It was great to see Al Shaqab Racing’s El Vip (pictured) confirm the promise of his work on the gallops when making a successful debut in the mile and a quarter maiden at Doncaster last Saturday. His jockey, Andrea Atzeni, was understandably keen to keep a close eye on the favourite Stratum, which meant the eventual runner up, Twobelucky, was allowed to build up a clear lead in the straight. However, the manner in which El Vip was able to make up the ground in the final two furlongs was very pleasing to see. We have now won this race three years in a row following victories for Pleasant Valley in 2014 and Koora in 2015 and we hope El Vip can progress in a similar manner to those fillies. Timeform have him rated 91p (the ‘p’ signifies he is open to improvement) and he has been given an official rating of 92.
It was mission accomplished with Michael and Michelle Morris’ Tiptree as she earned some black type by finishing third in the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes at Newmarket on the same afternoon. Tiptree made up almost eight lengths on the runner up, Abingdon, who had beaten her by much further the time before so it was her best performance of the season so far. The run also proved that Tiptree stays a mile and a half, which now opens up our options, and she could head to the Listed Sir Henry Cecil & EBF Galtres Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival on Friday 19th August – a race we managed to win eight times in the 1990s. Also under consideration for the Galtres is Normandie Stud’s Loving Things who was not disgraced when fourth in the Group 3 Betfred Glorious Stakes at Goodwood last Friday. She should be suited by a return to a more conventional track.
Mr Stuart Stuckey’s owned Pacharana and Four On Eight will be aiming for an across the card double today. Pacharana will bid to follow up on her first career success at Yarmouth when she returns to the scene of her victory for a mile and a quarter handicap with Jamie Spencer up. She has come out her last race in good form so we are hopeful that she can continue to improve. Four On Eight aims to get on the scoreboard for 2016 in the mile and a quarter handicap for three year olds at Sandown. The ground there appears to be drying out which will be more to his liking than the heavy ground he had to endure at Newmarket last time out.