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Levey expecting to see the real Snow Lantern at Newmarket

Sean Levey felt soft ground at Goodwood was Snow Lantern’s undoing in the Qatar Sussex Stakes.

The three-year-old finished a three-and-a-half-length third to Alcohol Free in the mile Group One, having had that filly back in third when winning the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket previously.

Levey missed the Goodwood outing due to suspension, with Jamie Spencer taking the reins in his place, but he is looking forward to renewing their association in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 2.

Sean Levey with Snow Lantern at Newmarket
Sean Levey with Snow Lantern at Newmarket (Tim Goode/PA)

Levey said: “I think she goes for the Sun Chariot, I think that’s why she ran in the Sussex as they wanted to stay at the mile for now. She ran a blinder in the Sussex on ground which I personally don’t think she likes.

“When she had good to firm at Newmarket, I think we all saw the true Snow Lantern there. She’s a very good filly with plenty of potential and I just feel as though she keeps improving as the year goes on and it’s exciting to know she’s going to be in training again next year.

“For me, she’s a great filly to have.”

Super Sprint delight for Hannon with Gubbass

Richard Hannon is gaining ground on his father having notched up his fourth victory in the Weatherbys Super Sprint through Gubbass at Newbury.

Richard senior retired with seven victories in the race where a two-year-old’s weight is determined by how much they cost at the sales – which highlighted his knack of finding a bargain.

It turns out the apple has not fallen far from the tree, as 12 months on from the victory of Happy Romance 12 months ago – who returned on the same card to win the Hackwood Stakes this time – Hannon unleashed what could be a potentially smart juvenile.

Winner of his debut at Leicester, Hannon decided to skip Royal Ascot and it paid dividends, coming home half a length clear of stablemate Symphony Perfect to win at 4-1 for Sean Levey.

Delmona finished third, with Guilded fourth and 100-1 chance Adnaan fifth.

“We’ve always liked him a lot, we didn’t go to Ascot because he was growing – but he’s a very good horse,” said Hannon.

“He’s by a sire (Mehmas) who is getting very good horses, but my worry today was lack of experience and halfway through I thought he was going to finish eighth. But his class pulled him through. The filly ran well in second, too.

“He’ll probably go to the Richmond at Goodwood now, I’ve put him in the Gimcrack as well.

“He just wasn’t right before Ascot and was working moderately, there was no point going to Ascot if he wasn’t working very well and this race came at the right time in terms of Goodwood.

“He’s a very good two-year-old, no question, only time will tell if he’s more than that. He will probably get further, as the further he went the better he was going.”

Hannon, who won the Group One Falmouth Stakes recently, added: “It’s been a good few weeks, but days like today are vital for everyone.

“Races like this, for the smaller owner, it is their day and it’s very important they have their day. There’s room for everyone.”

Happy days as Romance strikes again

Happy Romance bounced right back to her best in the bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury.

Winner of the Super Sprint on this card 12 months ago, the filly was only narrowly beaten at Sandown last time out but she had generally been running below the form which made her such a favourite of Richard Hannon’s last season.

Along with the Super Sprint she won another sales race at York and a Group Three at Sandown, before finishing a creditable fourth behind Alcohol Free in the Cheveley Park.

Bar a win on the all-weather this season Happy Romance has struggled, but back on a quicker surface she proved she retained all her old ability and perhaps a bit more when seeing off last year’s winner Tabdeed and Diligent Harry.

Diligent Harry tried to make all, but Tabdeed breezed by with a furlong to run, only for Happy Romance to swamp them both. Diligent Harry snatched second back right on the line. As he has been all her career, Sean Levey was on board.

Winning owner Ray McMurray, who received a rapturous reception when picking up the trophy, said: “After Sandown we thought there was something there, but she just hasn’t had her ground all season.

“We thought she had every chance today, we were cautiously optimistic as the last time we had this sort of going was in the Super Sprint last year.

“This is better though, last year there were 10 people here!

“Richard always said she’s trained on, but he actually said the worry might be crowds as none of last year’s two-year-olds had ever seen one.

