Triple Times New Venture

Group 1 wins are the pinnacle of our sport but sometimes they do come with small caveat. Triple Time took the prestigious Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, catapulting him into one of the stars of the mile division. Although this was a huge highlight of the 2023 season, it did also mean that it cemented his future as a stallion and 4yo colt would soon be leaving Hambleton Lodge for pastures new.

The son of Frankel hails from a family packed with high class winners. His dam, Reem Three, has produced 7 pattern performers including group 1 winners. Triple Time always carried himself as a horse who could have a bright future, with the size and scope to thrive throughout his racing career.

Placed on his first two runs, it wasn’t until he stepped up to a mile that he really thrived. Shedding his maiden tag by 9 1/2 lengths showed what class he had but then he went and earned the all important pattern success. Making most of the running, Triple Time powered home to take the Listed Ascendant stakes at Haydock. Although there were options following that win to take a further step up in grade, connections decided to wait for his 3yo, where classic ambitions would held.

Thriving through the winter, Triple Time really developed into a wonderful specimen and looked to be improving all the time. All roads led to the 2000 Guineas and he was impressing everyone in his work leading up to the contest. With no prep run it was decided to take Triple Time down to Newmarket for piece of work, to get him used to the tracks characteristics. Again he impressed in what he was asked to do but unfortunately a small issue found following that gallop which would rule him out of the classic bids.

Patience proved key and Triple Time would return to action in September, back at Haydock, the scene of his listed win the previous year. Stepping up to group 3 level for the Superior Mile, he was a short priced favourite to make a winning return. Triple Time did just that and after racing quite keen in the early stages, he swept past his rivals a long way from home, running out a comfortable winner. Unfortunately he couldn’t build on that performance when tackling very soft ground at Longchamp but it bode well for his 4yo campaign.

The Lockinge is the start of the older miler’s season. This was always going to be his first run, before heading to Royal Ascot and it would be a good barometer of where he stacked up against the best milers. Unfortunately, always with perfect timing, he had to be withdrawn on the day which would mean he would head straight to Ascot without a run under his belt.

The Queen Anne opens the Royal meeting and Triple Time would finally have his chance at group 1 level. Everything had gone smoothly leading up to the contest but he would be taking on multiple group 1 winners, without the benefit of a run. Nevertheless there was confidence that he should be at home in this company and with Neil Callan on board, the 4yo would have to overcome freshness to prevail. Early on it looked as though he may try to be too keen but once Callan got the colt settled, he raced in a lovely rhythm just on the leader’s coattails. The race could not have panned out any better with a nice gallop to chase it allowed Triple Time to stride out. From a way out the favourite was struggling and it was Triple Time who head into the final 2f travelling powerfully. He came through to challenge and took the lead as they bared down on the final furlong. With the majority of his rivals floundering in behind it was left to the superstar filly, Inspiral, to throw down one last challenge. The pair fought tooth and nail throughout the final furlong, with Inspiral looking the most likely winner all along. Triple Time dug deep and showed tremendous tenacity to find more and overawed his rival with a game performance, leading to an enthusiastic celebration from his jockey Neil Callan.

Triple Time was unfortunate to not have a long season this year but mother nature ensured that a washout during the summer would work against him. It was only an 8 race career but Triple Time managed to pack plenty into those races and secured his Group 1, something which was deserved for the ability he had. From day one Kevin had faith that he would be something special so that day at Ascot was justification. It is also fantastic for owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum who not only owned the colt but bred him too. With his stature and ability, there is no doubt that Triple Time has every chance of making a name for himself in the stallions ranks. Hopefully one day we may see his progeny emulate his success on the racecourse, to even surpass him.

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Bergerac Back To Form

2023 has been a frustrating year for Bergerac. After a break through season last year, winning a heritage handicap at the Ebor meeting, he has struggled throughout this season to recapture that form. Ground conditions and a little slump in form has led to limited runs but the all-weather has provided a spark. Bouncing back to form, Bergerac won the 5f Stay In Control At BetUK Handicap at Newcastle.

