Blueberry Hill – 3yo Trained by John Gosden
Showed plenty of promise as a 2yo, finishing 2nd on his debut at Kempton, and then 3rd at the same venue on his 2nd start where he found a little trouble in running before staying on nicely without being asked a serious question. Making his reappearance at Doncaster he bumped into a highly rated winner and again ran with great credit, staying on nicely into 3rd place having been slightly outpaced as the winner struck for home. He’s sure to benefit from stepping up in trip and can win a maiden before progressing through the handicap ranks, as he’s been given an initial mark of 79 which is sure to under-estimate his ability.
Runs at Epsom on Tuesday 19th April.
Educator – 3yo Trained by William Haggas
Given a nice education as a 2yo running three times and improving each time, with a victory at Haydock on his final start of the season, earning a handicap mark of 85. He reappeared at Newmarket over 1m2f and was advised to aracingfirst members as a bet. Given a patient ride, he finished his race off very strongly to just get the better of the front running High Fibre, with a couple of lengths back to the rest of the field. He looked like he was crying out for a step up to 1m4f, is a really striking individual and can win more races.
Fiorina – 3yo Trained by George Boughey
Ran three times as a 2yo and could potentially be nicely handicapped on a mark of 74, as she ran with plenty of promise each time she ran, having looked in need of the experience on more than one occasion. An eye-catcher on her final start at Kempton where she raced from off the pace and finished her race off best of all into a never nearer 4th place. The winner won a conditions event next time, so the form looks fair, as does the strength of the form when she ran at Newmarket the time before.
Highland Rocker – 4yo Trained by John & Thady Gosden
A progressive 4yo who is still relatively lightly raced and open to further improvement when stepping up in trip. A winner over 1m4f on just his 3rd racecourse start, he didn’t handle the soft ground at Newbury, before returning after a break and running a race full of promise behind a classy winner in Dubai Honour at Newmarket. That was over 1m2f where Highland Rocker looked sure to benefit from a step up in trip. He won a small field handicap at Goodwood on his final start, just getting up in the final strides over 1m2f, again suggesting a step up in trip would suit. He’s suited by good quick ground and can continue his progression, especially if stepped up in trip.
Mostahdaf – 4yo Trained by John Gosden
An exciting 4yo who improved leaps and bounds last season, having not run as a 2yo. A winner on his racecourse debut at Newcastle, he followed up in a conditions event at Kempton, beating a decent field. Stepped up into listed company at Sandown, he again won in good style before then contesting the St James Palace at Royal Ascot. He encountered a pretty torrid run that day and couldn’t show his true running. Back in action after a break and back down in class he won a listed event at Sandown before following with a fair degree of comfort at Newmarket in the Group 3 Darley Stakes. He’s raced mainly over a mile and looks sure to be even better over 1m2f; he could easily progress into a genuine Group 1 horse.
Opera Gift – 5yo Trained by Andrew Balding
Very lightly raced having run just 5 times and now entering his 5yo season. He’s a really progressive stayer and should continue in the same fashion this season. He won on his handicap debut off a mark of 76 with any amount in hand, before bumping into Ocean Road, now rated a stone higher at Doncaster in October 2020. Opera Gift himself was raised 6lbs for that 2nd place finish, but that didn’t prevent him from winning on his only run last season at Salisbury in May, when staying on very strongly. Up another 7lbs to a revised mark of 95, he’s potentially still ahead of the handicapper and is one for the big staying handicaps this year.
Secret Protector – 4yo Trained by Charlie Appleby
Has been gelded since his final run last season and let’s hope connections finally step him up in trip, as we’re sure he wants 1m4f. A winner as a 2yo, he then went out to Meydan and won a conditions event very easily. A staying on 2nd on his return to the UK at Newmarket over 9f, he then bumped into the top class Mohaafeth, who simply had too much pace for Secret Protector. That said, Secret Protector again finished his race off really well on the 2nd of those races at Royal Ascot in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes. It was the same again when sent over to America for a Grade 1, where despite getting hampered as they entered the home straight he again finished best of all to be a never nearer 5th, beaten around 4 lengths. His final outing was a messy 3 runner affair where they crawled and sprinted for home, which didn’t suit him at all. He’s capable of winning group races either over 1m2f in a very strongly run race, or preferably when stepped up to 1m4f.
Thunder Legend – 3yo Trained William Haggas
Formerly with Hugo Palmer he ran a nice race when 4th at Newmarket on his debut, finishing his race off really nicely behind some nice types. He was then beaten by the draw at Beverley when a fast finishing 3rd having been drawn out in stall 15 and having no real chance of winning. An easy victory at Hamilton on his final outing, he’s been given a potentially lenient mark of 84, based on those 3 runs. The suggestion was that he was considered a good deal better than that when with Hugo Palmer and his new yard are sure to take advantage of that handicap mark. He’s been gelded since joining the Haggas stable and it’ll be interesting to see how high he can climb as he was highly thought of last year.
Triple Time – 3yo Trained by Kevin Ryan
The plan has been for him to make his reappearance in the 2000 Guineas, but he’s reportedly just had a small setback, forcing him to miss that engagement. Triple Time couldn’t have been more impressive when winning a listed race at Haydock on his final start, where he made most of the running and sprinted away from a decent sort in 2nd place. He’d previously hacked up in a novice event, having previously run with credit whilst seemingly in need of the experience at both Leicester and Haydock. He may well get further than a mile in time and perhaps missing the Guineas could prove a blessing in disguise. He’s worked really well in a racecourse gallop at the Newmarket Craven meeting and his belated reappearance is very much something to look forward too.
Tuesday – 3yo Trained by Aidan O’Brien
A really well related filly being a full sister to the brilliant 1000 Guineas and Oaks winner Minding, as well as numerous other group race winners. She ran a cracker on her only start as a 2yo when narrowly failing to peg back the more experienced Discoveries at The Curragh, where the winner then went on to win the Group 1 Moyglare Stakes. Tuesday reappeared at Naas in March and won her maiden in good style, finishing her race off very strongly. She’s entered in everything, but the suggestion is she’ll perhaps miss the Guineas with the Oaks as her main season target. She is a beautiful moving filly and hailing from the dominant force in flat racing, she’ll rate a major player come Epsom and is worth backing for the Oaks at 5/1.
Epsom Oaks – Tuesday (Win) – generally 5/1