Sky Sports Racing Ambassador Holly Doyle talks about her five shootings in Newmarket on Saturday, including her reunion with Group 1 star Glenn Sheal on the July Cup feature film.
Great day at the Newmarket for the Watson team
Saturday is a big day for Archie Watson’s Saxon Gate Stables, who are not one but two major contenders for the Group One Darley July Cup (4.20) in the Newmarket – and I’m excited to be part of the action.
At CenterPhase 6F I’m back on my Champions Sprint Hero Glenn Sheel, champion jockey Ozin Murphy decides to straighten the record with the exciting dragon symbol of three – year – old Archie.
The fact that he has two good chances in Group One is also a measure of Archie’s progress, and there is no doubt that both horses have the ability to win the race.
Glenn, who finished second behind the Dreams of Dreams at the Group One Diamond Jubilee at the Royal Ascot, was unable to enter the race in excellent form. It works well at home without asking questions. Archie has a habit of sticking to his religion, and we have done nothing different with him in preparing for it.
It’s no secret that he’s a more efficient horse with earth juice, so I hope the rain they announced at the Newmarket on Saturday morning will be effective, and I’m happy with my high draft at Stall 14.
The dragon symbol struggled to get lost in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup steward’s room. I sympathize with Archie, Ois and the horse owners, but he is a donkey with the ability to continue to prove that he is a great class sprinter.
While the course may be a question mark for Glenn, the dragon symbol must prove itself in these fast-paced terrain and take over the old horses first. His big runs in Group 2 at Sandy Lane and the Commonwealth were rough, but he was consistently successful and was able to perform even better on a healthy surface.
As you might expect the dangers in this match are many, and if he continues fast we will all have to beat Ed Walker’s Starman. He’s a beautiful big horse, and there’s a flaw in the speed of the champions behind Glenn Schill.
Fitlord is ready for the cup
Lord Rhapsody in his locker was enough to give me a super spin on the bet365 Bunbury Cup (3.50) in Newmarket. He has made no mistakes this season, finishing second behind July Cup rival Chill Chill in a big handicap at Epsom and finishing fourth in the Buckingham Palace stakes at Royal Ascot.
The form was stamped by the winning Highfield Princess who followed a listed race in Chelsea Ford City last week. Stuart Williams’ Zelding is better than Ascot’s ranking suggests, but he had the courage to run again for Marco Gianni despite being hit in the nose by an opponent’s whip.
With such an attitude he will thrive with the cut and push of this match, the handicapper giving him a chance and remaining at the same mark. I think he is being treated fairly for the achievements he has made without success this year.
Professional partner in the disability of filies
In the spring I came in second to the professional widow of three-year-old Richard Spencer, a girl from Newmarket, and surprisingly, she then made her winning debut through a handicap in Nottingham.
Her last run at Sandringham, at the bottom of the Royal Ascot, was decent under the circumstances, but she could show up in the best light at the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa Phyllis Handicap (2.05).
She only has the eighth 8 lb and should be happy on track. I think the return to 7F would be ideal for them, because they move smoothly.
Signs are encouraging to Bell Philly
The seat in Michael Bell’s Philly Baronboim 12f HandyCap (5.00) is lightweight and has made quite an impact on both the Virgin and Novas.
He then finished second behind Godolphin winner Al Waqidi at Wolverhampton in November. The wind operation was then performed.
Greedley raises the Golden Horn daughter in the family to appreciate the progress of the trip, so Saturday’s run will be a good indicator of her progress against what appears to be 78’s best opening score.
Earlier, I will be on another fact-finding mission to William Muir at Phyllis Maiden 7F (1.30) in Newmarket and to Mimi’s Odyssey, the debutant of Chris Grassick. This will definitely be a hot race, but she has a great pedigree, so I hope she can get off to an exciting start.
A ‘quick’ trip to Salisbury will prove effective
I end a busy week with two shootings in Salisbury on Sunday, including Denise Cockley’s Nell Quickley and the Phyllis Handicap 10F (3.35).
I chased her to get a Chelsea Ford virgin in April, and last month arrived at Saddle for her next start on a Sanda own handicap. They finished second behind Sir Mark Prescott’s Secret Box Zelding, standing 10 feet above the turf debut.
The pitch was great that day, and while similar conditions were expected in Salisbury, I’m sure she will be able to put up a good performance against her own gender with one more pound.
The air visit to Ireland ends in disappointment
When I flew to Ireland on Thursday for two trips to Leopardstown I had high hopes, but was disappointed to show up on Friday.
After the listed Lingfield Oaks trial victory, Archie Watson’s Philly Sherbet Lemon seemed to have a better chance at the Stanera Stakes Group Three, but I did not feel well the whole round and ended up in sixth place.
Everything seems to be in place for a big race, so she needs to wait and see how she gets out of the race before making any plans.
In the first handicap “Nazrulla” I had the opportunity to be more popular than Willie Mullins’ Baby Sue, but nothing was right in this match. I could never find myself in a decent position after a bad draw, and he hung out so badly when I asked a few questions at Home Stretch.
This was definitely not my day, but I do not have time to dwell on it, because your next turn in this game is coming very fast. I hope I have something to smile about in the newmarket!
Holly Doyle was talking to Simon Mapletoft of Sky Sports Racing