Thursday 13th July - winners, Deauville, and new horses
It was lovely to see Guinness Affair following up his novice chase win at Hexham last month, with another victory over fences at Newton Abbot this time, under a wonderful ride from Gavin Sheehan. Guinness had been off for over 600 days, so it is great credit to the team to get him back in such top shape, and he now takes his career wins to five from just eight starts. I do think Guinness found Newton Abbot a touch sharp and tight over the minimum trip, but his attitude and determination got him in front where it mattered. We’ll give him an easier few weeks, and then see if we can find him another suitable opportunity.
Guinness Affair wins again over fences, and is now 5 wins from 8 career starts.
Of our other recent runners, Sholokhov Cocktail would have won on her hurdling debut, but a mistake at the last cost her, but she was a very honourable 2nd under a positive ride from Sam Twiston-Davies. A mistake at the 4th last cost Donnie Azoff any chance of winning, when he was 3rd at Uttoxeter earlier this week, and poor Arbennig failed to follow up his latest success as he tipped up at the 4th fence – at least both he and Will Featherstone were both unscathed.
Meanwhile, we spent last week over at Deauville at the Arqana sales and I was delighted we came home with two smart horses off the flat:
- Torneo has run 6 times on the flat in France and has looked not only talented but tough and consistent as he has never been out of the placings. He was 3rd on his debut as a 2-year-old over 1m, and was 4th on his reappearance as a 3-year-old. He then put in an impressive performance to win a maiden at Pau over a 1m2 and has been 2nd on three consecutive starts since over 1m4. On his most recent start he was beaten less than a length by a horse who made €250,000 to also go hurdling. Torneo has been given a handicap mark of 84 on the flat, and he looks tailor made to develop into a high-class juvenile hurdler for the coming season. His pedigree is packed with staying Group winners on the flat. Torneo has the potential to be a Graded horse, is sure to give us all an awful lot of fun, a real dream, but more importantly – he will win races! He looks to have the scope and attitude to jump a fence in time, whilst he also has the option of switching back to some top-class flat handicaps, including something like the Cesarewitch.
- Fresh Kiss has run 11 times on the flat in France and looks to have plenty of ability having won 4 times from 1m2 to 1m6. Fresh Kiss has been given a handicap mark of 83 on the flat, and she looks like she will have the ability and athleticism to develop into a nice novice hurdler for the coming season. She is by Zarak, who is beautifully bred (out of the Arc winner, Zarkava) and he won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud; his eldest crop are 4 years old, but he is already producing top quality horses including the 145 rated Zarak The Brave. Fresh Kiss is out of an unraced Rock of Gibraltar sister to the Group 1 winner Dream Peace and the dual-purpose sire, Catcher In The Rye. So, she has a residual value as a future broodmare. Fresh Kiss is a very athletic looking 16”1 horse, who has the potential to be a very useful hurdler, whilst she also has the option of switching back to some flat handicaps.