Eve Ecstatic And Aidan Awesome Again In This Weeks Racing News
No Accident As Agent Bags Big One
Berkshire trainer Eve Johnson-Houghton is already enjoying a stellar season with a highly respectable 15% overall strike rate and a level stakes profit of £40+ across all her runners. The likes of What About Carlo and Scarlet Dragon have given the eminently likeable handler plenty to cheer already this season, but we suspect the success of Accidental Agent in the totescoop6 Challenge Cup may have been a little extra special. Bred by Johnson-Houghton’s mother, this three year old colt by Delegator was unwanted at the sales, even for the measly (by horse racing standard) sum of £8,000.
The market doesn’t always get it right though and having bagged £112,050 in prize money for this major handicap success, we imagine there are a few potential buyers kicking themselves. Seemingly always held in high regard at home, the three year old seems to have taken a little time to come to hand but is now really beginning to show what he can do at the track. The Balmoral Handicap back at this venue may be his next challenge.
Poly Rolls Again As O’Brien Closes In
Saturday’s major Group 1 contest fell the way these races so often do, as Irish Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien claimed Newmarket’s Sun Chariot Stakes for the third time. Roly Poly was the filly to land the spoils this time around, with the tough and tenacious three year old daughter of War Front repelling the favourite Persuasive and the rest to score in determined fashion. This was a third Group 1 win of the season for the filly and marked a return to form following a below par display last time out at Leopardstown.
Roly Poly’s third Group 1 triumph of the campaign was the 23rd such success for O’Brien. A quite remarkable number even accounting for the ammunition he has at his disposal. The master of Ballydoyle now sits just two behind the world record total of 25 set by US legend Bobby Frankel, and there is enough left in the season for O’Brien to etch his name even more indelibly into the history books.
The general consensus certainly seems to that it is a matter of when not if O’Brien overhauls Frankel. Group 1’s are never easy though and he still has to get them across the line. We still expect to see him do it though. With four Group 1’s in which he boasts live chances, Champions Day at Ascot on 21st October would appear to be a likely and appropriate setting for O’Brien’s Coronation.
All Eyes On Expert At HQ
It is to the stars of the future to whom we turn for the pick of this week’s action as Newmarket plays host to its always excellent Future Champions Festival. The fillies take centre stage on the opening Friday with the Aidan O’Brien trio of Happily, Magical and September currently vying for favouritism in the bet365 Fillies Mile, whilst on Saturday the focus will fall upon Sir Michael Stoute’s Expert Eye. Can the juvenile star of the season to date confirm his potential in the Dewhurst Stakes. At a best price of 4/7 with Betfair, the compilers certainly think so.
It’s not just the promising juveniles who are on show this week though, as the undoubted betting centrepiece of Saturday’s card at HQ is the second leg of the Autumn Double: the Cesarewitch Handicap. Staying is the name of the game for this 2m2f affair, with the market currently headed by the Evan Williams runner John Constable. Successful over jumps this year, this will be his first flat outing since 2014. Ladbrokes make him a 10/1 shot to paint a winning picture.