It was absolutely fantastic to see Betway ambassador Andrew Balding win the Vertem Futurity Stakes on Friday evening.

Andrew had insisted in his two previous blogs on the Betway Insider that he was a Group 1 horse and that he’d run a big race, and he was ultimately proven correct.

He was so impressive on Friday evening. Dare I say it, he probably got to the front too soon, but still quickened up to put distance between him and the rest of the field.

I think he’ll progress more than Pinatubo from two years old to three, so he’d certainly be on my radar for the 2000 Guineas.


Earlier on Friday, we saw the return of Samcro at Down Royal.

He was impeccable on his first start over fences and looked to show some of his old spark.

He’ll improve for that first run and I’m very much looking forward to seeing him step up in class next time.


Honourable mentions

There were plenty of impressive performances on Saturday, but the one that really excited me was seeing Envoi Allen on his first start over hurdles.

Everything about him is pure class, and rivals will have to produce something pretty special to beat him on merit this season.

His price for the Supreme – – and the Ballymore – – won’t last.

Vinndication was very impressive on his first start over 3m at Ascot.

He travelled well, jumped soundly and, ultimately, saw the trip out well. I’d say he’ll move up in class now and will be one to follow.

Ones to watch

I’m really looking forward to seeing the return of Santini at Sandown Park on Sunday.

He’ll bid to get his campaign underway in the Listed Intermediate Chase – a content that his trainer and jockey won two years ago with Might Bite.


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