April 29 – Naas – Sparkling Sea – 72

Some of the better two-year-olds are beginning to appear and there’s a decent chance we witnessed quite a few in the opening contest at the Co Kildare venue. Despite having to contend with the well-regarded and supported Fairy Godmother, Ger Lyon’s filly showed dazzling speed throughout and when require to go and seal the deal in the latter stages, she came up with the necessary requirements off the bridle. Clearly very speedy, she has already put a marker down for something like the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and with the strong possibility of more to come, and her current odds for that race next month are not to be sniffed at. Although beaten fair and square on the day, previous history dictates it would be dangerous to write off a Aidan O’Brien-trained filly next time out and she could easily turn out to be just as good as the winner in time.

May 1 – Pontefract – Princess Karine – 84

As is often the case at this time of year when the conditions are testing, there can be the odd race where the time figure almost defies logic and this five furlong sprint was a case in point, the winner easily surpassing the number we would normally see for a race of this nature. Bursting out of the gate to assume command, Bryan Smart’s mare never looked remotely in trouble and in maintaining the gallop all the way to the line, scored with any amount in hand. Whether she can back up this sort of performance next time is obviously open to debate but as she proved on at least one occasion last season, she is capable of hitting the ball out of the park when the right circumstances arise.

May 3 – Goodwood – Desperate Hero – 85

Similar to the previous sentiments, this sprint at the Sussex venue also had the speed cameras flashing throughout and it produced a deceptively quick time. The winner was always to the fore and despite looking like being engulfed a furlong out, he hung tough to make just about all. Now 5-19, a decent strike rate for a sprinter, Jack Channon’s gelding can continue to pay his way throughout the season.

May 3 – Newmarket – Caviar Heights – 87

A race run at a very strong gallop thanks to the exploits of Sayedaty Sadaty and it played into the hands of Karl Burke’s colt, who had come out of a smart contest won by Jayarebe over the same course previously. Impressing with the way he moved throughout, he barely had to be shaken up to come readily clear in the closing stages and his winning time figure puts him right up there towards the top of the three-year-old middle distance tree. Where he goes now, only time will tell, but he clearly is a colt of some talent and with all the major races usually run at a sound pace, he will be better equipped than most to cope.

May 4 – Newmarket – Notable Speech – 79

A strange 2000 Guineas in some respects with the heavy favourite City Of Troy offering little resistance once headed and it was left for the two ridden well off the speed to come through and fight out the finish. The winner was a difficult one to assess beforehand, having arrived at HQ via three races on the all-weather, but he won in the manner of a horse who could turn out be pretty smart and it will take a good one to beat him if in the same sort of shape in the St James’ Palace Stakes. Of the runner-up, Rosallion, all the vibes beforehand suggested he would go close and so it proved. Similar to the winner, he also travelled well throughout and he should turn out to be competitive in all the big Group 1 races over this trip for the remainder of the season.

May 4 – Yarmouth – Dorney LakeĀ  – 79

Not obvious as a potential standout race beforehand but it proved to be a decent one of its kind, the winner looking particularly good. Beginning quickly, John & Thady Gosden’s inmate was always moving sweetly in front and when asked to slide through the gears inside the final two furlongs, he impressed in every aspect. Similar to his dad, Ardad, he looks an out-and-out sprinter and he has the makings of useful type just short of top class. The runner-up, Mono River, is worth a special mention given the way he shaped and his backend sectionals, slightly better than the winner, suggest he can easily pick up a similar race next time.