Flatspots Finale with Watty

Hello and welcome to the final Watty’s Flat Spots of the 2022 flat season.

Saturday saw the curtain very nearly come down on the north west flat season with Haydock and Chester both racing on the same day, for those wanting a final fix there is an encore in mid October at Haydock on the 14th before the full on hibernation begins and the twigs and tweed take over for the winter.

Neil Watson

Your intrepid reporter here found himself at Haydock as the burning embers of summer begin to fade into the distance  for what was a huge first as I was able to wear a suit and panama for every flat meeting that I’ve been to at Haydock this year which for anyone who lives around this area may make them want to consider contacting the spirit of Norris McWhirter (Record Breakers) just to see that this is the first time it’s ever occurred!

Norris McWhirter

As for the racing, well it was a bit of a comedown from the Sprint Cup just three weeks ago, a couple of Class 2 Handicap races formed the main events with the stand out win coming from Equality from the Charlie Hills stable who blitzed away to land the Lester Piggott First To Last Handicap over 5f.

But I did find as usual in this feature, three horses who caught the eye and in my view can go on to hopefully better things in the future.

1 – Conservationist – 2yo Bay Filly – Trainer : Clive Cox.

For the people from the Cheveley Park Stud in Newmarket they will be Haydock bound come November when A Plus Tard returns for a second Betfair Chase but all eyes will have been on this nice looking 2yo as she strolled home to break her duck in the opening 2yo contest for fillies.

Sired by Muhaarar, who was a top class sprinter & whose wins included a Gimcrack at 2 and four other Group Ones she saw out the mile very well.

It’s hard to gauge when we will see her again next and while the Futurity at Doncaster might be the best option I think she could be put away now for the winter and she definitely has a big future ahead of her.

Conservationist

2 – Cherry – 2yo Bay Filly – Trainer : Ralph Beckett.

Three and three quarter lenghts behind Conservationist in the same Haydock race was this debutant by Dubawi.

As was probably expected she was a bit green to begin with but made plenty ground up towards the end and she will learn plenty from this.
You could imagine her trainer will find a nice easy race for her before the seasons out and she should stay a bit further as a 3yo.

3 – Arkendale – 2yo Brown Colt – Trainer : Ed Walker.

The 2yo novice race for the colts and geldings had a bit of a surprising result to many as the odds on favourite Onslow Gardens bottomed out and ran very flat, which was definitely unexpected seeing as he had finished runner up in his first two starts.

At the business end the race was eventually won by debutant Salt Bay from Ralph Beckett but I was very taken with second placed Arkendale.

To begin with he was a bit slow out of the gate and had to be squeezed along by his jockey Danny Tudhope but in the home straight the penny dropped and things clicked into gear and he was running on nicely towards the end.
I think he could make up into a nice middle distance type as a 3yo.

So there we go for 2022, next up after a short rest the jumping resumes with a trip to Carlisle although that is on the proviso that the trains actually run but it is a card that has some nice looking races on it.

It’s been an enjoyable flat season, probably not a vintage one but for many I suspect and I include myself in this the real highlight especially now, had to be seeing Kings Lynn win the Temple Stakes back in May at Haydock.

The main and poignant reason behind it is that was the last ever Group race winner for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who sadly passed away this month.

We all know how much of a racing fan the Queen was and while HM could not be at Haydock for it, the sight of any winner in the Royal colours always had a special feeling to it and it’s something that brought the crowd together.

For those of you who have become regular readers of this throughout the flat season, Thank you, and I hope you will join me on my jumping travels throughout the upcoming campaign, till then it’s goodbye. 

Article – Neil Watson @WattyRacing
Pictures – Neil Watson/File

AOLR Production – Published : September 2022

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September Swansong

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Our September Swansong as we will be blogging next Sunday for the Prix Arc De Triomphe & the opening National Hunt fixtures, we are only tending to blog on weekends now due to time constraints & the shear volume of racing, we would have very little time for anything else.