“She had to prove it today and now we might go to Goodwood and take on Battaash, I think she deserves to.”

Happy Romance was cut to 14-1 from 25s for the King George Stakes at Goodwood by Paddy Power.

Hannon said: “She’s lovely and my job now is to persuade them (owners) to keep her in training next year because I think she can win a Group One. I actually met them here in a lift if you can believe that.

“You could be tempted by the Abbaye later in the year. They wanted to supplement for the July Cup, but to me that was crazy.

“She’s definitely improving and to look at her she’s got the constitution of a filly who’s only getting stronger.”

Hannon sweet on Ardbraccan

Richard Hannon is eyeing a return to Newmarket for next month’s Sweet Solera with Ardbraccan after she made it third time lucky in the Rossdales British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Down the field on her Kempton debut in early June, the daughter of Lawman raised her game to fill the runner-up spot on her second start here a fortnight ago.

She looked booked for minor honours once more after 11-8 favourite Calm Skies – who was immediately behind the Hannon runner last time out – moved smoothly into contention, but Ardbraccan knuckled down for Sean Levey to win the argument by half a length.

Hannon said: “She’s a lovely filly and always has been very classy.

“She ran very well last time and got beaten and it looked like the Godolphin filly (Calm Skies) got to her very easily there today. I thought we’d bumped into a good one.

“I’m very tempted to bring her back for the Sweet Solera (August 7) now. She’s got a lot of class and she doesn’t want too much (racing) this year as she’ll be a nice filly next year.”

Royal Fleet maintained his unbeaten record in the bet365 Mile.

Previously successful at Kempton in November and Yarmouth in April, Charlie Appleby’s charge was the 5-6 favourite to complete his hat-trick on his handicap debut.

Royal Fleet (right) completed his hat-trick
Royal Fleet (right) completed his hat-trick (Tim Goode/PA)

Just as he did at Yarmouth, Royal Fleet hung to his left and raced alone for much of the one-mile journey, but his latent ability enabled him to get the job done by half a length from Latest Generation.

“He’s a horse who has got a lot of raw talent,” said Appleby.

“Some days at home he’ll get into a rhythm and be straight as a gun barrel, but unfortunately some days he’ll lock on the bridle and grab that left side of the bit and do what he’s done today.

“William (Buick) was very impressed with him in that he’s done everything wrong and he still couldn’t pull the horse up!

“I hope that in time, with racing and experience and maturity, if we can put everything in the right format he could be a good horse.”

William Haggas and Tom Marquand combined to land the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa Fillies’ Handicap with Spirit Of Bermuda.

The 12-1 shot followed up victory at Leicester last month with a three-quarter-length verdict over Rising Star.

“She’s a nice filly who loves fast ground. She’s a good, galloping filly,” said Haggas.

“I said to the owners that if she won today she’d be worth having a shot at a Listed race, so that’s what we’ll be doing.”

Snow Lantern powers home in Falmouth Stakes

Snow Lantern turned Coronation Stakes form around when beating Mother Earth and Alcohol Free in a thrilling finish to the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

Trainer Richard Hannon has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds the filly, a daughter of Sky Lantern who won the 1000 Guineas for the yard.

Sky Lantern was later felt to be an unlucky loser in the 2013 renewal of this Group One, so Hannon will feel a sense of vindication – especially as this filly is a homebred out of Frankel.

Having finished second to Alcohol Free at Royal Ascot, with Guineas winner Mother Earth just behind in third that day, the trio dominated once again, with Lady Bowthorpe doing her best to gatecrash the party but getting going too late.

Alcohol Free attempted to make all against the far rail, with Mother Earth keeping close tabs on her.

Sean Levey would have had a few anxious moments wondering if he was going to get a run, as he was trapped behind horses just as the pace quickened and he gave Primo Bacio a nudge when beginning his run.

The grey really picked up, however, and flew home with an irresistible run, winning by half a length at 6-1.

Mother Earth was a neck in front of Alcohol Free, with the same back to Lady Bowthorpe, who had to come widest of all.

