Promise Is A Perfect 2 From 2

Sometimes a name can just fit the situation perfectly. True Promise looks to aptly named at currently as he maintained a perfect start to his racing career. Carrying a penalty, the 3yo Gelding took his second win in as many starts, winning the 7f BetMGM: It’s showtime Restricted Novice Stakes at Newcastle.

Having waited all of 2023, the Matthews family saw their patience pay off when True Promise made a winning debut. Racing over 6f he showed a great attitude to rally late on and secure a dead-heat on his first start. Battling inexperience, True Promise really found his stride late on. With this in mind, a step up to 7f seems the logical step and that was the option taken.

Lining up against 9 rivals, True Promise was the only winner in the race which meant that he would have to shoulder a penalty for his success. Realistically there only looked like two dangers, with the rest of the field at 25/1 or bigger. Despite his win, True Promise was actually third choice of the trio, probably owing to the extra weight being carried.

Nicely away, True Promise was straight into his stride and prominent from the get go. Shane Gray was in the saddle and allowed his mount to stride on. As they raced through the first couple of furlongs, the leader moved over to take the field closer to the stands side rail. True Promise raced in third position and was in a nice rhythm.

The pace had been fair throughout and the field raced past halfway well bunched together. With the leader continuing to push the action, it was the trio of market leaders who were lining up behind, travelling well. As they headed into the final 2f, the fanned runners came to the force and looked to have the leader in their sights. True Promise was travelling best of all with Shane waiting to throw down his challenge. As they passed the leader, the three main protagonists came to the fore with nothing separating them.

Although he had come through looking the strongest, True Promise just got a little outpaced initially. Shane didn’t panic and looked full of confidence as he cajoled his mount along. Baring down on the final furlong, it was the fav who cracked first as True Promise looked to overturn his 1/2 length deficit. Despite sitting in second, it was Shane who was more comfortable and had done a lot less in the saddle than his counterpart. Now inside the final furlong, and drawing alongside his rival, Shane asked for everything and he received it from True Promise. Finding more the further they went, he began to assert and galloped away to take a 1/2 length win.

True Promise showed a great attitude throughout this contest and the step up in trip certainly suited the gelding. Having shown the benefit of experience, jumping well and travelling nicely through the contest, he then knuckled down when challenged. Again it took a little time to really throw down his challenge but once he hit top gear, True Promise galloped out well and won nicely. The performance was nice but it is certainly upgraded when you think of the weight he was conceding to the second horse. He has made a perfect start and taken to his racing very well. There is still plenty of time for improvement and it will be interesting now to see what opening mark he receives. Obviously True Promise has done his racing on the AW and there will be more options to come, but he should continue his upward curve on the turf when the new season rolls around.

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Call To Action Justifies Favouritism

It has been a productive start for the yards 3yo’s in shedding their maiden tags. Call To Action had made a very promising start to his career when finishing second on debut. He improved upon that result immediately when winning at the second time of asking, taking the 5f Build Your Acca With Betuk Maiden Stakes at Newcastle.

Whilst Call To Action had made his debut over 6f, he had shown plenty of speed. With the nature of Newcastle, the 5f maiden looked a nice race if the colt could handle to step bak in trip. The race attracted 10 runners but it was all about Call To Action who was the well fancied 4/5 fav. Shane Gray had ridden on debut and retained the ride for his second start.

Jumping well, Call To Action latched on to the pace, chasing the early leaders. Edging over, closer to the stands side rail, the pace was brisk as Shane maintained his spot towards the outer of the first three. There was no messing about and the first couple of furlongs went by in a flash.

Halfway through the race saw the majority of the field struggling to get involved in the contest. The leader kicked 2f out and this meant Shane had to go with them. Call To Action was still travelling the best while the owners other horse split the pair.

It was the Bronte Collections colours who moved to the front as they went eye to eye passing the 1f marker. Shane had to get lower in the saddle but he was getting a good response from his mount. The further they ent the more it suited Call To Action and the colt began to move away 100 yards from home. Staying on the stronger, he powered clear to take the win by a clear 1 length.

This was a nice performance from Call To Action and he could have put more distance to the second horse with further to run. The stiff track at Newcastle certainly helped him over the minimum trip and more will come when stepping back up to 6f. He only has the two runs so there is plenty of improvement open to him and Call To Action could progress nicely over the next few months.

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Jakarta Fulfils Promise

The all-weather provides ample opportunities at this time of the year for lightly raced individuals. Only in Jakarta ticks that box with just 3 runs to his name last year. He made his a successful, return to action when taking the 7f Boost You Acca At Betmgm Novice Stakes at Newcastle.

