Past Winners » Trumpet Major


The Betfred Mile is probably the biggest ‘draw’ race of the season, yet in the race preceding it, the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes, run over the same one-mile trip, the draw is not usually figured to be important. Only one renewal in the last 10 years has featured more than 10 runners, but with 14 runners in today’s race, it is possible that the draw will play quite a significant part, with the rails having been moved in, as they usually are on the Friday of the meeting, to produce fresh ground on the inside.

The two horses in which I was interested, Stipulate and Trumpet Major, are well drawn in stalls two and three respectively, whereas the horse I was looking to oppose, Gregorian, is drawn in stall 10, and that may just make his task quite tough.

It’s not that Gregorian isn’t good enough to win this, of course he is, he probably has the best form in the race having been beaten a length or less in three Group 1 races in his last four starts. However, he has only actually won a two-year-old maiden and a three-year-old handicap, in which he scrambled home by a head off a mark of 88. He has been to France and back three times in less than three months to run in the best races there, it is likely that that travelling will catch up with him at some point, and on top of that, John Gosden’s horses, for all that they continue to win big races, probably aren’t quite going as well now as they were for the first few months of the season. At no better than 7/2 I am happy to be against him.

Aljamaaheer is a player from stall one, but he is quite a popular horse now, and he has taken a bit of a pull in his races so Paul Hanagan may just have to forfeit a prominent position in order to settle him on this first try at a mile. That would negate the advantage of his low draw.

Trumpet Major does have a 4lb penalty to shoulder for his win in the Craven Stakes, but he still has a major chance in my book. That Craven win was emphatic, particularly as it was on ground that was probably a bit softer than ideal, it proved he stayed a mile strongly, something that had been a doubt coming into this season. It proved he was at least as good, if not better, than he had been as a two-year-old, and he had been a high-class two-year-old, winning the Group 2 Champagne Stakes and finishing a close-up fifth in the Dewhurst on his final run.

It may have been that his Craven win left him a little flat for the 2000 Guineas just over two weeks later, and the ground for the Guineas was probably a little softer than it had been for the Craven meeting, and that would not have suited him. He still ran a really big race, hitting the front over a furlong out and looking as though he might hold on, before Camelot and French Fifteen came through. He still beat the rest of those on the near side comfortably.

His latest run in the Irish 2000 Guineas can readily be excused as he was found to be coughing after the race. The fact that he was heavily backed prior to that race though suggests that we still may not have seen the best of him though. He has been given plenty of time to recover, the fact that Richard Hughes is riding him rather than Coupe De Ville, who also has solid claims, suggests Trumpet Major is firing again, and he is overpriced in my book at 7/1.