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Hunting for Classic clues

12 Apr 2016

It’s the start of the Craven meeting and great to be back riding on the turf! This is such an exciting time of year when dreams can be made or lost and your main hopes start doing proper pieces of work and returning to the track.

It’s the start of the Craven meeting and great to be back riding on the turf! This is such an exciting time of year when dreams can be made or lost and your main hopes start doing proper pieces of work and returning to the track.

One such horse recently was Mountain Bell, who was an impressive 10-length winner at Windsor on Monday. She had been working really well and for Ralph Beckett it was a case of not if she won her maiden, but by how far! It’s now a case of how she will improve with her racing but he is adamant that she will only improve for better ground. The Lingfield Oaks Trial or the Musidora could be the next stop but I will be just hoping that she stays in one piece!

Back at Newmarket this week and we get to see the return of some Classic contenders. It’s quite a tricky course to ride as you need a horse that rolls into the dip of the Rowley Mile before switching leads into the rising ground and quickening from there. It’s more difficult than it sounds!

On Wednesday I ride Goldmember in the maiden and he has been working nicely. There are a lot of unexposed three-year-olds around at this time of year, though, and none more so than in this contest!

Arod was due to run in the Earl of Sefton but wasn’t declared on account of the ground. He may wait and go straight for the Lockinge now. I know that Air Pilot is fit and ready to go for this race, as I rode him the other day, but I will be interested to see how Decorated Knight fares on his first start for Roger Charlton.

I also ride Waseem Faris (5.40), who is in great order but is probably high enough in the weights. That said, these sprinters do tend to win in turn.

On Thursday I kick things off with Lime And Lemon. She was very backward last year and the impression was that she wanted further, so we’ll see how she goes on her first start for Charlie McBride.

In the feature Craven Stakes, the horse that I would definitely most like to be on is John Gosden’s Foundation. He was unlucky not to get a run in the Racing Post Trophy and hopefully he has wintered well ahead of this seasonal return. He’s an exciting prospect.

It’s rare that one of Aidan O’Brien’s lose their form like Shogun did last year.  He must be showing plenty at home to take his chance here but I imagine that he’s in the race to get a steer on the opposition.

Ed Walker is a trainer going places and his Stormy Antartic will probably give the favourite most to think about.

Horse to Follow: HEARTLESS

A beautiful filly who has a stout pedigree and won a Newbury maiden winner last season. We have high hopes for her this year and if she’s going to step up to that level then we will be disappointed if she can’t get her head in front again at Bath on Friday night.