The 5yo reached a career high of 98 but his season has seen that mark slowly drop down to 85. Signs of a revival came in the Ayr silver cup where he showed a lot of enthusiasm, running well from an unfavourable draw and ground. Knowing that the weather was not going to improve after that, the all-weather was chosen for the gelding to build on that performance. Bergerac certainly did that when he was collared on the line at Newcastle, unluckily missing out on the win but again showing a much better attitude throughout.

Only a week went by before he returned to Newcastle, dropping in grade in an attempt to get off the mark for 2023. Tom Eaves took the ride and kept things as simple as possible. Breaking well Bergerac was quickly away and took the advantage early. Tracking over, the field raced towards the stands side with Bergerac leading them along closest to the rail.

Very few would get into the contest and it was paying to be on the front. Bergerac travelled smoothly throughout as he poured on the pressure from the front. There was some strong challenges coming from those around him as the contest heated up around the 2f marker. Bergerac still travelled best of all and despite his rivals riding the gap, Tom was yet to really go for broke.

Clearly the race was going to be between the front 3, as the trio were not only looking the strongest but had began to get a little break from the rest. Entering the final furlong Tom pressed the button and quickened up with ease. Now beginning to shift through to top gear, Bergerac  moved away from his pursuers and made his race winning move. The final half furlong saw the 5yo draw away with ease and Bergerac scored by a comfortable 1 1/2 lengths.

It was great to see Bergerac bounce back to form and he didn’t just win but won with a bit in hand. Obviously he had come down quite a bit in the handicap from last year, but this performance shows that he could easily reach similar heights again. Having not ran that many times this season, he could be a regular throughout the all-weather campaign and in this form there should be a big one in him along the way.

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Venture Capital Wins Again

At this time of year there are very few runners as many of the team are away on their winter holidays. Only a handful of horses are still in training with the yearlings arriving in the yard to begin their journey. Venture Capital had a quiet season but is quickly making up for lost time and provided a second win in impressive fashion at Newcastle, taking the 7f Bet MGM Take Time Out During SGWeek23! EBF Restricted Novice Stakes.

Winning last time out, Venture Capital not only gained a first win but was eligible for a handicap mark. Receiving a fair 77 did offer more options moving forward but with no handicaps coming up to suit, he would be aimed for the novice event once more. Unfortunately this would mean carrying a penalty, which was a hefty 6lb. He did look the one to beat in the 11 strong field but weight can be a difficult thing to give away, despite it being earned.

Shane Gray was riding once again and kept things as simple as possible. With experience and possible the most ability, on known form, Venture Capital was quickly into stride and to the fore. Drawn towards the stands side, Shane pressed the action as the field tracked over to race in behind. With one rival wanting to go on, Venture Capital took a lead into the contest, chasing a brisk gallop.

The race went perfectly according to the plan. By halfway the race really became a three way contest as the leading trio were the only ones still travelling. With the market leaders at the fore, it would be a good challenge in the latter stages but Venture Capital travelled into the race with ease.

Taking his time, Shane was oozing confidence throughout the contest and barely had to move to take the lead. As Venture Capital loomed up, hard on the bridle, his inexperienced just edged away from and surrendered the lead. Not willing to disappoint his mount, Shane asked the question of Venture Capital to go and put the race to bed. The final 1 1/2f was a lap of honour really as there was no danger of Venture Capital giving the race away. Like last time he galloped all the way through the line and put a comfortable 2 1/2 lengths to the second placed rival.

This was a very impressive display from Venture Capital and he could have easily won by further. He travelled with ease throughout and proved too good for his rivals. Improvement has come with each run and there looks to be much more to come from Venture Capital. No decisions have been made yet for his next run but whatever happens he is a nice prospect to look forward to.

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Venture Capital Wins At The Third Attempt

Owning a winning horse is why people get into racing and is the biggest thrill of all. Owning and breeding a winner must just pop the cherry on top. Venture Capital was a home bred, first foal and he got the pedigree off to a good start when winning the 7f BetMGM: It’s Showtime Restricted Novice Stakes at Newcastle.

The son of Washington DC took a little bit of time to really come to himself and even then he probably wasn’t quite the finished article. Needing a run he began his career at Beverley but it ultimately proved to be a little bit too soon for the colt, especially over the bare minimum trip. With time, he strengthened up and returned on the all-weather, over 7f to finish a very promising third.

