Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle is set for a busy Friday at Newmarket before once again going on her travels ahead of Saturday’s card at the Curragh.
Joel Stakes a logical step for improving Tempus
The Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Joel Stakes (3.35) at Newmarket on Friday is a logical stepping stone for Archie Watson’s progressive miler Tempus.
He was simply brilliant in winning back-to-back Group Three’s last month, first at Salisbury and then defying a penalty in France, and is more than ready for this step up in class. I rode Hambleton Racing’s gelding in a nice piece of work in Lambourn last week in readiness for a race he is more than capable of holding his own in.
The one we probably have to beat is Sir Michael Stoute’s Potapova, who also steps up in grade after winning the Group Three Atalanta Stakes at Sandown in August but looks capable of doing better still and has the benefit of the fillies’ allowance.
It’s one step at a time, but if all goes to plan Tempus will be aimed at the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions’ Day next month.
Passion gunning for Listed glory
I’m also looking forward to getting back on Passion And Glory in the Listed Al Basti Equiworld Godolphin Stakes (4.45) at Newmarket on Friday.
I won the Listed Gala Stakes at Sandown on Saeed Bin Suroor’s six-year-old son of Cape Cross back in July so I know what he’s capable of on his day.
He wasn’t at his best in the Group Three Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock Park last time but he hasn’t won at that level, so lowering his sights slightly could work in his favour.
Harmony can out-run her massive odds
Sweet Harmony is among the outsiders in the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Rockfel Stakes (3.00) but is worth her place in an open renewal.
Richard Spencer’s filly hasn’t done a great deal wrong, showing promise on debut at Ascot before getting off the mark in a Yarmouth maiden and travelling well for a long way in the Lowther at York last month.
She’s a lovely filly who I’ve ridden at home and whilst having another crack at Group company off an official mark of 89 leaves her with plenty to find, the step up to seven furlongs is definitely in her favour.
I also partner The Grey Phantom for Richard and owner Phil Cunningham in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Handicap (5.20). He’s a horse who needs riding prominently but hasn’t had the luxury of an easy lead since winning at Yarmouth in April. The first-time cheekpieces should sharpen him up so I’m hopeful of a better run.
Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Ready Reckoner makes his third racecourse appearance in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai British EBF Confined Maiden Stakes (4.10) and whilst his future appears to be in handicaps, the step up to seven furlongs should see him build on his latest run at Pontefract.
Hoping Monster can pass Irish test
Archie Watson’s two-year-old He’s A Monster really impressed me when he made a winning debut on the All-Weather at Chelmsford City earlier this month and puts his potential to the test in the Goffs Million (3.20) at The Curragh on Saturday.
The son of No Nay Never is a big, heavy horse who is still rather backward but he surprised me in that novice event on the All-Weather.
A big field on turf presents a markedly different test but at the very least we will get a gauge on how far he’s progressed with next season in mind while running for good prize money.
Eddie stars in international double
Spending last weekend in France and Sweden was quite a logistical challenge but to ride a winner in both countries made the long journeys and delayed flights worthwhile.
Eddie’s Boy was the star of the show, winning the Group Three Prix Eclipse by over six lengths at Chantilly last Saturday. He’s a tough colt who has done nothing but improve and is a real credit to his owners Middleham Park Racing.
He was one of Archie’s (Watson) earliest two-year-olds, getting off the mark on his debut at Southwell in April before going on to finish third in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and win the Super Sprint at Newbury. Not bad for a 45,000gns purchase!
Sweden the following day was a bitter-sweet experience. I was beaten by the narrowest margin on Hambleton Racing’s globetrotter Outbox in the Stockholm Cup – a race he’d finished a close second in last year – but their juvenile Manitou’s success in a seven-furlong conditions race tempered my disappointment.