Tuesday 26 May 2020

Guest Post: 5 to follow from Simon @PaddockInspecto

I have been approached and asked whether I would like to provide a write up of some of my horses to follow for the forthcoming Flat Season. Something which I have never ever done before in my life. I used to write my own amateurish paddock notes, never published them, though a professional gambler once asked to see some copies and meet up. He has since completely given up on the game and discovered health, diet, and nature! 

So, I agreed. Due to being under the group of those people at higher risk from coronavirus I am in permanent lockdown which allowed me the time to select a few hopefully high-class horses and some possibly at a lower level.

I go racing as much as possible however midweek meetings are always dictated by the amount of annual holiday work that allows me. Following my football team reduces the number of days too. Therefore, I am not a professional, do not watch every single race on TV, not a ratings expert, not a breeding expert, and certainly not compared to others on course a top paddock judge. Some have disagreed with that last bit I’m not so sure. Simply I open my eyes and close my ears on course. Unless I happen to be standing next to John Gosden! 

So maybe a different point of view to other horses to follow articles. I have only included horses I have actually seen on course with my own eyes with the exception of one.

Al Madhar

Al Madhar made his debut at the Newmarket July Meeting. At the time it was my impression this was clearly the nicest bunch of two years olds that I had seen all season in the parade ring pedigrees to match. Nothing has changed my mind since.

From this fourteen-runner maiden twelve have run since with seven individual winners. I am confident too that the Queen’s First Receiver (one further run good second) should quickly pick up a novice or nice handicap this season.

Al Madhar looked a smashing type. Good size, athletic, and quite tuned up. It caught my attention at the time he was very professional for his first-ever visit to a racecourse in every aspect from walking around in the parade ring, during the race itself and in the winner’s enclosure – a really good temperament. Clearly had a good education of the job in hand beating a decent yardstick in the not quite as fit Godolphin trained Al Suhail – currently rated 112. Still he will have learned further from the experience. The step-up in trip will be ideal. Noting his behaviour, temperament, professionalism and what he would have learned I have no issues he has not been seen out since. 

Military March 

My first sighting of this beast Military March was at Newmarket for his second ever run. He just stood out head and shoulders above the others in the pre-parade ring and hopefully will become a top middle-distance prospect for the remainder of the season and going forward. He was a beautiful good physical specimen who in my opinion had the scope to develop further during the winter. Co-incidentally he was running against his stablemate Al Suhail who actually, compared to his debut, this time I did not like his demeanour in the pre-parade ring whatsoever. I really enjoyed witnessing Military March win the Group 3 event beating his stablemate Al Suhail with another useful yardstick Molatham back in fourth. Possibly assisted further by racing against the stands rails both Godolphin horses went lengths clear and Military March showed a fantastic attitude up the rising ground to win going away with Oisin Murphy having a good job pulling him up. His physic, breeding, and his relaxed racing style plus attitude screamed Derby horse to me and the 28/1 ante-post price at that time was a no brainer not so sure at the current rates of 8/1 through. I really look forward to seeing him in the flesh next time out.

Vatican City
The Weatherby’s Design & Print Novice Stakes ran at Newmarket was clearly all about the scintillating performance of the winner Kinross. 

Vatican City a superbly bred chestnut colt of Galileo was too making his debut. A good looking individual, well put together, he caught my eye but did not immediately stand out against maybe some others. However, it definitely caught my eye in running. Last, in the stalls he displayed early signs of immaturity. Tenderly handled, not appearing to have the greatest of openings with horses in front of him, when the gap did appear, he made up ground in a pleasing fashion. 

He was a different proposition next time out in a weak Dundalk maiden winning easily with at least the second winning next time out. I really look forward to seeing him next time out be it in an English or Irish 2000 Guineas.

Society Lion

Society Lion is a horse who I feel can possibly notch a couple of wins on the turf or all-weather at a lesser level than those horses previously mentioned. His dam Pavlosk has already produced the three-time winner in Derevo. By Invincible Spirit he looked a well-made fairly strong two-year-old prior to his debut at Newmarket. Unfortunately, not a lot went right for him on debut as he was slowly away from the stalls, appeared keen, and from my vantage point became unbalanced in the dip. He made no mistake on his return in a small Yarmouth maiden next time out – his only run since. He obviously learned a lot from his debut run and won going away with some authority. Currently rated 86.

Spring Of Love 

Spring of Love, a good-looking filly, appeared quite fit and well compared to her stablemate in the field. Her sire is Invincible Spirit plus her dam Desert Blossom bred by Sharmadal. 

I believe after witnessing this performance she can progress again. To my eyes she was traveling very well for much of the race even when her opponents were coming under pressure. She handled the dip well and although ran around a bit the final furlong went away again with her nearest rival the staying on Waliyak 1 ¼ lengths behind. It was suggested at the time she would be put away for one of the trials this year though obviously now one will have to wait and find out what the intentions are from Godolphin & Charlie Appleby

Top Rank 

Top Rank is the horse I have included that I have not seen in the flesh. This Dark Angel colt should be included as he was originally my first bet of the new season at a double-figure price for the cancelled Lincoln at Doncaster. Current rating 91. I was really taken with his debut at Lingfield. He had to race wide for most of the race showing greenness in the process however once he hit the straight this strong specimen picked up really well and ran on to win on debut. He has since gone on to win at Thirsk (got struck into) and Newmarket. It appears he is well suited to a galloping track, and although I have read the trainer sited him as a fragile sort, he also believes he has the making of a pattern horse therefore potentially leniently rated for handicaps.

Powerful Breeze 

I would have definitely have liked to include the Hugo Palmer trained Powerful Breeze as I saw her as a major player in the 1000 Guineas however one will now have to wait until the second half of the season as she suffered a setback at home. 

I would like to thank Simon for this guest post and beautiful photographs.  

Guest post: Simon@PaddockInspecto

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