We all LOVE the Sport of Kings!
Kyle Merrick looks back over a summer of top class racing, and the horses who made their mark
The new pub quiz question for future generations will be Zodiakos for scoring in the comeback race after lockdown at a big price in a class five handicap at Newcastle on Monday 1 June. However, this race was only the start of a mouth-watering month for the sport’s resumption.
HQ came back with a bang with Group 1 action on Guineas weekend. The Qipco 2000 Guineas went to Vertem Futurity Trophy hero Kameko who just prevailed for classic glory for jockey Oisin Murphy (pictured).
This helped the success of the comeback with coverage on national news documenting the first week back. A likeable horse who has been a shade unlucky and disappointing subsequently.
One of my stars of the summer is the duel-classic scorer Love. She stamped her authority in the Qipco 1000 Guineas before romping up in amazing style in the Oaks and then continued in similar style in the Yorkshire version six weeks later. The question is how would she fare against Enable? I cannot wait for Longchamp on Sunday 4 October.
Caught the eye
Royal Ascot was different just like everything else but jockey Jim Crowley and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum had a fantastic week. Motakhayyel, Khaloosy, Nazeef and Battash all names who caught the eye.
My favourite of the fixture though was Stradivarius who laughed at his rivals to take his third consecutive Ascot Gold Cup in epic style. Some return to normality.
Another horse who hopefully should progress after this year’s two-year-old campaign is The Queen’s Tactical. He produced a Royal win at Ascot in June in the listed Windsor Castle before stepping up to take the Group 2 July stakes at Newmarket.
One of the best
The first weekend in July was one of the best there has been. A great reason for high quality free-to-view TV coverage to continue on Sundays. Previously mentioned Love was one part of the unique afternoon on the odd-looking Epsom Downs which was made stranger when Serpentine came home a shock winner of the Derby.
Twenty-four hours later and one junction along the M25, Sandown staged the Group 1 Coral Eclipse with the Godolphin blue dominating when Ghaiyyath (pictured) followed up his Coronation Cup win by beating Enable by two-and-a-quarter-lengths. He then achieved his four-timer at York in the Juddmonte International.
After an eye-catching three-year-old season which accumulated in victory in the Portland handicap, Richard Teal’s Oxted progressed to Group one standard when successful in the Group one Darley July Cup. The question is – what’s next? An exciting sprinter.
The theme of love continued this summer when Happy Romance achieved the hat trick in the Group 3 Dick Poole at Salisbury, after winning two valuable races at York and the Super Sprint at Newbury. A fascinating, speedy filly who should be kept in mind as she turns three with any progress exciting.
Battleground looked a nice two-year-old when winning the Group 2 Vintage at Goodwood and remains of interest as he heads into the Autumn and next season.
There was a sad postscript to the Group 1 Sussex Stakes as Mohaather ended his career in classy style and a name that should not be forgotten.
Finally, at the time of writing, Battaash is unbeaten this year with victories at Royal Ascot, Goodwood and York, can he transform the form in the L’Abbaye at Longchamp?
A summer of racing that was condensed but remained as exciting and intriguing as ever and 2021 is open to anything.
♦ Your direct link to The Racing Hub’s winner-finding Notebook where our writers flag the horses which caught their eye http://wp.me/P8e3Dl-4qC