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Saturday 15th June

Sat 15 June 2019

Good morning from Newmarket! After a productive week, we cap things off with a busy Saturday afternoon featuring three runners at Sandown and another at Bath.

Let’s first discuss Gottardo, our single runner at Bath. He lines up in the Silk Series Lady Riders handicap at 4.10, a 0-70 contest over five and a half furlongs. This horse was sourced in Ireland for our resident amateur rider Sophie Smith to have some experience on, and so far the pair have formed a fruitful partnership. They got off the mark with a last gasp victory at Chelmsford in March, and followed it up with a highly satisfactory third at Wolverhampton. Today represents Gottardo’s first run for us on the grass, although he has plenty of form on varying sorts of turf earlier in his career.

So there are reasons to be positive, and hopefully a stiff five and a half furlongs will be right up Gottardo’s street. He has a habit of breaking slowly, but provided he gets away cleanly and they go a good, fast gallop (which seems inevitable), he really should be making headway in the latter part of the race. We must caution that optimism by saying that this is against professionals rather than amateur only, and Bath itself will provide a searching new test for both horse and rider, and we are unquestionably up in grade compared with his recent races. That said, I would like to think he goes there with a good each way chance.

Moving to Sandown, we get started with the trip dropper Alternative Fact in the mile handicap at 3.15. This is a very competitive race, and we are talking about a horse that has disappointed us a lot of late.

However, he has always shown a lot of talent – he was second in Listed company to Wootton as a two-year-old – and there has been a suspicion for a little while now that he might appreciate a step back to a mile. This was first mooted last year, and following his latest run at Doncaster we were determined to try it. We know he handles easy ground, we know he acts around Sandown, and we feel that he could hardly be in better form at home. So there are reasons to be hopeful, but based on his first two appearances this season we need to see a major revival. Fingers crossed he can return to his best this afternoon. Rab Havlin will be in the saddle.

In the 5.00 at Sandown, a mile and a quarter maiden, we run both Triple Genius and Caen na Coille. Triple Genius showed promise on his debut at Wetherby, but found things happening all too quickly from a bad draw at Lingfield more recently. A return to a more galloping track on an easy surface will suit, but he is a horse that we are only likely to see the best of once handicapping further down the line.

Caen Na Coille remains a filly of interest. She is out of Strathnaver, who I trained to win a couple of times before she went on to be a Grade-3 winner and Grade-1 placed in the States, and being by Medaglia D’Oro doesn’t necessarily preclude her from handling easy ground. She showed promise at an ordinary level on her Wolverhampton debut back in February, and we have been pleased with her since. The sticky going could well prove a bridge too far for her at this stage of her development, but she is certainly a horse we like and I hope we will see some encouraging signs this afternoon. Dan Muscutt continues his association with Triple Genius and George Wood is on Caen na Coille.

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