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Racing Hub notebook – our team of writers on horses and rides which caught the eye

Racing Hub notebook runners

Hong Kong Harry Tuesday 11 May Ayr 7.35

Throne Hall Wednesday 12 May York 1.40

Second Slip Wednesday 12 May York 4.40

Chapmanshype Thursday 13 May Fontwell 5.20

Malathaat Thursday 13 May Newmarket 6.05

Evaluation Thursday 13 May Salisbury 3.55

Uncle Bryn Thursday 13 May York 3.10


27 April Lingfield 7.55 – Am sure Ravens Ark is on a good mark but had no chance the way this was run. Both his wins have been on the all weather but has decent form on turf and should be winning soon.

Gary Sears

23 April Doncaster 1.05 – Elegant Ellen showed promise on her one start as a 2yo and again here, not being knocked about and keeping on nicely. Should win races in the north and could get further

Gary Sears

23 April  Sandown 3.35 – Trawlerman found this an insufficient test and could be one for the Queens Vase

Gary Sears

16 April Newbury 2.50 – Beautiful Bertie did ok considering things went against him and may get dropped a couple of pounds. Definitely needs at least a mile.

Gary Sears

15 April Newcastle 6.25 – Second Slip is lightly raced and has plenty of scope. Stayed on well here in a race not run to suit and is probably on a fair mark.

Gary Sears

13 April Newmarket 1.35 – Forca Brasil, a two-year-old chestnut Cotai Glory colt, made a winning debut in good style over 5f at Newmarket in a Class 4 novice event on quick ground. Notable breeding connections to sprinters and the trainer (George Boughey) does well with this age group. One to keep in mind.

Kyle Merrick

12 April Windsor 2.40 – Has shown signs of greeness in three starts (two as a juvenile), but Evaluation was running on well from 2f out in this 1m2f contest and when the penny drops should have a win in him.

Mike Deasy

11 April Leopardstown 3.45 – Isle Of Sark got well back but kept on well and looked very promising. US bred so may not want soft ground 

Gary Sears

2 April Newcastle 4.00 – Liked the way Napper Tandy picked up early in the straight and then saw his race out strongly. Should make a decent handicapper.

Gary Sears

29 March Wolverhampton 8.20 – Oceanline had little chance after being hampered at the start and did well, staying on without being knocked about. Bred to improve a lot at 10f+.

Gary Sears

31 March Kempton 4.05 – Aye Catcher – Definite signs of some ability on her debut, when a staying on fourth behind Thunder Love without her jockey Laura Pearson being too hard on her. Cost 42,000 gns as a yearling and should be able to recover some of that purchase price over the coming months. Should also be suited by a sixth furlong.

Doug Campbell

21 March Curragh 3.05 – Erzindjan wasn’t knocked about but kept on nicely and is bred to be suited by further 

Gary Sears

17 March  Cheltenham 1.55 – The way things panned out with Monkfish every chance Eklat De Rire would have won – travelled strongly on this better ground and 66-1 for next years Gold Cup looks more than fair

Gary Sears

15 March Wolverhampton 5.50 – Kettle Hill looked promising last season and continued his progress travelling well and strong at the finish. Should make a useful handicapper at least  

Gary Sears

12th March Gowran 4.30 – Uncompetitive but Full Time Score, typically for one of Henry De Bromhead’s,jumped beautifully and interesting he is entered in a Grade 1 at Punchestown in anticipation of him doing this. Obviously very highly regarded.

Gary Sears

4 March Southwell 1.40 – Bearaway travelled best but was a bit green (not helped by being hit with rivals whip). Promising and might be better at 7f

Gary Sears

4 March Chelmsford 4.50 – Aura Blue shaped really well, keeping on strongly without being knocked about. Looked the type to come on a fair bit

Gary Sears

3 March Kempton 6.20 – Admittedly just off the TV in the paddock, Rebel Territory looked a nice horse and showed plenty of ability, making good headway wide on the bend. Could improve a fair bit

Gary Sears

26 February Warwick 3.53 – Precious Cargo travelled really strongly but got tired. Probably needed the run and one for a decent handicap 

Gary Sears

17 February Hereford 2.30 – Equas Dreamer was a bit keen but travelled well and saw his race out to beat another promising horse. Looks useful and in time will make a chaser

Gary Sears

13 February Lingfield 3.10 – Amsby showed promise last season and again here, caught very wide on the bend but keeping on nicely. Bred to improve at 12 furlongs and can find a moderate handicap

