September 22 – Newmarket – Azure Blue – 97

A little unlucky at York the time before, Michael Dods’ filly made amends in no uncertain terms with her most notable success to date and on this evidence, there could be even more to come. A little outpaced going down into the dip, she picked up really nicely once meeting the rising ground and by the time she’d hit the line hard, she was well on top. Clocking a smart overall time and backend splits, pattern races surely await this improving four-year-old from now on.

September 22 – Pontefract – Ginger Jam – 102

A competitive sprint handicap and a return to form from a horse who has shown a preference for tracks with a stiff, uphill finish in the past. Always nicely placed, Nigel Tinkler’s gelding came through strongly in the closing stages to gain a narrow-margin success but, as he was probably saving a bit for himself, he was full value for his eleventh career win. A special mention goes out to the second, Runninwild, who incurred a far more energy-sapping trip out wide after a slow beginning and because of this, his performance deserves upgrading.

September 23 – Dundalk – Draco Pulchrac – 97

A low grade 1m4f handicap, but nonetheless, a smart performance on the clock by the winner, who was landing his second straight success at the Co Lough venue. Just as he had done previously, Tony Martin’s gelding impressed with the way he travelled before quickening in the closing stages and it was interesting to find out his furlong-per-furlong time worked out better than the 1m2f Group 3 race on the same card. Based on his numbers, he still remains miles ahead of the assessor and he must be followed accordingly.

September 24 – Curragh – Galeron – 95

A million pounds were up for grabs for this valuable two-year-olds sales race, so as you would expect, the pace was honest right from the start. Held up towards the rear, Charlie Hills’ inmate came through very strongly at the finish when many around him were flagging and although he had to be driven right out to fend off the persistent challenge of Hellsing, he was always holding the runner-up. Whether he has enough quality to make the transition into pattern races next season is open to question, but he does have a likeable attitude that is sure to ensure he wins more races at the very least.

September 24 – Newmarket – Majestic – 103

As you would expect from a field as competitive as the Cambridgeshire, a strong pace was set from the start and that really suited the winner who had shown a few times this season that he thrived in such an environment. Whether he would have contained Dual Identity if he’d been drawn over towards the nearside is open to debate, but either way, it was still a performance to suggest Mick Channon’s gelding is close to pattern level given similar conditions in future.

September 24 – Haydock – Equality – 100

Charlie Hills’ gelding may have benefitted from racing in the small group that ploughed a lone furrow up the stands’ side rail, but that aside, it was still a performance of some note based on the clock. A little frustrating at times this season, there is no doubt he is very talented when things go his way and there could be one more decent pot to be plundered by the son of Equiano before the season ends.