July 7 – Doncaster – Billyb – 98

Just seven runners for this Class 4 seven-furlong handicap, but the pace was honest right from the start courtesy of Point Lynas and Tashgheel taking each other up front. Once the pair were unable to keep up the tempo, it was left for the patiently ridden winner to come through and pick up the runners inside the final furlong and, in seeing out the trip all the way to the line, he posted a big number for the grade. Likely to be raised sufficiently enough to qualify for Class 3 races from now on, Ann Duffield’s gelding has what in takes to raise his game to another level.

July 8 – Newmarket – New London – 96

A disappointment in his Derby trial at Chester when last seen, Charlie Appleby’s colt was well-backed to take advantage of a huge drop in grade and in what turn out to be a soundly-run affair, he duly obliged. Well on top late on, he hit the line extremely strongly to suggest he would be seen to even greater advantage over further and no doubt connections will have their sights set on something more substantial next time.

July 9 – Ascot – Defence Of Fort – 94

A springer in the market late on, Peter Chapple-Hyam’s colt was obviously expected to go well in some quarters and he lived up to all the pre-race chat with a performance of some merit. Noted travelling well in behind the pace stands’ side, once he was given his head inside the final two furlongs he galloped right away from his rivals and in doing so, he went on to post a very smart time figure. Just how high he can climb only time will tell, but it would be somewhat of a surprise if this exciting prospect wasn’t good enough to mix it at pattern level next time.

July 9 – Newmarket – Alcohol Free – 101

A truly run Group 1 thanks to the exploits of Naval Crown and the strong gallop played into the hands of a horse who has form over further. Not at her best on her three runs prior to Newmarket, Andrew Balding’s filly came good when it mattered most and looking at her overall profile, it is noticeable that she often hits top form during the middle of summer. A winner of four Group 1’s, from six-furlongs to a mile and in each season she has raced, this thoroughly likeable and durable filly goes back to Goodwood next in a bid to retain her Sussex Stakes crown and on the evidence of this effort, she should once again give a good account.

July 9 – Ascot – Mountain Peak – 100

In any normal circumstances, trying to make all the running over the straight track at the Berkshire venue is virtually impossible, but with the ground fast and a positive manoeuvre to bag the favoured stands’ side rail, Ed Walker’s gelding was able to buck the trend. Not for the first time, the son of Swiss Spirit has shown his best form at Ascot and even though he’s getting on a bit in years, he’s still worth bearing in mind for any similar contests over the stiff five-furlongs. Of the rest, a special mention goes out to Zarzyni who came out best of those drawn low, and Count D’Orsay who travelled well before being unable to quicken as well as some of the main players due to the fast ground.

July 9 – Ascot – Tarrabb – 100

Pace-setting Out From Under ensured this seven-furlongs handicap was run at a strong gallop and it really suited the winner, who had already proved he could run a fast time figure in the past. The only one to really look comfortable with the tempo from the start, Owen Burrows’ filly found a ready turn of foot once asked to seal the deal late on and given the authoritative nature of her victory, even a slight hike in the ratings shouldn’t be enough to prevent her from winning again – a strong pace granted.