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Oscula headlines Boughey’s squad seeking Newmarket honours

Oscula will spearhead George Boughey’s strong team of fillies’ heading to Newmarket this week.

The Group Three winner will run in the Rockfel Stakes on Friday along with stablemate Cachet, while Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel will try to bounce back from a disappointing run in France last time out in the Princess Royal Stakes.

Boughey will also have two runners in the Group One Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes in the supplemented Corazon, third in the Flying Childers last time out, and Thunder Love, who was fifth in the same race.

“She was running on close home and she got a little bit lonely on the far side, she didn’t have much company from about the three pole,” said Boughey of Corazon.

“Will (Buick) brought her over to try to get her some company and she just failed, so I thought she ran a blinder. I think she’ll run a big race, I think she deserves a crack.

“Thunder Love will run as well, she was a little unlucky in the Flying Childers.

“She met a little bit of trouble and got stopped in her run. Rossa (Ryan) was gutted when he got back in as he said she would have run a really big race.

“We’ll have two runners and they are both in good shape and ready to step up to six furlongs.”

Oscula was a very impressive winner at Epsom in June
Oscula was a very impressive winner at Epsom in June (John Walton/PA)

Oscula won the Woodcote at the Derby meeting, finished third in the Albany and won the Prix Six Perfections at Deauville and while Cachet’s form appears to have levelled out, Boughey expects her to bounce back.

“Cachet and Oscula both worked nicely this morning so will both run in the Rockfel,” said Boughey.

“Cachet was unlucky in France, she was slow out of the gate, which she has been the last twice, she jumps out fine at home so hopefully we’ll tidy that up before this.

“I think you’ll see a different Cachet, it wasn’t run to suit her in France but she looks great now.

“Oscula just got caught late on last time, but she got bumped into by the Crisford horse (Fast Attack) and that lit her up and she ran keen, which she’s never done before.

“I think she’ll run a massive race. I think she’s up to this level. She’s got to handle Newmarket, she wouldn’t have done a huge amount of work on the track, unlike most of mine, so that’s a little bit new to her. Her style of racing should suit it.”

Mystery Angel has winning form at Newmarket
Mystery Angel has winning form at Newmarket (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mystery Angel has failed to reproduce her huge run in the Oaks behind Snowfall, but Boughey is hoping a quicker surface may help.

He said: “I think the last race came a bit too quick for her and I’ve always thought better ground will suit her better, and I imagine it will be better by the weekend.

“Her best performances seem to come on that track and she’ll be sold in the mares’ sale at the end of the year, so hopefully we’ll get to see her run a couple more times before then.”

Corazon delight for George Boughey in France

Corazon made light of a steep rise in class as she doubled George Boughey’s Group Three tally in the Prix d’Arenberg at ParisLongchamp.

Boughey, a rising star of the training ranks who is enjoying a breakthrough season, set Corazon a tough assignment on just her third career start and turf debut following her maiden win at Lingfield last month.

It proved a wise as well as bold move, though, as Mickael Barzalona had the 8-1 shot prominent throughout on the way to victory by a neck from Dizzy Bizu – with the latter’s fellow joint-favourite Illustrating, another British challenger trained by Karl Burke, the same distance back in third.

Boughey was full of praise for both his winning horse and jockey.

The Newmarket trainer said: “I was pretty keen to say to Mickael before – ‘I know she was ridden for a turn of foot the last time, but that was probably because she was still a bit green, so let’s make plenty of use of her, get her out and get her going’.

“He’s given her a peach of a ride – he’s world-class, isn’t he?

“We’ve been pretty keen to make sure we have the right people on when we travel over there – Ryan Moore gave Oscula a peach for (syndicate owner) Nick (Bradley) as well, and Mickael has done us another favour.”

Oscula, also a juvenile filly, was the yard’s first Group Three winner – in last month’s Prix Six Perfections at Deauville – in the same increasingly familiar black-and-white colours of Nick Bradley Racing.

“It’s great to have another stakes winner for Nick,” Boughey added.

“He’s the biggest supporter of my yard, so we’re very happy.

“It’s going well, and long may it continue.

“They’re pretty cheap horses – I think she cost £11,000, and Oscula cost 4,000 (guineas).

“They’re flying the flag for us – it’s good fun, and we’re enjoying it.”

Boughey was confident beforehand that Corazon was capable of competing at this much higher level, despite her inexperience.

“Her work has always been pretty good,” he said.

“She’s come a long, long way in a very short space of time – (but) for me it looked a good opportunity.

“Obviously there was Karl Burke’s horse with pretty decent form, and there was the French horse Dizzy Bizu rated 100.

“(But) she’d always worked like a filly that should be running in stakes races – so yes, it might have come one step too soon, but she was equal to it.

“She’s always shown plenty of pace at home, and I would imagine she will get six furlongs.”

He has no definite plan in place yet for where Corazon may head next – sensing she may be due a break but tempted too by the possibility of next week’s Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting, or another trip back to France at some point.

“We’ll just get her home and see how she is,” he said.

“She deserves probably a short break in training, and there are lots of races she can go for towards the end of the season.

“She’ll have a Group Three penalty, so I imagine she’ll go for something a bit hotter.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise to see her get an entry in the Flying Childers – I know that’s a quick back-up, but it is a Group Two.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise to see her get her passport out again (either) – we’ve been doing well out there.

“But we’ll get her home and see – I haven’t really got a concrete plan for her.”

Boughey breaks new ground with Oscula

George Boughey enjoyed a first Group-race victory as Oscula ran out a decisive winner of the Sky Sports Racing Prix Six Perfections at Deauville.

Ridden by Ryan Moore, the filly went into the race having run respectably in both the Albany and Duchess of Cambridge Stakes.

A Group win had not yet been achieved, but a trip to France proved worthwhile as the Nick Bradley Racing-owned bay was an impressive all-the-way winner when crossing the line a length and half ahead of her nearest rival.

