Tuesday 31 July 2001

July 31st, 2001 | 2001 Journals

Looking back to yesterday, I was disappointed to see Trilogy outpaced from such an early stage of the Richmond Stakes. He didn’t move that well going to post and an ominous lack of strength in the market suggested he didn’t carry the measure of confidence I’d like to have seen.

I doubt very much if there will be a victory all week to match the performance of Sir Michael Stoute’s Alexius, who lost about ten lengths at the start yet still had sufficient class to make up the lost ground in the straight and then hold the determined and persistent challenge of the quietly-fancied Demophilos. This was a rather special effort from a colt having only the second run of his life.

The race reminded me of the ride Fallon gave Asian Heights to win the Predominate Stakes here in the spring. He also won despite forfeiting many lengths at the start, and it says much for Fallon’s extraordinary judgement of pace that he’s able to turn such adversity into triumph.

Alexius, who is now as short as 5’2 with Coral for the St Leger, relished this mile and a half and has a pedigree which suggests the additional quarter mile on Town Moor shouldn’t bother him in the slightest.

Nayef ran his best race of the season to finish third, and this is probably as good as he is, but Torcello was in trouble a long way from home and proved disappointing. I think he was expected to run somewhat better than this.

Quite why Ian Carnaby likes to spend his working hours trying to unravel the complexities of sprints is beyond me, but he certainly makes it pay – as his many followers will testify.

Yet, following the run of Continent at Ascot last week, we had another X-certificate performance when Lynda Ramsden’s Bishops Court was squeezed out of contention in the Group Three King George Stakes. It’s always going to be a matter of luck whether a horse which needs to be held up for a late run will find a way through in a race of this nature – at Epsom he did, on this occasion he didn’t – but having still managed to finish fourth, I’ve not the slightest doubt that he was the best horse in this race.

As so often happens in this game, all the luck is going one way at the moment and the race went to Aidan O’Brien’s Dietrich, who didn’t get the best of runs herself in the King’s Stand but this time enjoyed an uninterrupted passage through on the outside.

In closing let me remind you that we hope to take delivery of the Summer Bulletin Book tomorrow.

Bye for now!