They say that all good things come to those who wait and that patience is a great virtue. Both phrases are applicable for St Albans Bloodstock and God Given (pictured) who finally got her Group 2 victory in the DFS Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting. This was her fourth attempt at such a race having just been chinned in the Lancashire Oaks, expending too much energy when finishing fourth in the Lillie Langtry Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and then running a gallant third in the Prix De Pomone at Deauville. The general feeling after the Lillie Langtry was that she didn’t stay a mile and six furlongs so the plan was to get her settled in behind. However, a lot of credit must go to Jamie Spencer who must have used every ounce of strength to keep her settled off a slow pace and then gradually allowed her to find her stride before galvanising her to reverse the Lancashire Oaks placings with Horseplay. The plan now is to head to the Group 1 Qipco Fillies & Mares Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.
The bronze colours of St Albans Bloodstock were back in the winner’s enclosure two weeks later when Prejudice got off the mark in a nursery handicap at Redcar. By Dubawi, he is a full brother to Postponed and half-brother to God Given. On the gallops at home he has always shown us that potential could be there, however, his first two runs were on the disappointing side. We decided to change tactics with him for his third run and had him up on the lead to teach him how to race. This appears to have done the trick, as Danny Tudhope travelled sweetly at the back of the pack before pouncing in the final furlong. Signs of greenness were still apparent, however, we can only hope that he continues to improve in the same fashion as his siblings.
The beautifully bred Floria Tosca (Shamardal x Islington) finally came good when winning at Leicester and Bath respectively over a mile and a half. She somewhat bottomed out at Yarmouth last time which was a bit disappointing, however, she is a filly that needs the ground to be lightning quick and Jamie felt that underfoot conditions were softer than the official going.
Ashington has continued to surprise us this season and, although he has not won again since our last update, he did finish second in a Class 3 0-90 handicap at Chelmsford. He has yet to finish out of the prizemoney this season and, although there is the possibility that he may stay in training as a four year old, it is more likely that he will head to the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training sale.
Named after the Spanish playwright Lope Felix De Vega, his equine namesake has started his career in good fashion. Debuting at Chelmsford, Felix put in an eye catching performance when finishing third in a decent novice over a mile. Over the same trip at Yarmouth, Jamie Spencer had him settled nicely in behind off a slow pace. Talk of the town was for the William Haggas 1/2F, however, all it took was some gentle persuasion from Jamie to get Felix to win by a comfortable length.
Durrell is another two year old who has shown promise in his first two races without winning. Bought out of the Arqana Breeze Up sale for new partnership Silver, Steed, Gambini, Venice Consulting, this son of Animal Kingdom has a lot of scope for the future. Finishing second and third in two decent novices over a mile, he looks certain to come on and develop in to a nice three year old over middle distances.
I must tip my hat to the owners of Highfaluting who have shown nothing but patience with this horse. He has been plagued by a number of setbacks since a yearling and, at the ripe old age of four (and a half), he his debut at Chelmsford. This was enough to get him started and then we sent him to Lingfield for his next start where he did not handle the undulations of the track but gamely stayed on to finish sixth. We shall get him handicapped next time out and try to stick flat galloping tracks in the future.
Faro Angel is another of our two year olds who has shown plenty of promise at home and confirmed that when finishing fifth in a good novice at Ascot even though he ran very green. Showing signs of greenness again at Leicester on his next start, he really powered home once Jamie Spencer got after him to be beaten by a nose on the line. However, the stewards deemed that the winner, Nubough, had caused prolonged intimidation over the last furlong and was therefore demoted to second. Obviously, any winner is gratefully received; however, Faro Angel is more than capable of winning on his own merits and is another to look forward to in the future.