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The Loader Look: A Case Of Classic Clues

There has been so much racing across the Flat and Jumps over the past week that it has made it hard to keep up with at times. However, there are quite a few horses that I’ve been impressed with in recent days, including a couple that might have Classic aspirations on the horizon.
Flat Racing

2,000 Guineas Contender?

The first horse that went into my tracker last week was Ten Bob Tony. He won the conditions race on Tuesday for Ed Walker, beating the well-fancied Boiling Point when making all from the front. It is important to acknowledge that the Rowley Mile course certainly favoured front-runners last week, as not many horses came from off the pace. Despite this, I thought he always had the beating of his rivals throughout the race, and he seemed to love the dips and underlations at Newmarket. 

There was also some market support for him late on, so connections clearly must have thought he had a good chance that day. The son of Night Of Thunder is entered in the 2,000 Guineas, where he is a 50/1 shot. I do think it is more of an open race than the betting currently suggests, and I don’t buy the City Of Troy hype. Though Ten Bob Tony would need to improve again to feature, I wouldn’t rule him off my shortlist at this stage if he were to run.

Send Her To The Oaks

Elsewhere at Newmarket, the horse I was most impressed with across the whole meeting was Kalpana for Andrew Balding. She absolutely bolted up to win by 10-lengths in a competitive-looking handicap off 78 over 1m2f. It remains to be seen what the handicapper will do, but if she were mine, I’d chuck her in an Oaks Trial. As she’s owned by Juddmonte, I suspect they’ll roll the dice in a better race than a handicap.

He’s Bred To Be A Derby Horse

Staying with Classic clues, I thought we saw a proper Epsom Derby contender at Newbury as Voyage won a shade cosily for Richard Hannon on his racecourse debut. If you go back and watch the race, he tanked through the race and always looked like the winner up the home straight. Furthermore, if you look at his pedigree, he’s by Golden Horn, out of a Galileo mare, so he’s bred to a Derby horse. He was cut into 33/1 for the Derby, and I definitely like to see him run in a race in the Dante at York, though he would need to be supplemented. 

Another horse that must be mentioned in regards to Classics is God’s Window for John and Thady Gosden. He won the opening race at Nottingham on Saturday evening, beating a couple of inferior rivals. Though he didn’t beat much in the race, he was campaigned at a high level last season, and he finished third in the Group 1 Futurity at Doncaster on the second start of his life. The son of Dubawi is entered in the 2,000 Guineas, The Dante, and The Epsom Derby, but by looking at his pedigree, I don’t think Newmarket in May will be on the agenda, and he’ll probably go to York.

No More Handicaps For Ice Max

Moving to Musselburgh on Sunday, the horse to take out of that card is Ice Max for Karl Burke. He’s 2/2 so far in 2024, but the way he’s won on both his starts suggested he looks every inch a Group horse. The three-year-old gelding won off 97 at the weekend and the handicapper could easily raise him 10lb for the performance. I suspect his connections will be looking at aiming him in a better race next time out and he’ll be a horse I’d want to keep on side.

Bring On Sandown

Looking at the action this weekend, there is plenty of good racing coming, particularly at Sandown, where there are some Group races on the Flat on Friday and Jumps Finale Day on the Saturday. It’s always a good two-day meeting, and I’m looking forward to previewing the cards there this week.

Horses To Follow

Ten Bob Tony (Ed Walker)

Kalpana (Andrew Balding)

Voyage (Richard Hannon)

God’s Window (John & Thady Gosden)

Ice Max (Karl Burke)

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There has been so much racing across the Flat and Jumps over the past week that it has made it hard to keep up with at times. However, there are quite a few horses that I’ve been impressed with in recent days, including a couple that might have Classic aspirations on the horizon.
Read also...