Newmarket takes centre stage in the Flat racing world this week – first with the exclusive Tattersalls Book 1 sale over the next three days, and then with two days out top-class juvenile racing at the Future Champions meeting.
Prices were buoyant, to say the least, at the Goffs Orby sale last week, which is the Irish equivalent of Book 1, thanks in part to the arrival in the market of another major new player in the shape of Phoenix Thoroughbreds. Phoenix describes itself as a “global racing and bloodstock investment group”, and bought the two top lots at the sale, both fillies by Galileo, for €3.2m (£2.8m) and €2m (£1.75m). In both cases, the underbidder who eventually cried enough was none other than MV Magnier, bidding on behalf of his father John’s Coolmore Stud operation.
The first potential blockbuster yearling to look out for today is Lot 103, a filly full sister to Ten Sovereigns, the recent winner of the Group One Middle Park Stakes. Lot 120, a colt by Dubawi out of the 1,000 Guineas winner Sky Lantern, is also likely to attract plenty of interest, but pretty much every yearling led into the ring could conceivably end up fetching a big price if two or three of the major players decide to take an interest.
The racecourse action may well prove to be relatively tame by comparison, but Allegiant (3.30) should be good enough to defy top weight in the one-mile handicap at Brighton. He has a penalty to carry after winning at Epsom on Sunday but he crossed the line with plenty in hand and will once again have Silvestre de Sousa doing the steering.
Katabatika (4.35) could be worth chancing later on the card to translate good recent form on the all-weather back to the turf, while Reeves (2.35) has shown promise in three of his four starts so far and may have been let in lightly on his handicap debut at Catterick. Shortbackandsides (3.40) looked a little unlucky last time and can make amends on the same card, while Kick On Kick On (3.20) has an obvious chance in the five-furlong sprint at Leicester.
Brighton 1.20 Ask The Guru 1.50 Water Diviner 2.25 Nayslayer 3.00 Catan 3.30 Allegiant (nap) 4.00 Hedging 4.35 Katabatika 5.05 Kirkland Forever
Catterick 1.30 The Cotswold Wasp 2.00 Chitra 2.35 Reeves (nb) 3.10 Massini’s Trap 3.40 Shortbackandsides 4.10 Redrosezorro 4.45 Morning Skye 5.15 Pearl Noir
Leicester 2.15 Manor Park 2.50 Canadian George 3.20 Kick On Kick On 3.50 Huge Future 4.25 Verve 4.55 The Right Choice 5.30 Danecase 6.00 Channel Packet
Newcastle 5.10 Swansway 5.45 Marechal Ney 6.15 Euro No More 6.45 My Ukelele 7.15 Pea Shooter 7.45 Outrage 8.15 Testa Rossa 8.45 Field Gun
Tips by Greg Wood