However, disappointing this weekends punting was on my end, I have re-watched plenty of the action and here are some eye-catchers for next time.
San Donato — Roger Varian — Sheikh Mohammed Obaid
San Donato has been on my list as a talented horse since he defeated Hello Youmzain at Haydock.
Following that win, he picked up two further wins rising into a 100+ rated horse. After a break he was targetted at the French 2000 Guineas, flying at the finish he was beaten just over a length by the very talented Persian King.
He wasn't seen until this weekend where he placed 2nd in the Summer Mile. In a similar style to his french run, he came home strongly only beaten by Mohaather.
This was San Donato’s first run in 426 days and was on the unsuited quicker ground. This effort was more than fair first time up and you would have to think he can improve on this performance further.
Ground although not optimal this weekend he did handle. So a late-season target should definitely be achievable. I have noted the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes a Group 1 at the British Champions Day meeting. Being in October there is a big huge chance he can get the cut in the ground which is desired.
Failing that the Prix Daniel Wildenstein which is contested at Paris Longchamp on the Arc weekend could also be ideal.
Khaadem — Charles Hills — Hamdan Al Maktoum
One of my horses to follow for the season, he has only managed two 4th placed efforts this season.
This is a horse who is very much ground dependant, he needs good to firm rattling fast ground. His two runs this season have come on sticky ground, officially advertised as good but both times the ground has juice in it.
I think genuinely he is the best horse in the 6-furlong division. The one concern will definitely be lack of ideal races now. Following a conversation with a mate, he brought to my attention the possibility of the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood. This is over 7f but Goodwood is known for not being a stamina testing track.
I think he is likely to get his ideal ground conditions and a return to the track where he picked up a win last season looks to be ideal.
Monarch Of Egypt — Aidan O’Brien — P M Brant/J Magnier/M Tabor/ D Smith
This one wasn't an eye-catcher because of his run it was more eye-catching that they tried him over this far.
A horse who didn't look in love with the mile trip in the Irish 2000 Guineas, he was seen in a much better light 6 days afterwards when tackling 7 furlongs.
From an unfavourable draw, he showed brilliant speed to get on terms with the winner and I was excited to see what was to come. Unfortunately what was to come was going up to 1m2f at Dundalk. The betting stank as he drifted prior to the off and his stablemate who has proven stamina came in for support.
He will need to drop back in trip but I think there are plenty of quality races at 7 furlongs which should suit. I wouldn't even mind seeing him drop back to 6-furlongs on testing ground. I think he shows great speed, his form on softer surfaces reads well and possibly the 6-furlong division is slightly weak.
Malotru — Marco Botti — The Honorable Earle I Mack & Les Boyer
This one contested the very hot Group 1 Prix Jean Prat on the weekend. He showed a good level of form as a 2yr old winning a Group 3 in Italy on just his 2nd start. He tried his hand at a higher level back in Britain but came up short on both occasions to some very good horses.
His return to the track following lockdown was a run shaped with plenty of promise. Denied a clear run he was coming home like a train over a trip to short being beaten neck.
They stepped him back up to 7-furlongs and into Group 1 company, out the back for most of the race he found himself tracking the eventual winner Pinatubo.
There are two arguments you can make for the run, the first being that he had the ideal trip round given the winner took him through the race. The other argument is that Pinatubo was in an unfavourable position and Malotru showed plenty of ability to finish where he did.
I stand on the latter side, I think Pinatubo’s run can be upgraded and I think Malotru will be winning races very soon.
Marco Botti praised his improving 3yr old following his run and said “he ran a blinder” following on he said they were likely to miss the Goodwood festival in favour of the Hungerford Stakes. Interestingly Marco Botti hasn't had a runner in the Hungerford Stakes since winning the race back in 2011 with Excelebration.