Horses To Follow » HTF – Britain

Bounce The Blues

Bounce The Blues put up a good performance to run Cloak Of Spirits to a half a length in the Listed Rosemary Stakes. She travelled well through her race for Oisin Murphy on the stands side of the field. She tracked Cloak Of Spirits to the three-furlong marker and she picked up nicely to challenge Richard Hannon’s filly on the run to the two. Cloak Of Spirits was always holding her really, but Bounce The Blues kept on all the way to the line, she got to within a half a length of the winner and she pulled three lengths clear of the third filly Tomorrow’s Dream.

This was another step forward by the Excelebration filly on her second run for Andrew Balding. She was a progressive filly for Johnny Feane earlier this season, she won her maiden over seven furlongs at Naas in August, and she improved from that to win a good listed race over seven furlongs at Naas on soft ground, when she kept on well to beat talented filly Soul Search by a half a length. Cloak Of Spirits enhanced the form of the Rosemary Stakes when she finished a close-up third behind Nazeef in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, and there is every chance that Bounce The Blues can continue her progression. She stays a mile well but she is effective over seven furlongs too, and she could do even better when the ground eases further.

Newmarket, 25th September 2020


The other filly to take out of the Rosemary Stakes was Ummalnar, who ran better than her finishing position suggests on her first run back after a long break. Weak in the market beforehand, she was slowly away and she was held up early on by Tom Marquand. A little keen through the first couple of furlongs, she was last passing the five-furlong marker but, moved towards the far side, she travelled well into the Dip, and she picked up well over there before she appeared to tire. She just kept on on the far side to finish eighth, in a race in which the protagonists raced prominently and towards the near side.

It was a satisfactory comeback run by William Haggas’ mare on her first run in 440 days. Unraced as a juvenile, she won two of her three races as a three-year-old, and she was impressive in winning a one-mile fillies’ handicap at Ascot on her second and final run last year off a mark of 90. She is five years old now, but she has raced just six times in her life. She has obviously had her issues, but she is talented, and she could still be a well-handicapped filly on a mark of 98.

A mile is a good trip for her and, while she may not want the ground to be too soft, we know that she goes well on good and fast ground, and she is one for one on all-weather.

Newmarket, 25th September 2020

Mid Winster

Mid Winster ran better than the bare form of her run in the five-furlong handicap suggests. She travelled up well towards the near side, but she got a little out-paced when they quickened on the run to the two-furlong marker. She stayed on well though, out in the centre of the track, closing all the way to the line. She only finished fifth in the end, but she was only beaten a total of three and a half lengths by the winner Came From The Dark, and she was closest at the finish.

Paul Midgley’s filly finished strongly, she was in front at the pull-up, and she could do better now stepped back up to six furlongs. She did win over five furlongs at Ayr on her previous run, but her best runs in Ireland when she was with Andy Slattery were over six. This was just her third run for Paul Midgley, so she could progress again, and she remains on a handicap rating of 81, which is 8lb lower than the mark on which she started off this season. She goes well on easy ground, so she will be of interest if she runs again on easy ground this season.

Haydock, 26th September 2020

Umm Kulthum

Umm Kulthum put up another good performance in finishing third in the Cheveley Park Stakes. She was keen early on, and she raced on the far side, probably not on the right part of the track, but she kept on really well to take third place, just a half a length behind the winner Alcohol Free and beaten just a short head by Miss Amulet for second place. This was a step up by Richard Fahey’s filly on her Lowther Stakes run at York in August, when she finished four lengths behind Miss Amulet and three lengths behind Sacred, whom she had almost 12 lengths behind her in eighth place here. In the interim, she had done well to win the Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes at Ayr, staying on well in the far side to beat Scarlet Bear by a length, with last Saturday’s Two-Year-Old Trophy winner Lullaby Moon back in third.

This was just her fourth ever run, she continues to progress, and she will do even better when she learns to settle better. Also, her pedigree and her racing style suggests that she could do better stepped up to seven furlongs.

Newmarket, 26th September 2020


Walhaan ran better than the bare form of the run suggests in the Cambridgeshire, from stall one and racing on the far side in a race that was dominated by those who raced on the near side. The first three home, and five of the first six home, were drawn in the 20s, and the first 12 home all raced towards the near side. Walhaan finished 13th, first on the far side. Drawn in stall one, David Egan had no real option other than to remain on the far side. He travelled well up with the leaders in the small group of seven that remained on the far side and, while it was obvious from a fair way out that the near side had it, Ian Williams’ horse stayed on well on the far side to beat his six rivals over there, including the Clipper Logistics Handicap 1-2, Montatham and Sir Busker, who had finished second in the Group 2 Celebration Mile on his previous run.

Walhaan remains an interesting horse. A dual winner in France for Jean-Claude Rouget, he out-ran odds of 100/1 when he finished second behind River Nymph at Ascot in July on his third run for Ian Williams, and he ran well from a wide draw and after a slow start behind Montatham and Sir Busker in that Clipper Logistics Handicap at York’s Ebor meeting in August. He holds an entry in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on Champions’ Day. His mark of 92 may not be high enough to get him into the race, which is a pity, because he would be of interest if he did happen to get in, he goes well on soft ground and he has run well twice on Ascot’s straight track, but he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

Newmarket, 26th September 2020