Tag Archive for: Flaming Rib

Conditions key to Brad The Brief target

The weather will dictate where Hugo Palmer heads next with his Group Two Greenlands Stakes winner Brad The Brief.

The five-year-old began his season, and his career under the care of Palmer, with a three-and-a-quarter-length victory in a Haydock conditions event, defeating Group One-winner Glen Shiel in the process.

Both horses lined up at the Curragh on Saturday, with Brad The Brief prevailing once again as he saw off Jack Davison’s Mooneista to take the race by half a length.

“He’s come out of his race in Ireland really well,” Palmer said.

“He looks tremendous this morning and the handicapper has put him up 8lb to 117, so he’s getting on for being one of the best sprinters in Europe I suppose, which is really exciting.”

Brad The Brief ridden by William Buick (right) at the Curragh
Brad The Brief ridden by William Buick (right) at the Curragh (Brian Lawless/PA)

The previous Haydock contest was run on soft ground and the Curragh going was good to yielding, conditions that are essential to Palmer’s horse and will inform where he heads next.

Royal Ascot’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes may come into the picture if the weather is favourable, but also under consideration are the six-and-a-half-furlong Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville and the seven-furlong Lennox Stakes at Goodwood.

“I don’t think he needs a bog but he definitely doesn’t want fast ground, it was just nice good to soft ground in Ireland,” Palmer said.

“He doesn’t have any particular targets because he’s so weather dependent, but if it was soft ground in a few weeks time, we could look at supplementing him for the Platinum Jubilee.

“I’m not sure we’d want to be taking on the Australians unless the ground were to level the playing field somewhat, because Home Affairs looks a pretty awesome animal.

“In my mind, the most likely target for him would be the Prix Maurice de Gheest – six and a half furlongs wouldn’t be a problem and William (Buick) got off him and said ‘this horse will get seven’.

“He’ll probably also get an entry in the Lennox, being such a valuable race, but because we know we want cut in the ground, we’ll try not to over-race him because the Champions Sprint at Ascot at the end of the season looks like a very obvious target for him.

“He’s a lovely, lovely horse. As a five-year-old, and you see this quite often with sprinters, they get better with age and he seems to be doing that.”

On the same day as Brad The Brief’s Greenlands victory, Flaming Rib came close to providing Palmer with another Group winner as he was beaten just a neck by El Caballo in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.

The Ribchester colt was previously a winner at Chester when beating King’s Lynn in a conditions race, with the latter horse also in the money at Haydock on Saturday as he landed the five-furlong Temple Stakes.

Flaming Rib (right) finishing second in the Cazoo Sandy Lane Stakes
Flaming Rib (right) finishing second in the Cazoo Sandy Lane Stakes (Richard Sellers/PA)

Flaming Rib has been quite leniently treated by the handicapper following both successes and will go into his next assignment rated only 3lb higher than the mark on which he started the season.

“I’m quite surprised that the handicapper only put him up 1lb for winning the conditions race at Chester when he gave a Listed penalty to an older horse (King’s Lynn) and that older horse has now gone and won the Temple,” Palmer said.

“He’s only put us up another 2lb, so I think the handicapper must be looking at this and not quite believing what he’s doing, which never seems to happen when you have a handicapper!”

A re-match with El Caballo in the Commonwealth Cup now looks likely as Palmer feels his charge would have benefitted from locking horns with the Sandy Lane winner at an earlier juncture in the Haydock race.

He said: “He’s a very tough, very durable and likeable horse. We felt on Saturday that if he’d been drawn a bit nearer to the winner, we’d have been able to battle with him earlier and maybe he could have reversed that result.

“The winner was very good and very tough, but he (Flaming Rib) got racing an awfully long way out when he was taking on Edward Cornelius. He got into that battle and won and then he had to go to war again when the winner came through.

“We’re certainly very happy to take on the winner again, but the fact that our horse can still be backed at 25-1 for the Commonwealth Cup gives you an indication as to what a step up that will be, but it’s the direction we’re heading in.”

Flaming Rib has proven versatile with regards to ground conditions and is likely to line up on anything other than firm ground, with a summer deluge over Ascot not unwelcome as it could hinder his rivals chances but will not harm his own.

“He wouldn’t want firm ground, if it was good, good to firm in places I think we’d be happy with that but he handles soft ground, so if everyone’s hats get ruined, it would be to our advantage,” said Palmer.

Flaming Rib too hot for Chester rivals

Flaming Rib added to Hugo Palmer’s already “well-stocked” three-year-old sprinting team with a smooth display in the Boodles Secret Garden Conditions Stakes at Chester.

Palmer can call on Ebro River and Hierarchy, who both showed top-class form at two, Wednesday’s easy winner Ever Given and now Flaming Rib – and at this stage all seem to be six-furlong horses.

Having failed to see out seven furlongs in the Greenham, the 6-4 chance took over at the head of affair early in the straight and comfortably held off the favourite King’s Lynn by a length and a half.

“He’s done it really well. Michael (Owen) had a fantasy that he might be a Guineas horse which is why we took him to the Greenham first time out. On pedigree there was a chance he’d get a mile,” said Palmer.

“However, despite the best efforts of the team to get him settled at home as soon as he left the stalls at Newbury he told us he was a sprinter!

“He actually ran well in the Greenham, despite not beating a horse, and he’s come back and done that today.

“We’re well-stocked in this department and we’ll try to keep them apart until it’s a Group One.

“He’s actually in a Group Three over France, but Ebro River might go there so we’ve some thinking to do. We’ve got Hierarchy and Ever Given to fit in, too.”