Gary Sears

6 February Sandown 3.30 – Danny Whizzbang ran ok on ground he doesn’t like. Could get dropped again and a decent spring handicap is a possibility

Gary Sears

27 January Lingfield 1.50 – Sir Edward Elgar is improving and won with a bit in hand. Based on form could get a mark in the 70’s which could prove lenient

Gary Sears

22 January Lingfield 2.05 – Easy To Dream had shown little form in three starts as a juvenile in 2020 and underwent wind surgery in the Autumn. Ran a respectable staying-on seventh behind Bungledupinblue over six furlongs at Lingfield – beaten just three lengths, on her handicap debut following an absence of 126 days. Hopefully there will be more to come in the coming weeks and maybe up to finding a small race.

Doug Campbell

13 January 2.50 Naas – On Eagles Wings  had plenty of experience in bumpers but looked much better over hurdles, seeing his race out and winning with a bit in hand. Fair chance he’ll be sold and could prove very useful

Gary Sears

12 January 12.30 Wetherby – Phantomoftheoscar – Lightly raced 6yo who showed improved form when a fifteen and a half lengths third to easy winner Dreams Of Home. The form doesn’t amount to a great deal but it was a step in the right direction, and he can be found a small race in the future – possibly when sent handicapping.

Doug Campbell

12 January 1.10 Lingfield –  The Hulk, a three-year-old gelding trained by George Boughey, made a winning debut at Lingfield on the all-weather. Showed good early pace from the stalls and demonstrated a good attitude in the home straight when having to duel for the win. It may only be a small margin victory but could be open to improvement.

Kyle Merrick

9 January 12.35 Kempton – Slipway travelled and kept on well. Will hopefully continue to improve 

Gary Sears

6 January 1.15 Wolverhampton:  Diligent Harry produced a perfect start to his career when winning on the all-weather at Wolverhampton in great style. Broke well and showed good early pace and never saw a rival to make all the running over six furlongs in a class five maiden event. A good attitude in the final furlong. One to keep in mind.

Kyle Merrick

3 January 3.15 Southwell: The British Lion last won a year ago, but came from last to second here when the winner, Momtalik, had flown, and may soon follow up with a win

Mike Deasy

29 December  12.12 Kelso – Deluxe Range travelled well and saw his race out strongly. Should continue to improve for his excellent trainer

Gary Sears

29 December  12.55 Newbury – Blarney Bateleur showed a bit on debut and again here and interesting to see what sort of mark she gets, probably after another run

Gary Sears

26 December 2.45 Wincanton – Southfield Harvest travelled and kept on well. Gets further and has plenty of improvement to come 

Gary Sears

19 December 2.05 Haydock – The Last Day goes well fresh but looked burly in the paddock and ran like he needed the run, travelling well but tiring. Well handicapped over hurdles but will probably go back chasing

Gary Sears

18 December 11.30 Navan –  Fils D’Oudairies travelled well and saw his race out strongly. Could be underestimated when going up in class

Gary Sears

12 December 11.50 Doncaster – Jack Sharp shaped well on his belated debut, travelling well and keeping on nicely. Quite well bred and looks promising

Gary Sears

5 December 3.15 Aintree – Senior Citizen travelled really strongly but didn’t get home, probably due to the soft surface. Could be interesting for the Topham or a decent 2m4f handicap on better ground

Gary Sears

5 December 1.08 Navan – Maze Runner ran well for a long way before his stamina gave out. Is well handicapped and back in trip is the sort for a decent handicap off a low weight

Gary Sears

5 December 12.05 Sandown – Hudson De Grugy – One of two from the Gary Moore yard on the second day of the Tingle Creek meeting, running with encouragement in the opener under Joshua Moore. Setting the pace and jumping well on UK hurdles debut, could be interesting in the longer term. 

Kyle Merrick

5 December 12.40 Sandown – Golden Boy Grey – This time it was Jamie Moore who rode for his father, the second of two newcomers  on the day who went one place better than stablemate Hudon De Grugy to take the novice hurdle. Jumping was good enough on first outing over hurdles but it was his finishing head down determination that caught the eye. 