That last run was more like his first so there was expectation that he should improve a lot for the experience. With weather wreaking havoc on the racecourses, Newcastle provided an ideal opportunity once again. It was quite surprising to see the colt rather ignored in the market but once Shane Gray got the leg up non of that mattered.

Jumping well, he was soon to the fore and pressing the early lead. With his rivals keen to take a lead, Shane allowed his mount to stride on and led the field towards the stands side. Setting an even pace the rest of the runners tucked in behind Venture Capital through the first half of the race.

Bowling along in front, the nearest pursuer was the favourite but those fancied runners in behind came under pressure a long way out. Passing halfway many of them were getting the hurry up and it was Venture Capital who travelled strongest of all. Shane just began to wind his colt up passing the 2f marker, matched by the favourite and the pair began to pull away from this point.

Breaking from the rest of the field, the front two were side by side and would be until passing the line. Whilst both jockeys were animated in the saddle, in was all hands and heels, something that is great to see on juveniles. For 1 1/2f the pair could not be separated and although Venture Capital was probably never headed, he did look in danger for a split second. Both 2yo’s were showing a great attitude and rightly so they flashed past the post as one. It was a very close call but eventually Venture Capital got the nod and earned his first career win.

It is great to not only see a 2yo shed their maiden tag but also an owner who was having their first horse in the yard. Venture Capital showed a great attitude throughout the contest, leading throughout and then battling all the way to the line. It will be interesting to see what the handicapper give him for an opening mark but there are plenty of options left for him on the all-weather and if he shows this kind of determination then another win should not be far away.

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York Double For The Ryan’s

Every Yorkshireman and Yorkshire trainer loves a winner at the Knavesmire, the premier track in the north. Owner Steve Ryan has had to be patient this year but in the latter stages it has proven to be very fruitful, getting better at York’s final meeting as he secured a double courtesy of Apiarist and Irish Nectar.

Big, scopey and a lovely mover, Apiarist ticks many of the boxes to make up into a lovely colt. He was always going to be a work in progress but had shown enough his year that there could be a nice race in him this season. After a disappointing run last time out, which may have been a blessing in disguise, Apiarist broke his maiden in the valuable 7f British EBF £100,000 Final.

From day one Apiarist had shown himself to be a lovely colt but he was never going to be an early season type. As the year went on he got stronger and stronger, eventually making his debut at York in mid July. It was a promising debut which was followed up by a narrow defeat on his second start at Thirsk. That was two good efforts, which both had stated that a win was just around a corner. Unfortunately a lack lustre display next time, where tactics caused him race too free, proved to be quite disappointing.

The final was an obvious race for the colt with a huge prize on offer. Having shown form around York and with a decent field likely, it seemed as though the race would suit. Tom was in the saddle once again and was looking to get his mount to settle early on, giving the colt the best chance to run his race. This proved to be quite simple to implement as an early dash allowed Tom to steady his mount from stall 5. Camped at the rear of the field, he would have to pass almost all of his rivals if he were to capture the contest.

Ground conditions looked testing with sods of turf kicking up from the recent wet weather. Despite this the pace was strong and the field quickly swung around the bend and into the straight. although he was at the back of the field, Apiarist managed to take the shortest route round as his rivals kicked off the bend. Seemingly he was happy on the ground and made some headway off the bend, edging up and moving into midfield.

The pace increased around the 3f marker and Tom just nudged his mount along to keep his position, and also move through the gears. They got racing and the final couple of furlongs would be a real test of stamina. Between the 2f and 1f poles the field got split apart as Sailthisshipalone burst through to lead, a rival that had beaten Apiarist at Thirsk. Apiarist was now hitting top gear and picked off his rivals as he made a beeline for the breakaway leader.

Entering the final furlong Apiarist was in third spot, down a couple of lengths. He was in full swing now though and moved into second, despite edging left under pressure. Tom quickly got him balanced and went after the leader. Looking to avenge his defeat from Thirsk, Apiarist was getting stronger in the latter stages and threw down his challenge with 1/2f to run. He edged to the lead, and whilst his rival was not laying down, Apiarist just had enough. Galloping through the line, he secured his first win by a neck and securing the big prize fund.

