Roderic O'Connor - Opatja
Winner of two of his 10 starts. Last win when beating Miss Munty a head at Bath (1m 2f) in August off a mark of 71. Currently rated 75.
"She is a bit of a confusing one - she won a nice race at Bath on her penultimate start then went off to Chelmsford last week and took no interest. She is in an out."
b c Lawman - Tree Tops
Winner of one of his 7 starts. Failed by only a head behind Pumaflor off his current mark of 88 at Haydock (1m) last week.
"He was unlucky not to win at Haydock he now has his form back and with a soft ground and a bit further we have a decent handicapper for next year. Hopefully, this time next year we will be going for the Cesarewitch."
b c Excellent Art - Respectfilly
Winner of one of his 10 starts. Off the mark when making all to beat Best Laid Plans three quarters of a length in a maiden at Wolverhampton (1m 1/2f) in August. Currently rated 75.
"He's nothing but honest and has run plenty of times and was third in a claimer in France and then came back and won his maiden at Wolverhampton. He is in the Sales and is an honest and straightforward horse."
Two Year Olds
b c Foxwedge - Italian Connection
"It's a case of so far so good and he should make a really nice 7f/miler next year."
ch f Poet's Voice - Palace Affair
Winner of one of his 4 starts. Off the mark with a four and a half length defeat of Coral Sea at Newbury (6f) in June and beaten only three quarters of a length by Tawny Port off a mark of 81 in a nursery at Ayr (6f) in September. Currently rated 84.
"She has done extremely well and won her maiden at Newbury convincingly on softish ground. She went to Ascot and hated the fast ground and was created her own ill luck when runner-up at Ayr last time. We might end up going for some black type at the end of the season as long as it's soft ground. Her mother never won anything but soft as well."
b c Casamento - Sindiyma
"He should run in a couple of weeks time and is one who should make a three-year-old. There is plenty of substance in his pedigree."
b f Fastnet Rock - Starfala
"We know the family well and she will make a lovely three and four-year-old."
b c Lawman - All Hallows
Winner of one of his two starts. Off the mark with a neck victory from Raheen House in the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Stakes at Newbury (1m) this month.
"He progressed seriously from his first to his second run which we hoped and won the Haynes. Hanson & Clark Stakes. He has always been a really nice horse and has a great staying pedigree. We can only dream with him and if he goes on from this year to next he could be anything. He wasn't doing anything in the final furlong and was pulling himself up - we dream!"
DUTCH LAW - recent form has been a revelation and could still have more to offer.
FUN MAC - back-to-form seasoned campaigner who can add to his tally in the closing months.
NEARLY CAUGHT - has shown a liking for racing in France and possible Group 1 pay day in the Prix du Cadran.
SWEET SELECTION - career best performance when fifth in the Doncaster Cup and could be the nap in the Cesarewitch if she makes the cut.
TOP BEAK - solid effort at Haydock recently which can be improved upon.
TEMPLE CHURCH - one to keep the winter fires burning after success in a prestigious Newbury event.