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‘Flames’ to lick his rivals

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Saxon Flames to burn off seven rivals in the Maiden Stakes over a mile of Newcastle tapeta today, William Muir’s charge was significantly well-backed into second favourite for his debut over seven furlongs on Lingfield polytrack last month. Money talks!

It’s a tremendous distance from Lambourn and owners will get little change from a ‘grand’ with all expenses but on my time-handicap the effort should be justified, because this Shamardal colt is way superior and reckoned to be a real progressive sort.

Throughout Saxon Flames travelled well, led inside the final furlong but was blitzed by strong-finishing Josephine Gordon-ridden Abatement, trained by Roger Charlton whose yard smacks of class.

Charlton only ‘employs’ the best jockeys!

There are plenty of punters out there who follow jockeys and Gordon supporters were on ‘cloud nine’ at Kempton last night when Josie drove home Alejandro, at 25/1!

That price was also available when Charlie Bennett scored last week; remember we told you to back this young apprentice in every handicap he rides?

Spotting talent from an early age can be hugely beneficial, Bennnett and Godron will do for now but I’m always on the lookout for readers!

Martin Dwyer partners Saxon Flames for his father-in-law, Muir, whose yard enjoyed a resurgence last year; experience should always bring out the best, eventually! If you don’t listen and learn what’s the point, of anything?

I’ve long maintained one learned a ‘bit’ at school, the rest from life! Rasaree, purchased out of Marco Botti’s yard by a client of Ed Walker, makes his debut for the latter in a winnable Maiden Stakes over twelve furlongs; also recent course and distance winner, Worlds His Oyster, is expected to supplement gains under a 6lbs penalty, and top-weight, in the ‘aged’ handicap over a straight mile. All selections are on the best and fairest all-weather track on this planet!


Matchbook, the new sponsor of the Imperial Cup at Sandown on March 11, will award a £50,000 bonus should the winner go on to win any race at the Cheltenham Festival the following week.

The bonus has been a long-standing feature of the famous handicap but wasn’t in place for last year’s renewal of the two mile handicap, won by Flying Angel.

Three horses have won the bonus in its history and all three hailed from the Pond House Stables of Martin and David Pipe with Olympian (1993 Coral Cup), Blowing Wind (1998 County Hurdle) and Gaspara (2007 Fred Winter Hurdle) all going on to success at Cheltenham. Mark Brosnan, Matchbook CEO, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring Imperial Cup Day and to reinstate this bonus, bringing back a long-standing tradition.

“It is just one more way we can demonstrate our commitment to the sport and contribute to the future growth of British Horse Racing. Alongside our sponsorship investment, we have also invested in developing a horse racing product we believe will become the best in the world, combining our lightning quick betting platform and consistently stand-out pricing.”

Jockey Club representative Tony Langenegger added: “We were very pleased to welcome Matchbook as a partner this year and look forward to the Matchbook Imperial Cup Day very much. The Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle is worth £70,000 and is run over a distance of two miles.

The bonus will be split with £30,000 going to the winning owner, £10,000 to the trainer and £5,000 for the yard and for the jockey (split in half if two jockeys are involved).

Matchbook sponsors 16 fixtures at Sandown Park and Kempton Park Racecourses in 2017, including the historic Brigadier Gerard Evening at Sandown Park and Silver Cups Day at Kempton Park.

Imperial Cup bonus returns Newcastle, 11.20, Saxon Flames (nap) • 12.55 Rasaree • 1.55 Worlds His Oyster (e.w)


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