May 18 – Ayr – My Astra – 100

A little disappointing when a beaten short-priced favourite over a mile on the all-weather previously, William Haggas’ filly bounced back to her brilliant best with a performance that strongly suggests she’s well worth a crack at something more substantial further down the line. The way she cruised into contention before bounding clear of her rivals points towards a filly of some class and on this evidence, she may even get beyond 1m2f. The only thing that may prevent her scaling the highest heights would be fast ground, but no doubt connections will plot a course whereby she unsuitable conditions.

May 20 – Bath – Commander Straker – 93

Having been beaten at long odds-on the time before, there were no doubt a few who might have questioned Dave Loughnane’s colt on his third start, but he dispelled any notions cast in his direction with a totally dominant performance. Jumping out to make all the running, as he attempted to do at Wetherby previously, this time the son of Kodi Bear maintained the fractions all the way to the line and in doing so, he ended up posting an incredibly fast time for a juvenile. One of the best on the clock of his generation according to our numbers so far this term, something like the Windsor Castle would be right up his street.

May 20 – Curragh – Hannibal Barca – 98

The feature on the first of the three-day Curragh Guineas Festival went the way of an improving colt having his first start for Joseph O’Brien. Previously with Brian Meehan in the UK, the son of Zoffany was good enough to finish a creditable third in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes on his final start as a juvenile and given the way he was supported on his seasonal bow, he had clearly been working to a similar level since. Picking up really strongly in the closing stages of a well-run affair, he scored in the style of a horse who may do even better over further in time and it would come as no surprise if he were to be part of the trainer’s plans for Royal Ascot in a month’s time.

May 21 – Curragh – Brad The Brief – 100

The best sprint race of the season so far and it was won in smart fashion by one of the raiding party. A smooth winner on his first start at Haydock for Hugo Palmer, the son of Dutch Art was pitched into Group 2 company for the first time and he proven equal to the task in lowering the colours of several big reputations. Likely to go to The Platinum Jubilee at Royal Ascot, the stiff six furlongs of the Berkshire venue should suit this strong stayer at the trip.

May 21 – Goodwood – Inchicore – 99

A cracking handicap on paper beforehand and it produced a convincing winner who appears to be going places in a rush. Held up towards the rear, Alan King’s filly swooped to conquer inside the final furlong and she stayed on best of all to win going away. Time-wise, her effort on the clock suggests she is ready for a step back up inti pattern level and she can easily make the grade when there is sufficient give underfoot.

May 21 – Haydock – King’s Lynn – 100

Unlucky at Chester previously, Andrew Balding’s gelding was back on track back over a more conventional circuit and this performance proved that when he is on his A-game, he is a match for any sprinter in the land. A shade unfortunate not to land last season’s King’s Stand Stakes, one would imagine he will go back to Ascot in a bid to make amends, and on this evidence, he is bound to be a player.