So here we are, pretty much at the end of the Flat season & we would like to thank everyone who sent over a Flat horse to follow for the season & boy, we have had some success.

Charlie is unavailable today but Chris returns & is going Head to Head in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket with Jamie –

Chris –

Newmarket

3.00 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes

A fascinating renewal with several key players, but I’m siding with Blackbeard here. He has been on the go all season but landed a Group 1 over this trip last month, beating Persian Force and showing an impressive attitude in doing so. He’s one of the more exposed runners in the field, but also brings the best form having also been successful at Group 2, Group 3 and Listed level over sprint distances this campaign. He’s rightly near the top of the betting and will likely take a lot of beating here in a bid to give trainer Aidan O’Brien his 7th win in the race.

Haydock Park

Jamie –

Newmarket –
3:00 – Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (G1) 

Selection: Mischief Magic 

This looks to be a warm edition of this 6F contest for the 2yo colts. Despite needing to find a few pounds on the top ratings with Marshman & Blackbeard I fancy Mischief Magic to get the job done today. The powerful Appleby / Buick combination is operating at a serious strike rate at the moment and we still don’t know how good Mischief Magic could be. After a debut 3rd at Goodwood in May the Godolphin colt has won three on the bounce, culminating in an impressive G3 win at Kempton where he was doing his best work in the final 100yds. Mischief Magic is fast improving, perhaps more than most lining up against him today and that could be key. Mischief Magic has won over 6F and on good ground. At 3/1 (at the time of writing) I think he is decent value. 

Curragh –
3:20 – Goffs Million (2yo) 

Selection: Hellsing

Ger Lyons might just have the right horse to land this ultra competitive prize. Hellsing, a son of Dandy Man brings in arguably the best piece of form from any horse in this field. From his three races to date Hellsing has won two of them but it was a second place at Leopardstown in a G3 that really stands out to me. That day Hellsing was just over a length behind Proud And Regal who was subsequently runner up in the National Stakes on Champions Weekend. That form has a solid look to it now. Last time out Hellsing took out a listed race at Tipperary. It is also worth pointing out that Hellsing has won at the Curragh over a furlong shorter than today’s 7F trip. I think he is a solid option in a tricky puzzle. 

Rich –

Haydock
2.05 – Old Boston Handicap – Class 2 – 3yo+ – 7f 212yds
Auditor – Profitable X Crown 3yo colt.

A winner on final start as a 2yo over 5f in July 2021 & he has been gradually stepped up in trip during his 7 starts this term, from 5f to 1m, winning twice over 7f with both runs at Newmarket in C4 & C3 company. He was stepped up to 1m on August 19th in a Class 2 Newbury Handicap, when a 1 & 1/4 length 2nd to Atrium, who has since won again on September 11th in a Doncaster Class 2 Handicap. Auditor ran from a mark of 92 when 2nd & runs from 93 today…

Newmarket
3.40 – Handicap – Class 2- 3yo+ – 1m 1f…
Savvy Victory – New Bay X Highland Queen 3yo colt.

Spent 2021 running over 7f & 1m finishing 2nd on 2 of his 4 starts as a 2yo. Stepped up to 1m 2f on season return in April, when winning a Pontefract 1m 2f Class 4 maiden & since then he has run in the Group 3 1m 4f Chester Vase, 1m 2f Listed Fairway Stakes (Finished 3rd beaten 1 & 3/4 lengths) & Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes over 1m 4f. A drop back in trip to 1m 2f at Doncaster in July, when running in a Class 2 Handicap from a mark of 95, where he was narrowly beaten by a nose to Protagonist, who has since won on August 20th.
Savvy Victory ran from the same mark of 95 in a 1m 2f Class 2 Handicap at Goodwood on August 28th, winning by 2 & 3/4’s of a length from Al Mubhir. Runs from 99 today & due to go up to 101 after this race. Carries just 8s 10lbs & a decent EW shout with extra places available.

Thanks for popping in folks, we really appreciate it.
Gamble Responsibly.

