August 7 – Haydock – Run For Oscar – 98

A strong overall pace really suited Charles Byrnes’ gelding and he looks one to bear in mind for all future staying handicaps both on home soil and overall the Irish Sea.

August 11 – Salisbury – Faattik – 97

Only two runners counted in this novice event but despite the uncompetitive nature of the race, the overall speed figure suggested it was a fair contest of its kind. Stalking the pace set by main market rival Time Step, Roger Varian’s colt easily brushed him aside two out and in lengthening all the way to the line, he won in the style of a progressive young horse. On the evidence of this display, he could easily be pattern class.

August 13 – Newbury – Jumby – 101

The fact that usual front runner Pogo couldn’t dominate as per normal suggested the pace was strong and as it turned out, the overall time figure of the winner backed up that view. A consistent performer in many big handicaps previously, he took his game to a whole new level at the Berkshire venue and this could be the point in his career where he really kicks on.

August 13 – Ripon – Intrinsic Bond – 99

As is more often the case than not, a big sprint handicap that produced a fast time and it came as no surprise that last year’s fourth was responsible for the end product. Having clocked a smart time figure at Thirsk previously, he obviously went into the contest at the Yorkshire venue in flying form and off another strong pace he was able to repeat the dose. Whether he can go and win again and complete the hat trick is open to question, but considering he was potentially not that favoured by the draw, it’s probably worth taking a positive view of him going foward.

August 13 – Curragh – Thaleeq – 99

Just an ordinary-looking apprentice handicap on paper beforehand, but a concluding time figure that suggested otherwise. Held up towards the rear in contrast to his previous outing when he was a little keen, Dermot Weld’s gelding came through with a powerful surge in the final two furlongs and it was a run that carried him well clear in the closing stages. Whether he’s capable of duplicating this level of form is going to be the six-four thousand dollar question – especially looking at his overall profile – but there’s no doubt on the evidence of this performance he is fair horse for the grade when the cards fall his way.

August 14 – Pontefract – Russet Gold – 93

Not too many star two-year-olds during a quiet week, but Roger Varian’s colt added some welcome quality in this division with a performance of some class. Quickening well inside the last two furlongs, the son of Al Kazeem not only clocked the fastest overall time figure on the card, but his closing sectionals of 36.5 was two sectionals better than the one posted by Princess Shabnam in the six-furlong listed event – a sure sign this is a juvenile of some potential.