Dark horses: Brave Spartacus

KEITH Reveley’s eight-year-old BRAVE SPARTACUS developed into a very useful front-running novice chaser last season, winning four times. He ended up running respectably at Aintree but has not been since since. Today he reverts to hurdles in a 2m 1f novice event at Sedgefield (2.20). The decent ground will suit him and although he has …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Sunblazer

THIS week feels very much like after the Lord Mayor’s Show. But before any of us can blink the three-day Aintree meeting will be upon us, in 16 days in fact. It’s been a while since we did a Dark Horses piece but a few catch the eye today. SUNBLAZER was a tough and consistent …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Edmund Kean

TO BE fair, David Pipe’s EDMUND Kean isn’t really a dark horse but I’ve been waiting for him to make his chasing debut. This strapping son of Old Vic won with plenty in hand over hurdles at Fakenham and Taunton last season before running a blinder when third in the ultra-competitive EBF Final at Sandown. …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Vendredi Trois

*UPDATE: Vendredi Trois has this morning been declared a non-runner* THE highs and heartbreaking lows of racing have been felt by the Emma Lavelle team in the past few weeks. The death of one the yard’s great white hopes, Killyglass, was a reminder of how cruel this sport can be. The winner of last season’s …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Tioga Pass

KEMPTON’S frequent all-weather cards can be fairly informative when it comes to pinpointing future juvenile winners. One colt who caught the eye the other day was Paul Cole’s TIOGA PASS. He raced handily and stayed on at the one pace over a mile to be fifth to Psychometry. He wasn’t given a hard time and …[Read More]

Dark horses: Master Clockmaker

ANN Duffield unveils an interesting newcomer in MASTER CLOCKMAKER in the opener at Redcar today. The trainer thinks quite a bit of this strapping son of Mastercraftsman who cost £40,000 as a yearling and whom she describes as a “giant of a horse”. I would expect him to come on massively for today’s run but …[Read More]

Friday fancies: Castle Combe one to note

MARCUS Tregoning often keeps one of his nicer two year olds back for the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Stakes at Newbury. Ethmaar, Elshadi, Taameer, Cavaleiro and, best of all, Nayef have all triumphed for the trainer since 1999. On Friday he saddles another nice prospect in CASTLE COMBE. The long-striding son of Dylan Thomas showed …[Read More]

Dark horses: Gulland Rock

GULLAND ROCK is well worth a second look at Wolverhampton today. This lad is a half brother to the very speedy Stepper Point (left), and although he hasn’t shown much in his two runs, he could well step up on those efforts today. Similarly, Stepper Point showed very little in his first two racecourse appearances …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Watch out for Cumani filly

ZAWIYAH is among our two year olds to follow and she makes her second appearance at Windsor tonight (5.40). She showed distinct promise on her debut and should know a lot more about her job tonight. She could upset the jolly Merletta. In the same race Presidente and Master of Alkmaar are both well regarded …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Light the blue Touch Paper

TOUCH PAPER was considered a possible Queen Mary contender back in the spring but has found 5f too short on her two runs. Tonight she is upped to 7f and with Richard Hughes on board should prove very hard to beat at Kempton (7.00). In the same race don’t be surprised if Assolut, who has …[Read More]