Dark Horses Annual News …

April 2nd, 2017 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

I have, at last, just finished writing the Dark Horses Annual for the new Flat season.

This has taken longer than usual this year, due in part to late publication of the entries for the two Newmarket Classics and the Derby. To make matters even more challenging my preview of the Oaks had to be done without the benefit of entries, as they don’t appear for another couple of weeks.

Regarding the contents of the book I have brought back the Dark Handicappers feature, which is devoted to horses that left me with the impression last season that they were being campaigned with handicaps in mind. They include horses from the yards of Mick Easterby, David O’Meara, John Quinn, David Barron, Richard Fahey, Andrew Balding, Keith Dalgleish and, inevitably, Sir Mark Prescott.

A new feature is a selection of unraced or unexposed Irish dark horses, a few of them from low-profile yards.

I am told that the book may not be out for a fortnight or so, but anyone ordering a copy with will receive a letter with the names of all the horses that feature and also the concluding paragraphs of my Classics previews.

Looking back to today at Doncaster, Saeed bin Suroor introduced a couple of nice three-year-olds. The first, Benbatl, is by Dubawi out of a Selkirk mare. The second, Dream Castle, is a son of Frankel out of the speedy Sand Vixen. He raced quite keenly after horses in stalls around him started to play up at the start, but he was comfortably in charge at the line and is probably Group class.

My brochure of services for the new season is being despatched in the next fortnight. Please take note of the record for the Weekend Card, which we brought back last July. Most of the features have returned a substantial profit on investment outlay and to level stakes, and this is the time of year when my news generally reaps rich rewards. Please refer to the Online Shop for details on how to order.

Bye for now