Before we dive in, some basic rules for a horses to follow list is to keep them in a tracker and on your radar for the next three runs, bearing in mind ideal conditions across variables like venue, ground, opposition and price are satisfactory to you as a punter. This column should help you build up a list that proves profitable under those circumstances, provides timely reminders to reduce repeated form study and assist with your enjoyment of a season be it National Hunt or Flat racing in the UK and Ireland and sometimes beyond.
If you want to see previous editions check out Donn McClean's library of past horses to follow here.
Haskoy did well to keep on as well as she did to win the Listed Galtres Stakes at York last Thursday. Held up early on by Ryan Moore, last of the 11 runners, she was still second last as they straightened up for home, and she came under a ride early in the home straight. It didn't look likely as they passed the two-furlong marker, and the race started to develop away from her towards the near side, which is probably around about the point at which she traded at 46.0 in-running. But she kept on well on the far side as the penny started to drop, she found lots for her rider's urgings, and she stayed on best of all to get up and win by a neck from fellow Juddmonte filly Time Lock, with the pair of them nicely ahead of their rivals.
It was a fine performance by Ralph Beckett's filly on just her second run. She had been impressive in winning a 12-furlong novice stakes at Wolverhampton in July on her racecourse debut, but this was a big step forward from that, as she justified the faith that connections put in her in pitching her into a listed race so early in her racing career. She will probably have learned plenty from this experience, under a superb ride from Ryan Moore, and there is every chance that she will come on appreciably for it. A Golden Horn filly out of Natavia, who won a listed race over 10 furlongs on soft ground, herself a half-sister to Sun Chariot Stakes winner Spinning Queen, she obviously stays a mile and a half well, and she will be of interest wherever she goes next.
There was a lot to like about the manner in which No Nay Nicki kept on to take second place behind Adaay In Asia in the seven-furlong fillies' handicap that concluded proceedings at York on Thursday. Drawn widest of all, 14 of 14, she was slowly away and she was awkward on leaving the stalls, so she was always playing catch-up. She moved up into mid-division on the outside as they rounded the home turn, and she moved up into a share of third place as they straightened up for home, but she came under pressure shortly thereafter. It looked like she was going to be swallowed up by the pack as they passed the three-furlong pole, but she responded well to pressure and she stayed on grittily on the near side to get the better of Sound Of Iona for second place behind Adaay In Asia. The first three were nicely ahead of their rivals and the race was run in a good time.
Richard Fahey's filly was a big price here, but she went into the race in good form, on the back of a good performance at Doncaster in July in finishing second in a 0-85 handicap. She shaped here as if she could improve for a step back up to a mile. She has been beaten in both of her attempts to date over that trip, but they were in a higher grade, in the Listed Michael Seely Stakes and in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot, so she is worth another try at that distance. She is bred to get at least a mile. She has raced just seven times in her life, and there could be more to come.
Emaraaty Ana did well to finish third in the Nunthorpe Stakes, coming from off the pace in a race in which the pace held up well. Settled back in the field early on as The Platinum Queen and Highfield Princess went forward, he was 11th of the 13 runners as they passed the three-furlong marker. Always tracking the winner Highfield Princess, he didn't travel as well as that rival down to the furlong marker, and he got tapped for toe as she picked up and challenged The Platinum Queen, but he stuck to his task well on the near side, finishing off his race well to take third place behind the two early prominent racers, just in front of Khaadem, who also raced handily.
This was another good run in the Nunthorpe from Kevin Ryan's horse, 12 months after he had finished second in the race behind Winter Power. On his subsequent run last year, he went to Haydock and won the Sprint Cup, and that race is the obvious target for him again this season. He raced here as if he would appreciate the step back up to six furlongs, and he is one for one at Haydock.
Get Shirty did well to finish fifth in the Ebor, on ground that was probably faster than ideal for him. Dropped in and held up early on from his outside draw, 20 of 20, he travelled well through his race along the inside, and he made good progress around the rail as they entered the home straight. Staying towards the far side in the home straight, he came under a ride on the run to the two-furlong marker, and he stayed on well from there towards the far side, furthest from the stands rail. He was only beaten a total of just over three lengths by the duelling Trawlerman and Alfred Boucher, and he was only beaten by the bob of a head by John Leeper for fourth.
David O'Meara's horse went into the race on an upward trajectory, he had won four of his previous five races, and this was another step forward, doing best, as he did, of the hold-up horses. He does handle fast ground, as he proved here and when he won the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot in June, but six of his seven wins have been on good or softer ground, and three of them have been on soft ground. Winner of the Old Newton Cup over a mile and a half on soft ground at Haydock in July, he kept on well enough here to suggest that he could be worth another try over two miles. He has options, and he will be of interest as the ground gets softer as we move into the autumn.
Telecon only finished fourth in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Bellewstown on Tuesday, but he ran much better than that. He was keener than ideal early on in this, his first attempt at two and a half miles under Rules, and, while he moved up threateningly along the inside on the run to the end of the back straight, he weakened from the second last flight as his early exertions took their toll. Lieutenant Highway ran out a good winner in the end, Gordon Elliott's horse has now won his last four and he is on a serious upward curve, but Telecon probably would have finished closer to him than he did if he had settled better early on.
Mark Fahey's horse went into Tuesday's race on the back of a defeat in a listed novices' hurdle at Galway, but he was travelling well that day before a bad mistake at the second last flight ended his winning chance. He is better judged on his impressive victory at Ballinrobe in July. He is only five and he has raced just five times under Rules in his life, and he will probably learn to settle better as he gains in experience, but, for now at least, he will probably be seen to best effect dropped back down to two miles. He has the potential to go well beyond his handicap rating of 120, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next, ideally dropped down to the minimum trip.