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13:45 Racing Welfare Supporting Mental Health Awareness Week Maiden Stakes (5f) Musselburgh, 9 May

While Iain Jardine’s debutant was no match for the potentially smart Cathy Come Home, he showed more than enough promise to suggest he will be winning soon if presented with a similar opportunity. He travelled just as well as the winner in this contest but while Paul Mulrennan opted to make his challenge down the centre, Andrew Mullen bided his time to challenge between horses.

The gap just didn’t quite open soon enough however, and when he eventually got a clear run well inside the final furlong he finished with a flourish to grab third on the line. He was just a neck behind the second and I firmly believe he will prove better than the second and the fourth, who also had the benefit of a run. His final furlong was quicker than the winner’s, despite not having a clear run for all of it, and I would be disappointed if he isn’t up to winning a maiden at the very least.


14:10 Racing TV Novice Stakes (5f) Beverley, 10 May

Professor Pesca was another two-year-old to catch my eye during the week when he finished fourth at Beverley on Tuesday. Both he and Sanks A Million were the only two to really get into this race from behind, with the latter slightly more obvious. The others to fill the first six places were on or close to the early pace. Kevin Ryan’s colt had to be ridden early, looking very green and inexperienced.

He was firmly under pressure at halfway to close on the leaders but remained well behind at the furlong pole. His final furlong was easily his most impressive though, making good headway and looking like he was learning too. I love the way he hit the line, under hands and heels. He went down by two lengths in the end, but he passed the leaders not long after the line. All things considered, it was a very promising debut.


14:25 Churchill Tyres Handicap (6f) York, 11 May

Pendleton is starting to look well-handicapped again and this effort can certainly be marked up for a number of reasons. It was a race that went against the recent results at York and high numbers certainly fared best, with three of the first four home drawn in stall 18 or higher. Pendleton was inconvenienced in that regard having come from stall 10, and certainly covered more ground during the race as he came over towards the stands rail before drifting back towards the far side again in the closing stages.

It was also promising considering his two previous turf wins came on ground officially described as soft and over the minimum trip. In fact, he looked as though he was coming with a winning run at the furlong pole, trading as low as 1.51 in running. He faded in the final 100 yards though, eventually finishing third. A win off his current mark looks likely sooner rather than later.


15:00 Paddy Power Hambleton Handicap (1m) York, 12 May

The Fast Company gelding was unable to follow up his recent Redcar win at York on Thursday, with the race not really run to suit. The form of that Redcar win looks strong, and he might be better than what he was able to show here. He fared much the best of those held up and posted the second-quickest final furlong behind the slightly unlucky Brunch (runner-up), despite being eased before the line.

He didn’t have a clear passage either. Having travelled well into the race, he was stuck behind a wall of horses as the leaders quickened. It was all too late when he eventually got in the clear and the response wasn’t instant either. They may consider stepping him up in trip as he certainly shaped like he would stay further here, while softer conditions may also help if sticking to a mile. Granted a stiffer test, I think he might still be ahead of the handicapper.


13:40 Racing Welfare Supporting Racing’s Workforce Handicap (7f) Newmarket, 13 May

Quite a few horses made all along the stands rail at Newmarket on Friday. That would suggest that the performance of Castana Dia can be marked up as she was held-up and wide throughout, eventually making her challenge five horses wide. I don’t think she handled the track brilliantly either, looking a little awkward at times, particularly in the dip.

Her three wins all came at six furlongs and I wouldn’t rule out the idea of dropping back to that trip, despite the fact she stayed on here to get second. I don’t think she was flying at the death and seemed to benefit from others weakening, but she did make a big mid-race move. They have options certainly and she remains progressive, I think.


13:35 BetVictor Carnarvon Stakes (6f) Newbury, 14 May

While some were critical of the ride Jim Crowley gave Ehraz at Newbury on Saturday, I think this horse is still learning and is not quite the finished article yet. He was still an unlucky loser and I think will prove the best of this field in time, despite many of them having potential. He came with a late burst up the near rail having been at the rear of the field two furlongs from home.

In the end, he didn’t quite get there in time and it appeared to be misjudged – as he led just after the line – but I think they would have wanted him to finish out his race, which he didn’t do on his reappearance. This was another step forward and I think he could be a horse to follow this season, as I truly believe he has a big race within his capabilities. The 25/1 available for the Commonwealth Cup caught my eye.

Picture: Ehraz (