“She was very good, she toughed it out and I think she appreciated running on soft ground again,” Boughey said of the 43-5 chance.

“It was very quick when she ran at Newmarket the other day, Ryan gave her a peach of a ride.

“She’s quite a progressive filly and it was nice to see her stay the seven furlongs.

“She’s always shown that she could do it and it’s nice to see her putting it into action and going and winning a Group race, she should be a lot of fun for the owners going forward.

“I imagine she could get a mile and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her go back out there for the Prix Marcel Boussac at the end of the year on Arc day.”

He added: “It’s a lot of hard work that goes into it by everyone at home, we’ve got some two-year-olds and some nice back-end horse who’ll make nice three-year-olds as well.

“Huge credit to everyone at everyone at home, sadly we couldn’t be there today but hopefully we will be next time.”

The Group Three Darley Prix de Cabourg went the way of Florian Guyader’s Have A Good Day (189-10), who ran prominently throughout but only took up the lead late on in a tightly-bunched finish.

The Group Three Prix de Psyche Sky Sports Racing was then claimed by 9-5 favourite Penja, who prevailed in a photo from for Cristian Demuro and Jean-Claude Rouget.

Jessica Harrington’s The Blue Brilliant finished as the runner-up, missing out by just a nose under Shane Foley, with Boughey’s Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel another three-quarters of a length back in third.

The concluding race on the card, the Listed Prix du Carrousel, was then won by Brokeback Mountain (7-1) for Gregory Benoist and Yann Barberot.

Big day in store for Boughey in France

George Boughey is confident of prominent performances from both Oscula and Hellomydarlin in Deauville’s Prix Six Perfections – but cannot predict which of his two fillies will come out on top.

Boughey’s juveniles are owned by a division of Nick Bradley Racing – as is Mystery Angel, also part of the yard’s Tuesday team in France in a second Group Three on a classy card, the Prix de Psyche.

The Newmarket trainer expects all of them to cope in varying degrees with the forecast good to soft conditions, having proved adaptable on that score to date.

Oscula was significantly Hellomydarlin’s superior when they were respectively third and 12th in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But there is only 2lb between them on official ratings, and Boughey corroborates that they have been each other’s equal on his gallops as they prepare to take on a field containing one other British challenger – Simon and Ed Crisford’s Daneh – and a home contingent headed by Andre Fabre’s unbeaten course-and-distance winner Zellie.

Oscula, winner of the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom in June, has followed her Royal Ascot effort with a very respectable fourth in the Group Two Duchess of Cambridge Stakes.

Boughey said: “The ground was too quick for her at Newmarket last time. It looks like there’s a bit of ease out there this time, which should suit her.

“She was third in the Albany on heavy, and then it was very soft ground on Oaks day when she won the Woodcote.

“She’s rated 100, goes there in good shape, so I think she has a good chance.”

Both fillies move up slightly in trip, having raced exclusively over six furlongs so far.

Boughey added: “Hellomydarlin steps up to seven, after her third in the Prix Robert Papin.

“Jockey reports and everything I’ve seen have always suggested she’d get seven.

“She’s a big, strong filly and goes there with a decent chance as well.

“The form of Hellomydarlin’s maiden actually got a massive boost the other day, with Ismael Mohammed’s (Zain Claudette) winning a Group Three.

“It didn’t work out for her at Ascot. We wanted her to come stands side, and she never got over to get in the race, and the ground was way too soft for her.

“I think you can put a complete line through that.”

She has twice run with credit since, notably in the Group Two Robert Papin at Chantilly last time.

“Her form at Pontefract was pretty good, and then she backed it up when she went to France the other day,” said Boughey.

“So personally, I couldn’t split them. They worked together the other day, and they worked as well as each other.

“Obviously one will beat the other – but where they finish, I’m not sure.”

Joint-trainer Ed Crisford admits Daneh – a beautifully-bred daughter of dual Group One-winning mare Rizeena – faces a testing assignment after just her impressive all-weather debut success over this trip in June.

He said: “She won very well at Kempton, and we thought she deserved a chance in a stakes race.

“She’s obviously very well-bred as well, a homebred of Sheikh Rashid’s (Dalmook Al Maktoum).

“We were going to run her in a Listed race at Sandown the other day. But it was very firm ground, and she wouldn’t want that.

“So the ground looks suitable. It still looks a very punchy affair out there – but she’s in good form, and I think she’s come on again from her first run, so we’re expecting a good run from her.

“I think she deserves to be going in a stakes race, so we’ll see how she gets on and where we stand.”

Boughey, meanwhile, hopes his highly-consistent Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel can gain deserved Group Three success later on the card.

“She’s flown the flag this year for us,” he said.

Mystery Angel has been a star for her connections this season
Mystery Angel has been a star for her connections this season (Mike Egerton/PA)

“She won the Pretty Polly well (at Newmarket in May) on decent ground. She’s not actually run again on it, and she’d never run before on it, and I’ve always been of the view that she will be better on better ground.

“If it was only good to soft, that would be fine.

“It seems everywhere she goes the rain follows her. She’s in very good form – she’s been busy, but she takes her racing incredibly well.”

Mystery Angel drops to 10 furlongs, having sat out a possible Group Two alternative up at one mile six on Saturday at Goodwood.

“She’s not bred to get a mile and a quarter, a mile and a half – but I think because she’s so relaxed she’s able to,” said Boughey.

“She was in the Lillie Langtry, but I didn’t see any reason to take on David Menuisier’s horse (Wonderful Tonight) on soft ground.

“I think she’s pretty versatile trip-wise. We’ll probably look to make plenty of use of her and get on the front. James Doyle will know that she stays a mile and a half well, and (can) be pretty positive on her.

“It felt like she deserved a Listed win, and she got that, so if we can go one step better that’d be great.”

Among her seven opponents are Irish challenger The Blue Brilliant, who moves up in class in search of her hat-trick for Jessica Harrington.

