Fran Berry: Ama believer!
The last week has yielded two Listed winners for Fran Berry who reflects on their successes and looks ahead to the weekend in his latest exclusive column.
Amabilis (pink cap) could be handily treated in the nursery
I mentioned last week that Alyssa was in good form going into the Noel Murless Stakes but that we needed to try and keep her calmer in the preliminaries than she was at Doncaster.
She did get a little worked up but was much better and showed great heart to win. She was in front a long way out and may even have been headed a furlong from home but got back up to win by a nose.
Hopefully, she'll stay in training next year as I think there should be more to look forward to with her but there are also options for France still to come as their turf season keeps going into November.
She was the first of two Listed winners since last week's column with She Is No Lady winning by a head at Saint-Cloud on Wednesday. We were a little bit worried when we arrived in France as the forecast rain hadn't arrived and the ground was definitely on the 'good' side but she also showed a lot of heart to win.
Those weren't her conditions so for her to win on ground that was probably too quick over a trip that was on the short side was really encouraging and I'd like to think that she could be competitive in Group company back over two miles with a bit of give.
She has an entry for Champions Day but she had quite a hard race so we'll see how she comes out of it and she could return to France later in the season. She was my only ride of the day so it's nice to make it count and nice when you do get the nod in a tight finish, especially when you're winning a pattern race for owner breeders like the Newells as it means so much to them – you do get a lot of satisfaction from it.
Things didn't go quite so well on my previous visit to France for the ride on Take Cover in the Abbaye. He's got a long history of playing up in the stalls and usually goes in last here and he also went in last when I rode him in Ireland.
That wasn't the case at Chantilly and he was in the stalls for far too long. He charged the gates twice and the second time he did it, he went down underneath them which meant that I couldn't get the hood off when they opened. It was very unfortunate and hugely frustrating for trainer David Griffiths and his connections who had him in fantastic shape for the race. He looked ready to run up to his best but through no fault of his own, he wasn't given the chance.
"Her earlier form is good as she was second to Marcel Boussac third Dabyah and Rhododendron on her first two starts before finishing third in a Listed race at Newbury and I think she's on a very fair mark."
Fran on Amabilis
The Arc itself saw an unbelievable training performance from Aidan O'Brien; to get all of his horses to peak for a race like that after a busy season is remarkable. There was a good rush on early and that maybe helped his three as they all stay well. Ryan (Moore) gave Found a good ride in switching her off and saving ground on the inside and maybe that made the difference but Seamie's (Heffernan) horse, Highland Reel, ran a blinder too and is a little underrated for what he's done.
There was a French connection to my maiden winner at Brighton on Tuesday as Camerone is a close relation of the 2013 French Guineas winner, Flotilla. We were running out of options for suitable maidens at this stage of the season and the race looked competitive and above average for the track.
Camerone had made a lovely debut at Sandown behind the Frankel colt Atty Persse and she had come on well at home since then. She was green early and and it took a long time for the penny to drop but she showed a lot of determination to win on a course that probably didn't really suit her and she's a nice prospect for next season when she matures.
I've just the one ride at Newmarket on Friday aboard Pure Art in the Dubai Business Internships Pride Stakes.
I haven't seen a video of her last run in Toulouse but from what I hear things didn't go to plan; she was slowly away and ended up out the back and never got into the race. It's probably worth putting a line through that and looking at what she'd done before. Her form is solid and she ran really well at Sandown last time. It was only a handicap but it was a competitive race and she's been in good form at home since. She's got a bit to find in this race but 10 furlongs on good-to-firm ground at Newmarket should be perfect for her so I'm hopeful she'll step up.
Dynamic Girl is rated 72 and has a lot to find in the visionsport.com EBF Stallions Boadicea Fillies' Stakes on Saturday but I'm hoping that there's plenty of upside to Amabilis' mark of 85, especially in a fillies' nursery.
She worked hard to get up on the line at Beverley and dead-heat the last day, showing a good, determined attitude and I think it should have done her confidence some good. Her earlier form is strong as she was second to Marcel Boussac third Dabyah and Rhododendron on her first two starts before finishing third in a Listed race at Newbury and I think she's on a very fair mark.
Because of my injury I hadn't sat on Pleaseletmewin for ages and I was delighted when I worked him on the grass last week. He went very well but the real plus is that he's really developed physically and is so much stronger since I last rode him. He's only rated 4lbs below Lockheed and 1lb below Rodaini in the Autumn Stakes so he should be in the mix with the track and the ground fine.
He's a straightforward horse who's done nothing but improve through the season, losing his maiden at Wolverhampton, winning a competitive nursery at the July Course and running really well to be fourth in the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. I think he'll have learned plenty from that run and the step up to a mile will suit.
I'm delighted to have picked up the ride of Angel Gabrial for Richard Fahey in the Cesarewitch, especially as it came late in the week. I was originally down to ride Magic Circle for Ralph (Beckett) and this race had been his long-term aim but the unseasonal weather means the ground is too quick for him so he isn't running. I might also have ridden Pyromaniac for Tony Martin but he doesn't travel over from Ireland as conditions are too fast for him too.
So, it's a nice spare to pick up and we've got a good draw in 11; Quick Jack was beaten from a high draw last year and it seems to count for a lot in this race. He's a big price but he has come down the weights a little and was second in the Rose Bowl here last year and ran well to be third to be third to Moonrise Landing and Quest For More at York in May. If he's on a going day and can reproduce either of those runs, then he'd have a live each-way chance.
It is a very, very open race and I'd probably look for a little each-way value against the favourites. You'd have to consider Tony Martin's two horses but, although he isn't straightforward, Renneti showed last year when he was fourth that he has the ability to win a race like this if he puts it all in.
Before that it's the Dewhurst Stakes where Churchill is the one to beat; he's an exceptional colt and that's reflected in the prices. You have to respect Seven Heavens who beat Lockheed on debut and is stepping straight up to Group One company from minor races and Blue Point is turned out quickly after the trip seemed to find him out in the Middle Park.
It will be interesting to see if any of them can give Churchill a run as he's looked an outstanding two-year-old and he isn't even bred to be a juvenile, he's bred to get better with age.