Good Luck – The AOLR Team

Sombre Sunday

Hello & welcome to Arseonlineracing. The 100% independent racing website & podcast with NO affiliate links….

With the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, racing has taken a moment to pause out of respect for our monarch, who loved the sport & gave so much pleasure to a nation. We would like to pass on our condolences to King Charles III, the Royal family & the Queens friends.
Her Majesty was a huge supporter of our sport & her presence will be missed by so many, especially next summer when Royal Ascot comes around. We know that the racing public will do the Queen proud, in celebrating her life & reign on an emotional return to racing today.
Rest in Peace Queen Elizabeth II

With so much racing around on this busy Sunday, Doncaster – The Curragh & Longchamp, we will do our best to cover as much as we can, while taking a moment to pause for thought.
Charlie makes a welcome return to the fold with Jamie & Rich we are back to almost a full compliment, so let’s see what the team have found for you.

Charlie – Doncaster

1.35 Coral Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2) over 5f 143y

Selection – The Platinum Queen – 2 year old fillie out of Cotai Glory and Thrilled. Has had 5 career starts so far winning 3 times and placing 2nd once. The wins have came at Ripon on debut, York on 3rd start and at Goodwood on 4th start was 2nd on most recent start at York on the 19th August. Beat Shandy Star by 1 length on debut at Ripon on the 1st June 2022. Was a disappointing 13 of 21 at Ascot on 2nd start on the 15th June. Made amends on next start at York on the 8th July when beating Yahsat by 3 and 3/4 lengths. Won again on next start at Goodwood on the 27th July, when beating Union Court by 4 lengths. Was a respectable 2nd on most recent outing at York when being beaten 2 and 1/2 lengths by Highfield Princess. The Platinum Queen has shown glimpses of being Group Class and although has ran in mostly Class 1 or Class 2 races, should have enough in the tank to win this Group 2, with biggest danger to the selection coming in the shape of Trillium who is out of No Nay Never and Marsh hawk, Trillium has 2 wins and a 2nd place finish from 3 career starts.

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4.30 Pj Towey Construction Handicap Class 3 over 1m

Selection – Tyrrhenian Sea – 4 year Gelding out of Dark Angel and Nocturne. Has had 7 career starts winning 3 times and placing 2nd once and placing 3rd once. Won 1st 3 starts at Newcastle beginning with a 1 and 1/2 length victory over Alrehb on the 14th December last year. Returned to Newcastle on the 4th of January and beat Broomy Law by 6 lengths. Won again on next start at Newcastle on the 4th February when beating U S S Michigan by 2 and 1/4 lengths. Was 4th on next start at Kempton on the 2nd March when a neck a short head and a head seperated the 1st 4 home. Returned to Newcastle on the 15th April when beaten by 1/2 length into 2nd by Living Legend. Finished 4th of 4 on next start on turf at Windsor on the 25th June when behind winner My Oberon. Most recently was an unlucky 3rd at York on the 18th August when finishing a head and 2 and 1/4 lengths behind winner Blue For You. If showing same attitude today could easily gain 1st victory on turf although will need to be more assertive from the start, biggest danger to the selection comes in the shape of Point Lynas who has won last 2 starts.

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Jamie – Curragh

3:00 – Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1)

Selection: Tahiyra

I am going to take a chance here and take on the hot favourite Meditate. I don’t say that lightly as Meditate is a horse I rate highly but Tahiyra impressed me so much at Galway on her debut that I can’t leave her out of today’s blog. Yes this is a massive step up in class from a Maiden to a Group 1 but it was the manner of Tahiyra’s victory that suggested she is a Filly with immense potential and has tempted connections to step up to the top level straight away. Dermot Weld doesn’t do that unless he thinks his horse has a good chance. That Galway success was gained on good to yielding ground, so she acts on the ground and she is the value against the favourite. I’m looking forward to seeing her run today.