Mystery Angel ‘likely’ to take up Lancashire Oaks date

Cazoo Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel could bid to go one better in the bet365 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock on Saturday.

George Boughey’s three-year-old was a widely unconsidered 50-1 shot for the fillies’ Classic at Epsom earlier in the month, but gave members of the Nick Bradley Racing syndicate that own her a thrill in beating all bar Aidan O’Brien’s runaway winner Snowfall.

Mystery Angel is reported to have taken those exertions well and is set to return to action for this weekend’s Group Two feature on Merseyside.

“She’s a likely runner at Haydock on Saturday,” said Bradley.

“She’s in serious form at home – George couldn’t be happier with her. I think if you were to put a gun to his head, he’d say she’s better now than she was before Epsom.

“The Oaks form looks strong. The horse that was 13th (Zeyaadah) won that Group Three the other day and Aidan O’Brien’s filly (Santa Barbara, fifth at Epsom) was just touched off in that Group One in Ireland on Sunday.”

Ben Curtis has been on board Mystery Angel on her last three starts, but could miss out on Saturday after dislocating his shoulder when riding at Newcastle on Friday.

Alpinista could take on Mystery Angel
Alpinista could take on Mystery Angel (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Bradley added: “I don’t know if Ben will be able to ride or not. I think he’s seeing a specialist this week. If Ben doesn’t ride, I suspect Mark Crehan might take the ride.”

Mystery Angel is one of 11 entries for the Lancashire Oaks, with the standard set by Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista.

The daughter of Frankel is rated 113 after chasing home the brilliant Love in the Yorkshire Oaks last summer and could make her first appearance since winning a Listed prize at Goodwood in April, having missed two engagements since.

Henry Candy’s La Lune could bid to follow up her course-and-distance victory in the Pinnacle Stakes, while the Joseph O’Brien-trained Traisha is a potential challenger from Ireland.

Cachet set to spearhead strong Boughey team at Ascot

George Boughey may only be in his second season training, but he is heading to Royal Ascot next week with an enviable team.

Boughey has excelled with his juveniles this season and has leading chances in most of the races confined to two-year-olds – but he is far from a one-trick pony.

Oscula, Beautiful Sunshine and Navello will be well fancied for the Albany, Queen Mary and Norfolk respectively, but smart stayer Lostwithiel and recent Doncaster winner Air To Air will keep him interested in the handicaps.

It is the Albany, over six furlongs for fillies, in which he holds his strongest hand, though, with five-and-a-half-length Newmarket victor Cachet likely to join recent Epsom winner Oscula.

“Cachet will head to the Albany. Her work was very good before her debut and so her winning wasn’t a massive surprise. I think I’d have been lying if we thought she’d win in the fashion she did, however!” said Boughey.

“She looks like a miler and I think that will probably be where her future lies, at least in her three-year-old career.

“Nicola Currie will keep the ride on her. Nicola has done a lot of work with her and is an ever-increasing member of the team.

“Oscula won the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom last Friday. She will likely head to the Albany as well. She has been a very straightforward filly to train. She is by Galileo Gold who has made a great start as a stallion.

“I’ve never worked her with Cachet, but they are pretty similar fillies.”

Beautiful Sunshine was impressive at Sandown
Beautiful Sunshine was impressive at Sandown (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Boughey also has two live chances in the Queen Mary with the unbeaten Thunder Love as well as Beautiful Sunshine, but as both run under the Amo Racing banner, only one is likely to take their chance.

“Thunder Love was impressive on both her starts at Kempton. We were planning on running her in the Marygate but the ground went against her,” said Boughey.

“Rossa (Ryan) believes she will be best on a quick surface and the Queen Mary is a possibility, but we are likely to run Beautiful Sunshine there. They are both owned by Amo Racing so we will probably only run one.

“Beautiful Sunshine was very impressive at Sandown under a penalty and they are two very exciting fillies.”

Navello’s winning run came to an end in the National Stakes at Sandown, but Boughey is inclined to blame the slow going for his defeat there.

He said: “The plan before the National Stakes at Sandown was the Norfolk Stakes and we’ve not changed our minds since his third there.

“He hardly picks his feet up off the ground, which suggests a quick ground action. I think we might see a different horse in the Norfolk to the one we saw at Sandown.”

Lostwithiel is among the favourites for the Northumberland Plate but has a couple of options next week first.

“Lostwithiel has been given two entries on Tuesday. Both the Ascot Stakes and the Copper Horse are options for him,” said Boughey.

“He is rated 96 and so would be near the top of the weights in the Ascot Stakes.

“Hollie Doyle has been doing a lot of work with him at home and she will take the ride. He’s a lovely horse with a big future. At this stage, I’d be probably leaning towards the Ascot Stakes.”

Mystery Angel camp ponder next move

Mystery Angel is expected back in action next month as connections mull options for her next race after she vindicated the decision to supplement for the Cazoo Oaks by finishing second to the brilliant Snowfall.

Owners Nick Bradley Racing 27 and partner stumped up £22,500 to add her to the Classic at the confirmation stage, and were rewarded with a near £85,000 pay packet.

The George Boughey-trained filly will not run at Royal Ascot but should return next month instead.

“It was a great run. We knew she was in great form going into the race,” said Nick Bradley.

“We had a plan – Ben (Curtis) executed it perfectly and everything went well. The best horse won and the second-best horse was second.

“I was delighted with her. She won’t go to Royal Ascot. Beyond that, there isn’t an obvious race for her.

“I’d like to run her back at Newmarket. I think there’s a Group Three for three-year-olds over a mile and a quarter.

“Nothing is concrete at the moment, but she’ll run somewhere early next month.”

Oscula has options at Royal Ascot and Chantilly following her victory at Epsom
Oscula has options at Royal Ascot and Chantilly following her victory at Epsom (John Walton/PA)

It was a fabulous Friday at Epsom for the Boughey and Bradley team, as Oscula kicked the meeting off with a clear-cut victory in the Woodcote Stakes.