Typical of his sire, No Nay Never, Only in Jakarta was a lovely looking colt along with a powerful physical. After making a low key debut he was afforded time to mature through the season before tackling his second run. Subsequently his following two runs would result in runner up finishes, showing plenty of promise along the way. On both occasions only immaturity cost the colt, who had yet to match up his racing mind with his physique.

Keen to get a win under his belt and looking towards his 3yo campaign, it was decided that Only in Jakarta would have a campaign on the all-weather. although holding a handicap mark of 78, the novice route was chosen. Tom Eaves would take the ride as the pair lined up against 8 rivals. The race revolved around the two with handicap marks and it was Only in Jakarta who would be sent off favourite, 4lb higher rated than his rival.

Tom took the race by the scruff of the neck from the off. Despite stepping unto 7f for the first time, he sent the colt straight to front, aided by his rivals not willing to go on. It was easy to see why with the British storms creating a gale to race in to.

Only in Jakarta travelled powerfully on the front end setting a steady enough pace. The race would be a tough enough test so Tom was ensuring that there would be plenty in reserve if required. Very little would change through the first half of the race with the only thing to note was the keen racing second fav.

As they moved towards the 2f marker, Tom just allowed his colt to lengthen and increase the tempo slightly. Still travelling well Only in Jakarta edged a little further from his pursuers as the race began to heat up. Now Tom started to get a little more animated, niggling away and moving through the gears.

still there was no real change in the order but the race was certainly now on. Working away in the saddle, Tom was getting a good response from his mount who started to pull away from those around him. Entering the final furlong it was time to go and Only in Jakarta was asked for his full effort. Tom was working hard in the saddle but it was all hands and heels. He began to assert but there was one rival who was making good headway, storming through along the rail. Only in Jakarta was finding for pressure and still Tom didn’t resort to using his whip. Despite the gap closing Only in Jakarta had enough left and repelled his rival, scoring by a neck.

Although the winning margin was only a neck, the performance does require a big upgrade. There was never any doubt throughout the contest that Only in Jakarta was the best horse in the race. Making all in a strong wind was very impressive, doing all the hard work but having plenty in the tank when required. Also Tom didn’t really have to do too much in the saddle, suggesting that he felt there was more there if needed. Finally it is always hard to come back off a layoff and no matter what he did here, there was always going to be room for improvement. Only in Jakarta is a lovely prospect and whether he continues on the artificial surface or waits for the turf, there should be a lot more to come from him now.

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First Win Of 2024 Is A Thriller

2023 was a fine year with 57 winners, a Group 1 win and the highest tally of prize money in a British season. Whilst those stats are nice to see, this sport never stops and as the New Year ticks over to 2024 everything returns to zero. True Promise ensured that this figure would not be there for long as he made a winning debut at Newcastle, taking the 6f BetUK. It’s Where The UK Bets Restricted Novice Stakes.

True Promise didn’t make the track as a 2yo, just needing the time to fill into his frame. The son of Washington DC had always looked like a big powerful horse but it was clear that he would require the time to carry his physique.

When patience has been the way forward, the all-weather offers a good route when the turf season becomes tough going with weather or finishes altogether. True Promise headed to Newcastle just after his racing age turned to 3yo. Shane Gray was booked for the ride as the pair lined up against 11 rivals.

Dwelling at the start, True Promise raced in mid field through the early stages. With experience to the fore, there was a decent pace on up front. Shane gave his mount time to find his feet and get into a nice rhythm. Settled in behind, the chestnut travelled well through the first half of the race.

Passing the halfway marker there was an increase inlace form the front runners and this very quickly split the field. Some of the outsiders really began to struggle whilst a few more were beginning to toil. True Promise was between the two but still travelling well. Shane just began to niggle away to get his mount lengthening. As they moved towards the 2f marker True Promise  made some headway, switching to his left to gain a clear run.

With rivals dropping away and a gaping hole opening up, True Promise burst through and swept to the front. Full of momentum, it seemed that the win was clearly his to take. His rival proved a tough nut to crack but also True Promise showed his inexperience. Just showing a bit of greeness he didn’t quite go through with his effort initially, not 100% sure on what to do. This is where Shane got lower in the saddle and really helped to educate the 3yo. Grasping what was being asked of him, True Promise stuck to the task at hand and reeled in his rival. It was head to head all the way o the line as the pair flashed past the post together. It looked very close and the judges didn’t need long to call the result as a dead heat.

