Five horses to keep an eye on during the flat season
The first horse on the list is Great Ambassador who will take to the turf this summer off a rating of 88. Last seen in November on the all-weather, Ralph Beckett’s gelding proved too good for the rest of field, justifying favouritism. However, it is his run in a strong Goodwood Maiden last August that suggests he is well handicapped. In that 7f race he looked awkward coming out of the stalls before eventually leading over a furlong out. He was headed close to the line, finishing a close third. When you dig deeper into the form of that race, Great Ambassador’s mark starts to make plenty of appeal. The winner, Persuasion, is now rated 99. The second is rated 101 and the fourth placed horse, Berkshire Rocco, comes into the season off a mark of 104. On this form, Great Ambassador looks on a lenient mark.
His next effort was a 14th placed finish from a 20 runner race. This doesn’t look great on paper, but I think the Class 2 race was a high quality affair. The front 14 were only eight lengths apart and Great Ambassador did not have the best draw in the form of stall 16. Stalls 1 and 3 filled the first two places, with only one horse drawn wider than Great Ambassador finishing ahead of him that day. The other three all raced on the stand side and dropped away tamely. Great Ambassador plugged away, with Harry Bentley giving him an easy time in the final furlong. You can upgrade that effort from the son of Exceed and Excel. I think the form of this race will hold up nicely and a fair few from the race should go into your notebooks.
Great Ambassador then won cosily next time out, confirming his ability and suggesting he was ahead of his current mark; a raise of only 1lb for the victory seems generous. It should also be noted that he has been gelded over the winter which will hopefully bring out further improvement. Based on the above evidence, Great Ambassador should be well ahead of his current mark and I can see him picking up some decent handicaps during the course of the season.
Letscrackon is a seriously exciting filly who I am keen to keep on side off a mark of 75. Her five length romp at Windsor on her second career start leads me to believe she is on a very attractive mark. Making all, she put her rivals to the sword in seriously impressive fashion. She relished the heavy going that day and I can’t wait to see her back running in similar conditions. The form is stacking up really well too. Including the 2nd, 6th and 7th all winning since. The second is now rated 75, with the 6th and 7th both rated 72, who Letscrackon beat by nine and ten lengths. She made light work of all of them. Hector Crouch sounded very sweet on her in the post-race interview that day too. He emphasised the need for some cut in the ground for her, not being able to hide his delight at the performance she had just produced.
Her next and most recent effort, on the all-weather at Chelmsford was slightly disappointing but I am happy to put a line through that. She was well backed that day which is always a positive sign. Maybe she just didn’t take to the surface or maybe 6f was slightly too far (led until inside final furlong). Either way, I am happy to forgive the run and if anything it has got her on a very handy mark, so I have no complaints. Back on the turf with plenty of ease in the ground, Letscrackon should end up rated far higher than her current mark.
Runaway winner! Letscrackon relishes the underfoot conditions and takes a big step forward on her debut effort to win under @HectorCrouch for Gary Moore at @WindsorRaces… pic.twitter.com/IgTvZlyEDb— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) October 21, 2019
I think Molatham has been underrated based on one slightly disappointing run after some superb efforts in his two-year-old campaign. Let’s start with his debut, beaten a neck by Mum’s Tipple who is now rated 115. He stayed on very well that day at Ascot behind a very good horse. He then showed his doggedness when winning a fierce battle against Celtic Art at York. Celtic Art also came second in the Maiden at Goodwood I mentioned earlier in the piece, he is another I will be keeping tabs on this season. Back to Molatham though and his stand out effort was his victory at Doncaster where he beat Wichita and Visinari, who are now rated 114 and 105. That is some seriously good two-year-old form.
Following on from that, he was sent off the favourite in the Autumn Stakes, but he was no match for Military March and Al Suhail. He looked to be coming with a challenge at one point but found little when asked. Maybe the extra furlong didn’t play to his strengths. The front two both look very smart prospects, especially the former. The Autumn Stakes was one of the best two-year-old races last season and it was no surprise to see Ropey Guest to run with such credit since.
He wasn’t quite good enough that day but his three runs before that effort are extremely encouraging; he looks a top class horse. A mark of 102 leaves plenty of options open and Roger Varian’s three-year-old is one I will be following with a close eye throughout the season.
Group 1 Dewhurst entry Molatham wins the Listed Weatherbys Global Stallions App Flying Scotsman Stakes at @DoncasterRaces for @JimCrowley1978 and @varianstable! pic.twitter.com/22V8N5r4hg— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) September 13, 2019
The only older horse that has made the list is a Nathaniel four-year-old that is set for a fruitful campaign. This is James Fanshawe’s Entrusting. I am always keen to keep James Fanshawe’s older horses on side and Entrusting looks a prime example of this. The four-year-old has only raced six times in his career, with his final start at Newbury showing exactly what he was capable of, winning well under Ryan Moore. The 3rd that day, City Tour, was running off a mark of 75 and is now rated 88. Entrusting travelled through the race strongly, staying on very well to get the better of Pour Me A Drink. He was raised 6lb for the victory to a mark of 88 but I would be inclined to believe there is still plenty more to come.
His seasonal reappearance last year saw him finish behind Private Sectary (106) and Sinjaari (95). The signs were there from early but he was campaigned carefully throughout the season. The few months break he had from early June to late August saw him progress very nicely when he reappeared. Therefore, a whole winter will hopefully see even further strides made. He finished the season on a steep upward curve and being a son of Nathaniel, he is open to even further progress. He has a lot in his favour and I believe he will prove a mark of 88 underestimates him.
The final horse to make the list is Charlie Appleby’s Eastern World. He has only run once but I believe we saw a high quality affair at Kempton in December. I could put in any of the front three from the race, if you haven’t seen it I would advise you to watch it. The front three were in a battle of their own, which ended in Starcat finishing well to land the spoils. The fourth, Prince of Eagles, has won twice since and is now rated 82. The fifth, Summit Reach who is now rated 86, has gone onto win too. They didn’t even give the first three home a race. All three look very promising, but I’ll explain why I am excited about Eastern World.
His pedigree is eye-catching to say the least. The Godolphin colt is a son of Dubawi and a half-brother to Thunder Snow, who was the first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups. His dam, Eastern Joy, has an incredible record with her offspring too. Thunder Snow is the highlight but it doesn’t stop there. Of the five horses she has produced (excluding Eastern World) all five have been rated 100+. All this suggests Eastern World should be a high quality performer. He was rightly installed the favourite at Kempton and looked like he would justify his odds-on tag a furlong out. This was despite being green in the early stages, never fully settling. He will have learnt so much for the experience that day. He is a very exciting prospect who I am looking forward to seeing on the turf this summer.
Nice prospect - Starcat (Lope De Vega) is out of smart racemare Purr Along and this Derby entry makes the perfect start for Hughie Morrison at @kemptonparkrace pic.twitter.com/I8Mi66Zijq— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 11, 2019