The daughter of Galileo Gold earned quotes as low at 6-1 for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

She could go for the Group Three, or possibly to Chantilly for the Prix du Bois on June 20.

“She’s a quality filly and she won it very easily,” said Bradley.

“Mark (Crehan) gave her a great ride, and it was his biggest day. I was delighted for him. I enjoy working with him – he’s having plenty of success now.

“She may go to Ascot for the Albany, (or) she may go to France for a Group Three on Chantilly on Prix de Diane day – the Prix du Bois.”

Oscula in Royal Ascot picture after continuing golden run of Boughey juveniles

Royal Ascot could be the next port of call for Oscula following an impressive victory in the Cazoo Woodcote EBF Stakes at Epsom.

Third on her racecourse debut at Kempton last month, the Nick Bradley Racing-owned filly went a couple of places better at Brighton five days later to earn herself a step up in class in the opening race on Oaks day.

A quick start enabled apprentice rider Mark Crehan to navigate the 15-2 chance to the front and it was clear with a couple of furlongs still to run that her rivals would struggle to peg her back.

Flaming Rib did best of those attempting to close the gap, but Oscula passed the post three lengths the good – providing trainer George Boughey with yet another juvenile winner this season.

“It was a pretty good performance, I think,” said the Newmarket handler.

“Her work had been good and we intentionally took her to Brighton before coming here to give her a chance to come down a hill.

“We didn’t really have Royal Ascot aspirations before then. We thought we might go for the Woodcote and then go to the Empress Stakes at Newmarket, but Mark got off the horse at Brighton – he has ridden a lot of our two-year-olds this year – and he was very bullish.

“She’s by Galileo Gold and there’s plenty of stamina her pedigree – I think she will get a mile. She’s a long filly who is still quite immature and hasn’t really come in her summer coat yet – she’s got a lot of upside.”

Boughey added: “We’ll have a chat to Nick and see what the owners want to do, but the Albany Stakes (at Royal Ascot) has got to be a consideration.

“She made her debut at Kempton, five days later she won at Brighton and then 11 days later she’s done that day.

“It would be a pretty quick back-up from a big day like today, but we’ll certainly be looking at it.”

A delighted Crehan said: “She’s like an older horse, nothing bothers her. She went there lovely and came back even better.

“She handled Brighton well and that was the idea. If she handled Brighton she’d handle Epsom and she’s done that.

Mark Crehan and George Boughey celebrate
Mark Crehan and George Boughey celebrate (Mike Egerton/Jockey Club)

“I got racing early, but you can get away with that here. She’s very game. She keeps finding for you.

“I didn’t expect her to win that well. She’s certainly improving.”

Of a winner on Oaks day, Crehan, who claims 5lb, added: “I can’t explain (what it means). I only had one winner last year. All credit goes to my boss – he’s been very, very good to me. I can’t believe it.”

Hollie Doyle steered Corazon Espinado to his fourth win on the Downs in the Coral ‘Beaten By A Length’ Free Bet Handicap.

Corazon Espinado and Hollie Doyle after winning again at Epsom
Corazon Espinado and Hollie Doyle after winning again at Epsom (John Walton/PA)

Trained locally by Simon Dow, the 12-1 shot raced on the speed and comfortably pulled three and a half lengths clear of Hortzadar.

Dow said: “His stable is just across the road – he’s incredible.

“He loves Lingfield and he loves Epsom. It’s a tremendous achievement for the little horse to win on Oaks day twice.

“The draw and the easing ground was against us, so we were a little cautious – but he goes round there like he’s on rails.

“There aren’t enough superlatives for Hollie – it’s always a privilege to have her.”

Doyle said: “Everything went to plan, though he was over-racing early on. Franny (Norton, on Overwrite) and I had it pretty easy on the front end.

“He’s such a course specialist I just let go of his head coming down Tattenham Corner and he took me into the race beautifully.”

Blue Cup was a winner for Oisin Murphy
Blue Cup was a winner for Oisin Murphy (John Walton/PA)

Blue Cup came from the back of the field to win the Cazoo Handicap for Oisin Murphy and David Menuisier.

Data Protection and Dream With Me were involved in a protracted duel up front, building up a 10-length lead at one point before their exertions started to tell in the final couple of furlongs.

The field switched across the track to race up the nearside rail for the first time, as conditions continued to worsen, and Murphy took full advantage of the better ground – delivering his mount with around a furlong to run.

Blue Cup pulled further clear inside the distance, relishing every yard to come home five and a half lengths in front as the 9-2 favourite.

Victory Chime was second, with the game Data Protection taking third.

Murphy said: “I wasn’t sure how far the leaders had got in front of me.

“The kickback is obviously very bad, and it’s hard to see with the conditions.

“This horse isn’t easy. They’ve taken the ring bit off, which is a more severe bit, and put a very plain bit in his mouth – and he relaxed super today.

“David Menuisier is a very good trainer, and I think he’s found the key to this fella.

“I didn’t expect them to (come up the stands rail), but I thought it may happen at some stage today – so it was always a possibility.”

James Doyle guides Rhoscolyn home
James Doyle guides Rhoscolyn home (John Walton/PA)

Rhoscolyn completed a treble in smooth fashion under James Doyle in the Cazoo Derby Festival Handicap.

David Meara’s three-year-old burst through the pack to challenge long-time leader Paws For Thought over a furlong out.

Quickening nicely, the 9-2 winner soon had the race sewn up and crossed the line with a handy advantage over Shelir in second and On A Session in third.

O’Meara said: “We deliberated at length at Beverley a couple of runs back whether to run him on soft ground. We weren’t sure if he’d handle it, but we took a chance and he seems to enjoy it.

“He looks a very progressive horse. I thought today was a great performance.

“At Beverley and Goodwood he made the running and had everything his own way. Today he was in behind and was off the bridle a long way out.