Hannon said: “It’s very special because of the whole Sky Lantern story. It’s great for Rockcliffe Stud as they hadn’t had a Group One winner until today.

“We went to York to try to bag one of those (stakes races) and it didn’t work out, but she’s learnt to settle since then.

“She was a little bit unlucky in the Coronation. She looked exceptional when she won her novice at Newbury and she looked exceptional there today, I think – she’s a very special filly.”

On plans, he said: “We’ll sit down and have a think, but I do think she’ll get a mile and a quarter.

“She’s in the Nassau and the Sussex, so we’ll look at Goodwood and I’d probably be leaning towards the fillies’ race (Nassau).

“She’s in the Juddmonte International as well, but I’m very hopeful she’ll stay in training next year, so I’m happy to give her a nice time.”

Levey said: “It’s taken her a couple of steps to get to this point and it’s thanks to everyone in the yard. They have done a massive job. She’s not the easiest, so it’s great for everyone it’s all come to fruition now.

“She’s known to be keen, so my hands were tied as far as tactically what I could do with her. She came out of the gates fairly relaxed. As soon as they came over to that rail I knew I had to hold position when I was trying to settle her. I did think it would be very hard to get out of there.

Snow Lantern and jockey Sean Levey
Snow Lantern and jockey Sean Levey (David Davies/Jockey Club)

“Lucky enough I was able to switch her round just in time to pick them up.”

He added: “It means a massive amount. I’ve had Billesdon Brook, who was great, and King Of Change as well, but a lot of work has gone into this filly. In the yard she comes with a huge thing because Sky Lantern was her mother.

“For everyone it’s a big deal.”

However, there was a sting in the tail for Levey as he was given a six-day suspension for careless riding. He will serve the ban from July 23-28 inclusive.

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Mother Earth, said: “She ran very well and we’re delighted with her run. I’m not too sure in terms of where next – there may be a fillies’ race in France for her, but we’ll wait and see how she is.

“We’ll keep her to these fillies’ races. We could try her over further, but she’s got plenty of speed.”

Of Andrew Balding’s Alcohol Free, jockey Oisin Murphy said: “She relaxed well in front and I just felt the race went to plan apart from at the three (furlong pole) when we got racing a little early. I tried to save horse, but the last 50 yards told.”

Kieran Shoemark was aboard Lady Bowthorpe for William Jarvis and said: “It was a good run and I think the 10 furlongs of the Nassau Stakes will really suit her. She’ll get the extra two furlongs easy and she was unlucky here.

“She didn’t get the splits so I had to switch out and she’s run well. I have no doubts that she’s the best filly in the race.”

Levey targets Royal Ascot breakthrough

Sean Levey is out to break new ground by claiming his first winner at Royal Ascot next week.

The Swaziland-born rider has been a pioneer for black jockeys in Britain – becoming the first to ride in the Derby in 2016 when steering Humphrey Bogart to fifth place, before claiming Classic glory two years later aboard Billesdon Brook in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Success at the Flat season’s showpiece meeting has so far eluded Levey, but he is hoping to put that right on his return to Berkshire.

“My form at Ascot alone is very good – but when it comes to Royal Ascot, not so much,” he said.

Billesdon Brook and Sean Levey winning the 1000 Guineas
Billesdon Brook and Sean Levey winning the 1000 Guineas (Tim Goode/PA)

“I wouldn’t say I’ve been unfortunate. I’ve been placed many a time, mostly in handicaps and what have you.

“I’m disappointed it hasn’t happened yet, so I would just like the box ticked now.

“It’s a bit of a monkey on my back, that one.”

It has been quite a journey for the 33-year-old son of Epsom-based apprentice Mick Levey and Swazi mother Tini.

The family moved away from Africa shortly after the turn of the century, initially to Croydon in south London before heading across the Irish Sea to allow Mick Levey to work for Aidan O’Brien.

NewSean Levey has carved out an excellent career for himself market Races Day Two – July 10th
Sean Levey has carved out an excellent career for himself (George Selwyn/PA)

Levey said: “I wouldn’t say it was a huge culture shock as far as moving from Africa to Ireland was concerned – they’re not too far apart, to be fair.

