Alan assesses his Flat team for when racing does resume
For those of you who do not subscribe to the Members section on Racing Post’s Online service, Alan, under his Weekender banner, gave us an insight earlier in the week to his probable squad of Flat horses who will be ready to roll when racing does get the green light to resume.
Alan, who reported that around 30 of Barbury’s equine team are still out at each lot, said that he does not expect to turn out the jumpers until the end of the month as the weather is both too cold and the grass has yet to grow.
However, Alan, who won nearly £650,000 in prize money last Flat season, his best ever total, plans to have a team of 45 on the level this summer, and, though he stresses that we need to see a fall in the death rate from Coronavirus before racing is allowed to start, declaring “people’s health is more important than anything”, he is determined that Barbury will be ready to roll when it happens.
So outlining plans for the pick of our team for 2020, Alan’s thoughts were as follows:
4 ch g Mukhadram – Invitee
He won at Newmarket and Ascot last year then got jarred up on firm ground but came back to run well on the all-weather in the autumn. I’ll have to avoid fast ground with him but I’m pleased with him at the moment.
5 ch g Sea The Stars – Edaraat
He enjoyed a very good year in 2019, winning at Newmarket, finishing third in the Lincoln and just getting nailed by one of John Gosden’s in the Cambridgeshire. He’s up to a mark of 104 but I think he’s improved again after a winter off. I’d been very pleased with him up until the shutdown and we should have a lot of fun with him. His trip is 1m or 1m2f and he could even graduate to Listed races.
9 b g Dandy Man – Glory Days
He was being prepared for the Lincoln which obviously didn’t happen, and he doesn’t want fast ground so he may have to wait for the autumn now. But he’s in great order for a nine-year-old and he’s still up to running well off his mark of 104.
4 ch f Cityscape – Crooked Wood
She’s rated 83 after winning a couple of times last year but I reckon there’s more improvement to come from her, I’d like to think we could get her in to the 90s. She’s not as forward as some because she had a little hold up last month but she could do well at 1m4f and may even get 1m6f later on.
Coeur de Lion
7 b g Pour Moi – Hora
He won the Chester Cup consolation race last year and that was his target again but that won’t now be happening either. However he’s been running well over hurdles and I’d like to think there’s another decent staying handicap in him.
8 b g Duke Of Marmalade – China Tea
He won twice on the Flat two years ago and was being aimed at the Ebor before his injury. He’s got over a little blip following his hurdling comeback at Kempton, his work is still very good and he’s one we’re looking forward to, at 1m4f or 1m6f.
5 b g Excelebration – Brief Escapade
He’s been running consistently well over hurdles and was beaten a short-head the last time he ran on the Flat last year. He’s a fun horse and could have a little handicap in him off his mark of 79, probably at 1m4f.
5 ch m Champs Elysees – Sienna Sunset
She’s not won yet but she’s been placed plenty of times and she’s looking a lot stronger after a good winter with her owner. There could be more to come from her after just nine races and I’d love to get her head in front.
4 b g Intello – Storyland
He was placed a good few times last year and he’s in decent shape after a good winter at his owners’ stud. He can get a little hot-headed at the races but I hope he’ll grow out of that and he should be up to winning.
On To Victory
6 b g Rock Of Gibraltar – Clouds Of Magellan
He was a high-class handicapper with Eve Johnson Houghton and ran well over hurdles for me without winning. His jumping career is on hold until the autumn and it will be good to see where we are with him on the Flat, probably at 1m4f or 1m6f.
4 ch g Excelebration – Melodrama
He’s been running well over hurdles and should have a Flat handicap in him off 67, probably at 1m2f or 1m4f.
7 b g Aqlaam – Zamhrear
He’s on a tremendous roll and was one of the favourites for All Weather Championships day at Lingfield next week, which sadly won’t now take place. He remains in good order and should find something else when racing resumes. He loves the all-weather and could be one for the Northumberland Plate, which we won with Who Dares Wins last year.
6 ch m Sulamani – Cosmea
She’s won a couple of times and was placed last year. I bought her back for my daughter to ride and she’ll run in lady amateur races. Georgia rides her every day and they should have some fun together.
The Glancing Queen
6 b m Jeremy – Glancing
She’s going down the Flat route, having lost the chance to win another Aintree bumper, and is doing some stalls work. It won’t be easy finding an older-horse maiden but she could be an interesting mare once she’s handicapped.
4 b g Planteur – Shao Line
He was a 31,000gns Breeze-U purchase two years ago and enjoyed a great season in 2019, winnning four out of five. He’s now rated 109 and we’ll have to see what there is for him when racing starts but we’ll be working backwards from the Ebor. That’s his target. I don’t know how good he could be but it’s exciting to have a horse like him.
Who Dares Wins
8 b g Jeremy – Savignano
He’s been having a holiday since Cheltenham but he’ll come back and be trained for either Royal Ascot, which may not happen, or the Northumberland Plate, which he won last year. He’s been a superstar for us and seems as good as ever.
3 ch g Lope De Vega – Myrica
He’s a great big horse who had three runs last year and showed a bit of promise. He’s done particularly well through the winter and I’m looking forward to getting him started over 1m2f or 1m4f, though he wouldn’t want rattling quick ground. He’s got a mark of 72 and there are races to be won with him.
3 b c Poet’s Voice – Shanghai Noon
He won at Wolverhampton as a two-year-old and has been pleasing me at home this spring. I’d think his mark of 72 is very workable. He shows plenty of pace and he’s not screaming stamina, he’s probably one for 1m or 1m2f.
Duke of Condicote
3 b g No Nay Never – Duchess Of Gazeley
He showed a bit of promise as a two-year-old and probably didn’t handle the really heavy ground at Nottingham on his final start. He was quite weak and leggy last year but he’s grown into himself and his mark of 72 is workable. He’s been gelded and that should help him as he was a bit of a playboy – he’s behaving well now.
3 b g Elusive Quality – Nunavik
He showed promise in three runs last year, has been gelded and is likely to improve again this season, probably at 1m2f or 1m4f. He starts off rated 66, which is another workable mark.
3 br c Outstrip – Cosmea
He’s a big, strong colt who was placed on all his three runs at Kempton last year, bumping into a few Godolphin horses. He’s strengthened up and should continue to progress as he gets older. He starts on a mark of 78, has plenty of ability and should be just as effective on other tracks.
3 b c Midnight Legend – Giving
He won a 1m2f maden at Bath on the second of his two runs last year, despite the unsuitably soft ground. He’s done well through the winter and should progress, though he’ll have to run in a novice event before he gets a mark. I’d have thought he’s sure to get 1m4f and possibly 1m6f.
3 ch g Intello – Shake The Moon
He won at Nottingham last year and is a grand little horse. He’s not grown much but he’s working well. He wants cut in the ground and is another who needs another run in a novice race to qualify for a mark.
3 ch c Sea The Moon – Selenography
He’s an exciting prospect, and, though he won’t be easy to place off a mark of 95, I hope he’s decent. He won the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Stakes at Newbury and seemed not to get home in the Zetland at Newmarket (1m2f), though he may have been past his best. We’ll probably start him off over 1m but he should get further in time.
We’re obviously down on two-year-olds because we usually buy quite a few at the breeze-ups – I’ve only got five at the moment, whereas I’d usually have a dozen or so. But that’s not to say we won’t get more later on.
It’s early days for those we do have and we’re just educating them at the moment but I like a Dansili colt called No Recollection and a Camacho called Painless Potter. There’s also a pretty sharp unnamed Mukhadram filly who’s going well already.