The Weekend

May 17th, 2021 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

Hi there,

There was some class action over the weekend, most notably in the Lockinge Stakes which went to the favourite Palace Pier.

It is not often that you see Frankie Dettori looking round for dangers with three furlongs to go, but that was the case on Saturday before he unleashed the son of Kingman, who responded with an impressive change of gear.

Lady Bowthorpe, a long-time favourite of mine, stayed on gamely to finish second, pulling five and a half lengths clear of top rank, with the admirable Lord Glitters four and three quarter lengths away in fourth.

Despite the impression left by Palace Pier, the BHA Head of Handicapping Dominic Gardiner-Hill has allocated a mark of 124 to the winner. 1lb below his current published rating, suggesting this was the best performance in the race since Frankel ran to a mark of 138 nine years ago.

He has credited the runner-up with a career best effort of 117, an increase of 9lbs from her original mark of 108.  Palace Pier will probably now go for the Queen Anne Stakes, for which he is already as short at 4/7.  With respect to the second Lady Bowthorpe, I have always wanted to see her run over a mile and a quarter and William Jarvis confirms that that is indeed the plan.

In the previous race Bay Bridge won the London Gold Cup by four lengths from a mark of 90.

I expect him to be raised at least 10lbs for this and the next race may be the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

The day started with a monster gamble on Choux, who was backed from 40/1 to 100/30 in the ten minutes before the opening race at Thursk.

This was one of the most sensational gambles I have ever seen and it is remarkable how trainer David Evans, and his team, managed to keep a lid on the filly’s ability.

I was quietly impressed by the way John Leeper won the Fairway Stakes at Newmarket.  The son of Frankel, who is out of the hugely talented Snow Fairy, looked as if he had forfeited his winning chance when pulling hard in the early stages of the race but he battled on well up the hill to beat the useful Tasman Bay by one and three quarter lengths.

There are links through the form of this race to a few Classic trials and I could see Ed Dunlop’s colt running a good race at Epsom.

In France on Sunday St. Mark’s Basilica quickened well to win the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.  Connections have the option of going to Ascot for the St. James’s Palace Stakes or back to France for their Derby.

Bye for now,