“I did live in Croydon for a bit and I found that quite difficult. Being closer to London and being more closed, I found that quite tough. I preferred the open nature of Ireland, which is similar to Swaziland.”

Although only a teenager at the time, it did not take long for Levey junior to become part of the riding team at Ballydoyle.

“I was still at school, so I started working there on a weekend,” he said.

“I had a season pony racing and was meant to do a second season. But as luck would have it, I ended up just doing a summer in Ballydoyle and ended up signing on there as an apprentice.

“I won a few Listed races and Group races for Aidan and had the opportunity to ride, I think, in every Classic in Ireland. I rode in the Arc for him and a few other Group Ones, including the German Guineas, and I won the Irish Cambridgeshire on a horse called Poet (2009).

“It was a privileged apprenticeship. There’s no doubt he gave me a lot of opportunities, and I’ll be forever grateful.”

After six years on the Ballydoyle books, Levey made the bold move to return to continue his riding career in Britain in 2011.

Jockeys of ethnic minority were even rarer then than they are now, but he does not believe his opportunities have been diminished by his race.

“This has all been highlighted since the poor fella in America (George Floyd) was killed, but you’ve got to remember that I’ve been riding since I was 17,” said Levey.

“I was signed on for one of the greatest trainers in the world as a teenager, and thinking about the colour of my skin wasn’t at the forefront of my mind.

“I’d had massive opportunities as an apprentice and was wanting momentum over here. I was chasing my dream – and as much as racism exists in every walk of life, it’s becoming smaller and smaller worldwide, especially in countries like this.

“I was taken aback actually when they asked ‘how does it feel to be the first black jockey to win a British Classic?’, or ‘how does it feel to be the first black jockey to have a ride in the Derby?’.

“I didn’t look at it in that way at the time, but I am half-Swazi and I can speak Swazi, so I’ll take it – and if it benefits anyone looking in, then so be it.”

Jockey Sean Levey
Jockey Sean Levey (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

People from all over the world ride out in yards across Britain and Ireland.

Levey believes a lack of information, rather than systemic racism within the sport, is the main reason why many have not gone on to become jockeys – but feels improvements have and are being made.

Levey said: “What I am seeing, and should be seeing, is a lot more black and Asian people coming into racing.

“In Ireland there was only me – in England there is me and Royston (Ffrench) and Silvestre de Sousa, obviously.

“Now the next crop of apprentices are coming in, and I do see a lot more. If what we have done is give others the confidence, I think that is ultimately what everyone is looking for.

“(We want) to reach out to those urban areas where people don’t get the opportunities and show that the sport is open to anybody who would like to come into it.

“Rather than dwelling on ‘racing needs to change because it’s racist’, I personally don’t feel that that’s the case, but I do feel like more information needs to be put out there for people to know that they are more than welcome through those doors.

“I think what everyone has been doing in the last couple of years is making people more comfortable to take that chance, to get a licence and give it a go. It’s exactly the same with female jockeys.

“Sometimes people look at it the wrong way and think we’re trying to eradicate racism in racing because it’s rife, but that is not the case. I think everyone is just trying to say the doors open to anyone who wants to come in if they’re willing and want to give it a shot.”

“We want everyone to know you will get the opportunity if you work hard.”

Levey can look forward to a strong book of rides at the Royal meeting, with Snow Lantern chief among them in the Coronation Stakes – a race which is part of this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series.

The daughter of Frankel is out to emulate her dam Sky Lantern, who won the same race in 2013, but does need to bounce back from a slightly underwhelming performance at York.

“She’s in good order and all set to go,” he said.

“It was a slightly disappointing run at York – things didn’t really go our way. She was keener than you’d like on that occasion – and as a result, she didn’t quite run as well as we thought she would.

“She seems to be doing the right things at home and hasn’t put a foot wrong since. I’d like to think that if she runs her race nice and settled then she’ll have a big chance.”

Happy Romance winning at York
Happy Romance winning at York (David Davies/PA)

Another filly Levey believes can make her presence felt at Group One level is Happy Romance.

