Promising three-year-old fillies to the fore again after a slow start
It has been a tough start to the season for Ralph Beckett. Early performances showed the trainer the horses, while healthy, were not quite ready, so he took the wise course of giving them more time, which has meant fewer runners than expected in the last two weeks.
Beckett was also dealt a blow by the death of promising three-year-old colt Nivaldo, who collapsed on the gallops, while Chester Cup hope Here And Now is out for the season after ‘getting a leg’.
Dancing Vega, who disappointed in the Fred Darling, is off to the US to continue her career, but Beckett still has an envious array of fillies which is hardly surprising given his excellent record with them.
And as April turns into May the stable is set to step on to the front foot, with the forecast rain after the Easter sunshine a boost for a yard whose headline acts have shown a liking for cut in the ground.
Yard Kimpton Down
Where Andover, Hampshire
Started training 2000
Finest hour Saddling the 1-2 in the Oaks with Talent and Secret Gesture
Horses in yard 135
Strike-rate last season 17 per cent
Total prize-money 2018 £1,310,293
Members of staff 49
Assistant trainers Adam Kite, Emma Wilkinson
Head grooms Richard Arnold, Lyndsey Metcalfe, Amber Mitchell
Jockeys Harry Bentley, Richard Kingscote, Rob Hornby
Apprentice Charlotte Bennett
Winners in Britain
Profit/loss to a £1 stake
Zamindar (sire) – Countess Sybil (dam)
Owner: Lady Cobham
Form figures: 17542-3
Racing Post Rating: 117; Official rating 114
He has been an extraordinary horse, still training every day with great enthusiasm, and produced another good run in the Prix Exbury to start this season. He may have to drop to Listed class now he can race without a penalty but on soft ground somewhere he is going to have every chance of another win.
4f Leroidesanimaux – Akdarena
RPR 97; OR 94
Just missed out on black type in the Fleur de Lys at Lingfield on her last run, which she might have got had Joe Fanning ridden her before and been more aggressive in the middle of the race. She is working well and could start in the Conqueror Stakes at Goodwood’s first meeting on Saturday week.
5g Foxwedge – Swan Wings
King Power Racing Co Ltd
RPR 104; OR 97
The ground was too fast to run in the Lincoln with his record saying he is really effective with a bit of juice. He was due to run in the Spring Cup at Newbury but wasn’t working well enough going into that, telling us he needed a bit more time. He will get the Royal Hunt Cup entry and there is plenty for him through the year. I don’t think he is badly handicapped so he can be placed to effect. He has won round Goodwood and could go back there.
4f Medicean – Moretta Blanche
Absolute Solvents Ltd
RPR 96; OR 99
Was a real surprise last year, improving with racing to end up winning a Listed contest. She wasn’t in training at two so could improve again. She definitely needs give in the ground which will dictate where she goes.
Cliffs Of Dooneen
4g Galileo – Devoted To You
The Anagram Partnership
RPR 102; OR 98
The first horse we have bought out of Ballydoyle and he needed gelding. He was running and winning when the yard were having a tough spell which made him interesting and he could be a Chester Cup horse. The race would suit him, especially if they have some rain. It was a nice start at Kempton and now he will be ridden more prominently in his races.
4f Shamardal – Dibiya
RPR 106; OR 104
She is about the toughest horse here and has just got better with racing. She’s always overachieved and should at least win more stakes races – if not a Group race. She loves Ascot, which is helpful, and because of that she will have an entry for the Windsor Forest [Duke Of Cambridge] at the royal meeting. She might start in the Group 3 Chartwell at Lingfield on May 11.
6g Zoffany – Fiordiligi
RPR 113; OR 110
It was a good effort to beat Morando, who won the Group 3 St Simon afterwards, in the Doonside Cup last year. We made too much use of him in the Prix Exbury on his return but he is on the way back and can have his day again when the ground is soft.
7g Paco Boy – Dont Dili Dali
The Anagram Partnership
RPR 114; OR 109
He’s training very well but needs juice in the ground and that’s not been easy to find – I would have loved to have run him in the Earl Of Sefton at the Craven meeting. He is entered in the bet365 Mile at Sandown on Friday and the King Richard III Stakes at Leicester on Saturday. He could run if the rain arrives, and it’s a case of the more the better for him.
4f Holy Roman Emperor – Nantha
Lynn Turner and Guy Brook
RPR 95; OR 93
She is a big filly and has done well from three to four. She has already been placed in a Listed race and I can see her continuing at that level, and perhaps improving to win one.
5g Teofilo – Highland Shot
RPR 101; OR 97
He’s done well over the winter and could start in the City Bowl at Salisbury on Sunday. He appears to want further even though he’s only run once at 1m4f, which suited him. I think he will stretch out to 1m6f straight away, despite being a strong traveller, as his pedigree suggests further will suit. I see him as an Ebor horse.
4f Teofilo – Prairie Flower
J H Richmond-Watson
RPR 93; OR 87
She is an enormous filly who had a wind operation over the winter. That should help her and I am still hopeful she can go up a grade again this year. She will start in a handicap and work her way up from there.
