Tritonic so brave in defeat at Newmarket
It might seem early to think about Royal Ascot handicaps, but the Duke of Edinburgh (formerly the Bessborough) has proved a lucky race for Alan, who won it with Scarlet Dragon in 2020 and 12 months ago saddled a 25-1 runner-up in Raymond Tusk.
And Barbury may well have found another likely lad for what is one of the most competitive races at the Royal meeting in Tritonic, who went under bravely at Newmarket on Saturday but ultimately finished second to an in-form horse in Contact, to whom he was conceding 12lb.
Tritonic finished only eighth in the Ascot race last year, but the testing ground was all against him. He has shown his liking for the course over hurdles, winning twice there, while he was also a half-length second in the Golden Gates Handicap at the 2020 Royal meeting.
So, granted a decent surface this time around, Tritonic might well give Max McNeill and his family further cause for celebration come mid-June.
Sea Sylph, one of our new recruits, looked another promising young stayer when chasing home the useful Reverend Hubert at Doncaster on Saturday, so as we bid farewell to what was a successful April, there is every reason to be positive about the Flat meetings coming up.
Fingers crossed Super Lover, who has had a break since shaping well at Chelmsford in November, might get our squad of summer horses with an early May winner at Windsor on Monday evening, but we still have a few jumpers on the go, and Finest View, who relaxed so much better and was suited by the better ground when winning at Ludlow, should get similar underfoot conditions earlier when seeking a follow up at Kempton.
Fast Forward is also in action at Windsor, while Dino Velvet, one of the most popular horses in the yard, never lets us down, and having finished second at Ayr’s Scottish Grand National meeting, he rolls the dice again at Warwick.