The Weekly Wrap

The Weekly Wrap: While The Light Lasts

Last orders are being called for the European Flat turf season. Cheltenham and Aintree have been knocking loudly on the door but there are still some important scores to settle on the level, and in Paris, where this correspondent was fortunate enough to be billeted this weekend, the major Group 1 action was conducted in a blaze of life-affirming autumnal glory that may almost sustain us until the spring. The four Group 1 races around the world on Saturday, in England, France and Australia, went to the offspring of Irish-based...

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The Weekly Wrap: It's All About The Horses

Those who work in racing know all too well the endless hours devoted to getting horses ready for the racecourse, and fans of the sport were able to see that for themselves during the first National Racehorse Week in Britain. The brainchild of National Hunt trainer Richard Phillips, the inaugural week-long spotlight on the racing industry included racing stables being open to the public all over the country, starting at Epsom and Malton, and culminating in Newmarket's popular Henry Cecil Open Weekend. It can be deemed a huge success. This...

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The Weekly Wrap: Like A Hurricane

It's a childish game but I've long amused myself by seeing how many song titles can be weaved into headlines and this weekend's results provided an open goal for a Neil Young classic, not once but twice.  Two hurricanes blew across Town Moor on Saturday at the opposite ends of the distance spectrum. Hurricane Ivor (Ire) (Ivawood {GB}) is an admirable sprinter who has bounced back from a blistering debut for Fabrice Chappet and subsequent illness that ruled him out of much of his juvenile season. He has been creeping...

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The Weekly Wrap: Euro Delights Aplenty

We head towards a weekend featuring the final British Classic of 2021, the Arc Trials and Irish Champions Weekend with the last week having offered plenty of food for thought across Europe. Torquator Tasso (Ger) paid a posthumous tribute to his champion sire Adlerflug (Ger) by adding victory in the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden to his 2020 win in the G1 Grosser Preis von Berlin. Second in last year's Deutsches Derby to another son of Adlerflug, the recently retired In Swoop (Ire), the 4-year-old beat this year's Derby winner...

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The Weekly Wrap: Scene Is Set

A host of good fillies have won the G3 Prestige S. at Goodwood over the years, with the most recent Classic heroine to have emerged from the race being Billesdon Brook (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}), who paid a handsome compliment to her breeder Bob McCreery in the months after his death in December 2016. This year's winner Mise En Scene (GB) (Siyouni {Fr}) will certainly have her second-season trainer James Ferguson dreaming of the first weekend of May next year at his local course of  Newmarket. And he has good...

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The Weekly Wrap: It's Good To Be Back

There are banners along the High Street of my home town of Newmarket saying 'Welcome back to racing'. Though we've been fortunate in England to have been able to allow crowds gradually to return to racecourses earlier than some other countries, it has only really been in the last few weeks that it has felt like the proper pre-pandemic experience. And where better to have the people back in force than at York, widely regarded by many to be the best racecourse in the country? Any amount of time spent...

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The Weekly Wrap: The Best And Worst Of Times

To borrow from Charles Dickens, the past week can be encapsulated in one line: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Actually, let's face it, when it comes to bad times it hasn't just been this week, has it? Events of this year in particular have made it harder to love racing as we rock from one unsavoury incident to the next courtesy of some of the sport's leading trainers in Europe and America. The image that can now just be described as 'that photo',...

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The Weekly Wrap: The Power And The Glory

It has been quite the week for two young stallions from Tally-Ho Stud. We barely stopped hearing about Mehmas (Ire) last season during his record-breaking assault on the freshman sires' championship, and the big question is always how a stallion will follow up on that early promise. It can be a long way to fall after a reputation is so swiftly created, but in the case of the 7-year-old son of Acclamation (GB) it looks very much as if he is consolidating his position as a stallion to follow with...

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Weekly Wrap: A Legend Departs

One horse overshadowed all other news items of the past week as the bloodstock world came to terms with the death of Galileo (Ire) at the age of 23.  Fulsome tributes have been paid to him from across the globe with the overwhelming feeling being that we will never see his like again. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that many of us felt the same when his own extraordinary sire Sadler's Wells died 10 years ago. That colossus of the breeding world appeared in the third or fourth...

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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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The Weekly Wrap: Happy and Glorious

On each day of Royal Ascot, there was at least one result truly to savour, if not more. Moreover, the meeting in its entirety felt at last like a return to some sort of normality. Even the British weather played its typically quirky part: boiling one day, rain of biblical proportions the next. One regrettable absence was the buzz of the crowd. The maximum number of 12,000 attendees per day is of course low by usual standards. With the late announcement that even this number would be permitted, not to...

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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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