It was fantastic to see True Promise make a wining debut especially for the Matthews family who have had to wait to see their gelding take to the track. There were distinct signs of inexperience, which was to be expected, but he showed a very willing attitude throughout. He will have learnt a lot from the experience and will improve for the run. True Promise will likely stay in the novice division and a similar race should be well in his grasp next time out.


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Camacho Star Enjoys The Changes

It is not very often that a horse can win a couple of times in a season but then remain in the same grade throughout. Camacho Star had a fine run of form through the first half of the turf season, winning twice and runner up twice. Unfortunately this petered out which led to a few changes on his latest start. All the tinkering worked a treat as Camacho Star returned to action by taking the 7f BetMGM: It’s Showtime Handicap at Southwell.

The 3yo became a little disappointing towards the end of the season but he also looked like that something was stopping him. Following some checks, Camacho Star had a small wind op, aimed at helping him to recapture some form. It did keep him from the track for two months, but he returned to action at Southwell with his regular rider, Tom Eaves on board.

Following a break, wind op and poor draw, it was decided a change of tactics should be tried. Having done most of his running from the front, Camacho Star went a full 360 and was restrained from the start. Drawn 11 of 12, Tom had to go left-handed from the off, trying to tuck in. The pair settled toward the rear of the field as the 12 runners raced towards the left hand bend.

Camacho Star settled very well and travelled well throughout the contest. Used to taking tight turns, he swung around the bend with ease and picked off a couple of rivals. The leaders kicked from the bend and tried to stretch the field, which did turn the heat up. Entering the final 2f, the race was on but looking back through field there was a motionless Tom Eaves.

The field had spread right across the track and Tom made a move to come towards the stands side. Still travelling well, Camacho Star was then asked to go and lay down his challenge. Almost immediately a rival cut straight across him, causing Tom to take evasive action. This just caused Camacho Star to take a step back which meant he had a little more work to do.

The lead was swapping hands as challengers were coming thick and fast but passing the 1f marker, Camacho Star was beginning to really find top gear. Now he began to motor and was eating up the ground with every stride. Storming down the stands side, Camacho Star was finishing like a train and easily swept past his rivals to hit the front 100 yards from the line. There was no stopping him and he strode out to a 3/4 length victory.

It was great to see Camacho Star bounce back and he raced with a lot more professionalism here. Obviously the wind op has helped but nobody knows just how much. Also the tactics really helped the 3yo settle and he showed a good turn of foot, alongside a good attitude. It is a really interesting win and there could be some more to come now if the same Camacho Star turns up next time out.

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Bergerac Goes Back To Back

Following a wet summer and distinct lack of opportunities, Bergerac is among up for lost time on the all-weather. Having won comfortably on his last start in November, Bergerac stepped back up in grade and duly followed up by taking the 5f BetUK.Home Of The Acca-Fenwa Handicap at Southwell.

Bergerac had slipped down the weights throughout this year but his latest victory had seen that slide halted and his handicap mark rise back to 90. It meant that he would be top weight for the race at Southwell but for a horse who had been used to competing in heritage handicaps, his 10 rivals were not of that quality. Despite this, the market wouldn’t actually have the top rated runner as the most likely winner.

Tom Eaves was in the saddle once again and applied the same tactics as last time out. Southwell does tend to see races run at a strong pace and this was true here also. The favourite set off at a strong gallop as Bergerac sat just in behind, on the far side. It was evident immediately that the race was going to be a pure speed test with a few of the runners struggling to go the pace.

Quickly the field were past halfway and nothing was going to get into the contest. With the favourite leading the way, and travelling well in front, the race Wass on from the 2f pole. Tom got to work on this mount to try and close the gap and Bergerac would turn out to be the only challenger. As the leading pair quickened up, they separated themselves from 5 the others as Bergerac looked to reel in the leader.

It would prove to be a nice battle up front with the favourite holding sway fro much of the way. Although coming off the bridle first, Bergerac was finishing strongly and was eating into the lead throughout the final furlong. Having won over 6f, the extra little bit of stamina was coming through and Bergerac pulled up to the leader with 100 yards to run. The momentum switched and under a power packed ride, Bergerac swept through there take the lead. Striding out he opened a clear neck advantage, securing his second win of the winter.

Bergerac has shown an affinity for the all-weather and he is edging back up the handicap. There are some nice races throughout the aw season and it will be interesting to see if Bergerac continues on this route. He is a horse who really enjoys a sound surface and so he could easily maintain this run of form before looking towards the summer.

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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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