“I didn’t think he’d find and finish off like he had done in his two previous races, but he showed a different quality today.

“He had form on quicker ground before he came to us. He seems to like these turning tracks and seven furlongs so I wonder if he could make up into a Lennox (Stakes at Goodwood) horse, maybe?

“It looked today like he could make that next step.”

Ocean Wind seeking to further Gold Cup ambitions at Sandown

Ocean Wind is out to cement his Gold Cup claims with victory in the Coral Henry II Stakes at Sandown.

The five-year-old has filled the runner-up spot on each of his three starts so far this year, most recently pushing triple Gold Cup hero Stradivarius close in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot last month.

Trainer Roger Teal hopes his star stayer can get back on the winning trail in Thursday’s two-mile Grade Three – before returning to Ascot for another crack at Stradivarius at next month’s Royal meeting.

“You can’t take anything for granted, because there’s some high quality-animals up against him, but he ran very well at Ascot and hopefully he can build on that,” said the Lambourn trainer.

“Hopefully the ground dries up a bit, although he’s not ground dependent to be fair – he races on most things, God bless him.

“We’ll see what happens. Hopefully he can do himself justice, and then we’ll go on to Ascot.”

Ocean Wind’s biggest threat appears to be the Mark Johnston-trained Nayef Road, who aims to bounce back from a rare disappointing display in the Yorkshire Cup a fortnight ago.

Nayef Road winning last year's Sagaro Stakes at Newcastle
Nayef Road winning last year’s Sagaro Stakes at Newcastle (Tony Knapton/PA)

Rainbow Dreamer (Alan King), Ranch Hand (Andrew Balding) and Irish raider Lismore (Henry de Bromhead) complete the line-up.

Eight previous winners contest the Listed Coral ‘Beaten By A Length’ National Stakes.

Bryan Smart’s Bond Chairman, the Eve Johnson Houghton-trained Chipotle and Choux from David Evans’ yard all put their unbeaten records on the line, while George Boughey’s Navello bids for a fourth victory from five starts.

Boughey said: “He’s been training really well and has got a good draw in stall four.

“I couldn’t really fault him, to be fair. This looked the natural place to go from winning the Lily Agnes at Chester, when the ground was pretty soft. I wouldn’t be worried with any ground, to be fair.

“He should go there with a favourite’s chance and hopefully he’ll take all the beating.

“Hopefully this is a stepping-stone before Royal Ascot.”

Highclere team excited to chase Albany prize with Cachet

Eyecatching debut winner Cachet will head for Royal Ascot as she bids to net her owners another valuable bonus prize.

The George Boughey-trained filly was a five-and-a-half-length winner on her racecourse debut at Newmarket on Saturday when steered to victory by Nicola Currie.

A first UK winner for the sire Aclaim, the bay strode to a comfortable success in the Betway British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes at the weekend as Boughey’s fine run of stable form continued.

Cachet is owned by Highclere Racing, whose managing director Harry Herbert said: “She’s a gorgeous filly, she was bought at the breeze-ups and she worked very well going into that.

“George was hoping she’d run well but we never thought she’d win like that.”

The Group Thee Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting is next on the two-year-old’s agenda, a fixture that could prove particularly lucrative for the owners of the Craven Breeze-Up sale purchase.

Cachet has already bagged her connections a £15,000 bonus, with her debut victory earning her the reward as part of Tattersalls’ Craven Breeze Up Bonus Scheme, an initiative that pays out when any purchase from the sale triumphs in a two-year-old novice or maiden contest ranked at class four or above.

The auction house also offer a Royal Ascot/Group One bonus scheme worth £250,000, which promises £100,000 to the owners of the first horse purchased at the sale to win at Royal Ascot, with the vendor then allocated the remaining £25,000.

Victory in the Albany Stakes would secure the first half of the bonus, and a subsequent win in any juvenile European Group One event would then be rewarded with an additional sum of £125,000 – rounding the value of the bonus scheme up to £250,000.

“We will go straight to Royal Ascot with her for the Albany,” Herbert confirmed.

“She’s already won the £15,000 bonus for winning a class four race or better at Newmarket.

“The first breeze-up to win at the Royal meeting gets a big bonus, they talk of quarter of a million and I think it’s £100,000 to the owners.

“That’s very exciting, and then she might get another one if she could be the first one to win a Group One race.

“We’ll be going for all the bonuses, we were thrilled with her.

“She’s a gorgeous filly, a first winner for Aclaim.”

Cashew comes home in front at Windsor
Cashew comes home in front at Windsor (John Walton/PA)

Cachet is not to be confused to Cashew, another Boughey-trained filly who provided Highclere Racing with further juvenile success when victorious at Windsor on Monday evening under Ryan Moore.

“Confusingly, George also trains a filly called Cashew for us, who won at Windsor for on Monday night,” Herbert said.

“He’s going great guns with his two-year-olds and is obviously a very talented young trainer, so we’re delighted to have two two-year-old winners in our first season with him.”

Boughey eyes sustained progress after flying start to campaign

George Boughey has enjoyed a memorable year so far and is intent on sustaining his progress throughout the summer.

The trainer’s Newmarket base at Saffron House Stables is currently operating at a 26 per cent strike – with last year’s total of 26 winners already comfortably surpassed.

Mystery Angel provided Boughey, previously assistant to Hugo Palmer, with his first Stakes success this month when taking the Listed Pretty Polly at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting.

The filly is set for Wednesday’s Group Three Musidora Stakes at York, in which Roger Varian’s Teona is expected to head the market.

Mystery Angel, ridden by Ben Curtis, wins the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes during 1000 Guineas Day
Mystery Angel, ridden by Ben Curtis, wins the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes (Mike Egerton/PA)

Boughey said: “She was impressive at Newmarket, and I don’t see why she shouldn’t have a very good chance on Wednesday.

