A Star In The Making

May 18th, 2022 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

Hi there!

No prizes for guessing today’s big eye-catcher.

My Astra was far and away the most impressive winner of the day, pulling 12 lengths clear to win the 1m 2f Listed Rothesay Stakes at Ayr from an Irish raider rated 6lbs her superior, with a rival rated 8lbs better a neck back in third.

It is a long time since I’ve seen a horse quicken and put so much daylight between herself and the second in such a short period of time. Taken literally she ran to a mark of around 115, placing her comfortably at Group 2 level, but to my eyes this was the performance of a potential Group 1 performer.

She had displayed plenty of ability last season, notably when running second in a Listed race at Saint-Cloud in October, but there was no hint when third last month at Kempton, where she raced keenly, of what we were to see from her today.

Perhaps the soft ground helped – it was heavy when she ran well in France – and I gather the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot may be on the agenda. Given her love of soft ground there will be plenty of opportunities for her in France this autumn.

Looking back to the Tote query I raised here on Monday I am indebted to Peter Lofting, who contacted me with the following:

‘The Tote now guarantees to match SP if the dividend would otherwise be below the former. Full details on the Tote website.

Since the new owners came in the Tote has improved immeasurably in every respect, from Customer Service to offers and enhancements. A good example of the latter is a 10% enhancement to Placepot dividends when the bet has been placed with the Tote, online.’

This all helps the punter, which is not only welcome but necessary given the impact of affordability constraints and the economic malaise in the country as a whole.

Just to close by saying that, as usual on a Wednesday, I have just finished writing and editing the Weekend Card. Over 9,000 words this week, including contributions from Dan Briden (Two-Year-Olds), Ronan Groome (Ireland) and a very dark new addition to the highly profitable Sleeper section, a 20/1 ante-post advice for Royal Ascot, a handicapper primed to strike for Under The Radar and a horse with form of 000 for a handicap at Haydock on Friday.

Bye for now