The final throes of the Flat season are often most useful in sorting out the pecking order for the juveniles going into the winter and Newmarket last weekend was no exception.
It can only take a minute to enhance or burst a reputation and the big winners on Saturday were probably Ten Sovereigns and Jash, who pulled clear of the rest in the Middle Park.
Watch video analysis of the Middle Park Stakes from The Verdict
Ten Sovereigns looked to have a bit more up his sleeve than the bare half length by which he won but it was hard not to agree with several of the post-race comments that a mile would look at the upper end of his potential staying spectrum. Jash looks far more likely to stay but there is a degree of temperament in his pedigree which curbs long term enthusiasm.
Mohawk’s victory in the Royal Lodge drew attention more to the exploits of Anthony Van Dyck and Quorum, who had both comfortably seen him off in Ireland whilst the Cheveley Park was potentially the most interesting albeit in making it look as if the fillies' division remains very much up for grabs.
On the face of it Pretty Pollyanna disappointed, with some feeling the decision to restrain her after a furlong was a tactical error. It could also be argued, however, that with both Angel’s Hideaway and Signora Cabello disappointing it was her whole set of form lines that took a knock, especially as the Prix Morny also is looking shallow.
Watch video analysis of the Cheveley Park Stakes from The Verdict
By contrast the Lowther, which had looked nothing more than an average renewal prior to Saturday, got a boost (for the front pair at least) with Fairyland once again seeing off Breeders' Cup bound The Mackem Bullet.
More likely is that there is the potential for a new name to emerge between now and a return to the Rowley Mile for the 1,000 Guineas in May so keep an eye on those backend season fillies' maidens from Aidan O’Brien in Ireland and John Gosden at Newcastle!
More clues will come in weeks ahead, notably at ParisLongchamp this weekend and Future Champions Day at Newmarket but a lower key race it may pay to follow is a Nursery at Salisbury on September 6, which is working out particularly well with Winter Gleam at Epsom on Sunday the latest to perform with credit next time out.
The well-supported winner at Salisbury, Headland won with a bit in hand that day and could well be one to keep an eye for.
The forecast rain overnight should prove right up Buonarotti’s street and he has dropped to a very favourable mark
Ran well at Hamilton when I was there just over a week ago, travelling well but not quite picking up well enough to catch Military Hill. Rather unusually both the fourth, Edgar Allan Poe, and fifth, Jack Blane, both won the very next day and it is likely her handicap mark does not reflect her full potential.
The presence of a couple of front runners should help Falmouth Light settle, which is very much key to his chances. His course and distance third last time out gives him a solid chance here, especially as the handicapper has also dropped him 1lb and he plays his hand a little later.
Has been brought along steadily and got off the mark at Worcester last time, when wearing a tongue tie which stays on here for his first foray into handicaps. The step up in trip should suit, based on a stamina-laden pedigree on the dams side and a placing in an Irish point.
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