12 TO FOLLOW FROM ROYAL ASCOT 2018
Raced prominently and appeared to have her rivals in trouble when sent to the front travelling comfortably two out.
The picture changed pretty quickly, however, as Beyond Reason began to tread water as her effort fizzled out.
Charlie Appleby’s filly is bred to stay this seven furlongs and the daughter of Australia is probably still slightly on the weak side.
(King George V Handicap)
Arguably the most unlucky horse of the meeting was previous Eyecatcher First Eleven (fast-finishing third) but further down the field stablemate Cassini didn’t enjoy a wholly untroubled passage either, eventually coming home in 11th spot behind Baghdad.
John Gosden would have been happy enough with this performance as Cassini was stepping into deep handicap company for the first time on only his fourth career start.
COME ON LEICESTER
(Queen Mary Stakes)
Not helped by being drawn in stall one, Come On Leicester’s fifth to Signora Cabello can almost certainly be marked up.
Richard Hannon’s filly, third to Shades Of Blue on her course and distance debut before accelerating clear at Windsor 10 days later, was just a little out of her depth but there are more races to be won by this daughter of Kodiac.
Looked to be working his way back to peak form with a fine third to George Bowen at York last month but he raced in the ruck here after a sloppy break.
Danzeno made moderate headway into 17th without ever threatening and Mick Appleby will be hoping his star sprinter can rediscover the spark which saw him land a Heritage Handicap here last July off a 2lb higher mark.
It is probably no forlorn hope.
Connections were sweet on First Contact’s chances following an impressive Wolverhampton success but he never recovered from interference inside the first furlong.
Shuffled to the rear, the Godolphin colt was stranded well out of his ground and facing a hopeless task.
William Buick then met trouble as he tried to improve his position and First Contact did quite well in the circumstances to finish 11th behind the perfectly-ridden Ostilio.
If the betting market was a reliable barometer there was not a great deal of confidence behind last year’s Coventry Stakes runner-up but he fared well enough in eighth place to suggest better times lie ahead.
Danny Tudhope was pushing him along two out but Headway lacked the acceleration to latch on to the principals, with explosive Expert Eye taking the race apart inside the final furlong.
(Hampton Court Stakes)
Another strong renewal of this Group 3 contest won convincingly by Hunting Horn.
Punters latched on to Key Victory but he raced a bit awkwardly early in the straight before plugging on into sixth.
Perhaps he was feeling the fast ground, although it is worth underlining that this was only his fourth racecourse appearance pitched into unchartered waters.
Keep Charlie Appleby’s colt on your side.
This ex-French gelding (66-1) was having his fifth start for Gary Moore and lived up to his trainer’s pre-race expectations of a good run without troubling the principals.
Settled out the back by Adam Kirby, Kloud Gate stayed on into seventh and on the back of a few outings in novice hurdles will be of interest when going handicapping in that sphere.
The annual fillies’ cavalry charge down the straight mile looked almost impossible to unravel beforehand but punters who joined the Hugh Taylor-inspired gamble on Agrotera must have wondered what all the fuss was about as she sauntered clear.
Just out of the places came Perfection and John Gosden’s filly deserves credit as she looked as lonely as a lighthouse racing on her own from stall one.
Nicky Mackay had her prominent throughout but Perfection had shot her bolt in the final 100 yards.
The first-time cheek-pieces may have helped and she could be even better suited by a more yielding surface.
SANDS OF MALI
Richard Fahey’s colt seems ideally suited by flat, speedy tracks like Haydock and the Knavesmire, and Sands Of Mali will be a force to be reckoned with through the season as he seems to handle all types of ground.
(Royal Hunt Cup)
Gary O’Brien marked punters’ cards when he pinpointed Settle For Bay and this scintillating performance marked Settle For Bay down as an Irish blot on the handicap.
Trailing in his wake was the Queen’s Seniority but the William Haggas-trained gelding emerged with credit in eighth. Buried away deep on the stands’ side emerging from stall 30, Seniority had a lot of ground to make up under James Doyle.
For a fleeting moment he looked threatening before his challenge flattened out and this was another step in the right direction for the recent impressive Chelmsford City winner.
Aidan O’Brien has a treasure trove of stout-staying three-year-olds to juggle with in the coming months and Southern France is gradually edging up the Ballydoyle pecking order.
Still relatively inexperienced, he suffered in some scrimmaging from the stalls and occupied a poor tactical position turning for home.
Although displaying signs of greenness, Southern France really grabbed the ground through the final furlong to eventually chase home impressive Kew Gardens.
Something like the Irish St Leger looks well within his compass.