Andrew Balding stable tour 2022: The older horses
The Betway ambassador reveals everything you need to know about his older horses for the 2022 Flat racing season.
We’ve got another fantastic team of horses for this season.
We had a very good set of two-year-olds last season that have developed nicely into this year’s strong team of three-year-olds. We’ve got yard favourites, maidens in waiting and some unknown – but hopefully very promising – two-year-olds, too.
It’s a great time of year for all of us at Park House Stables. Here are the older horses.
Alounak had a great season last year. He won the Old Newton Cup at Haydock and ran a pleasing race in the Ebor, too. He’s going to be a hard horse to place, so although it might end up too far in trip, we might give him a speculative entry in the Gold Cup at Ascot. He’s at that stage in his career where we might need to find something new for him and going out much further in trip could be it.
Bell Rock ran a solid race in the Earl of Sefton. He might go to the Huxley Stakes at Chester or might wait and go for the Diomed at Epsom. He needs spaces between his races, so after one of those assignments we might train him for Goodwood.
Berkshire Rocco had a setback earlier in the year that delayed his return. He’s obviously a very decent horse on his day. If we manage to keep him sound, he’ll be adding to his profile this season.
Bounce The Blues is a very decent filly on soft ground. She’s effective from 6f to a mile but she does want cut in the ground. She was unlucky in the Chartwell at Lingfield last season and might start off her season there again this year. There is also a listed race at Haydock on the same weekend, so wherever it rains most, she’ll turn up.
Chil Chil had a setback, which is really frustrating. I expect and hope to have her back in mid-summer. She won a Group 3 and was placed in a Group 1, so there is no doubting her ability is of a high level. She loves fast ground, and her early season target is likely to be the July Cup, with hopefully one run beforehand.
Coltrane would ideally go for the Chester Cup. He’s run with credit on the all-weather this year and those runs will be bringing him on. He won the Melrose very impressively a couple of years ago and off his current rating in the mid-90s, he could be a player in big-field, staying handicaps.
Good Birthday is good, solid handicapper. We know what he likes: a flat track, fast ground, 1m 2f and blinkers on. With all of that said, you’d have to think there could be a big handicap at York for him at some point.
Group One Power needed his run the other day. He can run between 1m 2f and 1m 4f and will definitely come forward from his comeback run. He’s likely to go to the Chester May meeting now and, in the right race, he could be in the mix.
Happy Power ran on Saturday in the Richard III at Leicester. Ideally doesn’t want it rattling quick and will be campaigned around 6f-1m in Group 2 and Group 1’s.
Johnny Drama won the John Smith’s Cup at York last year, which was a great day. He’s taken time to come to hand this year, which might not end up being a bad thing as his main target is likely to be that same race at York in July.
King’s Lynn is a horse we’re obviously very excited about. He’s a top-class sprinter and showed us that last season. To win a listed race with a penalty is tough, but the time figure he posted at Doncaster was very impressive, too. We’re in two minds of where to start with him – he could go to Newmarket, although I’m not sure he’ll love the track that much, or Chester, where he started out last season. From that, the Temple Stakes and the King’s Stand are the next two likely targets.
Shine So Bright will have his main aim as the Buckingham Palace at Royal Ascot. A 6f sprint on Guineas day might be his next port of call, but he might just need to drop a few pounds to become really competitive again.
Silence Please is a nice filly who came over from Jessica Harrington’s yard in Ireland. She’ll be great fun this season and is likely to start in a listed fillies race at Newmarket. If she stays 1m 6f, the Bronte Stakes at York could be a good option for her, too.
Stone Of Destiny is a good, classy handicapper. He doesn’t want the ground too soft, which can limit our options during the Autumn. He’s run well and been placed at the highest level in his career. He’ll do what he always does.
Symbolize started off well this season at Thirsk in a conditions race. He’s clearly got the ability to be winning at Listed level, but I’d love to win a big handicap with him. As he’s gone so well at Ascot previously, races like the Victoria Cup may well be on his radar, especially if we can claim off him.
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