Andrew Balding: We’re confident Kameko will run a huge race
The Betway ambassador assesses all his weekend runners at Doncaster, Newbury and Chelmsford, including his big hope in the Futurity Trophy Stakes.
Last Saturday was a day we’ll never forget here at Park House Stables and we’re hoping for a little more of the same this weekend. We have two lovely two-year-olds contesting Group 1 races in the UK and France and we’re hopeful of two big runs.
We run Morando in the Poppy Appeal Stakes – a race he dead-heated in last year. He was a good winner at Ascot recently and, with conditions in his favour, he looks to have a favourite's chance.
I don’t think it’ll be that straight forward, however, as it’s a mightily competitive race with the likes of Royal Line, who finished third in the Long Distance Cup last week, Young Rascal, who was good enough to run in a Derby and also Ralph Beckett’s horse, Manuela De Vega, who is a very good filly on soft ground.
Via De Vega carries our hopes in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud, a Group 1 over 1m2f. He was a visually impressive winner on debut, when he flew up the Sandown hill to beat some well-regarded horses over a mile.
This is a big step up in class from a maiden to top company, but I do think slower ground and the extra two furlongs will be an advantage to him.
He’s a horse we think a lot of and deserves his place.
We plan to run a lovely unraced filly called Medika in the Fillies’ Novice Stakes. We are, however, concerned about the ground being too soft for her, but we will look at that when we get to Newbury.
She is very much a project for next year, but it would be good to get some racecourse experience into her before she turns out for the winter.
We are up against Aidan’s battalion in the Vertem Futurity Stakes but we’re confident that our Kameko will run a huge race.
He’s done us very proud this season, finishing a good second in the Betway Solario Stakes at Sandown Park before claiming a narrow second in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket last time.
Because he’s such a strong traveller in his races you’d naturally think he’d want better ground, but there are bits in his pedigree that give us hope that he’ll be just as effective on the slower surface.
His homework has been great of late and he’s still improving, so we’re hopeful he’ll go very close.
Falls Creek goes in the 1m6f Handicap and she’s a horse who has been frustrating for us this year. She finished second on her only try at this trip earlier in the season, so we’re giving her another go.
She’s well-bred and is capable of winning a race, so this contest looks like it could provide a good opportunity for her to get off the mark.
We’ve been running out of options for Edinburgh Castle , who was a very good winner at Epsom recently.
He looks as though he’ll stay further and we’re keen to move him up in trip, but this experience won’t be lost on him when he contests some of the nicer handicaps next season. He should go very well.
We don’t have many rated lower than Vakilita , who has been well beaten in all three starts for us. She has just taken her time to come to hand, but she has started learning more and I think the penny is starting to drop.
We do think she’s better than her current rating of 37, so should be competitive here in this 0-50 Handicap.
Our filly Shadn makes her way to America tomorrow and the plan is for her to run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf next Friday.
She’s moving up in trip, but I do think a turning bend and a mile will suit her well. If we get some luck with a good draw, we’d be hopeful of her running a good race.
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