4:10 – Comer Group International Irish St. Leger (G1)

Selection: Rosscarbery (E/W)

This looks to be quite a strong renewal of the final Irish classic of the season. With Kyprios (who on all known form should win) being such a short price it has opened up some doors for each way punters. Rosscarbery appeals to me as the type to improve further going back up in trip for the Paddy Twomey stable. Rosscarbery has enjoyed an excellent season so far having won 5 times from 7 starts. One of those victories came over the same 1m 6f trip as she will face today in the Stanerra Stakes back in July at Leopardstown. It was another pleasing performance last time out when Rosscarbery was just beaten in a 10F Group 1 at Deauville last month, which will set her up nicely for today’s assignment. She has winning form on soft ground and is still improving. At 16/1 there is worse each way bets to be had in my opinion.

Rich – Longchamp ( Good to Soft )

1.35 – Prix Foy Stakes – Group 2 – 4yo+ – 1m 3f 204yds
Iresine – Manduro X Inanga 5yo gelding

Finished a 1 & 3/4 length 3rd of 6 on his last start in August, when running at Deauville in the Group 3 Jockey Club Anniversaire Stakes to Botanik, who has since won the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville( 1m 3f 204yds). Iresine was having his 3rd run of the season having won his previous 2, over the distance at Lyon, including a Listed Stakes race. He has run 5 times over 1m 3f 204yds, winning 4 of them & was a winner of the Group 3 La Coupe Stakes (1m 1f 204yds) at this course in June 2021.
High Definition, Verry Elleegant, Bubble Gift, My Rhapsody & Mutabahi make up the rest of the field….

3.25 Prix Niel Stakes – Group 2 – 3yo+ – 1m 3f 204yds
Simca Mille – Tamayuz X Swertia 3yo filly

Last seen in July over C&D when finishing a neck 2nd to Onesto in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris, this was her 6th run of 2022, having won her 3 previous races since coming back from a small break, having raced in February & finishing 2nd on both those starts.
The filly landed the Group 3 Prix Du Lys Longines in June over 1m 3f 204yds from Virtual Rock by 3 & 1/2 lengths, that was her first try over the distance.
Do Deuce, the Japanese raider has been off for 102 days, while True Testament steps up in trip following a 3rd in a Group 2, L’Astronome was 5th in a Group 1 having been unbeaten in 2022 & Deputy Ruler are the best of the 7 race field. SIMCA MILLE for me.

The BIG Group 1 on the card is the Prix Vermeille at 2.50 & features Grand Glory, Tuesday, Lilac Road, Albafora, Agave & Love Child, to name a few of the 11 runners.
I noted both Tuesday & Grand Glory as 2 I like in this race ( Just my opinion)

Thank you for taking the time to pop by today & read our blog, we really appreciate it. We would like to close this blog with the colours of the Queen, worn by Thore Hammer Hansen.

Gamble Responsibly.

All the Best – The AOLR Team

Watty’s Flat Spots – Part 9

Part 9 of Watty’s Flat Spots – Neil Watson was at Haydock on Saturday & has 3 eye catchers for your trackers…..

Saturday afternoon was a very interesting one for sure at Haydock Park for the Sprint Cup sponsored by that well known betting exchange famous for its yellow and black livery along with multiple podcasts and trainers columns.

Unfortunately the afternoon did have over thirty non runners due to the rain, which was forecast for Friday night. Lots of trainers declared on Thursday morning expecting it to tip it down, sadly the rain failed to appear, this in turn meant the clerk of the course didn’t water as he expected Mother Nature to do it for him and save on the water bill.

For racegoers like myself who note the non runners down in the race card, we ended up during the course of the afternoon taking it out many times to jot the initials N.R. next to horses names many times.
I felt more like the Nottingham Forest chairman having to continually get the cheque book out as has happened quite a lot during the summer, although thankfully my bank balance remained the same.

