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Thursday 11th July

Thu 11 July 2019

Good morning from Newmarket! We will be extremely busy at La Grange today as we welcome around 100 of our owners to our annual July lunch, and hopefully the weather is going to hold and we will have a lovely day. We will also be busy on the track, with three runners set to head to three different tracks.

We get underway with Perla Blanca in the two-mile amateur riders handicap at 1.40 at Doncaster – a race that she won last year. Perla will once again be ridden by our amateur jockey Sophie Smith, and the pair have been on quite a journey in the 12 months since winning this race.

Perla has a history of stalls issues, and in the months following her Doncaster triumph this latent phobia flared up. She refused to load at both Newbury and Carlisle last summer, and only the expert help of Craig and Gary Witheford has seen her get her career back on track. She made tentative steps towards a return to her best when running at Lingfield and Newbury last backend, before storming to victory at Ayr on her seasonal reappearance this year.

That victory suggested Perla is an improved performer, though she will have to be in order to defy a seven-pound higher mark than what she won this race from a year ago. This is probably a better race than she won at Ayr too, so it will be no cake walk, but at the same time we are very hopeful that Perla will be involved in the finish. When she has consented to race, she invariably runs with great credit so I am looking for more of the same today from Perla and Sophie.

We move on to Newmarket at 5.10 for our next runner Global Gift, although rattling fast ground could yet put his participation in a little doubt. This three-year-old son of Invincible Spirit has made giant strides recently, winning on handicap debut at Carlisle towards the end of May before adding further success at Haydock and Doncaster in the weeks that have followed.

He is now up to a career high mark of 92, although luckily he can race off 90 today as the weights for this race were published before the latest adjustment to his rating. He has been thriving of late and seems to be in great form ahead of this 0-90 mile test. His fellow three-year-olds Moqtarreb and Wings Of Time probably provide the sternest test he has yet encountered, and there are several useful and consistent older handicappers in opposition too. So this is a big ask for the horse, but he usually only just does enough when winning his races so we have not ruled out the possibility of him rating a little higher still. Should he take his chance it will be very interesting to see how he gets on.

Our third and final runner today is Toro Dorado, who goes in the mile and a quarter 0-70 handicap at Epsom at 8.10. This mercurial character remains a maiden after 12 starts, though at Newcastle last time he staged a major revival when finishing second, pulling some 10 lengths clear of the third horse.

That run has catapulted him back to a rating of 63, although given he was rated 66 not so long ago it should not prove too far out of reach, whilst Silvestre De Sousa recommended this step back up to a mile and a quarter. Hopefully the trip will suit then, and this is not the strongest contest on paper. However, the key concerns are whether or not Toro properly handles turf (both of his career best efforts have been on artificial surfaces) and will he take to the idiosyncrasies of Epsom? He has disappointed us before so is not one for maximum faith, but he clearly has the ability to go close here and hopefully Oisin Murphy is the right man to get the best out of him.


Enjoy the racing today,




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