May 22 – York – Eilean Dubh – 101

Every now and then you find a relatively modest handicap producing a number of some substance and this mile contest on the Knavesmire proved to be one of them. Despite being a little keen early, the winner scored in the manner of an improving type and he could easily turn out to be capable of mixing it at a higher level. Back in the field there were several who caught the eye, most notably Orbaan, who would have finished a good deal closer with a clear run.

May 22 – York – Walbank – 93

Having bumped into a pretty smart juvenile on debut, David Loughnane’s colt was fully expected to go one place better on his second start and although he duly obliged, it was good to see him really stride out and show how much he’d learnt from that initial experience. A proper bullet of the two-year-old, his numbers are right up there with the very best so far this season and it would be something of a surprise if he was not vying for top honours at the Royal Meeting, with the Norfolk Stakes the obvious target.

May 24 – Lingfield – Goemon – 94

Plenty of solid three-year-old form lines were brought to the table in this above-average novice event and despite going off at a big price, there appeared no fluke about the winner’s performance. Racing well off the speed early, Roger Varian’s coly made a rapid move going down the side of the track and, in maintaining that relentless progress inside the final two furlongs, he ran down his better-fancied rivals close home. The overall time complimented the final circuit sectionals complimented each other and this lightly-raced sort could end up being very useful. One to follow.

May 26 – Sandown – Bay Bridge – 99

Well-backed beforehand to suggest he was close to peak fitness after a break, Sir Michael Stoute’s colt justified that view with a performance on some dominance and on this evidence, he looks set for another productive season. Having won well at the Esher venue, obviously something like the Eclipse back in July would be a natural target, but if connections were to roll the dice at Ascot beforehand, the son of New Bay would be one of the leading contenders for the Prince Of Wales’ Stakes.

May 27 – Pontefract – Rousing Encore – 92

We always aim to keep you abreast of some of the better juveniles coming through the ranks and Richard Fahey’s colt is one we particularly like. An eye-catcher at Leicester on his debut, the son of Acclamation improved as anticipated to score with plenty in hand next time out and he continued his progression again at the Yorkshire venue. Jumping out to make all, he maintained a really solid pace throughout and the fact he was easily able to turn away the previously impressive Wetherby scorer Breege, puts an extra layer of icing on top of the cake. Now that he is proven over six, the Coventry would have to come into calculations and although there would be sexier juveniles at the Royal meeting, he should in no way be underestimated if connections went down that route.

May 28 – Haydock – Raasel – 101

Easily one of the most improved sprinters in training over the last year, Michael Appleby’s inmate’s progress shows no sign of stopping and this performance – certainly based on the clock – suggests there could be even more to come. The way he tanked his way through what was a very strongly-run affair points towards a horse who could easily hold his own at the very highest level and it would be no surprise to see him aimed at races like the Nunthorpe and Abbeye later in the campaign. A credit to all concerned.