“Obviously Roger Varian’s horse will go in as favourite and will probably be hard to beat, but she’s a filly who is progressing and she can make a very good account of herself.

“She was placed at Newmarket as a two-year-old over 10 furlongs (in the Group Three Zetland Stakes), and I’m sure she’s up to this class.”

Also flying the flag for the stable is the promising juvenile Navello, who completed his hat-trick when winning the Lily Agnes Stakes at Chester by six lengths last week.

The colt’s next target is the Listed National Stakes at Sandown.

“He’ll head to the National Stakes,” said Boughey.

Navello, ridden by Nicola Currie, on his way to winning the ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes during City Day of the Boodles May Festival 2021 at Chester Racecourse
Navello won the ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He’s bounced out of his run and he’s improving pretty quickly at the moment.

“He’s a versatile horse ground-wise, so I wouldn’t really be worried about what the ground is – we’ll just crack on.

“He’s a two-year-old who takes his racing incredibly well. I could run him again this week if I wanted to, and he just bounces out of each run – he is a joy to train really.”

The successes of both Mystery Angel and Navello have helped Boughey to 30 winners this term, with both of his pre-season goals already accomplished.

“We’ve had 30 winners already, and my target was to have more winners than we had last year – so we’re well through that already,” he said.

“We’ve had a Stakes winner, which was my only other target, so we’ve just got to keep trying to get the best out of the horses we’ve got.

“We’ve been well supported over the winter. We had plenty of winners last year, but they weren’t superstars, so it’s really nice to have some horses that are winning on ITV and in the bigger types of races.”

Boughey is also keen to see those supporters able to return to the racecourse as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease.

“That’s the next step – we need to get the owners back,” he said.

“They are back, but only in a certain form. We see them over the rail – but they are putting a lot of money into this sport, and we need to see them rewarded for that.”

Navello continues rapid progression at Chester

Navello proved himself to be a versatile juvenile when justifying 5-4 favouritism in the ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester.

George Boughey’s son of Ivawood was having his fourth race of the season already and his trainer plans another before a probable trip to Royal Ascot.

Nicola Currie took up the running over a furlong out and impressively pulled six lengths clear of a previous winner in Devious Angel.

“That was great. It wasn’t surprising he did that, as his dam was Group-placed on soft ground, but now he’s won on quick and soft ground. He’s on an upward curve,” said Boughey.

“He was very green when he first ran at Bath, but he keeps taking a step forward. He’s a horse I think we’ll go to the National Stakes with next, at Sandown – it seems the obvious place to go.

“The owner/breeders are here today, they’ve had a great day and hopefully we can get some black type.”

Currie will be hoping Navello could help force her back on to some nice horses after a quiet couple of seasons.

“He certainly made life a lot easier today than he has done,” she said.

“The ground was the question mark, but he jumped and travelled and I was laughing within the first furlong. It was just a case of whether he would gallop out on this ground, and he has done.

“You could get away with five or six (furlongs) at the moment. We thought he was crying out for six, but the way he jumped and travelled today you could get away with five (at Ascot).”

She added: “I had an injury and it kind of went downhill from there and the momentum went. It’s hard to get going again in this game as there’s always someone chasing your tail.”

Showalong (13-8 favourite) landed some hefty bets in the tote+ At tote.co.uk Handicap for Tim Easterby and David Allan.

Highly thought of last year, following a promising seasonal debut he resumed winning ways in cosy fashion, beating First Company by three-quarters of a length.

“He was probably well backed because he showed some good form last year, ran a strong race first time out and appreciates soft ground,” said Allan.

“He’s a horse we think will progress well this year, especially with cut in the ground. He likes to do things his own way, but he wasn’t doing a lot when he hit the front.”

Assistant trainer William Easterby said: “One of his owners is an official at York so the big three-year-old handicap there is on the agenda. But the race we won at Royal Ascot last year with Art Power (Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap) could suit him first, over a stiff five.”

Paws For Thought (left) wins at Chester
Paws For Thought (left) wins at Chester (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Tom Dascombe loves saddling winners at Chester and was on the mark once more, with 5-1 shot Paws For Thought striking gold in the tote+ Pays You More At tote.co.uk Handicap under Richard Kingscote.

Dascombe said: “It’s great to have a winner here – obviously it’s our big meeting.

“Richard is excellent at getting them out of the stalls and you could see with three furlongs to go the horse had won.

“It was brilliant placing by the owner because I wanted to run him tomorrow in the seven-furlong race, but he said ‘no, drop him back to six’, so I can’t take much of the credit.”

Alfaadhel was a clear-cut winner
Alfaadhel was a clear-cut winner (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Roger Varian and Jim Crowley teamed up to land the Boodles Maiden Stakes with the promising Alfaadhel.

Third on his Newbury debut last month, the 4-1 chance went two places better with a determined display.

Crowley said: “We went a solid pace, and he turned for home going well, but he probably just struggled a little on the ground. It was just a bit soft for him, and he made hard work of it up the straight.

“He’s a fine, big horse – that Newbury run looked good, and he has come forward from it. He did well today to say he didn’t like the ground, and he’s a big horse to be going round here.”

The concluding Deepbridge Estate Planning Service Handicap went to 25-1 shot Broken Spear, trained by Tony Coyle and ridden by 5lb claimer Kieran Schofield.

Mystery Angel has the answers in Pretty Polly

Mystery Angel made her race fitness count as she took the Listed spoils in the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket.

The daughter of Kodi Bear, having her fourth race of the year, defeated several highly-regarded rivals to enhance her own reputation.

Owned by the Nick Bradley Racing syndicate – who afforded her the loudest cheer of the weekend – she also put her rookie trainer George Boughey in the spotlight, giving the Newmarket-based handler the biggest success of his career to date.

Ridden by Ben Curtis, who was completing a double after winning the previous race with Zabeel Champion, Mystery Angel was always in the front rank.

Forever Grateful led in the early stages until Mystery Angel (13-2) set sail for home some way out.

