Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle returns from the suspension that cost her a Group One victory on Trueshan in France last week with a full book of rides at York, including Popmaster in the valuable Coral Sprint Trophy.
Popmaster can bounce back without headgear
I am itching to get back in the saddle at beautiful York on Saturday after serving my seven-day suspension and have some nice chances to make up in some way for what I missed last weekend.
Among them is POPMASTER, who ran his only disappointing race of the year in first-time blinkers in the Ayr Gold Cup but can hopefully make amends without the headgear in the valuable Coral Sprint Trophy Handicap (3.15).
Ed Walker’s three-year-old was looking progressive going into the Scottish showpiece following six furlong wins on easy ground and Doncaster and fast conditions at Ascot.
I was surprised to see him nudged up 1lb for finishing down the field at Ayr but his new mark of 101 is within his capabilities on a speed track he should enjoy.
We could be better drawn, racing from stall one, but Gulliver won it from one of the low boxes last year and there is plenty of early pace around us.
Faisal brings strong form to Knavesmire
My boss Imad Alsagar’s gorgeous colt FAISAL succumbed to his only defeat in four starts at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival but did his reputation no harm in a race that has worked out well.
Anmaat, who got the better of us after a ding-dong battle up the long home straight, went on to be second in the Cambridgeshire so there’s every reason to expect a bold show in the Play Coral Racing-Super-Series For Free Handicap (2.37).
We are poorly drawn in the ten-and-a-half-furlong contest for a horse who likes to get on with it but the galloping nature of the track clearly appealed to John and Thady Gosden when they identified this race.
Faisal was returning from a break when he finished second on Town Moor and will have come on again for that.
Crunch time for Cashew
George Boughey has enjoyed a tremendous year with his two-year-olds so it is a pleasure to be linking up with him in York’s Listed feature, the Coral Beaten-By-A-Length Free Bet Rockingham Stakes (2.02).
The Newmarket trainer runs two in the six-furlong dash: Nick Bradley Racing’s Hellomydarlin, who has form at this level, and my mount CASHEW in the colours of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.
Cashew has held her form well all year, winning at Windsor in May and performing well in defeat in a valuable sales race at The Curragh and a fillies’ handicap at Newmarket last month.
Of course, she has a lot to find with the principal runners to make an impact off a mark of just 81 but it would be great to think she might at least pinch some Black Type by running into a place.
Hapap has more to offer
Richard Hannon is three-handed in the Watch Racing Free Online At Coral Nursery Handicap and gives me the leg up on the unexposed HAPAP (1.30).
This colt steps into a handicap for the first time after improving to be third in a ten furlong Goodwood maiden last month.
He may have won that day had greenness not got the better of him so an opening mark of 76 makes him interesting on this drop back to what should be a strongly run mile.
Walker colt out to build on Haydock promise
There was a lot to like about Ed Walker’s colt SPERANZOSO’S debut in a six-furlong Haydock Park maiden last month so I am hopeful he can progress again in the Coral ebfstallions.com Novice Stakes (3.50). Stepping up in trip looks ideal for this strong, well-built son of Siyouni, who cost £100,000 at the Doncaster breeze-ups in May.
By contrast, GUMBALL has a wealth of experience under his belt and I’m looking forward to getting back on him in the Coral Best Odds Guaranteed handicap (4.25) over York’s extended two miles.
He has joined Fergal O’Brien since I rode him on his previous start for Philip Hobbs at Salisbury in early May but goes well fresh so don’t be put off by his summer break. This looks a good starting point before he presumably heads back over hurdles.
I have always thought a lot about David Elsworth’s filly SOMETHING ENTICING who has what it takes to run a big race in the Coral Proud Sponsors Of British Racing Finale Handicap (5.00).
I won on her at Kempton Park back in January and was second on her at Sandown in the summer. She made hard work of it at Goodwood last time but will like the track and the ground and gets weight off all her rivals.
Return to handicaps the key to Louganini
LOUGANINI was highly tried when he was last seen in public in July, finding Group Three company a little too hot up at York, but I am expecting him to run well in the Goodwood Horse Racing Club Supporters Handicap (4.40) at Goodwood on Sunday.
Roger Charlton’s given him a holiday since then to wait for the autumn ground so the expected soft conditions on the south coast will be ideal. The ground was on the easy side when I won on him at Ascot in May so hopefully he can remain competitive despite a 7lb higher rating.
Itching to get back on amazing Trueshan
I could not be happier for Alan King and his owners following TRUESHAN‘s epic victory in last weekend’s Group One Qatar Prix du Cadran at Longchamp – even though I couldn’t be a part of it.
He proved beyond question that he’s the best stayer in the business on soft ground and relished every yard of the two-mile-and-four-furlongs on his first attempt at the distance.
Watching from my sofa while serving that well-documented suspension was not easy – like I said, it was the race we’d been working towards all season – but James Doyle gave him a lovely ride and I never had a moment’s doubt.
It is going to take a serious performance to beat him in the big Cup races next season, particularly if the ground turns up soft, and he will head to the Gold Cup at Ascot without any questions about him staying the trip. He’s amazing and I am itching to get back on him already!
Go Mo! Nicholls filly heroic in Abbaye
It would also be nice to see Adrian Nicholls’s filly MO CELITA back on the track next year following her heroic run in the Prix de l’Abbaye on Arc Day. It was a bonus that I was free to ride her last Sunday and I was delighted for Adrian and her owners David Howden and David Redvers.
It is remarkable to think that she won the first of six races this year in a Leicester seller back in April and had she not hung under pressure in the closing stages we’d have been third in a Group One. It is quite possible that she can improve again from three to four if she stays in training.
Hollie Doyle was talking to Sky Sports Racing’s Simon Mapletoft