Hollie Doyle is booked for six good rides at Windsor on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Racing, including former Winter Hill Stakes winner Extra Elusive for her boss Imad Alsagar.
Drop in class and trip for Extra
EXTRA ELUSIVE, the horse who got my job with leading owner Imad Alsagar off to a flying start in last season’s Group Three Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock Park, is back in action at Windsor on Saturday.
He was disappointing in this year’s renewal of the Haydock feature but the ground was very testing that day and he just didn’t give his true running.
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We’re hoping the application of cheekpieces for the first time, allied with a drop in trip, might just change his fortunes in the Sytner BMW Sunningdale & Maidenhead August Stakes (6.00).
The ground looks quicker than ideal going into the race and there doesn’t appear to be much chance of a shower, but it’s winnable as long as he can put up the kind of performance I know he’s capable of.
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Hollie Doyle and Extra Elusive win the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock last year
Ground a question mark for Twilight
TWILIGHT MADNESS is a progressive young sprinter who faces his toughest challenge yet in the St Leger on Sky Sports Racing Handicap (5.25) at Windsor.
Simon Hodgson’s done really well with this colt, rattling up three wins in a row this year. I won on him twice at Kempton Park in the winter before Tom (Marquand) completed the hat-trick in July.
Fresher than most at this stage of the season, he’s a solid sprinter with a future but must overcome a 9lb rise in the weights on ground that’s going to be livelier than anything he’s raced on before.
Doyle is hoping to ride another big winner in the colours of her boss Imad Alsagar
Strong gallop will suit Carroll’s mare
I won on Tony Carroll’s SECOND COLLECTION at Wolverhampton a couple of seasons ago and was third on her at Windsor recently, so I know her well and I’m hoping for the best in the Sky Sports Racing 415 Fillies’ Handicap (4.20).
The handicapper has dropped her a couple of pounds since she ran so well over course and distance for me. We’re drawn just alright, but there will be plenty of pace in the race and she’s happy on all sorts of ground.
Hoping to see some ‘star’ quality
I was successful on a Roger Teal two-year-old at Goodwood’s Glorious Festival and link up with him again on a potentially nice newcomer in the Racing League on Sky Sports Novice Stakes (4.55) at Windsor.
Roger’s taken his time with VIEWFROMTHESTARS, who cost 47,000 guineas at the Craven Breeze-ups in the spring. He’s a second foal by Starspangledbanner, who is one of my favourite sires. I just love the way he stamps his stock – they’re often solid, versatile horses.
It’s his first day at school so it’s always hard to know what to expect but Roger prepares his horses so well and has been enjoying another good year.
Doyle links up once more with trainer Roger Teal to ride debutant Viewfromthestars
Attwater newcomer has form at the trip
Michael Attwater does well with the older horses he buys relatively cheaply so partnering BREGUET BOY on his stable debut in the Follow Attheraces On Twitter handicap (7.00) at Windsor will be interesting.
He’s not a horse I know but he does have winning form at around one mile, including in Scotland where he was previously trained by Keith Dalgleish.
Breguet Boy, who was bought for just 16,000 guineas at the July Sales, has also won over hurdles this year so looks a versatile, fun horse. We’re nicely drawn in stall four, too.
Clear chance for Crystal
CRYSTAL GUARD is still a maiden after seven starts but Michael Bell has found him an open-looking race at Windsor. I ride him in the Read Kevin Blake On attheraces.com Handicap (7.30) over the extended 11 furlongs – a trip that will suit him well as he’s been placed over further.
He’s run his best race on fast ground so good to firm, as we’re expecting at Windsor, should also play to his strengths. I’m also well drawn in stall three, so we have plenty going for us in an attempt to finally get him off the mark.
Gelded Mehmento returns at Goodwood
Doyle rides Mehmento to victory in the Surrey Stakes at Epsom
Following a short break, Hambleton Racing’s MEHMENTO is back on Sunday in the Group Three Weatherbys Hamilton Supreme Stakes (4.00) at Goodwood.
Archie (Watson) gelded the son of Mehmas following his run in the Group One Prix Jean Prat at Deauville in early July, when he finished down the field after disappointing in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
We’re hoping he can get back to the sort of form that saw him win the Listed Surrey Stakes at Epsom’s Derby Meeting and finish second in the Group Three Greenham at the start of the season.
He hasn’t been able to win at Group level so far but I’m sure he’ll enjoy Goodwood after winning so well at Epsom – another undulating track. He’ll also enjoy a small field though, the competition is hot with the likes of The Queen’s Tactical and the progressive Rhoscolyn up against us.
I also ride MAJESTIC FIGHTER for Roger Charlton in the EBF Restricted Maiden Stakes (2.50). He’s never run before but is a well-bred son of Teofilo whose dam won at two. On pedigree, starting out over one mile should be ideal.
Beach could be heading for the Sun
An exciting end-of-season is in prospect for Jane Chapple-Hyam’s SAFFRON BEACH after she bounced back to form in no uncertain fashion in last weekend’s Group Three Atalanta Stakes at Sandown.
I really enjoyed riding her over that stiff mile and was impressed by the way she put the race to bed. She felt great and it’s all credit to Jane for bringing her back in such great form.
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Second to Mother Earth in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, Saffron Beach has always been a classy filly so a return to Group One company over one mile in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in October is now on the cards.
I understand Jane and her owners are also considering flying out to Canada for the Grade One E. P. Taylor at Woodbine. That’s over 10 furlongs, but I have no doubt she would stay that trip well.