Racing UK

Five things we learnt on Thursday: affable Meade has spring in his step courtesy of Eminent

Thursday 20 April 2017

From Frankel's first realistic Classic hope in Eminent to the tremendous display from mares at Prestbury Park, Tom Peacock spins through the key points from Thursday's action. 

By Tom Peacock

Meade has Eminent Classic hope

Not all of Frankel’s offspring will be superstars and several of his highly-touted offspring had been a shade disappointing at Newmarket already this week but the equine giant now at least has one genuine hope to take into his first Classic season.

Eminent earned effusive praise from jockey Jim Crowley after his victory in the bet365 Craven Stakes and there was a lot to like about the style in which he dealt with the proven Rivet and race-fit Benbatl in an honestly-run renewal.

Perhaps Churchill or Al Wukair will prove too much to handle on May 6, but perhaps not, and Eminent’s affable trainer Martyn Meade is entitled to bring his colt back to his local track with a spring in his step.

Varian hitting his stride:

Despite having one of the largest strings in Newmarket, Roger Varian had only one runner during the first couple of days of the Craven meeting.

He came back in no uncertain terms on the final afternoon, with a couple of winners supplemented by stable jockey Andrea Atzeni making a successful raid at Ripon with UAE Prince.

Promising sprinter Victory Angel and impressive maiden filly Tomyris were his performers on the Rowley Mile ahead of the trainer running his Investec Derby entry Dubawi Prince in Friday’s Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes at Newbury.

Wall holding strong:

Form is temporary, class is permanent goes the cliche as Mix And Mingle provided Chris Wall with a belated first winner since last autumn in the bet365 Handicap.

One of the lower-key members of the Newmarket community, Wall has been training since 1987, producing such useful types as Donna Viola, Missed Flight and Premio Loco, and he had even aimed Mix And Mingle for last year’s 1000 Guineas, in which she was seventh behind Minding.

The filly has clearly been kept on at four to gain bolder black type and she ought to do that over seven furlongs at some stage.

Tamleek deserves rise in class

Regardless of the standard of the opposition, Tamleek was as impressive a maiden winner as emerged during the Craven meeting when he took the 10-furlong event.

On only his second start, Saeed Bin Suroor’s colt was a solid third on his Yarmouth debut last October and still looked a work in progress as he wandered around the track here.

In the end, he pulled a decisive four lengths clear and this son of Hard Spun, who has something of a mixed pedigree but is entered in the Dante and Derby, looks worth connections trying in one of next month’s trials.

Magic mares at Cheltenham:

Mares races are not universally popular away from those with a vested interest, with Cheltenham putting on four of them on Thursday including three Listed events.

Any fan of jumps racing could not have failed to have enjoyed something from the spectacle, with Brillare Momento besting Dusky Legend in a great tussle for the novices’ hurdle and Plaisir D’Amour jumping brilliantly in the novices’ handicap chase.

The fact remains that fewer people want a National Hunt mare in training compared with a gelding and the likes of the EBF and TBA are trying to correct the situation by providing better opportunities. After Thursday’s action, hopefully a few more will get involved.


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