Apiarist was always going to be a better 3yo so whatever he did this year would be a bonus. To secure a big prize like this is some bonus to have and it will do him the world of good to get his head in front. That will be him for the year now and there is a lot to look forward to next year. The way he strides out suggests that a mile would suit him next year and possibly a touch further in time.

Just over an hour later, the champagne was popped again as the beige silks were seen flying down the Knavesmire. Irish Nectar was looking to back up his latest win and did so with an impressive turn of foot to take the 5f Parsonage Hotel and Cloisters Spa Nursery Handicap.

It took Irish Nectar a little longer than expected to win his first race. Early on he had threatened that a win was a given but it took until his fifth start to earn that elusive victory. New tactics, which were patient, as well as the ease in ground could well have been the catalyst for that and he would face the same here. Shane Gray took the ride and was looking to implement the same winning methods.

Looking to steady him from he start, Irish Nectar slightly went against that as he just ducked right. This was no issue as it meant that he would settle at the rear of the field. The pace was frantic and after 1/2f Irish Nectar was well off the pace, not that Shane worried at any stage, even though he was well over 10 lengths down. There was no hanging about and the race did seem to be quite ridiculous as the leaders were closing round 42mph.

Patience must have been difficult for Shane as he saw his rivals go off in the distance but even at halfway he had yet to move. It was here that he began to just work away and Irish Nectar responded, just quickening up to close the gap marginally. To see the in running odds would have been interesting as they would soon change. Passing the 2f marker the leaders had to start working but the pace dramatically slowed and it was only Irish Nectar who was quickening. Despite being 4/5 lengths down, half their deficit to earlier, Irish Nectar suddenly looked like he would be a huge player int he finish.

Swooping down the stands side, Irish Nectar just continued to pass rivals until he had just the leader in his sights. Entering the final furlong he was coming with a wet sail and it looked as though the lead was his in matter of time. He didn’t get to the lead until late on but once he did he just swept by the leader. Powering on through the line he stretched clear to win by an impressive 1 3/4 lengths.

Both jockey and horse impressed here. It is very easy to panic when you have a lot of ground to make up but Shane rode with ultimate confidence. He had a very willing partner who also showed a good attitude to race alone before quickening up. There doesn’t seem to be any more races for the 2yo and so he will likely be given a break now. The way he finished off the race shows that 6f should be no issue next year and the big 3yo handicaps should be ideal for Irish Nectar.

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Young And Old Provide Double Delight

Two horses at either end of their careers provided a Saturday double with Emaraaty Ana taking listed success and Volterra shedding his maiden tag.

Emaraaty Ana has had a stellar career, dining at the top table for the majority of the time and landing Group 1 success in the 2021 Haydock Sprint Cup. Whilst he hadn’t won since then, he has put in some terrific performances and gained a long overdue success when taking the 5f Blue Eagle Rous Stakes at Ascot.

Whilst being winless since his Gr 1 success, Emaraaty Ana went close in last seasons Haydock Sprint Cup and almost succeeded in the Turf Sprint at the Breeders Cup. This season has not gone to plan for the 7yo, with summer ground being more likeable to jumping ground in mid December, he has shown that a win was just around the corner. Many may have written him off due to his age but it was more a case of him getting a little wise than any shrinking in his sprinting capabilities.

Neil Callan has been on board for most of this season and following two placed efforts in Listed company, suggested that cheek pieces may just be required at this stage. Lining up at Ascot, with the headgear applied, Emaraaty Ana broke well and was prominent towards the stands side rail. The 7yo showed great speed through the early stages and certainly looked to have some extra pep in stride as they charged through the early stages. He actually proved to be a little bit of a handful for Neil, and pulled his way to the lead following the first furlong.

There was barely time to blink as the field moved through halfway with little change in the order. Emaraaty Ana travelled well on the front as the race heated up and they began to race for the line. As his rivals came under pressure, Neil just loosened his grip on the reins and let his mount stride on. Maintaining his lead, Emaraaty Ana began to move through the gears but had yet to hit top gear.