Minzaal

On the track Minzaal ran out a very ready winner of the big Group One and it looks to be all systems go for the Owen Burrows trained sprinter to head to Ascot next month for the Champion Sprint and for jockey Jim Crowley it will most definitely be a month to savour potentially if Baaeed does as many people are expecting and heads to Longchamp for the Arc.

But the afternoon did have some other races and of those here are three that caught my eye very much.

Naval Power

1 – Naval Power – 2yo Bay Colt – Trainer : Charlie Appleby.

In the opening race of the afternoon which was the Listed Ascendant Stakes over 1m we saw a very impressive performance by son of Teofilo as he saw out the extra furlong pretty easily to pick up another Listed race following on from his recent Ascot win.

Naval Power should improve even more as a 3yo, he will head for the Royal Lodge at Newmarket at the end of the month and that will probably be his last run of the year before his winter holidays.

Triple Time

2 – Triple Time – 3yo Bay Colt – Trainer : Kevin Ryan.

Only four went to post for the G3 Superior Mile, (No prizes for guessing the race distance) but despite the depleted field the winner Triple Time made a triumphant return to the track after a year off the track, he was originally meant to be Newmarket bound for the 2000 Guineas in May until injury ruled him out.

Last year he won two of his four starts as a juvenile with them both being at Haydock, the second one being in the Ascendant Stakes on this card last year, he clearly loves this track although there will be nothing in the racing programme for him now at Haydock and it’s very unlikely he’ll be gelded to go jumping around here.

I can see him offering even more as a 4yo and getting 10f should prove no problems, France would be a more logical choice should be run again this season although if Kevin Ryan were to pull up stumps and declare until 2023 then that would be no surprise.

3 – Alazwar – 4yo Bay Gelding – Trainer : Archie Watson.

A horse who has had a rather unorthodoxed start to his racing career.

Originally with Richard Hannon he never made it to the course and ended up in the care of Archie Watson, his first race came at Huntingdon last October where he won a junior bumper over 1m 5f, a couple defeats later including one at Cheltenham on New Years Day he then went over hurdles at Market Rasen in February where he came third of seven runners.

Switching to the flat he won two novice races both at Wolverhampton over 1m and came here off the back of a runners up spot at Ascot in the 7f Lady Riders Handicap. He bounced out nicely under Hollie Doyle and found plenty for pressure.

He is probably still just about ahead of the handicapper but he is a very big horse and he might be back over hurdles in the winter although he definitely is one to keep an eye out as he makes hay on the flat.

Neil Watson

Article & Pictures – Neil Watson (@WattyRacing)

An AOLR Production – Published : September 2022

Autumn’s coming….

Hello & welcome to Arseonlineracing. The 100% Independent racing website & podcast with NO affiliate links….

We are back, it’s a new month & Autumn is on it’s way….
Rich & Jamie are joined by Neil (@WattyRacing). Hopefully Charlie will be back next week for the St Leger along with Chris, who is away with his family.

Jamie –

Ascot –

3:10 – National Racehorse Week Handicap (7F)

Selection: Tactical (E/W)

There are several likely winners in this ultra competitive Class 2 Handicap. From an each way point of view HM the Queen’s Tactical appeals to me. A strongly run 7F is what this horse ideally wants, as advertised by a strong finishing 6th over 7F in the Buckingham Palace at the royal meeting. You can upgrade that performance as he was denied a run at a crucial stage from his held up position. Since then Tactical has run twice more at the Berkshire course in the G2 Summer Mile where he found the opposition a bit too good and in a similar Class 2 Handicap on King George day, where possibly it came too soon after the Summer Mile. Tactical has the ability to go well today under Ryan Moore and if he gets the breaks then I am more than hopeful he can land us a nice each way pot. 16/1 at the time of writing… 

3:30 – Haydock Sprint Cup (G1)

Selection: Naval Crown 

This is an open looking renewal of the only Group 1 flat race held in the North West of England meaning that decent odds are on offer. Naval Crown has done little wrong this campaign and ticks enough boxes to get the nod from me today. After a respectable winter in Dubai, Naval Crown has taken his form to the next level during the domestic season. The highlight being his hard fought win in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes, where he beat several of today’s rivals. That was followed by another solid run to finish runner up in the July Cup. Last time out  the word ‘soft’ in the going description went against Naval Crown in the Prix Maurice De Gheest but Charlie Appleby’s star still performed with credit to finish a 2 1/4L fifth to Highfield Princess. I fancy Naval Crown to bounce back today on favourable quick ground. And we all know the Buick / Appleby combination is flying at the moment. I’ll also note Go Bears Go for an each way play. 

