THE BHA HANDICAPPERS
Weblog: View from the team behind the official ratings
Borderlescott returned a figure of 110 for beating Masamah by a lengthPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Borderlescott takes centre stage at Beverley
Surely the most popular victory of the weekend came in the feature race at Beverley on Saturday when Borderlescott won the 5f Listed Bullet Sprint Stakes, writes Chris Nash.
This 10-year-old has an impressive CV headed by back-to-back wins in the Group 1 Nunthorpe in 2008 and 2009 and after the second of those his official rating peaked at 118.
His last win was in the Group 2 King George Stakes at the Glorious Goodwood meeting of 2010 after which he was rated 111.
His 2012 form was at a slightly lower level prior to Beverley, although he had run well in the Stewards' Cup last time out and he lined up on Saturday with a rating of 102.
The race featured a field of 14 and they raced across the Beverley track. Borderlescott was drawn one and raced nearest the far rail, second placed Masamah came out of stall seven and raced towards the stands' rail while Confessional (third) and Pabusar (fourth) challenged up the middle.
It would be very hard to argue any draw or track bias. The form would appear to make reasonable sense with the placed horses arriving in decent order with all having run very close to their official ratings in one of their two most recent starts.
The reliable Masamah ran to 107 when eighth in the Nunthorpe last time out and I have rated the race around him repeating that effort. That has Borderlescott returning a figure of 110 for beating Masamah by a length at level weights and the third and fourth (½ length behind Masamah and separated by a head) running to 106 which is what both were rated pre-race.
Connections indicated that Borderlescott may well take his chance in the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye over 5f at the Arc meeting. He was third in that race in 2008.
The rise in his official rating to 110 should guarantee him a run in that event. Last year's Beverley Bullet was won by Tangerine Trees who went on to win at Longchamp - could lightning strike twice?
THE TWO-YEAR-OLD FORM IS TAKING SHAPE
At the moment the top two-year-old colts in Europe seem to be Reckless Abandon, who I have penciled in at 116, and Dawn Approach, whose Coventry win looks to be just a smidgeon behind that. Consequently, the title of Champion two-year-old is very much still up for grabs, writes Matthew Tester.
I rather expect Reckless Abandon to fight his corner in the Middle Park and Dawn Approach to go for the Dewhurst. Both races are on Newmarket's Future Champions Day on October 13 and it is definitely a date for your diary.
Dawn Approach has been lined up for a couple of races recently that he has ducked when the ground turned soft. Reckless Abandon is unbeaten in four starts and has already won the Group 1 Prix Morny, as well as the Robert Papin and the Norfolk, making him a credit to his excellent trainer Clive Cox.
The big two-year-old race this weekend saw a strong renewal of the Solario Stakes at Sandown. Fantastic Moon earned a 109 in winning a three-way photo but there looks to be much more to come.
Both second and third had won Listed races and been Group-placed before. The unbeaten winner was ridden with real confidence by William Buick for Jeremy Noseda. He came from last place to get up on the line. I expect the horse to carry on progressing and to play his part in the big races this autumn.
One other for your notebook is Mick Channon's Orpha, who is expected to run in Ireland's Group 1 Moyglare Stakes this weekend.
Her only outing so far was when winning her maiden at Ffos Las in taking style. But the yard is certain that she is superior to stable-mate Ollie Olga who is already rated 105 for winning Goodwood's Prestige Stakes.
The Moyglare is a race that Mick has won before with Mail The Desert, so Orpha is well worth watching.
AND ONE MORE JUVENILE TO REMEMBER IN A DIFFERENT SPHERE
The juvenile hurdlers have made their usual low key start to the season but the Gary Brown trained Hilali, owned by JP McManus, gave AP McCoy an armchair ride at Stratford on Thursday and, in the process, went comfortably to the top of my embryo figures, writes David Dickinson.
This performance does seem to be one you can put some faith in, his time was slightly faster than a 24 length handicap winner later on the card and he carried more weight.
That winner, Louis Ludwig, is going to a new rating of 108 so, the clock suggests Hilali has run to around 130. I thought AP could have won by another five lengths had he so wished and have given him a provisional figure of 133, my first juvenile into the 130s this season.
Contrast the time of the Stratford juvenile race with the one won by Red Tyke at Market Rasen two days later. The time of that race is five seconds slower than a very modest novice hurdle on the same card and 12 seconds slower than Claude Carter's handicap win. Using a similar time comparison, Red Tyke would be a few stone behind Hilali.
So is Red Tyke a hopeless case? Absolutely not, this 55 rated flat horse won this particular juvenile race for a second successive year for the John Quinn yard and last year's winner, Royal Bonsai, became a Listed hurdle winner as a juvenile and has already scored well in handicap hurdle company this term.
Add to this the fact that Royal Bonsai was on his second hurdle start when winning the corresponding race and the fact that at the time, he himself was only rated 58 on the level.
It is early in the season for such a performance but last year there was a similar highly rated performance over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
It came at Cartmel and the horse involved was none other than the subsequent Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame. Granted that horse improved very markedly in the spring but at similar stages of their careers I have Hilali the higher.
This blog appears courtesy of the British Horseracing Authority