The Weekly Wrap: Full Mark's For Top Colt

A fortnight to go, apparently, until England casts aside all restrictions following the 16-month weirdness of the pandemic era. 'Freedom day', as it has been dubbed by those of Boris Johnson's government who are not currently serving time on the naughty step, has unfortunately not come in time for the regular 'July week' festivities in Newmarket. There will be racing with a reduced crowd and a sale taking place pretty much as normal, but without any of the parties and stallion parades that have become the staple of the town's...

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A Royal Line Thriving

Near the entrance to The Royal Studs at Sandringham is a magnificent bronze commemorating the Prince of Wales's homebred Persimmon (GB) (St Simon {GB}), whose racing record highlights the fact that things were done a little differently back in the 1890s. Very differently, in fact. The Coventry S. winner of 1895 went on to win the Derby and the St Leger and, kept in training, he returned to Royal Ascot to win the Gold Cup, which had been his principal 4-year-old target. Exactly a century later, the horse who was...

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The Weekly Wrap: Happy Days Are Here Again 

To an extent, when Coolmore wins two of the weekend's premier Classics in Europe and Godolphin wins another, it feels like we are harking back to the glory days around the turn of the century, when the battle of the superpowers was epitomised by those back-to-back duels between Galileo (Ire) and Fantastic Light in the 'King George' and Irish Champion Stakes. Honours even. And it was honours even at Epsom, with the dazzling victory of Ballydoyle's Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in the Cazoo Oaks, followed by the satisfying success...

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Festive Foals Take Centre Stage At Goffs

KILDARE, Ireland--Those among us who leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute have the perfect opportunity to give the gift of a foal or a mare this festive period given the timing of this year's rescheduled Goffs November Foal and Breeding Stock Sale. With current events requiring the sale to be pushed back almost four weeks from its original calendar slot, the action now commences on Friday and consists of three days of foals and a single day of mare trade. Unfortunately for those with very deep pockets, the...

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Mehmas Entering Elite Territory

The annual race to sire the most individual first-crop 2-year-old winners always fascinates us. This year in Europe it isn't much of a contest as the leader Mehmas (Ire)--with his 39 winners--is in no danger whatsoever of being caught by any of his contemporaries. However, 39 winners is hugely significant in that it breaks the European record for the most individual first-crop 2-year-old winners putting him one clear of the previous holder, Darley stalwart Iffraaj. And there are more than enough racing days left in the calendar for Mehmas to...

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Doncaster To Offer Early Market Clues

The start of the racing season, and in fact the yearling sales season itself, may have been badly impeded by the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn't stop Goffs UK's Premier Yearling Sale graduates from getting off to a flying start once things finally did get underway. One of the fastest from the gate was The Lir Jet (Ire) (Prince Of Lir {Ire}), whose debut victory three days after racing's resumption on June 3 led to a private deal with Qatar Racing and a subsequent victory in the G2 Norfolk S....

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The Weekly Wrap: By Royal Acclaim

Back in April, when major sporting events across the world were being cancelled left, right and centre, the management team at the Queen's racecourse took the decision that, if racing had resumed in time, Royal Ascot would go ahead behind closed doors. The announcement was met with incredulity in some quarters, particularly by those keen to blame the spread of coronavirus on the Cheltenham Festival, but thank goodness Ascot stuck to its resolve to go ahead, even in extraordinary circumstances. Of course the meeting lost some of its lustre, just...

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