Serenada can bounce back at Newmarket

By Harry Bentley
Fri 21 Jul 2017

I am at Newmarket on Saturday and my best ride of the day is Serenada in the Betbright Aphrodite Stakes (2.40pm).

I rode her when she was third in her maiden at Newbury last season and since then she has beaten Apphia, who reopposes in the Listed contest over 12 furlongs, and been a fine third behind Shutter Speed in the Musidora Stakes at York. The winner went on to finish fourth in the French Oaks.

I think you can strike a line through Serenada’s latest run in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last month for several reasons.

That was an ultra-competitive Group Two, and although she was beaten in the closing stages she was short of room. Royal Ascot is a big occasion, and sometimes horses do not take to the place. Everybody is allowed an off day.

The lightly-raced and improving Appia should be feared, and Charlie Appleby’s Skiffle has some very good pieces of form.

My next best ride is probably Ray’s The Money in the Betfinder By Betbright Handicap (5.35) for Michael Bell. I think he will be suited by the step up in trip to 10 furlongs and he is improving all the time.

Ballard Down is an interesting runner in the Betbright Recall Handicap (3.50), although he might be better on all-weather surfaces having been edged out at Chelmsford last time.

I rode the son of Group One-winning miler Canford Cliffs at Wolverhampton in May, when he had a visor on for the first time and impressed. We won by nearly four lengths from Makzeem, who ran second in the Silver Bunbury Cup at the July Course last weekend. We will see how we go – sometimes the effect of the visor wears off after a while as they get used to it.

Mountain Rescue takes his chance in the Betbright Handicap (5.00). Trainer Chris Wall knows what he is doing and has decided to drop Mountain Rescue down to seven furlongs for the first time since his first appearance in a handicap in October 2014.

I have ridden the son of High Chaparral twice and he is a strong traveller. He has the early pace for seven furlongs but we will need a strong gallop, too.

Super Saturday:

I was delighted and disappointed with Limato’s run in second behind Harry Angel in the July Cup last week. Obviously it was a shame to lose, and second is never nice but he ran his heart out.

I was thrilled because he felt back to his best form and I don’t think he lost a lot in defeat. He has now won a July Cup and finished second, and a horse had not won consecutive July Cups since Right Boy in 1959 so I’m very proud of him.

This is not an excuse but the slow early pace and then the fast second half of the race did not suit him at all. He has run over a mile when fourth in the Lockinge Stakes and is a Group One winner over seven furlongs so I’d have preferred at least a more even tempo. Where we go next is still open but wherever it is I am very much looking forward to it!

The other horse I rode last week that I was deeply impressed by was Mount Moriah, who was brilliant in the 1m6f handicap and won by four lengths. He is clearly very progressive as he was already up 12lb from his previous win. He would have preferred the going to be have been a bit softer than good, but he handled the ground at Ascot with few problems.

He is not entered in the Ebor at York, and as a three-year-old who would receive weight he would have been unlikely to get in anyway. I think he is a Group horse in the making.


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