Kyle Merrick

2 December 12.35 Lingfield – A promising debut by Secret Shadow, who could not close down easy winner Mystical Air but was running on at the end to take second place and looks a future winner for Andrew Balding

Mike Deasy

26 November 3.03 Lingfield – Tequila Blaze travelled really well and but for hitting the last would have given the useful winner something to think about – should do well

Gary Sears

18 November 1.30 Warwick – The Glancing Queen jumped really well and was impressive. Hopefully make it to the Festival and could give the Henderson/Mullins/Nicholls battalions something to think about

Gary Sears

13 November Cheltenham 1.15 – Tango Boy  has been lightly raced but travelled ok here and could find something similar

Gary Sears

8 November Sandown 3.00: Le Cameleon travelled strongly but weakened, probably needing the run. Still on a fair mark 

Gary Sears

6 November Newcastle 5.00: Hong Kong Harry remained unbeaten at Newcastle on the all-weather. Travelled very well over the seven-furlong trip when catching the eye in the final three especially.  Looks a promising three-year-old for the Richard Fahey team. 

Kyle Merrick

1 November Carlisle 2.40: Imperial Aura has the distinction of winning the now jettisoned novices’ handicap at the Cheltenham Festival, but any suggestion that that was a fluke and further Festival success was unlikely was well and truly dispelled with a stylish victory in the Listed Colin Parker Intermediate Chase, getting home by two-and-a-half lengths. Bigger prizes look a distinct possibility.

Mike Deasy

30 October Wetherby 1.35: Arthur Mac  probably didn’t want to lead but had a nice run round and wasn’t knocked about. Likely to drop to a very lenient mark.

Gary Sears

30 October Uttoxeter 12.15:  It will be disappointing if Fulgurix fails to get off the mark over the winter months, judging by his fourth placed effort behind Ulverston on his British debut. Looking as if the outing would bring him on, and travelling somewhat keenly he had little left to offer in the latter stages, and was beaten a total of seven-and-a-half-lengths. That was his first run since his only start in his native France some ten months earlier, when finishing a length-and-a-half runner-up in a 4yo hurdle at Pau. Acts well with plenty of give and stays at least two and a half miles.

Doug Campbell

29 October Lingfield 3.15: Jacinth kept the promising record in tact in classy style on the all-weather at Lingfield with the actual winning margin of five-lengths not doing justice after overcoming a wide draw. Looked eye catching and could be interesting for the Haggas stable.

Kyle Merrick

28 October Fakenham 2.02: Making her hurdling debut after some respectable runs on the Flat without troubling the judge, Isayalittleprayer suggested some ability over jumps with a third-place finish after making a couple of early mistakes. She made up some ground to get the place and she should benefit from the experience to give the syndicate owners some fun.

Mike Deasy

26 October Wexford 3.50: Ilikedwayurthinkin jumped better than on chase debut but was never put in the race. Obvious one for a decent handicap further down the line.

Gary Sears

20 October Yarmouth 12.25: Skytree was quite green but kept on strongly and seemed to have plenty left. Could be lot more to come next year

Gary Sears

21 October 5.45 Kempton: Many of Richard Hannon’s can improve for a run, and that should certainly be the case with Malathaat. This nicely bred daughter of Frankel was near clueless from the stalls, missing the kick and needing to be scrubbed along to get in contention. She then travelled ok – but trapped wide until turning for home, straightening up for the run to the line she found little and it was soon obvious that she wouldn’t take a hand in the outcome and Jim Crowley was far from hard on her. She should know more in the future, whether she has another outing this year remains to be seen, but there should be races won with her at three for sure. She’s a half sister to the two times Group 3 winner Broome (by Australia) trained by Aiden O’Brien and should stay around ten furlongs in time.

Doug Campbell

16 October 1.50 Uttoxeter: Minella Bobo always looked the type to make a better chaser and shaped really well after a long break, travelling and jumping well before getting tired. Should come on a fair bit 

Gary Sears

14 October 2.25 Wetherby: Sirwilliamwallace showed plenty on chasing debut, jumping well before weakening. Bred to stay well and should make a decent handicapper in time

Gary Sears

14 October 1.30 Nottingham: Mrs Fitzherbert Making her racecourse debut, this daughter of Kingman put in a pleasing display to finish third behind the very promising and nicely bred Noon Star from the Sir Michael Stoute stable. Travelling nicely after being slightly slowly away, she tracked the eventual winner, but was tapped for toe around the two furlong pole. She stuck to her task well nonetheless, and was beaten three and three quarter lengths in total, and only half-a-length behind the runner up Ocean Road. She should benefit greatly from the experience, and may well be found a winning opportunity this term, however looking ahead to next season is where I see more progression. Mrs Fitzherbert will have no trouble staying ten furlongs and should make up into a nice handicapper in time.

