Aspetar is from the first crop of Al Kazeem, he is from a family that has had good results in the last few years. It derives from Souk, notable members are Puce, Pongee, Prudenzia, Chicquita and Golden Sword. Another daughter Shouk is responsible for the 2006 champion filly Alexandrova, the Cheveley Park winner Magical Romance, Washington Irvine and Masterofthehorse. Bella Qatara (Dansili) ran four times in France winning at Pornichet-La Baule over 10.5 furlongs, she is out of Alexandrova.
Gelded during the winter, he is suited by soft ground and a mile and a half plus . A winner of his first two races, including the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood, I thought he ran well in the Listed Doonside Cup Stakes at Ayr considering he had been off for a while and came from off the pace. Third again at Newbury last time, he will be aimed at Listed and Group 3 races in the UK and abroad, if necessary. Not over big, he remains lightly raced and I hope he will progress.
Blakeney Point Very consistent, he won a Listed event at Chester in September, which was the only time he encountered his favoured soft ground last year. Fifth in the Sky Bet Ebor, he ran well but the ground was quicker than ideal, plus he came from the rear. Effective from a mile and a half to two miles, he is rated 105 and will follow a similar programme. The Ebor is worth even more this year so there is every chance he will be aimed at the race once again.
Blue Mist is a half-brother to Countermeasure who spent time as Time Test’s pacemaker but is now racing in his own right, he won a maiden last year, was 4th in the Eclipse (G1) and 3rd in the Skybet York Stakes (G2) and remains in training here. Obedient his half sister was Listed placed and 4th in a G3. This is a family developed by Juddmonte from one of their foundation mares Bahamian recently best known for New Bay.
Progressive last season, he handles soft ground and is arguably a better horse on a straight track rather than a turning right-handed one like Kempton. An impressive winner at Ascot in October, he finished second behind subsequent Cambridgeshire and dual Listed winner Wissahickon over ten furlongs at Chelmsford. He might stay further but I think he’s at his best over a strongly run mile and the Lincol could be a starting point.
Extra Elusive is from a family well known at Beckhampton through the likes of Cityscape, Bated Breath and Scuffle. The dam Nessina is a half-sister to their dam Tantina and was bought by Tony Nerses for Blue Diamond Stud at Tattersalls December Sales carrying her first foal Ajaya who won the G2 Gimcrack Stakes.
A big scopey horse who progressed nicely last season winning two of his four starts at Nottingham and Kempton. Perhaps a bit below form in Group company at Newbury on his final run in September, I am hoping he will prove good enough for that level in the future. Despite the fact he won on soft ground at Newbury as a two year old, I am not sure he wants it because he ran well on fast ground winning at Nottingham and finishing runner-up at Ascot. We will probably start him off over ten furlongs.
Forbidden Planet A brother to Listed winner Princess Loulou, he arrived here quite late last year and he has won twice at Lingfield during January. A big strong horse with scope, he has benefited from stepping up to ten furlongs and is suited by a level track and he may not be at home on undulating ones.
Herculean is a full brother to Fair Eva who won twice for us over six furlongs and was placed twice at G2 level. The dam, African Rose won three races at two and three over six and seven furlongs when trained in France by Criquette Head-Maarek including the Haydock Sprint Cup (G1). African Rose has an interesting pedigree containing some staying influences including the Beckhampton-trained Derby winner Quest For Fame, but the Mr Prospector speed seems to have come to the fore.
He looked good as a two year old winning at Ascot despite the fact he was still very immature. Last season was frustrating because he wasn’t suited by the prevailing fast ground, and he was growing. However, his owner has been patient and I hope he will be rewarded this season. Different to his full-sister Fair Eva, he is a very big horse who I hope will come right as a four year old. Runner-up at Newmarket in the spring, he didn’t enjoy the fast ground and didn’t look comfortable running into the dip. A winner at Pontefract during the summer despite the ground, he was third at Doncaster on his final start. The ground will dictate his programme and, while he has something to prove this year, I think he has every chance of winning a nice handicap off his mark of 91. Ten furlongs suits him.
Makzeem is a three-part brother to the stable star Al Kazeem. He is by the 2,000 Guineas Gr.1 and Prix Jacques Le Marois Gr.1 winner Makfi.
He had a good season winning a couple of decent seven furlongs handicaps at Newmarket and finishing runner-up in the Silver Bunbury Cup on the July course, plus he was fourth in a heritage handicap at Ascot on his final start in October. I think earlier in his career we were misjudging his ideal distance. He kept running well in defeat in maiden company as a three year old over ten furlongs and the form was being franked. He bumped into the likes of Poet’s Word, Autocratic and Frontiersman. It was only when Ryan Moore rode him one day at Sandown last season and suggested dropping him back to seven furlongs. Rated 105, we will be targeting him at the big handicaps and Listed or even Group races over seven furlongs or a tough six this year. He doesn’t want the ground too soft but I think he could collect a good race this season.
Projection was purchased by John Warren at Goffs Doncaster Premier Sale for the Royal Ascot Racing Club, the dam Spotlight won five times including a Grade 2 handicap in the USA. There are several black type performers under the second and third dams Dust Dancer and Galaxie Dust including Zoffany, Wilshere Boulevard, Bulaxie, Claxon and Cassydora.
A consistent horse who ran well in most of his races. I didn’t think he would handle soft ground but he proved me wrong by winning the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot in October. Kieran (Shoemark) rode a good race playing his cards late. Forced to carry a penalty this year, he is owned by The Royal Ascot Racing Club and I am sure he will continue to provide them with a lot of fun in the leading six furlongs races.
Savaanah She joined us last season and did really well winning three times at Ripon, Wetherby and Salisbury and improving her rating by 20lb. Runner-up in Listed company at Saint-Cloud in September, she was consistent throughout and we are hoping she can win a Listed race or Group 3 event this year. We will take her abroad again, if necessary.
True Destiny is out of Holy Dazzle who won twice in France at two over 7 furlongs and was placed in the Prix Imprudence (G3) and Prix Miesque (G3). This is her first foal and was purchased from Tattersalls Book 1 by Charlie Gordon Watson.
Withhold was bought by Tony Bloom at Tattersalls Horses In Training Sale. He was previously trained by Charlie Hills and ran eight times winning twice, over 1m 5f and two miles and being placed four times. He is from a Juddmonte family that traces back to Slightly Dangerous.
He won the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on his reappearance and the rest of his season was geared towards the Melbourne Cup. Unfortunately, he broke a blood vessel in the Geelong Cup in October which ruled him out. Given a break since returning from Australia, we have to manage the situation. All in all, it was a very frustrating season. We haven’t made any plans but I suppose the Sky Bet Ebor at York in August has to come into the reckoning and remain a horse with great potential.
Withhold returns to the track off a 269 day lay off in a fair race. The rain is not really what he wants as it will end up being heavy at Newbury, and he is very effective on quick ground, but he seems in great form and there are very few other races t …
Today we have one runner at Wolverhampton. Owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, Escape Proof makes her racecourse debut in the ‘See Madness Live – 30th August Median Auction Maiden Stakes’. She is half sister to Tested who was trained by Dermot Weld and wa …