Ride Like The Wind
I rode him at Lingfield back in February on his debut for Kevin [Ryan], when he finished a disappointing last of eight, but there were excuses for him that day. He wasn’t beaten that far anyway but he found the track too quick and he got very excited at the start as there was a long delay, five or six minutes or so. That didn’t help, so we try him in a hood here. He had very smart form when with Freddie Head in France, winning the Djebel and running in the Guineas before showing good form over 5f and 6f, and he is drawn next to pace with Nameitwhatyoulike on his inside. Any ease in the ground will suit him and he has a decent chance on his French form.
Sea Of Flames [NON-RUNNER]
I haven’t ridden him before so I don’t know a lot about him, and he doesn’t look to have been running that well in three starts this year. But he is coming down the weights at least and he looked a very promising horse at the start of last season when winning a massive pot on All Weather finals day at Lingfield on Good Friday. If he can return to that level of form then he has chances off his dropping mark but he clearly needs to improve on recent efforts.
He won the Craven first time up on rain-softened ground last season. He then disappointed in the Guineas but he finished off the season with three good efforts in Group 1 company, and wasn’t beaten far in the QEII on his final start. Ed [Walker] didn’t over-race him last season, so there could be more to come, and the stable has started this year very well. And he is already the highest-rated horse in here on 114, anyway, so you have to be positive about his chances.
To be honest, I was a bit surprised to see him as the second favourite in the race as he doesn’t have anything in hand of the handicapper. He has been beaten off this mark on several occasions. But my agent tells me that the trainer is very happy with the horse and we know that he is proven on the course – he was just touched off in the Spring Mile first time out last season – and with give underfoot and in these big-field handicaps. Yuften has dined at the top table in the past, won the Balmoral last October on his second start for Roger Charlton and I thought he was unlucky not to win over 7f on his reappearance at Wolverhampton. He is definitely one to beat off just a 4lb higher mark than Ascot with that all-weather run under his belt.
I rode him to finish fourth in a 1m maiden here last season and he is a nice, big horse, and quite aggressive and keen with it, too. And he went on to bump into one at Newmarket on his final start. He came home well for me here and I thought he would make a better 3yo, especially if he has matured and settled down since. He has the form to run well, and also to pick up a nice prize this season, but this could prove to be quite a strong maiden.
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