Doug Campbell

11 October 1.10 Curragh: Sir Sedric travelled like a fair horse but didn’t get home. Could be interesting back in trip

Gary Sears

6 October 3 40 Lingfield: Sir Maxi made a very promising debut win in a nursery handicap, winning with something in hand and the Ralph Beckett trained colt looks likely to add to his earnings

Mike Deasy

1 October 12.50 Salisbury: Glide Down is USA bred so this ground may not have suited, but couldn’t have shaped any more promisingly, not being knocked about at all whilst running on. Looks a good horse

Gary Sears

27 September 1.00 Nottingham: Although a bit of a bunched finish Fabilis travelled best and is the type to improve further and make a useful handicapper.

Gary Sears

24 September Pontefract:  Arthur Norse travelled ok and kept on, his jockey just doing enough to secure the best possible placing. Should make a decent northern handicapper.

Gary Sears

17 September Yarmouth: Carrying a penalty,  Ville De Grace came up against a useful debutant and ran really well. trying hard. Bred to improve a fair bit at seven-fulrongs plus she could be one for a classic trial next year.

Gary Sears

9 September Cork: Loch Lein travelled strongly and powered clear in the style of a good filly. Seemed to this faster ground and won’t be out of place if taking up her Cheveley Park entry.

Gary Sears

3 September Salisbury: Alcohol Free was caught wide and still a bit green when asked to pick up but finished strongly. Plenty of improvement to come and could reverse the form another time with the well regarded winner should they meet again. Likely to get a bit further as well.

Gary Sears

2 September Hexham: Melody Of Scotland was travelling nicely and was a half-length second at the final flight and challenging for the lead when she blundered and pecked on landing to lose her chance, finishing third by two-and-one-quarter lengths. Looks sure to win a race at some point.

Mike Deasy

1 September Kempton: Uncle Bryn required sat-nav navigation when racing in rear when on debut at Kempton. Almost 10 lengths off the leader with three furlongs to go. However this two-year-old colt had the perfect trip and drew clear in eye-catching style. A good turn of foot and with a name that maybe some will recognise, an interesting runner for John Gosden to bear in mind. 

Kyle Merrick

28 August Newmarket: Man of Promise was easily best of these but was worn down on the soft ground which may not have suited given his American pedigree. Lightly raced he can win a decent prize.

Gary Sears

25 August Yarmouth: Warren Rose made a very pleasing belated debut at Yarmouth when scoring by just under two lengths over a mile, beating the Sir Michael Stoute trained Areehaa. Back in fourth place – some three and a half lengths off the winner was an 85 rated performer of John Gosden’s, so it looks a pretty decent effort indeed. More to come hopefully in the latter stages of an interrupted season, and possibly even some Black Type placing to enhance her future paddock value.

Doug Campbell

18 August Beverley: Roman Encounter found herself well back but travelled powerfully and picked up in the style of a useful filly – could well be up to Listed class

Gary Sears

18 August Fontwell: Chapmanshype scored once again in impressive style in a class two contest. Showed good speed down the back straight with four-furlongs to go to take the lead and then did not see another rival. Six wins in 12 runs including a class one at Punchestown on debut. This six-year-old loves Fontwell and is definitely worth a second look in future. Especially at the Sussex track. 

Kyle Merrick

13 August Hamilton: Throne Hall was an impressive winner of the 4.20 1m 1f maiden at Hamilton for Kevin Ryan. It looked a strong race and Throne Hall was coming off a 12-month layoff. This horse is open to plenty of improvement, perhaps stepped up in trip.

Whistlejacket

10 August Leicester: Obtuse – Yet to get off the mark in his first four starts, but ran quite well today despite only finishing sixth of the eight runners. Beaten a shade under two lengths in total doesn’t really tell the full story as Obtuse twice appeared short of room during the final two furlongs. A clearer passage is likely to have seen him finish in the frame at least, and he looks to possess enough ability to pick up a nursery over seven furlongs or so from his current mark before the season is through.

Doug Campbell

8 August Cartmel: Naizagai A useful maiden on the flat for Roger Varian, got off the mark at the first time of asking over hurdles for Fergal O’Brien when making all for a three and a half lengths success at Cartmel – beating Global Agreement, with a further 18 lengths back in third place to the David Pipe trained To Fly Free. It didn’t look the strongest of races, but Naizagai did it well enough to suggest that he could be up to running up a sequence. Looks a good buy for his new connections.