Nothing had really got into the contest as they moved towards the final furlong and Ana continued to pour it on from the lead. One by one his rivals began to weaken out of the contest, leaving only a couple of challengers for the final dash. He had the measure of his nearest pursuer who could never get any nearer and so the final 1/2f was left to his market rival, the second favourite. Korker was making a late sprint from the rear of the field but it was all in vain. For a second it looked as though there may be a big threat coming but having done most his winning at 6f, Emaraaty Ana was only getting stronger the further they went. With the minimum of fuss the 7yo galloped out to a comfortable 1 3/4 lengths victory.

It is always nice to see the older generation continue to shine and Emaraaty Ana has been a star for the yard. Although he is 7yo, Emaraaty Ana doesn’t have that many miles on the clock and has shown there is still plenty left. The headgear obviously worked and he showed great speed throughout the contest which could open up a tilt at the Breeders Cup. That being said it may well be his last run for the yard as he is entered in the HIT sales, so if he were to go then it would be great way to sign off.

At the other end of the spectrum, Volterra was looking to gain his first career win after some promising efforts. Making his third start, the 2yo cat overcame some signs of inexperience to win the 7f Racing TV EBF Stallions Novice Stakes at Redcar.

The son of Farhh was always going to be a work in progress with time being his friend. As the year progressed, so did he and his nice home work led to the colt making his debut in the Convivial Maiden at York. It is always one of the most competitive maidens of the season, due to the impressive prize money on offer. Volterra made a very promising start to his career, finishing fourth after running green throughout the race. That inexperience continued to show in his next run where he went one place better, at Ayr, again showing promise but not quite being able to gain the win.

Late in the season, some maidens can tend to be a bit of a mix quality wise but the 12 runners here looked to set quite a good standard. There were winners in the line up as well the Convivial second. Tome Eaves took the ride aboard Volterra and the pair made a nice start, jumping on terms to settle in behind the leaders. They raced down the centre of the track as the field slotted into their positions. With a strong pace being set the field were well strung out through the first couple of furlongs but Volterra tagged on to the lead quite comfortably.

From an early stage there were some of the field struggling as the pace was finding them out. Quickly passing halfway, the race heated up as they were racing from this far out. Tom was happy with his mouth as Volterra travelled with ease and maintained his position without any issues. The final stages of the race would certainly test these juveniles as they would need to see the trip out well.

Moving inside the 2f the leaders were now in full flow. It was here that Tom got busier in the saddle as he asked his mount to lengthen. Again Volterra showed signs of inexperience as he edged to his right. Tom didn’t do anything drastic and slowly adjusted the colt to get him balanced once again. Now back on an even keel, Tom again got hold of the reins to drive him forward. Having edged away from his rivals, Volterra had lost a little bit of ground which he now looked to earn back. Time was not on his side and down by over a length, Volterra only had a furlong to overcome the deficit. The leader was not for stopping, which was impressive after the fractions he had set. Slowly but surely Volterra was getting the message and began to motor. Still there was plenty of ground to make up and the line was getting closer and closer. In full flight, Volterra had the momentum and wind in his sails. Flying down the stands side he reined in the leader in the dying strides. He had left it until the very last minute but Volterra grabbed the lead and errand a neck victory.

Volterra is a lovely prospect and it was nice to see him get off the nark. It is clear that he has the ability but this year has also shown that mentally he has been a work in progress. Having stepped up on each run it was important to gain that first win and it will certainly be something that he can build on. That will be the last run this season and Volterra is a definitely an exciting prospect to look forward to.

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Catterick The Winning Code Again

There are some tracks that just suit certain horses. Whilst two wins does not confirm that you are a course specialist, it does prove positive. Crack The Code had shed his maiden tag at Catterick and was winning once again when taking the 5f Racing To School Nursery Handicap.

Crack The Code took his time to grasp what racing was about and it was clear that handicapping would benefit him. Once his attention turned to nurseries, the gelding has thrived and improved with each run. After winning over 6f he looked to back that up at Thirsk but everything went wrong that day.

Having shown plenty of speed in his last couple of runs, Crack The Code would drop back to 5f in an attempt to get back on track. Typically at this level the race looked very competitive, but Crack The Code seemed to be slightly overlooked, owing to his last performance.

