Latest Horse Racing News – 19th September 2016

Brando Proves a Star Turn In Gold Cup and Angel Takes Flight In Mill Reef

Saturday’s big race from a betting standpoint came north of the border, as Ayr staged the 2016 edition of its highly coveted Gold Cup. Kevin Ryan already had a more than fair recent record heading into this year’s edition, having sent out the winner three times since 2007.

The Yorkshireman was triple handed in his bid for a fourth success and once again proved the man to follow.  Ryan’s Teruntum Star finished stone last and stablemate Flaming Spear not much better, but his third runner Brando stamped his class all over this field for a resounding 1 ¼l success from the heavily punted Growl. With this son of Pivotal’s three previous runs having come in Group company, he was always likely to be dangerous stepping back down into a handicap and so it proved.

Travelling ominously well throughout, the turn of foot he demonstrated was simply too much for these rivals to live with. Should the ground come up on the soft side, Brando certainly won’t look out of place in the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, a race for which he is now a 16/1 shot.

Mill Reef Quality

Saturday’s big race in terms of quality was the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury. Clive Cox’s Harry Angel was yet to win a race ahead of what on paper looked a rather steep rise in class. With a narrow defeat in a Class 3 maiden followed up by a withdrawal at Goodwood due to high jinks in the stalls, he certainly didn’t obtain is position as market leader purely on form.

The rumours seem to have been floating around for a while that this one has been showing plenty at home and for once those rumours seem to have some serious substance. There have been stronger Group 2 sprints run this year, but the son of Dark Angel could have done little more than trounce these rivals by 2½l without apparently being anything like fully extended.

Profitable has flown the flag admirably for Cox in the sprint division this year, and in Harry Angel, the Berkshire handler looks to have another high class speedster on his hands. We may not see him again this year, but he should not be forgotten when next season’s Commonwealth Cup rolls around.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead to the coming weekend we have yet more top handicapping action to look forward to as Newmarket plays host to the Cambridgeshire handicap. John Gosden’s five year old, Sacred Act currently heads the betting for the contest, which together with the Cesarewitch Handicap forms racing’s Autumn Double.

These big field handicaps are always fun to attempt to solve but for those looking for sheer quality it is the two preceding contest’s on Saturday’s Newmarket card which will no doubt hold the most interest. First up is the Cheveley Park Stakes and a possible duel between two of the most exciting fillies in training, as the frighteningly quick Lady Aurelia looks set to take on Richard Fahey’s, daughter of Frankel, Queen Kindly.

The colts then take to the track in the Middle Park Stakes. Godolphin’s Blue Point heads the market here, but that could all change should the Ballydoyle speedball Caravaggio take up his entry and set up a real clash to savour.