May 16 – Lingfield – Symbol Of Honour – 77

Slightly disappointing when all at sea on the undulations of the Rowley Mile at Newmarket on debut, Charlie Appleby’s inmate was fancied to turn around his fortunes on a more conventional track and, having raced handy throughout, he duly justified his position in the market. Stretching right away in the closing stages, the son of Havana Grey posted an extremely fast time for a juvenile – the best we have awarded so far – and with the potential to keep on improving as the season progresses, it will be interesting to see whether he receives any Royal Ascot entries or kept out of the limelight for the time being

May 16 – York – Economics – 80

A race run at a suicidal pace courtesy of the exploits of God’s Window and Caviar Heights and it came no surprise to see the first two home, situated in the cheat seats through the early stages. That said, the eventual winner was still an impressive winner despite being advantaged by the way the race panned out and he would be a serious contender should connections have a rethink regarding a possible tilt at the Derby.

May 17 – Leopardstown – Kyprios – 85

Sunchart ensured this Ascot Gold Cup trial was run at a very sound gallop and, with proven form at the very highest level, everything panned out perfectly for Aidan O’Brien’s to show his class. Although he may have appeared to be workmanlike at first glance, the overall time figure suggested the six-year-old had to be somewhere near his best to win and with his season all geared around regaining his crown at the Berkshire venue, his preparations couldn’t be going any better.

May 17 – York – Giavellotto – 81

While Kyprios was strutting his stuff over in Ireland, Marco Botti’s gelding was beating some of the best stayers around on these shores and this performance strongly intimated he is getting better with age. Having a bit to find with Tower Of London based on their clash in Meydan during the winter, the one thing the five-year-old had in his favour was previous course knowledge and he didn’t let advantage slip through his fingers, ultimately scoring with a decent amount in hand. Clearly at home on the Knavesmire, races of a similar nature to this will no doubt be in his wheelhouse in the foreseeable future and a tilt at the Irish St Leger was also muted in the post-race chat.

May 17 – York – Jubilee Walk – 77

A sprint handicap run at a breakneck pace and James Ferguson’s gelding put his name down as a horse to follow in this division. The only horse to dip below 34 seconds for the last three furlongs over the three day meeting (33.8), he ran a time comparative to the one set by Big Evs the day before (34.3) and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here. Whether he stays in this lane (handicaps) or goes for something more substantial remains to be seen but either way, he is a sprinter worth keeping on side.

May 18 – Newbury – King’s Gambit – 79

A viciously competitive renewal of a race that always pays to follow and this year’s contest should turn out to be no different based on the numbers it delivered. The fact usual front runner, Black Run, couldn’t get to the head of affairs suggested they went a good gallop from the outset and considering how well the winner picked up in the closing stages very much suggests he won’t be running in handicaps for too long. Running the last three furlongs two seconds quicker than the Lockinge winner, Audience, would be impressive enough, but when you take into account the overall furlong-per-furlong figure was better, it puts into context the performance produced by Harry & Roger Charlton’s inmate. Pushed up to 106 by the assessor, he might have to step into pattern company from here on in but the data suggests he’s in the category and he won’t be out of place of anything at Royal Ascot.

May 18 – Thirsk – Burning Cash – 85

A proper tear up for this 0-85 handicap and the winner did extremely well to oblige given where he was at halfway. Burrowing his way up the stands’ side fence, Paul Midgley’s got up in the shadows of the past to record an unlikely victory and under similar conditions, he can continue to pay his way.