October 12 – Curragh – Milwaukee – 99

An open-looking maiden beforehand but it was dominated from start to finish by one of the more exposed members of the party. Setting out with his intentions clear from the outset, Aidan O’Brien’s inmate set a pretty strong gallop throughout and despite looking vulnerable turning for home, he managed to find extra reserves to keep his rivals at bay in the closing stages. Clearly well suited by a proper test on this evidence, the son of Justify can continue to thrive if kept in training with Ballydoyle next season (he is entered in the HIT sale later in the month). Of the rest, it can pay to make a note of Time To Tell, Chillaxing and Collaboration, who all caught the eye making up ground from the back of the field late on. The latter in particular is well worth keeping on side after totally fluffing the start.

October 13 – Dundalk – Luke Short – 98

A little frustrating in recent times, Noel Meade’s gelding finally delivered the goods after threatening to do so on his previous three starts and he looks in line for a good winter based on this effort. Held up towards the rear after being drawn on the wide outside, the four-year-old picked up ground nicely to race on the heels of the leaders turning for home and with a powerful surge that took him to the front just outside the furlong pole, he maintained the gallop all the way to the line. Clocking a very useful time for the grade, much better than the 93-rated Ceallach over the same C&D, he looks way ahead of his current mark based on the data.

October 13 – Newmarket – Alkasib – 99

Another strong renewal of this three-year-old middle-distance handicap and it went the way of a horse who appears to be thriving towards the backend of the season. A game winner at Ascot previously, Andrew Balding’s inmate had to prove himself under totally different conditions, but he did so with aplomb and the further he went, the better he looked. Whether he will run again is open to debate but if he does, something like the November Handicap would have to come into the conversation. The runner-up, Shadow Dance, deserves a special mention given the way he travelled through the contest, and with the pair well clear, he has to consider himself a little unlucky not to take away the main prize.

October 13 – York – Hafeet Alain – 98

Arguably one of the most competitive handicaps run on the Knavesmire all season and it went the way of a horse who had been knocking at the door in recent times. Runner-up at Goodwood previously, Ed Walker’s gelding was one of many with solid-looking credentials heading into the contest and, having raced prominently throughout, he picked up the running inside the final furlong and had enough in reserve to fend off his rivals. Seemingly at home under these conditions, another victory before the season ends isn’t out of the question.

October 14 – York – Montaasib – 99

A little unlucky on his previous start at Ayr, William Haggas’ gelding made amends in no uncertain terms, powering through the field to take this competitive contest in some style. Clearly at his best on soft ground over this trip with plenty of ease underfoot, connections will no doubt be looking for something similar before the season is out.