April 3 – Lingfield – Old Harrovian – 97

A small field, but the pace was very generous from the start and it seemed to really suit Andrew Balding’s gelding who made light work of the strongly-fancied previous winner, Sea Flawless. The way he powered clear of his main market rival was impressive and his overall figure of 97 is not to be sniffed at either. A four-year-old with loads of scope, he could easily be pattern level if he continues to progress.

April 7 – Newcastle – Rainbow Dreamer – 102

As the pre-race pace map suggested, a strong gallop proved inevitable and it played into the strengths of the winner who has often thrived on such an environment in the past. Despite his age, he clearly still maintains plenty of ability and he’s worth bearing in mind for the Northumberland Plate back over the same C&D in the height of summer.

April 8 – Cork – Noche Magica – 91

Well-touted beforehand, Paddy Twomey’s colt certainly knew his job and the way he quickened in the latter stages marked him down as a juvenile of some repute. Not only was his overall figure good, his final splits compared favourably with the older horse sprint won by Real Force over the same C&D half an hour later and that’s usually the sign we are dealing with an above-average two-year-old. Although it’s early days, he already looks Royal Ascot material.

April 8 – Musselburgh – Silkie Wilkie – 102

Fresh off a stellar winter campaign, Karl Burke’s gelding continue his rise up the ranks on his first effort back on turf and, as the numbers suggest, it was a display of a horse right in the zone at present. Breaking well to press the leaders to halfway, the four-year-old picked up the running inside the final two furlongs and from that juncture, he strode away to score in impressive fashion to the tune of four lengths. Likely to get a severe shot across the bows by the assessor, his days in handicap company might be numbered and he could well be worth considering for something like the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket later this month.

April 8 – Fairyhouse – Risk Belle – 70

A controversial outcome but nevertheless a smart time figure posted by the two who fought out the finish. The promoted winner had been knocking at the door all season so it came as no surprise she eventually delivered the goods and this victory provides her with plenty of options going forward. The runner-up, Monbeg Park, is worthy of a mention as he could be deemed as slightly unlucky to be demoted. To these eyes the son of Walk In The Park was winner on merit given the way he stayed on well in the latter stages and he can gain compensation before the season ends – maybe at the Punchestown festival.