Tom eaves was in the saddle once again and after making a quick start, he sent the gelding forward. When it gets soft at Catterick the jockeys favour the stands side and this was immediately the plan. Crack The Code had been drawn in stall 2, not ideal with his in mind but having been quickly into stride he managed to get to the fore.

Charging through the first half of the race, the 2yo’s were not hanging about. Tom was forced to race more towards the centre of the track but his mount travelled strong on the front end. With 2f to run the race was on but one look to the outer of the field saw Tom motionless on board Crack The Code. As his rivals came under pressure, the gelding cruised and snatched the lead. Now he came under a drive to go and collect the race win.

The leading trio had the race between them with 1 1/2f to run and as they fight out the finish they pulled each other along. Crack The Code held the advantage and seemingly got the better of his one rival on his inner. Now he had a clear lead it looked like the race was over but along the rail the favourite rallied. Tom was keeping his mount up to his work but the margin was slashed with each stride. Finishing with a flourish the favourite looked to steal the win late but Crack The Code was not for stopping and despite the pair flashing past the post together, it looked as though Hambleton racing’s colours had held on. A quick photo confirmed the result and Crack The Code had gained his second career win.

Dropping back in trip proved to be no issue and Crack The Code looks to be a juvenile on the upgrade. He showed plenty of early speed and cruised into contention before proving very game at the finish. Whilst he battled all the way to the line, it does feel as though Crack The Code only does enough in front. This is a good sign as there could be more to come from him moving forward. It will likely be his last run of the season and the winter break will benefit the gelding. Hopefully he can continue this upward curve next season when he returns to action.

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A Win For Paddy In Topsy Turvy Year

When Catch The Paddy began his season with a narrow defeat at York’s Dante meeting, it would have been hard to think that it would take almost the rest of the season to gain his first win of 2023. Paddy’s year has been a story of ups and downs but he won impressively at Newmarket when taking the 7f Lope Y Fernandez First Foals 2023 Handicap.

The 3yo colt had enjoyed a fine juvenile campaign last season and headed into 2023 as an exciting prospect. Expectations were heightened with his fine effort on his return to action. Dropping down to 6f and then torrential rain at Haydock could be used to excuse his next couple of efforts. It also led to him having a small wind op before his next start. Two subsequent runs at York yielded another runner up performance and then a disappointing effort.

It had been a frustrating season so far as Catch The Paddy could quite easily have had a couple of wins to his name. Newmarket would be the first time he would take on his elders in a handicap and Ronan Whelan would take the ride. Steadied at the start, Catch The Paddy would race at the rear of the 10 runner field throughout the early stages. With a strong pace up front, the runners were well strung out and Paddy would need to pass almost the entire field.

Racing downhill and towards the dip, the field moved past halfway. There was no let up in the pace and the field got racing a long way from home. Ronan just niggled his mount along to get his colt to lengthen and Paddy started to make a little headway at the rear. With an acres of space Ronan edged towards the far side of the group as they edged closer and closer.

Passing the 2f marker, the ground rises up from the dip and Catch The Paddy had swept through without much notice. Suddenly he was vying for the lead and Ronan gave him a squeeze. Quickening up, the 3yo hit the front and the race was quickly put to bed. In a few strides the colt moved clear with only a furlong to go, he just had to keep up his momentum. Ronan kept his mount up to his work but the victory was already sealed with hilnearlier move. Striding out to he line, Catch The Paddy gained his first win of the season by a comfortable 1 1/4 lengths.

2023 has been a bit of a rollercoaster for Catch The Paddy so it was great to see him gain that win. He is a colt with plenty of potential and ability. Although he only has the one win to his name this year, Paddy has plenty of scope to continue his improvement. Whether he runs again this year will depend on the weather, but if not he could well be a smart handicapper to look froward to next year.

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Nariko Ends Season On A High

The Breeze Up sales have grown over the past 15 years to become a must for people trying to source the future stars. With a reputation of producing sharp 2yo’s, they have developed into producing classic winners and they are big business. Nariko was a headline lot at the Craven Breeze Up and she gained her first career win when taking the 6f Unibet Zero % Mission/Support British Racing EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes at Kempton.

