All-Weather Horses To Follow
As All-Weather Championships Season 8 gets underway, our expert Simon Mapletoft nominates 10 horses he expects to make an impact at various levels on the sand this winter.
ARMY OF INDIA (Mark Johnston)
Highly tried this year, the son of Sepoy couldn’t cut it in Pattern grade at Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood but heads into the winter with a perfect two from two record on the All-Weather. No surprise, as he hails from a family full of dirt winners Stateside. Army Of India never saw another rival when he dropped back into novice company under a penalty at Lingfield Park in July and comes back fresh after a three-month break. He could be exciting in the better 3YO sprint races.
DAWN VIEW (Stuart Williams)
This filly has her limitations, but has improved in two runs on Polytrack this autumn and can get off the mark in a low-grade handicap in the coming weeks, perhaps over 1m. She went down fighting over that trip at Chelmsford City in early October, challenging tenaciously from further back than ideal. Her trainer invariably returns impressive statistics on the All-Weather and she is poised to add to the tally.
FAYATHAAN (Richard Fahey)
Former dual champion jockey Paul Hanagan was full of praise for this likeable colt after getting him up to beat a previous winner in a Newcastle nursery in mid-October. The son of hit freshman sire Mehmas had also run a promising race on his second start at the North East track and clearly relishes the stiff 6f there. He could prove just as effective over 7f and promises to progress this winter from a modest mark, though does hold a sales entry.
MAGICAL JOURNEY (James Tate)
Newmarket trainer Tate enjoyed high level All-Weather Championships success with the filly Lamar a few years ago and could have a live contender for the Fillies’ and Mares’ crown in this classy daughter of Night Of Thunder. Though yet to run beyond 6f, she coped well with the uphill climb over that trip in Listed company at Pontefract in August and is bred to stay the distaff Final trip of 7f. She ran another solid race in Listed company on turf at Newmarket and wasn’t disgraced under a penalty behind the smart Art Power on her only All-Weather start at Newcastle back in June.
THE PERFECT CROWN (Archie Watson)
Archie Watson has an exciting prospect on his hands for the Sprint category with this talented 3yo, who did well to finish as close as he did after an awkward start when third in a hot 6f handicap at Chelmsford City in late September. Already officially rated 102, he is proven around Lingfield Park having won a 7f novice there and finishing third in last season’s Listed Spring Cup. The Listed Golden Rose Stakes at Lingfield in November could prove an ideal early-season target for this unexposed colt.
NORTHERNPOWERHOUSE (Bryan Smart)
Bryan Smart hasn’t over-raced the son of Harbour Watch since gelding him earlier in the year and he is open to further progress on the synthetics. He finished strongly to land a 7f handicap at Newcastle last December and has since won over the same trip in higher grade at Haydock Park. Though not short of gears, he may get 1m this winter and has scope to improve off his starting mark.
PIRATE KING (Charlie Fellowes)
Highly effective over 1m4f at Lingfield, this five-year-old progressed rapidly last winter, completing a course and distance hat-trick and improving 15lbs in the process. He’s been held up by a few niggles this summer, but on the plus side returns to the All-Weather a fresh horse. Dubai is still an option for him but after pleasing his young trainer in his homework of late, don’t rule out a decent domestic prize in the coming weeks.
PRINCE OF BEL LIR (Joseph Parr)
Young Joseph Parr has made quite an impact since taking over from his grandfather Alan Bailey earlier this year and can be relied upon to find an opening for this twice-raced colt, who has been gelded since finishing an encouraging fourth in holding ground at Windsor in August. Bred to be sharp, he also showed considerable promise on debut at Haydock and looks the type to progress through the handicap in those 6f nurseries around Wolverhampton, where the trainer does so well.
TRANCHEE (David Loughnane)
Second in a valuable sprint handicap at York this autumn, Dave Loughnane’s improving four-year-old will switch back to the All-Weather on a mark high enough to get him into the better 6f races. He’s won two of his five starts on sand and has improved well over a stone and a half since joining his upwardly mobile young handler. His win over 7f around Wolverhampton on his yard debut in July could make the Listed Lady Wulfruna Stakes over the same course and distance a realistic target, too.
WIDAAD (George Boughey)
This unexposed daughter of Muhaarar could prove a real snip at 12,000gns. Young trainer George Boughey has clearly found the key to the former Owen Burrows filly, who improved on her second in a Chelmsford City novice in September to get even closer to the winner despite taxing conditions at Windsor in mid-October. She looks worth persevering with over 1m and can make her mark in handicaps in due course
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