Neil –

2.20 Haydock, 1m6f Handicap, 3yo.

You could probably refer to this race as the north west equivalent of the Melrose as it features some improving staying types and with a big field it is definitely a race which has the potential for some hard luck stories in it.

One horse who catches the eye in this is the Andrew Balding trained Australian Angel who will have the assistance of Hayley Turner in the saddle.

A winner of this trip at Sandown in July he was then beaten around two and a half lenghts next time out at Newmarket but a return to a track like this which has plenty of turning from past the winning post to the home straight should garner his interest a bit more and he is a solid each way bet and has more to offer i think at this trip which he isn’t fully exposed at.

3.30, Haydock, 6f Sprint Cup, Group 1, 3yo+

For me this one of the most wide open runnings of this famous race that is the jewel in the crown of the north west flat season that there has ever been, you could literally run the same horses next weekend and you’d get a totally different result.

Starting behind the last four houses down Harvey Lane in Golborne, the runners cross Sandy Lane after half a furlong or so before joining the main track, from where it’s a mad dash for the cash.

Myself i think this is a race ripe for an upset and I’m also of the opinion that for the first time since 2006 the race will stay in the north west with the Hugo Palmer trained Flaming Rib.

Hugo has two in the race with the other being the 5yo Brad The Brief who missed an intended engagement at York to run in this but i do think Flaming Rib is overpriced and can outrun his odds.

After a poor effort at Newbury in the Greenham he bounced back to form at Chester before going down by a neck to El Caballo in the Sandy Lane Stakes over CD next time out, after that he ran a credible second in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and hasn’t been sighted since running flat in the July Cup.

He has a big race in him and while this is a wide open renewal he would have as good a chance as any in this field and what a day it would be for the new master at Manor House to celebrate his first season at the helm. 

Rich –

I am going for a pair of William Haggas fillies’ today…
Kempton – All Weather
2.40 – Mile Series Final Handicap – Class 2 – 3yo+ – 1m
Morgan Fairy – Lope De Vega X My Fairy 3yo Filly.

2 wins from 8 starts, although only 1 wins this season so far from 5 starts.
A C&D winner on final start of her debut season. The 1 win this term came on July 16th in the 1m Class 2 Premier Fillies’ Handicap at Newbury when beating State Occasion by 1 & 1/2 lengths & has since finished 2nd on both her starts since, last time out on August 20th when 5 lengths to winner, Raise The Roof in a Lingfield Class 3 Handicap over 1m – Extra Places – 9/1 EW.

Thirsk –
4.36 – Fillies’ Handicap – Class 3 – 3yo+ – 1m…
Sea Tsarina – Sea The Stars X Tayma 3yo Filly.

2 wins from 3 starts. Her first 2 starts coming over 7fs, with a debut win at Yarmouth in a 7f Class 5 Maiden by 1 & 1/4 lengths on June 8th before finishing a 1 & 1/4 length 3rd of 5 in a 7f Newmarket Class 4 Novice Stakes to Midnight Moll ( 2nd & 4th both since won).
The Sea The Stars filly stepped up to 1m on her last start when running at Lingfield on the All Weather in a Class 5 Novice Stakes on August 9th, beating Khamsia Lady. Makes Handicap debut.

That’s everything folks, See you next weekend for the St Leger! Thanks for popping in, we really appreciate it.
Gamble Responsibly

Good Luck – The AOLR Team