Together, they have already won five races – and she is viewed as a lively outsider for the Commonwealth Cup.

Levey said: “Happy Romance is one that does all the talking on the track. She’s very straightforward, an absolute pleasure to ride and has plenty of ability to boot.

“I think Ascot is her track – she ran really well in the Queen Mary last year. She’s shown she wants better ground, and a stiff track will suit her style of running – she’s more an off-the-bridle kind of sprinter, rather than an ‘all guns blazing’ kind of sprinter.

“Against her own age group, I would give her a good chance.”

Sarah’s Verse hits the right notes for Ron Harris at Bath

Sarah’s Verse became the first winner in Bath’s 2021 season when landing the CB Protection Handicap for trainer Ron Harris and apprentice Laura Pearson.

The Poet’s Voice filly dispelled Harris’ fears that she might want a longer trip by running on too strongly for Bluebell Time to score by a neck.

Of the 12-1 winner, Harris observed: “This meeting has proved lucky for me over the years and has done so again.

“The filly has done it well, but I thought she might want further. They went very quick, which helped her, and she’s shown more toe back on the grass than was the case on the all-weather.”

Blue Collar Lad and Sean Levey (centre) on the way to victory
Blue Collar Lad and Sean Levey (centre) on the way to victory (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The previous experience of Brocklesby Stakes third and fifth Wonderful World and Muskateer Three saw that pair dominate the market for the CB Protection Security Training Restricted Novice Stakes, a race run in a hail storm.

However, it was 16-1 newcomer Blue Collar Lad that took the spoils for trainer Robyn Brisland and jockey Sean Levey.

Wonderful World travelled kindly in front, but had a fight on his hands when challenged on both sides entering the final furlong, and ultimately failed to hold his rivals by a short head and half a length.

Levey praised the winning Arcadia colt, saying: “He kept on well and put his head down between two horses that had previous experience.

“Mr Brisland has done well to have him ready first time. I thought he had a good chance today.”

Levey completed a double when executing a waiting ride on the Jim Boyle-trained Marlay Park to perfection in the CB Protection Security Training Maiden Stakes.

The start was delayed by the reluctance of favourite Fernando Rah to load and he was finally withdrawn, leaving Khatwah to blaze the trail.

Alphonse Karr had wrested the lead approaching the distance but Major Force and then Marlay Park challenged, with the latter pulling a length and a half clear.

Boyle said: “He was recommended by Richard Hannon and will be a lovely fun horse for the owners. This was almost six furlongs, but I think he’ll have no trouble stepping up to seven.”

With three earning runs behind him in as many starts, Golden Flame set the standard in the CB Protection Event Specialists Maiden Stakes and duly hacked up as the 1-3 favourite under Adam Kirby.

The Mark Johnston-trained colt made all and coasted home five lengths clear of Going Gone, giving Kirby a timely boost following his defeat on Able Kane and disappointment that Fernando Rah failed to load.

The jockey said: “It’s been a bit of a kerfuffle, but it’s always nice to get a winner. He bowled along nicely and then lengthened from three and a half out all the way to the line.”

Kirby completed a double to share the riding honours with Levey when guiding 25-race maiden Quarry Beach (11-1) home in a blanket finish to the CB Protection Security Consultants Handicap.

The David Evans-trained mare got up in the final strides to score by half a length from Bounty Pursuit.

Kirby said: “I think she liked the track and handled the quick ground. It’s always good to ride a winner for David, he’s a top man.”

Clog Na Fola ended an 11-year wait for a winner on the Flat by owner Nick Ayliffe when gunning down Villanelle and foiling a gamble on that horse in the CB Protection Safety Officers Handicap.

The daughter of Sir Prancealot, trained by John O’Shea, emerged from the chasing pack to catch her rival and score at 9-1 under a fine ride by Ciaran McKee.

Clog Na Fola (centre) was a memorable winner for owner Nick Ayliffe
Clog Na Fola (centre) was a memorable winner for owner Nick Ayliffe (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

McKee said: “I’m very pleased for John and for Nick Ayliffe who is a very loyal owner. People like Nick are in it for the day out, but he’s stuck with us.”