Antonia De Vega
f Lope De Vega – Witches Brew
RPR 100; OR 99
She had a fracture of her pastern which came to light after her run in the Fillies’ Mile and she had a good long break to get over that. She did a nice piece of work on Saturday and I’m hoping to go straight to the 1,000 Guineas with her. She isn’t a filly who needs a lot of work and she runs well fresh. She is out of a Duke Of Marmalade mare so, with his influence for stamina, you would think she would stay further, but we will see how the Guineas goes before making any firm decisions. She is not a big filly and if she does get further I can see Epsom suiting her.
f Dansili – Lilyfire
RPR 101; OR 98
She has done well from two to three and is training well but is a little behind in her coat – she grew a winter coat after the Duchess of Cambridge last July so I don’t know whether it is a follow-on from that and if she is out of sync. She could end up in the Michael Seely at York, a track which will suit her well.
g Stimulation – Blue Crest
Philip Snow & Partners 1
RPR 100; OR 99
A blue-collar horse with his pedigree, and a really tough one. He should have his day again over 5f and 6f when getting soft ground.
f Kingman – Emulous
RPR 83; OR 82
Her Newmarket run when touched off by this year’s Nell Gwyn winner Qabala has worked out extremely well and the race was not run to suit when she won her maiden after. I hope she will be able to go up in grade and get black type.
Feliciana De Vega
f Lope De Vega – Along Came Casey
RPR 101; OR –
She had a small issue in February, which is why she didn’t have a Guineas entry, but I’ve been pleased with her since. She could run at the beginning of next month. There are a couple of races for her, one at Ascot and the Conqueror Stakes at Goodwood, and that will tell us if she is up to the Irish Guineas. I think juice in the ground is going to be important.
Ralph Beckett has a decent record at Pontefract. If you had simply backed all his horses who were sent off at 5-1 or shorter since the start of 2014 you would have found nine winners from 14 runners – a strike-rate of 64 per cent (+£16.81 to a £1 stake).
g Mount Nelson – Shenir
RPR 82; OR –
He surprised us as I didn’t expect him to run that well on quickish ground at Windsor given his sister was effective on softer ground. I would hope he will improve for the run and on ground with some juice in it.
f Dansili – Look So
J H Richmond-Watson
RPR 94; OR 94
She did a nice piece of work but had a small issue after it so we had to stop, and she only started back earlier this month. I had hoped to go to the German 1,000 Guineas at the end of May. She will tell us when she’s ready and I would hope if she doesn’t make York she will be back at the end of May. She is from a family who improve significantly from two to three and with their racing, so to be Listed-placed at two was a real bonus. Her form has been boosted this year.
g Cockney Rebel – Tricked
King Power Racing Co Ltd
RPR 99; OR 100
His form tailed off slightly after his good second in the Sirenia. He is another who will be best on softer ground over 5f and 6f.
Manuela De Vega
f Lope De Vega – Roscoff
RPR 96; OR –
We’re a bit in between a rock and hard place because the Musidora is too close to the Oaks for her liking because she is a light-framed filly. That means she will have to carry a penalty wherever she goes, or run against colts.
f Sea The Moon – Noble Lady
RPR 70; OR –
Her third to Bangkok in a 1m2f maiden on her racecourse debut at Doncaster on Lincoln day looks better all the time. She should improve significantly for that run and has a future, perhaps over further, and I can see her going 1m4f imminently.
f Nathaniel – Opera Dancer
RPR 66; OR –
She has taken a while to come to hand and will probably go 1m2f straight away and I expect her to get 1m4f. To finish third over 7f at two was a good effort, given her pedigree, and indicates promise for this year.
g Pour Moi – Saturday Girl
Chelsea Thoroughbreds – Wonderful World
RPR 82; OR 85
A corn showed up to prevent him from reappearing at Windsor last week. He can come into his own when he steps up in trip. He wasn’t bred to be a two-year-old so did particularly well and should improve.
f Oasis Dream – Shared Account
RPR 103; OR 101
It was a proper effort to finish third in the May Hill off one run on the all-weather. She has taken a little longer to come to hand than we would have liked. The idea was that the Musidora would suit her, and that could still happen, but she needs to come forward. She is a big, good-topped filly and looks like she will stay well – she was staying on at the end of the mile of the May Hill.
g Maxios – Set Dreams
RPR 84; OR 85
He is ready for a step up to 1m4f this year – he looked outpaced over 1m2f in his nursery until hitting the rising ground. There’s a suitable race for him at the Dante meeting at York. With his pedigree he will get better as he gets older and he is still filling his big frame.
c Dalakhani – Celtic Slipper
Abdulla Al Khalifa
RPR 81; OR –
He’s always been very good in his work. He’s quite a heavy-topped horse and probably got stuck in the ground when disappointing at Newbury. You can forgive one bad run, especially with ours not quite hitting their straps. He could run back in a novice and there’s plenty for him next month.
Most are middle-to-late season types who need time. One of the most forward is a Dandy Man colt out of Our Valkyrie, Goodwood Rebel, owned by the Goodwood owners’ group, and another nice one is Vape (Dark Angel – Puff). We have some by first-season sires – I have a couple of nice Muhaarars and a Golden Horn colt who is shaping nicely for later on.
Horse to follow
Had reportedly been showing up well in her homework before her debut at Newmarket in November and she didn’t disappoint punters who backed her into 10-11 favourite when bolting up by six lengths in a race that has worked out well. The third, fourth and tenth all went on to score next time and Feliciana De Vega confirmed she is a classy filly when winning a Listed race at Deauville by a wide margin on her next outing. She has the potential to reach the top table provided she continues to progress and soft ground will suit.