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Andrew Balding stable tour: Four-year-olds

13 Apr | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Andrew Balding stable tour: Four-year-olds

In the second of a three-part series, the Betway ambassador reveals all you need to know about his four-year-old horses for the 2021 Flat racing season.

Arctic Vega

It’s fair to say he was disappointing at Doncaster in March. I think what we learned from that was that he needs 1m 2f and that’s the plan. He will also appreciate better ground or perhaps even an all-weather surface. He’ll win races, I’m sure.

Berkshire Rocco

We were gutted that he had to be made a non-runner in Dubai after going lame. He’s suffered from lameness in the past, but I thought he was over it, so it’s something we’ll look at. The vets and the communications teams from Meydan were phenomenal and we’re very thankful to them. The x-ray showed nothing drastic, so we’re just hoping it was a short-term problem.

He’s such a hardy horse who can run over anything from 1m 2f to 2m, which really opens up so many races, from a Coronation Cup to a Goodwood Cup. He’s a real pleasure to train.

Bounce The Blues

I was delighted with her at Doncaster. She came to win her race but just blew up. She’s still backwards in her coat so, on the whole, it was an excellent run against the boys. There’s a great programme for her and there’s a lovely fillies’ race at Goodwood in May. 7f or 1m will suit her throughout the season and she’s one I’m looking forward to.

Cadeau D’Or

With these staying horses, it helps to get a run under their belt, so he started off his campaign with a run at Wolverhampton. He ran OK behind a nice horse, but he’ll need to go up in trip now. He’ll get 2m this year and I’m sure we’ll have some fun with him. There is a 2m apprentices’ race at Ascot that could suit him well.

Coltrane

He was an absolute revelation last year. You could not be excited by him in the mornings – he just doesn’t show us much at home and has always been that way. With that said, he came to life in a piece of fast work last weekend. He was excellent. He could be one for the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot.

Fiesta De Vega

I really like this horse. He’s a big, scopey horse, who is a real long-term project. He’s only had two runs, winning on debut at Haydock and finishing second on his next start. I have to say, his work before his second run was to a very high level, so it was disappointing to see him beaten.

He’s the sort of horse who could keep improving with racing. If I’ve ever had a horse who is made for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, then this is it. He looks like a chaser and seems to gallop like one, too.

Group One Power

He’s been gelded over the winter and he must have had some discomfort prior to that operation. I’m much happier with him now – he seems to have a spring in his step. He was placed in a good race at Royal Ascot last season, so we know he’s got big days in him. He may start off at Epsom’s Derby Trial meeting in either the City and Suburban or the Great Metropolitan.

Grove Ferry

He ran OK in the Lincoln at the end of March. It looks a really strong race on paper, so perhaps it’ll turn out to be a better performance than the bare form suggests. He’ll want a stiffer track in the future, too.

Khalifa Sat

The decision has been made to retire Khalifa Sat. He gave us all an incredible day when finishing second in the Derby and he’ll be remembered for that brilliant effort. 

King’s Lynn

I’m sure there is a decent race in this fellow. He’s got plenty of pace, so I’m going to try him over 5f on his first run. If nothing else, it’ll blow the cobwebs away and we could try him in a nice 6f handicap at the Guineas meeting, which might suit him well. He hasn’t done a lot wrong in his career and seems in good shape.

Montanari

He’s another horse who has ability but has been beset by problems. He might go to Lingfield next week for a 1m 2f novice race as we want to get the ball rolling with him. If we can keep him right, he could prove to be better than his current mark of 77.

Opera Gift

He’ll be a handy stayer this season. He didn’t run at two but made up for lost time last season. He’s been gelded and I expect him to keep progressing.

Papa Power

He hasn’t run since the Italian Derby last season, where he picked up a niggle and we gave him some time. He’s back in fast work now and you’d like to think that his mark of 92 seems reasonable.

Quickstep Lady

She’s a half-sister to Dancing Star and Foxtrot Lady. She is the type to keep on improving, which is something her relations did with age and with racing. There will be nice opportunities for her this season and, like her relatives, she’ll win races at five, too.

Symbolize

I’ve been so pleased with him. He’s been gelded and is still backwards in his coat, but his work has been very good. He’s run well at two and three at the Royal meeting and you’d have to think that the Buckingham Palace could be made for him.

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