October 15th, 2015 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

I have just returned from a few days at Newmarket, racing on Saturday and then a couple of days at the sales earlier in the week.

All the talk has been about Air Force Blue, for whom there was maximum stable confidence beforehand.

I spent time looking at the field in the paddock and the winner was the pick, with plenty of scope to develop even further. Emotionless is a good-looking colt but to my eyes he looked weak and a little delicate. An excuse has since been put forward for his display but it would not surprise me if subsequent events showed that his finishing position turns out to reflect accurately his ability.

I made Massaat my best outsider and he ran very well, given his relative inexperience, to pull two and three-quarter lengths clear of the tough Sanus Per Aquam in third. Tashweeq lacked ‘middle’, looking weak, but the winner proved in a different class, striding clear to win by three and a quarter lengths. Afterwards Aidan O’Brien said he was the best two-year-old they had ever had – something we may have heard before but compelling nonetheless.

This was Air Force Blue’s third Group 1, following succcess in the Phoenix Stakes and the National Stakes. His pedigree suggests he will prove even more effective on fast summer ground, while although there is speed on his distaff side he will have no trouble staying the mile in the Guineas.

Of the others Massaat came out with great credit although his stamina is more questionable. By contrast the third and fourth, Sanus Per Aquam and Tashweeq, are bred to stay ten furlongs or further.

I was surprised at the high prices at the Newmarket Yearling Sales.

There were some lovely individuals – I thought the fillies were very strong this year – but everything was going for more than my valuations. I still feel a little uncomfortable in that environment – from a social perspective the step up in bids alone would make a massive difference to some people’s lives – but we have to accept that this is the playground of the rich and privileged. It really is a different world.

From a professional perspective I have made notes on a handful of yearlings that took my eye with a view to writing a feature for my Perspective blog. We can then track their progress and see how my judgement compares with the experts!

Bye for now

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