Doug Campbell

7 August Tipperary – Mateo Cruz looked very straightforward and won with a bit in hand. Could well prove up to Listed/Group class

Gary Sears

24 July Newton Abbot: Beat The Judge scored at the second time of asking over fences at Newton Abbot where the jumping department appeared impressive. A fairly close eighth in the Country Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020 and former listed placed five year old is an interesting novice chaser especially this summer as he seems to prefer quick ground at flat tracks. 

Kyle Merrick

23 July Sandown: Impulsive One Poorly drawn and an unconsidered 25/1 chance on debut, but performed better than the odds suggested to finish fifth of the thirteen runners – beaten a shade under eight lengths behind the surprise winner Etonian in what appeared a fair Maiden. He never looked like threatening the principals that day, but should come on for the experience and be found winnable opportunities before the season is through. May well appreciate a step up to a mile as well.

Doug Campbell

23 July Sandown: This looked a useful staying handicap and the relatively inexperienced Postileo did well, widest of all up the straight, running a bit green and looking as though he could show more than average improvement.

Gary Sears

22 July Yarmouth: Praised for William Haggas and Cheveley Park Stud made eye-catching progress on debut after missing break. Will know more next time and should be ready to win.

Whistlejacket

18 July Haydock: Space Walk is an improving four year old who scored at Haydock for the second time on 18 July over 1m6f. He has a big stride and staying is the name of the game with him. He likes the rain as he powered on well and maybe worth bearing in mind in future staying handicaps, especially on soft going. 

Kyle Merrick

17 July Limerick – Trusted Ally ran a race full of promise on his debut at Limerick over six-and-a-half-furlongs, finishing a nose and a neck third behind Giorgio Vasari and Alex D, in what is likely to prove an above average Maiden. Improvement looks almost assured with experience , and he is one to keep a close eye on in the coming months. Should have no trouble staying at least a mile.

Doug Campbell

17 July Limerick: Himalayan Beauty – Making her debut, this daughter of The Gurkha was held up towards the rear, racing a little green. But ran on fairly well in the home straight to finish four and a half lengths sixth behind the Aiden O’Brien trained Finest. It was an eyecatching effort over six and a half furlongs and should stay up to a mile as a juvenile. Sure to be placed to good effect in similar company.

Doug Campbell

15 July Yarmouth – North Point has been withdrawn on fast ground before but was allowed to take his chance here and did ok, not being knocked about after finding trouble in running. Has the scope to progress through the season and should make a decent handicapper.

Gary Sears

11 July Leopardstown – Toshizou – a son of Galileo out of a Listed placed mare over six furlongs. Put up an encouraging debut, held up and travelling quite well until being caught a little flat footed as they turned for home. Toshizou finished to some effect inside the final furlong, finishing third – a head and a length behind the useful looking Masen and 66/1 longshot Charterhouse. That run was over seven furlongs, and he should come on for the experience and find a similar race within his capabilities. Toshizou should have no trouble staying an extra furlong either.

Doug Campbell

8 July Newbury – Exhibit didn’t have much chance racing on the unfavoured part of the track and did well in the circumstances. Has been dropped a couple of pounds and should be up to winning something similar

Gary Sears

4 July Haydock – Shouldering travelled strongly on debut and looked the sort to show more than average improvement

Gary Sears

28 June Newmarket – Concessions (Empress Fillies Stakes). Probably  an obvious one but she was all over the place midway through the race. Finished well to get second behind what looks a very nice filly.

Gary McKenzie

28 June 28 June  Daark Lady (Carnarvon Stakes) missed the break almost coming out sideways. Made some progress close home but looked after when beaten. First run of the season and also since wind surgery so should hopefully come on for that. 

Gary McKenzie

18 June Ascot – Soffika is bred to stay well and this mile was too short for her but she kept on strongly and when upped in trip is likely to prove very useful especially given her trainers mastery with this type of filly.

Gary Sears

13 June Sandown – The Gill Brothers  tends to be a bit keen in his races and was again here but shaped well. Lightly raced for a 4 year old and with plenty of scope to continue to improve he could be one for a decent handicap especially if reverting to the all weather.

Gary Sears

3 June Kempton – Han Solo Berger is a five-year-old who has been gradually progressing in class recently and has started this summer is flying form. A hard fought win at Kempton was backed up on the turf at Newmarket. A consistent horse who may have a super summer ahead. And if not all-weather, he would be intriguing during the winter months. 

Kyle Merrick

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