King Of Stars (9-1) made a triumphant switch to turf from sand when denying the gambled-on Able Kane in the CB Protection Professional Security Systems Handicap.

The grey engaged in a controlled front-running display under Ali Rawlinson and kept on strongly to score by two and a quarter lengths.

He is a credit to trainer Mick Appleby, a point emphasised by Rawlinson who said: “He’s done well over the winter, showing plenty of speed at Southwell where the name of the game is to avoid the kickback. He’s got bags of speed and has improved for the switch to turf.

“He’s a good advertisement for Mick who gives a new lease of life to horses that join him. If he has the ammo, he will deliver.”

Menuisier heartbroken at loss of Thundering Blue

David Menuisier has paid tribute to “horse of a lifetime” Thundering Blue after the popular grey suffered a fatal injury at Goodwood.

The seven-year-old was pulled up sharply by Jamie Spencer with around two furlongs to run in the tote Foundation Stakes and was taken for X-Rays.

Menuisier later confirmed the son of Exchange Rate could not be saved.

He tweeted: “I can’t really describe how painful it is to have to report the loss of our beloved Thundering Blue. He lived his life like a warrior and fought his last battle bravely too.

“He will be remembered as the horse of a lifetime and a great friend. We LOVE you forever.”

Thundering Blue won six of his 29 races, including the Group Two York Stakes and Group Three Stockholm Cup, was twice placed in Group One company and won over £460,000 in prize money.

Anna Nerium won the 10-furlong event for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Sean Levey.

Dropped out early by Levey, she was one of five in a line with a furlong to run as the Godolphin pair of High End and Mythical Magic took on Desert Icon and Oriental Mystique.

Anna Nerium came widest and fastest of all, going on to win at 10-1 – by a length, with High End in second.

Levey told Racing TV: “There was never a doubt about the trip in the end.

“I’m delighted for Mrs McCreery (owner), who has been absolutely brilliant to me ever since I started with the Hannons. It’s nice to win a big race every year with horses like Billesdon Brook, too.

“Although she’s won in the height of summer before, it’s never been her type of ground. Coming here with the rain today, I was actually a little bit confident that she’d run a big race.

“I’m of the belief that if you have a keen horse stepping up in trip, there’s every reason to drop out the back, but you still have to run the same distance. She’s laid back, though, so it was straightforward in that regard.”

Levey is looking forward to riding Happy Romance in the Cheveley Park Stakes on Saturday – although he fears soft ground.

“She’s well worth a crack at a Group One, but I’d fear the rain – realistically I don’t think she’d like soft ground,” he said.

“It has been on the easy side the last twice – but stepping up to that class, you want everything in your favour, and I think that would be quick ground.

“She hasn’t missed many dances this year, but she’s only been beaten twice. She’s got a great mentality and never gives absolutely everything, which is giving her longevity.”

Anna Nerium swoops for Goodwood gold

Anna Nerium relished the step up in trip to 10 furlongs to run out a ready winner of the tote Foundation Stakes at Goodwood.

Richard Hannon’s filly had been disappointing previously this season, but had shown enough previously to suggest that if she did stay the trip, she could be a force to be reckoned with.

Having won the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom’s Derby meeting last year, her class was not in doubt – and she also had a course success over Dream Of Dreams to her name from two years ago.

Dropped out by Sean Levey, she began her challenge and was one of five in a line with a furlong to run as the Godolphin pair of High End and Mythical Magic took on Desert Icon and Oriental Mystique.

Anna Nerium came widest and fastest of all, going on to win at 10-1 – by a length, with High End in second.

David Menuisier’s popular grey Thundering Blue was pulled up sharply with around two furlongs to run and was taken for X-Rays.

Of the winner, Levey told Racing TV: “There was never a doubt about the trip in the end.

“I’m delighted for Mrs McCreery (owner), who has been absolutely brilliant to me ever since I started with the Hannons. It’s nice to win a big race every year with horses like Billesdon Brook, too.

