The action stepped up on Thursday, with two Group races and a number of hot juvenile contests. The first of the Group races took place at Salisbury, where Guineas runner up Massaat was sent off the odds-on favourite. Our second Group contest was over in Ireland at Leopardstown, where Breeders Cup hero, Hit A Bomb, was beaten by a late run from Jim Bolger’s Tribal Beat. Elsewhere, Beverley hosted an afternoon of racing for the second day running, before Yarmouth held an evening card.
4 10 ZONDERLAND (C Cox) 4/1, Group 3 (Colts & Geldings), 1M, Good to Firm
Zonderland was always prominent and stretched away from his opponents in the final furlongs, despite hanging quite awkwardly approaching the line. The 3YOs run in France looks well behind him and connections are already looking upwards, a sure sign things are promising at home. Oisin Murphy’s comments post-race were interesting, saying that there is plenty still to come and that he is definitely better than the win in the Group 3. There were some significant non-runners that certainly weakened the race, but there were some top horses still beaten cosily by Clive Cox’s progressive 3YO.
5 30 HOLY CAT (M O’Callaghan) 11/4, 2YO Maiden (Fillies), 6F, Good to Firm
Holy Cat was available at 7/1 not long before the off, but began the race as the 11/4 favourite and landed the gamble comfortably. She was always in contention and up with the leaders, before breezing clear in the final furlong. Owned by Qatar Racing, they will obviously have big plans for this promising filly and is certainly worth tracking. It could be a filly saved for a 3YO campaign, the late timing of her debut suggests this route also. There was plenty of decent form through the field, but none were a match for this 2YO on debut.