September 7 – Goodwood – King Vega – 98

Having finished a creditable fifth in a Group 3 previously, this looked a tap-in of immense proportions for Andrew Balding’s gelding and so it proved. Despite the modest quality of the opposition, the pace was strong from the outset and, once assuming command with fully six-furlongs to run, it was a matter of how far he was going to win. Now the job of breaking his maiden tag has been completed, it is a case now of stepping back into pattern company, and on the evidence of the clock, he certainly won’t be out of place in any staying contest.

September 9 – Doncaster – Free Wind – 100

A competitive edition of the Park Hill and it went the way of a progressive three-year-old filly. Put to sleep towards the rear of the field with a slight doubt surrounding her ability to stay the extra distance in mind, John and Thady Gosden’s filly silenced all the non believers with a performance of total authority and with this victory opening up many more options trip-wise, the daughter of Galileo looks set for a bright Autumn.

September 10 – Chester – Bookmark – 96

As you can see, many of the entries to this column this week were mostly achieved via Group action, but this filly bucked the trend on the Roodee by landing a 0-87 handicap in an extremely fast time for the grade. Switched off at the back of the pack, Michael Bell’s three-year-old still had a bit on her plate half a mile from home, but once she initiated top gear inside the final furlong she pulled nicely clear of her rivals. In running the final circuit significantly quicker than the other three races on the round track, the daughter of New Approach strongly hinted she’s some way ahead of the handicapper (only raised 6lb subsequently) and she should be played accordingly next time.

September 10 – Doncaster – Sea La Rosa – 100

Beaten when racing over 1m2f at York previously, William Haggas’ filly improved significantly for a step up in trip and in posting a career-high performance on the figures, she scored with a good deal more in hand than the winning margin suggested. Idling inside the final furlong, the Sea The Stars filly gave away at least two lengths to her nearest pursuer but, with that superiority not necessarily recognised by the handicapper in the post-race assessments, she should easily be capable of continuing her rise up the ranks.

September 11 – Chester – Invite – 102

Disappointing for old connections in the Italian Oaks, the three-year-old filly bounced back on her first outing for Andrew Balding, coming from some way off the pace to score with plenty in hand. Hitting the line really strong, the daughter of The Gurkha clocked one of the fastest overall times we have awarded any horse this season and on this evidence, she can take her game to even greater heights.

September 11 – Doncaster – Hurricane Lane – 100

Charlie Appleby’s colt stood out all known for beforehand and he duly made light work his nine rivals. Only defeated once so far this season when losing both front shoes in the Derby, the son of Frankel most definitely comes into the conversations about the Arc next month.

September 12 – Curragh – Sonnyboylisten – 99

A good winner of the Ebor, Johnny Murtagh’s gelding made the transition to Group 1 level in pretty seamless fashion and it will be interesting to see where he goes next. Whether the four-year-old heads down under for the Melbourne Cup this year or maybe waits till next season remains to be seen, but ether way, that two-mile contest would seem tailor made for this gritty and classy stayer.