“Although she’s won in the height of summer before, it’s never been her type of ground. Coming here with the rain today, I was actually a little bit confident that she’d run a big race.

“I’m of the belief that if you have a keen horse stepping up in trip, there’s every reason to drop out the back, but you still have to run the same distance. She’s laid back, though, so it was straightforward in that regard.”

Levey is looking forward to riding Happy Romance in the Cheveley Park Stakes on Saturday – although he fears soft ground.

“She’s well worth a crack at a Group One, but I’d fear the rain – realistically I don’t think she’d like soft ground,” he said.

“It has been on the easy side the last twice – but stepping up to that class, you want everything in your favour, and I think that would be quick ground.

“She hasn’t missed many dances this year, but she’s only been beaten twice. She’s got a great mentality and never gives absolutely everything, which is giving her longevity.”

Stat of the Day, 20th August 2020

Wednesday's pick was...

5.20 Stratford : Mon Palois @ 4/1 BOG (2.8/1 after R4) WON at 13/8 (Jumped left but well, made all, 3 lengths ahead when left well clear at the last, eventually winning by 85 lengths) 

Thursday's pick runs in the...

4.20 York :

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?

Mark of the Man @ 6/1 BOG

...in an 11-runner, Class 2, Nursery Handicap for 2yo over 7f on Good to Soft ground worth £18,675 to the winner... 

Why?...

Well, briefly, we have an in-form horse running at a meeting his trainer does well at and who also has a good record with LTO winners racing under familiar circumstances.

Enough for you? I though not, so let me add some meat to those bare bones, starting with the runner himself. A 2 yr old (obviously) colt who comes here on a hat-trick and was last seen winning a similar Class 2, 7 furlong, 12-runner Nursery at Goodwood three weeks ago, where he stayed on well to win by two lengths taking his record to...

  • 2 from 3 over 7f
  • 2 from 3 with Sean Levey on his back
  • 2 from 2 on turf
  • 2 from 2 at 13-30 dslr
  • 1 from 1 in handicaps

His trainer Richard Hannon has enjoyed recent success at the Ebor meeting with his sub-8/1 runners winning 6 of 16 (37.5% SR) contests over the last four festivals returning level stakes profits of 22.88pts at an ROI of 143%, including...

  • 6/13 (46.2%) for 25.88pts (+199.1%) with 2 yr olds
  • 6/13 (46.2%) for 25.88pts (+199.1%) in fields of 10+ runners
  • 5/9 (55.6%) for 22.25pts (+247.2%) at 16-45 dslr
  • 4/11 (36.4%) for 18.06pts (+164.2%) at Class 2
  • 2/3 (66.6%) for 13.42pts (+447.4%) with Sean Levey in the saddle
  • and 2 from 3 (66.6%) for 4.8pts (+160%) last year alone

And more generally with all his sub-8/1 runners since 2016, Mr Hannon's horses who were LTO winners at the same class/trip are 21 from 57 (36.8% SR) for 40.45pts (+71% ROI) when sent back out within 25 days of that last run/win including of relevance today...

  • 19/50 (38%) for 35.75pts (+71.5%) in races worth less than £20k
  • 18/45 (40%) for 43.75pts (+97.2%) on the Flat
  • 15/34 (44.1%) for 41.25pts (+121.3%) during June to August
  • 12/40 (30%) for 14.89pts (+37.2%) in handicaps
  • 9/18 (50%) for 30pts (+166.6%) with 2 yr olds
  • 5/12 (41.7%) for 22.5pts (+187.5%) for Sean Levey
  • and 3/7 (42.9%) for 10.56pts (+150.9%) in Nurseries

...whilst on the Flat during June-August in sub-£20k races, they are 11 from 25 (44% SR) for 34.48pts (+137.9% ROI) and these include from above...

  • 5/16 (31.25%) in hcps
  • 5/6 (83.3%) with 2 yo's
  • 4/7 (57.1%) for Sean Levey
  • and 2/2 in Nurseries

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Mark of the Man @ 6/1 BOG (or bigger) as was available at 8.20am Thursday, 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 4.20 York

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!