Ascot, Saturday August 8th
I thought this was a good renewal and Laneqash looked ready to strut his stuff. This son of Cable Bay floated to post and once the race was underway he settled well in mid-field. He made giant strides to lead with a furlong to go and after receiving two taps of the whip he quickened impressively to win by 3 lengths. Given his physique he has stacks of improvement to come.
Ajrad, this close coupled colt looked fine for his first start and clearly knew his job because he travelled strongly behind the leaders. As he hit the front the winner soon swept past and overall this was a good starting point.
Escobedo, whose dam won over seven furlongs, looked in good shape for his first start. He led the field at a good tempo, but once he was headed he kept on at one pace to the line. He will have no problems stepping up a furlong.
The leggy Motataabeq looked well-muscled up for his first start and was glowing with health. Well-placed from the off he kept on all the way to the line, but may appreciate going back to six furlongs. The well-bred Spirit Mixer looked in good order, but this son of Frankel showed signs of greenness in the race.
I didn’t mind Outback Boy. This lengthy chestnut got very warm and coltish and ran as if the whole experience was needed.
Line Of Departure, this colt by first season sire Mehmas looked the business paddock side and duly stepped forward to take this 0-90 handicap. Physically he still has a frame to fill and I see no reason after he is reassessed that he cannot win again.
Ataser, this compact colt looked in good shape and the way he performed suggested he may be better off on a less demanding track.
Cobweb Cornerwho is compact looked fine beforehand and led the field from the start. What I liked about him was that even when he was passed he kept on finding all the way to the winning post.
First Prophet, this leggy colt by New Bay looked fit and was slightly unlucky not to get more involved in the finish. He travelled well behind a wall of horses and was unable to get a gap when his jockey required. Once he saw daylight he ran on, but it was too late.
Et Tu Brute, looking at this colt beforehand I thought he looked in good nick, but as he came to challenge he wandered to his right, but weakened.
I was disappointed with Shanghai Rock who looked fantastic paddock side, but didn’t cut much ice in the race.
The joint favourite Jadwal did not look as well as he did 15 days ago and was way too keen in the early stages which ruined his chances.
Chil Chil just stood out compared to his nine opponents. This Andrew Balding trained filly could be called the winner from some way out. Once her jockey found a gap she quickened through to win as she liked. I see no reason why she couldn’t go in again if she remains in this sort of form.
The sweaty Equiano Springs did well to finish second given how keen he was in the early stages. Theotherside, this leggy filly looked very fit, but didn’t have the change of gear needed in the closing stages.
Hamish Macbeth looked fine beforehand and comes from a yard that is short if winners at present. As he came to challenge with a furlong to go he was one paced all the way to the line.
Dazzling Dan ran a respectable race, but looks as if he is just being held by the handicapper at present.
This race saw the return to form of Via Serendipity. Making his debut for a new yard he was well treated on some of his old form and bounced back to win this quite comfortably. Hopefully he will not be hit too hard by the handicapper and can add another win to his CV.
The top weight Cap Francais is a free sweating individual who got very hot before the race got underway. I thought he ran well considering he was giving plenty of weight away.
The strongly made Ejtilaab took the paddock honours, but this fella has to learn to race properly if he is going to fulfil his potential. He has only had six runs in his life so he is short on experience.
Omnivega, who came here looking for his fourth win in a row, was very unlucky. He was too keen in the first place and once Hayley Turner got him settled he found himself right at the back. He was still last coming around the final bend and his jockey went for a daring run up against the rails only for him to nearly run in to the back of Medal Winner. He is worth keeping an eye on for his next assignment because he would have finished a lot closer if everything would have fallen in to place.
Roger Varian’s Look Closely was the pick of the paddock and was well placed from the off. His jockey struck for home at the right time and he just held on towards the line.
Hyanna looked in tip top shape and ran a creditable race in second. I like the way she kept on galloping all the way to the line.
Looking fine beforehand, Fox Vardy ran a decent race given that he was not helping his jockey inside the final furlong.
Having fancied Shandoz, I thought after paddock inspection that he needed the run. How wrong was I. He travelled strongly out the back and came under pressure coming around the final bend, but the further he went the more he found which saw him prevail by a short head. This was an excellent effort on debut considering he beat some in form rivals and I see no reason why he cannot take a massive step forward from this.
The good-bodied Grand Bazaar came here on the back of two victories. He quickened up with two furlongs to run and was only nailed right on the line. This race indicates he is still going forward. The paddock pick Wise Glory lost nothing in defeat and I see no reason why he cannot make his presence felt on his next outing.
Al Madhar looked fine/well, but the way he performed suggests he will be better off at ten furlongs.
Star performance of the meeting:
SHANDOZ, this good bodied colt by Golden Horn came out of a good maiden at Salisbury and on his first start of the season showed a good attitude to come out on top in the Alistair Haggis Memorial Handicap. I see no reason why an extra two furlongs would not go amiss.