Baryshnikov (right) strikes under Connor Beasley
Baryshnikov (right) strikes under Connor Beasley (Tim Goode/PA)

Followers of the form book were rewarded when Baryshnikov followed up a recent Pontefract win in the Deepbridge Handicap.

David and Nicola Barron’s six-year-old had beaten Amy Murphy’s Pride Of America with something to spare and when that one came out and bolted up on Thursday, Baryshnikov’s chance was there for all to see.

Sent off the 5-2 second-favourite behind Mujtaba, the two market leaders went for the same gap in the home straight. Jim Crowley held his line on the market leader, forcing Connor Beasley to look inside and it could not have worked out better.

He got a dream split on the rail and while Cap Francais, a winner at Newmarket just last week, closed to within a length, the result was never in doubt.

“When we saw Amy’s win yesterday we were delighted as this fellow did it nicely at Pontefract,” said Beasley.

“That boosted the form and he loves it around here. He got into a nice rhythm, but you need all the luck in the world on a horse like him to get the splits. Luckily they came at the right time.

“He’s a dude of a horse, he seems to be improving at the minute and hopefully he’s on an upward curve.

“It’s great to deliver winners like this for the team, it’s the same as it always has been but Nicola’s name is in the racecard now.”

Red Mirage (noseband) comes out on top in a tight finish to the opener
Red Mirage (noseband) comes out on top in a tight finish to the opener (Tim Goode/PA)

Andrew Balding is usually a man to follow at this meeting but he had been quiet this week by his lofty standards until Red Mirage (6-1) won the ICM Stellar Sports Earl Grosvenor Handicap.

Formerly with Mark Johnston, he won on his first start for his new yard three weeks ago and followed up from just 1lb higher under David Probert, albeit Boosala closed to within a nose.

“Andrew was pretty confident but my owner was a little bit worried about the ground thinking it might be too soft,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail.

“He seems in good form now, though, and David gave him a lovely ride, he rides him well.

“I’d imagine we’ll just have a chat once we know he’s OK after this, but going into the race Andrew was very happy and I got the impression he would run well.”

Flaming Rib too hot for Doncaster opposition

Flaming Rib took his winning run to four when successfully stepping up to Listed company in the Virgin Bet Doncaster Stakes on Town Moor.

The Tom Dascombe-trained two-year-old showed a likeable attitude with a determined all-the-way performance to take his tally for the year to five.

Flaming Rib (13-8) was hard-pressed by market rival, Deodar, the 6-4 favourite, in the closing stages but would not give way and landed the spoils by a length in the hands of Pierre-Louis Jamin.

Dascombe’s assistant, Colin Gorman, said: “He’s been great, he’s won four on the bounce now. He’s been straight forward and he has improved as the year has gone on. It’s been tough for two-year-olds. He’s rated 108 now and it takes a fair bit to get a two-year-old to that rating. He’s very tough.

“As Pierre-Louis said after the Chester run, he manages to pick up twice in a race and in my book and Tom’s, the horses that do that are good horses.

“He puts his head down and battles it out as well. He will get seven furlongs, but do we need to? I don’t know, he does it well as it is.

“I’d say that will be it for the year. He could be a Commonweaalth Cup horse.”

Trainer David Barron and jockey Connor Beasley enjoyed a double with Mossbawn and Another Batt.

Mossbawn initiated the brace when striding away from his rivals in the final furlong to take the first division of the virginbet.com Handicap in smooth style.

Connor Beasley had the David Barron-trained gelding on the heels of the leaders before giving him the office and the 4-1 co-favourite went on score by two and a half lengths from Deputy.

Mossbawn (right) sparks a double for jockey Connor Beasley and trainer David Barron at Doncaster
Mossbawn (right) sparks a double for jockey Connor Beasley and trainer David Barron at Doncaster (Tim Goode/PA)

“He just got a little bit warm the last couple of runs but today he was nice and relaxed. It worked out well because he had something to aim at,” said Beasley.

“He didn’t see it out the last day, but he’s seen it out really strongly and has progressed as the year has gone on.”

All the better for a recent run at York following a 70-day break, Another Batt bounced back to form in the Scott Dobson Memorial Handicap.

The 9-2 joint-favourite got the better of long-time leader Mo’Assess a furlong out and pulled away to score by a length and a quarter from Orbaan.

Beasley said: “He ran a good race at York the last day, he was just drawn a little bit wide. I spoke to the boss this morning and he filled me with confidence. He said he was in bouncing form at home and he relishes these conditions.

“He travelled into it very well. He had the right ones to aim at and when I asked him a furlong and a half down, he really stuck to his task and went about his job really well.”

Copper Knight (22-1) and Boundless Power (4-1 favourite) treated racegoers to a dead-heat in the Virgin Bet Handicap.

Boundless Power, ridden by Rossa Ryan, led in the final furlong but David Allan got a fine run out of Copper Knight and their pair could not be separated.

Tim Easterby, trainer of Copper Knight, said: “He’s run a super race. Hard ground, soft ground, it doesn’t matter.

“He’s a superstar. Every race he’s there. That’s it for the year.”

Boundless Power’s trainer Mick Appleby said: “He’s a very good horse and I think he’s going to be a top sprinter.

“He travels into it so well, but you have to produce him as late as possible. I’m not sure if he’ll run again this year.”

Ryan Moore, triumphant on Luxembourg in the Vertem Futurity Trophy, was also in double-winning form having struck earlier with Aaddeey (2-1 favourite) in the Vertem Very Different Stockbrokers Handicap.