Sea Karats was the only threat, but she was always playing second fiddle and went down by a length and three quarters.

The first two pulled three and a quarter lengths clear of Taslima in third, while A’Shaari, the 6-4 favourite, was the disappointing horse in the race, finishing fifth.

Bradley said: “I’m a bit lost for words, to be honest.

“When she ran here at the backend of last year she did that (won well) and then we kind of got it wrong.

“Today was on better ground and it was great to see her do that in front of all the owners here on such a big day as we’ve always felt she was a top-class filly.

“You’re only allowed six owners here, but there’s 20-odd owners in this horse.

Mystery Angel has some big-race options now
Mystery Angel has some big-race options now (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I bought her at the breeze-ups here for 22,000 guineas and drove the horsebox home with her in it. By the time I got home, I only owned four per cent of her!

“She’ll probably go for the Group One Prix Saint-Alary, or perhaps the Musidora at York. We’ll have a think.

“She isn’t in the Oaks. We thought 10 furlongs would be her maximum trip as she’s by a sprinter, but we might be wrong.”

Boughey said: “It was a shame not to win in France six weeks ago, but she’s a very tough filly who obviously loves it here at Newmarket.

“I actually worked her on the Summer Gallop about a week ago on what was very fast ground and she worked very well.

“She’s an improving filly who handled the soft and heavy ground last year, but her work had suggested she was actually going to be better on faster ground.

Ben Curtis gave Mystery Angel a fine front-running ride
Ben Curtis gave Mystery Angel a fine front-running ride (David Davies/Jockey Club)

“She’s a filly with a pretty upward profile now. She’s in the Prix Saint-Alary, which she could go for, but the Musidora is another option.

“She’s not in the Oaks, but she’s putting a bit of prize-money in the pot now and it might be something we consider (supplementing). There’s a few nice decisions to make.

“She’s not bred to stay a mile, let alone a mile and a quarter. But the way she won there – galloping through the line – I certainly wouldn’t be against trying her over a mile and a half.”

Class of 2020: Five New Trainers To Note

We're coming up to the half way point in the 2020 flat turf season after its delayed June 1st resumption; and it feels like a good time to introduce a few fledgling trainers who have enjoyed flying starts and with whom you may not (yet) be familiar.

Before we meet them, however, a few words on the approach. Racing, like all sports and indeed pretty much all things, is transient: its actors come and go, wax and wane. From a betting perspective, the earlier we can latch on to potentially promising players - trainers, jockeys, sires, even horses - the better our chance of beating the market. The flip side is that, in the rush to become an early adopter, we are likely to encounter a share of false positives. In lay person's terms, one swallow doesn't make a summer: there is a danger that we (in this case, I) place too much store on an eye-catching beginning when little subsequent substance manifests beyond that early flourish.

Moreover, with new trainers in particular, their generally very small strings can quickly meet their match in the handicapper: win one, shame on me; win two, shame on you, as it were.

That's a verbose way of saying we need to tread carefully with what look like promising angles, and consider the early detection of new players in the wider wagering context of the race (conditions, other runners, draw, pace, etc).

So, with caution aforethought, here are my five to follow in the second half of 2020 and beyond:

George Boughey

Career record to date:

Boughey, like myself a good Dorset man, saddled the first runner from his Hamilton Road, Newmarket, stables on 24th July last year. Three weeks later, on 13th August 2019, in a lowly Class 7 event at Lingfield, he was off the mark, at the eighth time of asking. His debut runner, and winner, was the same horse, Three C's.

By the end of 2019, Boughey was 2/39 and on the tail of a 27-runner losing streak. By mid-February he'd added another five winners and, lockdown aside, has not looked back.

Before taking out his own license, Boughey had worked in bloodstock sales, and subsequently for the likes of Gai Waterhouse in Australia then, most recently, spent six years as assistant trainer to Hugo Palmer. Now out on his own, and up to speed, he's one to note and still a touch under the radar.

James Ferguson

Career record to date:

Former amateur jump jockey, and son of Bloomfields trainer and bloodstock adviser to Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation, John Ferguson, James has not so much hit the ground running as scorched the earth beneath his sneakers.

Clearly not one to set the bar too low, his website quotes him as saying, “My primary goal is to create one of the world’s leading training establishments, to train winners at the highest level at the biggest meetings, and to provide owners with an experience for their overall enjoyment”. Crikey, fair play.

After a short and somewhat low key overture between late November last year and late January this, the first movement of Ferguson's career arrived when Arabian King notched a hat-trick in little more than two weeks from 30th January. Interspersed with that one-horse treble was a score for Johnny Reb to round out a four-in-a-row sequence for the newbie trainer.

Based, like Boughey, in Newmarket, Ferguson's record gained Black Type lustre as Zoetic prevailed in the Listed St Hugh's Fillies' Stakes at Newbury on Sunday, the highlight of his career to date.

Ferguson had started out with a spell learning from Sir Mark Prescott before stints with Charlie Appleby, Brian Meehan and Jessica Harrington, all in assistant trainer roles. With a(n unsustainable) 25% strike rate so far, his entries should not be readily overlooked.

Terry Kent

Career record to date:

If training, like most vocations, is "a young man's game", nobody told Terry Kent, and good luck to him for that. Kent doesn't yet have the patronage of the other names in this list, and he's arguably the biggest 'flyer' in this five to follow, but his CV is impressive.

Now 53, Kent was originally an apprentice jockey with the late Michael Jarvis before spending most of two decades as part of the Godolphin operation, principally with David Loder. After that, he returned to Kremlin House Stables where Roger Varian, formerly assistant to Jarvis, took over after his passing and installed Kent as his assistant.

Having saddled his first runner from the boxes he rents at Frankland Lodge Stables in Newmarket just two months ago - and achieved a winner with his fourth - he is ahead of Ferguson and Boughey at this nascent stage in his new career. Whether he can spring forward as that pair have seems less likely, but it ought to pay to follow his small string of about a dozen in the coming months.