She had impressed at the breeze up sales and that continued once Nariko arrived at Hambleton Lodge. The daughter of Night Of Thunder showed a to of natural speed and although ready to make her debut shortly after the sales, the summer weather proved to be a hold up. With no decent ground, Nariko would start at Newcastle.

With her first couple of runs proving to be a little disappointing, the filly was stepped up in trip at Kempton for her third start, tackling 6f. Jim Crowley was booked for the ride and was tasked with trying to get the filly settled over this furlong further. Drawn in stall 9 helped with the tactics and Jim managed to get his filly tucked in from her wide draw.

There was a good gallop being set but Nariko was trying to go a little quicker than her jockey wanted. Pulling past a couple of rivals, Nariko now sat in midfield as they charged towards the right handed bend. Thankfully she was on the right lead and despite being out wide, Nariko headed into the bend stalking the leaders.

Once they entered the home straight, the leader looked to stretch the field. Nariko cruised into contention and whilst her nearest rivals came under pressure, the filly passed them to give chase to the leader. As they raced inside the 2f pole, the front two began to break away from the field. Now Jim asked his filly to go and win the race, which she rallied to do.

Now a two horse race, barring any astonishing finish, Nariko laid down her challenge. The leader proved to have a bit left in the tank and the fillies were neck and neck between he 2f and 1f marker. Jim had yet to ask for everything but heading into the final furlong it was time to put the race to bed. Nariko edged to the front and once she had her nose in front, she began to assert. Under Crowley’s urgings, the filly lengthened, whilst still showing signs of inexperience, to pull away from her rival. Seeing the trip out well,. Nariko earned her first win by a clear 3/4 length.

It was fanatic to see Nariko gain her first win, especially as it is the first horse Mr Ibragimov has had in training at Hambleton Lodge. She has always shown plenty of ability and it looks as though she may have appreciated a little bit of time throughout the season. this will be her last run and Nariko will be given the winter now to grow and mature into her 3yo season. There is certainly plenty of potential for the filly and hopefully next year she can progress from this first win.

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Irish Nectar Storms Home

At the start of the year there would have been many bets that Irish Nectar would have been one of the first 2yo winners of the year. Although it took a little longer than expected, his late burst to win at Nottingham in the 5f EBF Slip Anchor Maiden Stakes, showed that there could be plenty to look forward to from the juvenile.

Having made his debut back in May, the son of Invincible Spirit made a promising start at Hamilton, having been slowly away he tried to come through horses but ultimately found there was little space. Finishing a close 4th, in what looked a hot maiden, certainly showed that he would be winning races before long. Unfortunately some antics led to a poor show next time out and subsequently Irish Nectar was gelded.

With a couple of good runs on easier conditions, Irish Nectar would be tasked with different tactics when he headed to Nottingham. Jamie Spencer was booked for the gelding and was looking to get the juvenile settled through the race, something he had not quite been doing in previous runs.

As the gates opened the new style of running looked as though it may have been overdone with Irish Nectar sat almost last, but with plenty of ground given to the leader. Jamie had to niggle him along to stay in contact with the main body of the field and with a frantic pace on up front, they blitzed through the first couple of furlongs.

Once Irish Nectar was in his rhythm, he travelled very well and began to pick off rivals by the halfway point. Never one to panic, Jamie switched around all off his rivals to race towards the centre of the track. Making good ground up he charged through to get involved with the leaders. There was a little break beginning to appear as Irish Nectar joined in, and he was the only one able to come from behind.

Just over 1f to run the race formed into a 2 horse contest as Irish Nectar battled for the lead. Having swept through to the front he now vied for the lead. Racing up to the final 1/2f he got his head in front, and once he did he powered clear. Jamie knew the race was won and eased up his mount but Irish Nectar strode out to secure an impressive 1 1/4 length victory.

Obviously the new tactics really suited Irish Nectar and he won with some authority in the end. The easier ground looks like it suits and with the manner he finished the race off, there is no reason to think that 6f will no issue in the future. He will be stepping back into Nursery company next time and on this form he should be very competitive once again.

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