A noteable first week back for racing
Kyle Merrick reviews a busy week of racing and picks out a few notable runners for the future
I love horse racing and I’m thrilled it has made a return. However, we are all still in a fragile period of time which needs to be recognised as we bring the sport back.
Similar to the summer holidays from school, it did not take too long to get back to the old routine of studying the form in the morning which was followed by the rewards of ten race cards throughout the afternoon.
Newcastle probably achieved more media coverage on Monday 1 June than a traditional Northumberland Plate day, but it did start to get the ball moving again. This continued through to the first weekend back with a feast of action to enjoy but restricted to the sofa at home.
Headquarters had four days’ worth of fascinating racing with Thursday kicking off the 39 races on the Rowley Mile. Worthy performances to note and remember included Eye Of Heaven who achieved a track record over the 5f distance on day one.
He quickened nicely and fought off multiple challenges in the final strides with some engine power that was not stretched to the max. An interesting contender for the two-year-old division this summer.
The Godolphin blue enjoyed a fantastic Friday with Pure Beauty showing off her talents and another to put into the notebook. She dwelt from the stalls but stayed well by accelerating away to win in a classy manner.
I was slightly surprised in the Hurworth Bloodstock sponsored Coronation Cup as Ghaiyyath showed his dominance over a Derby winner and a twice Ascot Gold cup winner. However, he showed his star qualities and was an impressive winner. Made all by setting a decent pace.
He has travelled internationally and could be an ideal candidate to face up to Enable if they clash in the Arc. Already an intriguing opposition to the star mare.
Lingfield staged their classic trials on the Friday where last year’s success of both winners going on to Epsom glory looked difficult to emulate. Nevertheless, both races included some upcoming stars with English King my preference over Oaks Trial winner Miss Yoda, for the chance of Epsom success, now rescheduled for Saturday 4 July.
English King travelled very well and was barely asked any questions at the business end of the race. Simply a first-class victory at this stage of proceedings in a performance worth noting.
Mark Johnson (pictured) has hit the ground running after a very successful first week back. Nayef Road taking Group 3 Sagaro glory on the Tapeta at Newcastle would be one of the highlights.
Back at HQ, the Newmarket stakes was a race with future stars. I think it’s too soon to forget about Waldkonig as, with more experience and time, he may improve. Group races would be in his reach considering his family connections, even a Derby run could be a possibility.
Many were hoping to see Pinatubo erupt on the Rowley Mile once more, so his bronze medal in the 2020 Qipco 2000 Guineas is a little disappointing but I am sure more group ones await him as a three-year-old.
The champion jockey Oisin Murphy (pictured) proved his popularity after not only securing national interviews to showcase the sport but gaining classic success by steering home Kameko to victory.
He was short of room one-and-half-furlongs out and showed a great attitude to stay on and keep powering up to the line. A second group one in only five starts. What a season he could have.
Twenty-four hours later, it was the fillies turn to take centre stage with two black type races on offer. John Gosden continued his excellent start with Run Wild and Oisin doing the steering once again by taking the Pretty Polly.
However, the main event was the Qipco 1000 Guineas where the dominance of O’Brien and Moore in this race continue to flourish as Love took the Classic win. She was not stopping at the line which opens the possibilities of staying distances. Time will tell.
My Binocular pick after the first week came from the first turf meeting at Yarmouth where Celestran took the opening contest. The three-year-old colt was short of room in the opening strides and had to make up considerable ground down the home straight.
A big stride helped, but it appeared to these eyes that the full engine may not have been used. A name in the notebook and hopefully progress in the future is likely.
I write this in a time of hope in the air but still a very fragile state of play. The resumption a welcome respite but still in a very difficult time. Stay safe readers and my best wishes to all.
♦ Your direct link to The Racing Hub’s Horse to Follow feature http://wp.me/P8e3Dl-1vU