Joseph Parr

Career record to date:

Apparently, Joseph Parr's granddad, Alan Bailey, told him to steer well clear of applying for a trainer's license. Kids, eh? They rarely listen to their elders, and that's not always a bad thing. Not so far, in this case, at least.

Parr, who remarkably is not just the fourth Newmarket trainer on this list but also shares the Frankland Lodge yard with Terry Kent, had only sent out three runners when the pandemic paused proceedings. But that hadn't prevented him from breaking his duck with Clem A, formerly trained by gramps, on the trainer's second day at the track with a license.

Since the resumption, Parr has added another four wins from 15 starts, including three-in-a-row earlier this month. He and Kent will doubtless feed off each other in the coming months as they press their respective careers forward.

Gearoid O'Loughlin

National Hunt career record to date:

And now, as they say, for something completely different. We head out of Newmarket, out of Britain, and away from the flat to an Irish National Hunt trainer who could make waves this coming campaign... and he may even have a live outsider for a shallow-looking Champion Hurdle next March.

O'Loughlin has been training for two years, sending out his inaugural winner at the 16th attempt on the 10th January 2019, when Sidetracked took the honours in a maiden hunter chase at Clonmel. His second win as a trainer came in a maiden hurdle at the same venue but, a year later with three more winners on the board, O'Loughlin was celebrating a higher profile and big-priced success in the Ulster National at Downpatrick with the Chris Jones-owned Space Cadet.

Jones, who enjoyed dual Cheltenham Festival success with Klairon Davis and more recently landed a touch in the Fred Winter with the high-class flat filly, What A Charm, entrusts his string to O'Loughlin now; since so doing he's not only been rewarded with the Ulster National score but has also seen his Mitchouka, formerly with Gordon Elliott, revitalised to win a beginners' chase.

However, the horse about which Jones must be most excited is surely Cedarwood Road, a big lumbering brute of a teenager about to become a man in 2020/21. I hope. I've backed him to win the Champion Hurdle at 100/1 you see. There's a better than fair chance he either proves not good enough or takes a different path to top honours this term; but his trainer's patience has been rewarded first with a facile eleven-length score in a 25-runner maiden hurdle on Boxing/St Stephen's Day, and most recently with a snug triumph in Listed company. He has a stone and more to find to be a genuine Blue Riband contender but, with just four runs to his belt, this five-rising-six-year-old son of Stowaway has all the attributes to progress through the ranks.

O'Loughlin meanwhile is the fifth man in my quintet of handlers to follow, and offers some variety to the spice of Newmarket life.

Stat of the Day, 15th August 2020

Friday's pick was...

3.40 Chester : Bossipop @ 7/2 BOG 4th at 9/2 (Raced wide in touch, pushed along over 1f out, ridden and ran on towards finish, not reach leaders) 

Saturday's pick runs in the...

5.55 Newbury :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Songkran @ 4/1 or 7/2 BOG

...in a 13-runner, Class 4, Amateur Jockeys Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 1m4f on Good To Soft, ground worth £4,523 to the winner...

Why?...

Starting with the racecard and trainer snippets...

and then the Shortlist report gives us three angles of attack today...

So let's start with horse, who is clearly in prime form and seeks a fifth win on the bounce, the Shortlist says he's good at this class, distance and field size, so let's look at his numbers in other areas...

To date, Songkran is 5/12 (41.7% SR) for 7.86pts (+65.5% ROI) and these include of relevance today...

  • 5/9 (55.6%) for 10.86pts (+120.6%) at sub-5/1 odds
  • 5/8 (62.5%) for 11.86pts (+148.2%) in races worth less than £5k
  • 4/9 (44.4%) for 5.38pts (+59.8%) on the Flat
  • 4/9 (44.4%) for 5.38pts (+59.8%) in handicaps
  • 4/7 (57.1%) for 7.38pts (+105.5%) going left handed
  • 4/6 (66.6%) for 8.38pts (+139.7%) after less than 18 days rest
  • 4/5 (80%) for 9.38pts (+187.7%) for trainer George Boughey
  • 4/5 (80%) for 9.38pts (+187.7%) this year
  • and 3/4 (75%) for 8.43pts (+210.8%) after a win LTO

And now to the trainer, George Boughey, who has the 14 & 30 icons next to his name, suggesting he's got his yard in decent nick. Closer inspection of his strike rates show a consistent 24% to 26% ratio at 7, 14, 30, 60, 90 and 180 day checkpoints, so his recent form is no flash in the pan.

George might not be as high profile as some other trainers, but he's one to keep an eye on, I think as his decent strike rates have yielded good profits, as he is 16 from 54 (29.6% SR) for 75.8pts (+140.4% ROI) this year at an A/E of 1.58 and an IV above 2.60, including of note today...

  • 12/36 (33.3%) for 38.1pts (+105.8%) with male runners
  • 12/34 (35.3%) for 25.5pts (+75%) at 6-45 dslr
  • 11/35 (31.4%) for 32pts (+91.5%) in handicaps
  • 8/25 (32%) for 41.5pts (+165.9%) on the Flat (but not shabby on the A/W either)
  • 7/13 (53.9%) for 17.6pts (+135.2%) from LTO winners
  • 6/13 (46.2%) for 21.8pts (+168%) with 4 yr olds
  • 4/13 (30.8%) for 19.7pts (+151.5%) in 12-14 runner contests
  • 2/7 (28.6%) for 3pts (+43.4%) so far this month
  • and 1/2 (50%) for 0.12pts (+6%) here at Newbury...

...whilst male handicappers at 6-30 dslr are 8 from 16 (50% SR) for 24.1pts (+150.5% ROI) including 5/7 (71.4%) for 9.5pts (+135.8%) on the Flat...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Songkran @ 4/1 or 7/2 BOG as was available at 8.55am Saturday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 5.55 Newbury

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!