May 8 -Kempton – Rochelle – 80

First port of call from last week comes from a slightly unusual source, but based on the figures, it’s a race worth taking seriously for future reference. The winner, having her first outing since leaving Peter Chapple-Hyam, had the best profile coming into the contest and having travelled well in behind the strong pace set, quickened up in the style of a potentially very smart filly. A tall, scopey filly with plenty of scope for development, the daughter of Scissor Kick will no doubt be searching for some black type sooner rather than later and it would be no surprise if she turned up at Royal Ascot next month, the Sandringham Handicap being the obvious target.

May 9 – Chester – Pont Lonsdale – 86

The ill-fated Hidden Law had posted a tremendous set of figures on day one of the Chester May meeting (82), but this performance by Aidan O’Brien’s inmate surpassed those giddy heights with a bit to spare and on this evidence, he looks in line for all the top middle distance honours this term. Just shy of Group 1 requirements last term, the son of Australia could easily turn out to be a different proposition as a five-year-old and the way he bounded clear off the back of strong fractions on the Roodee backs up that view. Likely to go down the Coronation Cup route, we will soon find out whether he is in that sort of ball park. Of the rest, Alkasib did best of those held up off the speed and he looks in line for a fruitful season in handicaps such as the Ebor and contests of a similar ilk.

May 10 – Chester – Passenger – 82

Sir Michael Stoute’s gelding was potentially the marquee act on show on the final day of the three day meeting and he lived up to star billing with a performance of pure class. The way he strode up to the useful Israr before turning him away made for pretty viewing and he left the impression he had even more left to offer if required. Clearly this 1m2f suits best and the obvious target for him now would be the Coral Eclipse in the middle of July – via the Prince’s Of Wales’ Stakes at Royal Ascot.

May 11 – Haydock – Shartash – 82

Having already flagged this fella up on the column earlier this season, there was a temptation to leave him out of this week’s edition but such was his time figure and overall performance, he was hard to exclude. Having scored at Thirsk on soft ground, there was always a worry he might not prove as effective on a quicker terrain but he cast aside any doubts with a display of pure class. Not only does he travel well in his races, he quickens and finds plenty for pressure and those vital components are likely to keep him at the top table as the season progresses.

May 11 – Nottingham – Aramram – 78

A slightly left field one with this chap, but a cast iron addition all the same based on his numbers at the Midland venue. The market rather foretold what was about to happen with Richard Hannon’s beforehand and at no stage did he ever give his backers a moment’s concern. Totally dominating from the front throughout, he quickened right away from his field when asked to do so at the furlong pole and with both his overall time and final three furlongs splits being easily the best on the card, he left the distinct impression he could be very useful indeed. A likely type for handicaps, his opening mark will be awaited with some interest.

May 11 – Ascot – Wizard Of Oz – 75 

A typically competitive renewal of the Victoria Cup, but unlike in many previous years, it was won by a horse making his debut at Ascot. Having his first outing for Charlie Fellows, the five-year-old showed a smart burst of speed from midfield to claim the prize late on and this performance should set him up nicely for races such as the Buckingham Palace at the Royal meeting next month.