Andrew Balding Stable Tour 2020: The older horses
In the final installment of the series, the Betway ambassador profiles the older horses in his stable ahead of the new Flat racing season.
We’ve not long had this son of Camelot, but he seems to have settled in well and we like what we’ve seen so far.
King Power have purchased him following his fifth-placed effort in the Breeders’ Cup and he’s a very welcome addition to the stable. Before that, he came second in the Canadian International at Woodbine.
We’re not too sure where he’ll go just yet, but we’re delighted to have him in the yard and are looking forward to his first campaign for us.
We learned so much about him last year and think we’ve found the key to getting the best out of him. He’s not had much racing for a five-year-old, but I think that will help him this season.
He absolutely bolted up at Chester last September. We were aiming for the November Handicap at Doncaster with him after that but then it got abandoned. We decided we’d keep him for an assault at the Chester Cup this term and the same has happened to that.
He’s versatile trip-wise, so we’ll campaign him around staying handicaps, and he’ll be held up in his races as he seems to really enjoy being ridden that way.
Foxtrot Lady (5YO)
Despite not winning, she still did us proud last year and has come back looking superb.
She’s done very well physically, and she could be good fun this year.
Johnny Drama (5YO)
He’s a lovely, long-striding horse who ran well in three of his four starts for us last season since joining from Ger Lyons’ over in Ireland. He slightly disappointed at Newbury in September on a course I thought he’d relish but, for some reason or other, he just wasn’t at the races that day.
He’s currently rated 99 and I’d like to think the John Smith’s Cup at York could be his ideal type of race. A strongly run 1¼m suits him well, although I wouldn’t rule out him trying 1½m at some point this year.
We’re in no rush with him at the moment and will let the current situation work itself out before we really step him up and get him going.
As we all know, the ground is key for him – he can’t have it soft enough. He seems to go well at Ascot, and we were delighted with his performance in the Cumberland Lodge there in October.
I’m confident, if he stays further than 1½m, his campaign could all lead up to the 2m race on Champions Day at Ascot, where we know he’s likely to get his beloved soft ground.
She absolutely thrived on her racing last year and really did us proud.
She’s looked good so far this spring and, when she gets quickish ground over 1m4f, she’ll always give her best.
We could have a little bit of run with her this season and she might just end up in the Ebor.
Stone of Destiny (5YO)
He was a little hit and miss last season but, on his day, he’s good.
He won the Shergar Cup Dash at Ascot and, if you look back through his form, his career best was a fourth-placed effort in the Commonwealth Cup as a three-year-old, so he clearly likes the Berkshire course.
The Wokingham at Royal Ascot would have been his target this term, but with uncertainty around it going ahead, we might have to have a rethink.
He’s been great for us and is a solid yardstick. He’s a decent handicapper who was very consistent last season.
He’s come back as good as ever and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him pop up in a handicap over 1m this season. He’s goes well fresh and first time up might be the time to catch him.
CHAD YEOMANS' ONE TO WATCH: JOHNNY DRAMA
Of the older horses at Park House Stables, I think it will pay to follow Johnny Drama this year.
He’s very lightly raced for a five-year-old, having had just nine starts, five of which came while part of Ger Lyons' Irish yard.
He ran well in three of his four starts for Andrew last year. The one exception, his run at Newbury, was too bad to be true, so I’m inclined to put a line through it.
I think he’ll be competitive in plenty of big-field handicaps this year and his trainer has nominated a race at York later this season which might be an ideal target.
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