Elarqam was expected to concede weight with all of its six opponents for the Davies Insurance Services Gala Stakes held at Sandown on Friday.
Mark Jonhston’s Frankel came back with what seems like his best season after being defeated at two prior to failing in running up to that form from the previous year.
Finishing fourth in a red-hot renewal of the Earl during the Sefton Stakes at Newmarket followed by a major return, he dominated without so many struggles at Goodwood prior to concluding third to Addeybb in the recent Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot.
According to assistant trainer Charlie Johnston, it is really nice that the bet strung very good runs together. There was an enormous amount of rain at Ascot, and it served as an aid for the winner. However, it went against the team of Johnston so they were certain that the conditions just did not play to the colt’s strengths as he still put up a good race.
“All those that finished around him had competed at Group One level, so it was a very good run.”
They lean towards the Sky Bet York Stakes; however, it was at the end of the month, so they thought it was long enough between runs. Regardless, he’d come out of Ascot well and this appears to be a good opportunity for the horse.
John Gosden saddled lightly-raced November Handicap champion Royal Line, while First Nation and Oasis Charm both represented Charlie Appleby.
The Mayson colt was starting his Windsor Castle race when he stumbled upon a problem running which led to the end of the race.
Burke still prefers the softer ground while Rayong snatched championship on a quicker surface during his debut at Carlisle. The horse was knocked sideways at Ascot. The trainer said, “I’m not saying he’d have definitely won, but he’d have gone very close.”
For them, the soft ground they are faced with is perfect. They are excited for the ground being quick at Sandown as they are confident that he is in good form and that it would only take a matter of giving it a go.
It was quick enough for them at Carlisle, but it was an easier race which is why he handled it well. As to whether he’ll be able to manage whatever circumstance – only time will tell.
According to the trainer, he’ll stay six furlongs, but with his good speed – a good turn of foot is always possible.
Johnston’s Makyon exhibited an exceptional ran in the Coventry Stakes at Ascot as it took the field along at a fair sprinting close to home, and dropping in a trip after.
The trainer mentioned that the colt never struck him physically as an out-and-out five-furlong horse and all his previous form is over six, but he appears to have a lot of the Coventry field in trouble between the two and the one.
He would not be surprised if he goes back up to six in the not too distant future, but he looks to have much speed to showcase as it reaches to five.
“He’s not got a great draw out in seven – you’d have to plenty of respect for the filly at the bottom (Liberty Beach) and giving her weight will be tough, but I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t in the frame at least.”
The Liberty Beach of John Quinn landed fourth in the Queen Mary which was a place ahead of Al Raya, a Simon Crisford-horse who isn’t new to running.