Reflections on racing Sep 11-18

For clock watchers, there were a number of very interesting performances last week. CAPRI’s win in the St Leger resulted in a very good time, thanks to the strong pace that THE ANVIL injected into the race. This was in spite of the fact that he went so far clear, that one got the impression that the others ignored him. What possibly happened, for the race to throw up such a big timefigure, was that the Ballydoyle hordes were close up and the others could not be too laissez faire about the situation.

The time suggests that CAPRI will run a big race in the Arc, if asked to take up the engagement, without quite being able to be good enough to win it. It does suggest, however, that it is not beyond a possibility that he could get placed with any improvement making him some sort of threat.

CRYSTAL OCEAN did the best timefigure of his career so far and STRADIVARIUS clocked a time that if the ground came up good on Champions Day in the Long Distance Cup, he will be very hard to beat. REKINDLING also caught our eye with his finishing effort and would not be far away in that race too.

SEAHENGE did a good time, but will have to improve quite a lot to be a serious potential winner of the Dewhurst, although on pedigree, he will improve on faster ground being by SCAT DADDY. HEY GAMAN and MYTHICAL MAGIC look like decent two year olds off the very best.

Of more interest for the future was the time recorded by SHARAABY in his emphatic win earlier in the week. It suggested that he could be competitive in a race like the Middle Park and certainly in a Group 2 on the softish ground. SPUD was another horse that clocked a very good time in the heavy ground at Chester and looks like a horse that can win a Group race over a mile this year, granted similar ground.

NOBLEMAN’s NEST really impressed us in winning his nursery and the ease of his victory does make it puzzling why he made no show in the Gimcrack, as he clocked a smart time. CROWNTHORPE in second was very unlucky to come up against such an unexposed horse in this race and will be winning himself very soon.

DESERT SKYLINE won the big staying Group race in a time worthy of winning another Group 2 race at least. Whether he is as effective at Ascot, only Champions Day will tell us, but on decent ground he still has quite a bit to find to be as good as STRADIVARIUS, to the tune of appoximately 7 lengths would be our assessment. THOMAS HOBSON did not pull so much this time and showed that he belongs at the high table in such circumstances. SHEIKHZAYEDROAD and CLEVER COOKIE, both recorded their best timefigures of the season, but will find it hard to win a big one on the evidence of this run.

The mindblowing handicap performance of the week was the win by LOOK MY WAY, the Andrew Baklding trained three year old. The time he recorded in the heavy ground at Ffos Las was that of a Group horse for sure, so he might be worth following. His 22 lengths winning margin off a mark of 79 will seriously test the handicapper. If we were the handicapper, we might be tempted to put him up 18-20 lbs and that might not be enough to stop him winning again, if he reproduces that performance.

KYPTOS was another unexposed handicapper that impressed us with his winning performance and he is definitely another horse to follow. The time confirmed the visual impression.