On a wet and miserable weekend of racing at Haydock, The Tin Man raised the dampened spirits with Sprint Cup victory in gruelling conditions. Saturday also saw the successful return of Britain’s superstar sweetheart, Enable while Limato continued his recent resurgence at York on Sunday.
While they were the key victors over the two days, here are three other horses who caught the eye across the nation last weekend.
Here Comes When excels in treacherous conditions
While many horses flounder in such testing conditions, the admirable Here Comes When seemingly steps his form up to another level. He duly did this on Saturday when notching a win in the group three Superior Mile at Haydock.
Andrew Balding’s eight-year-old was well backed into second favouritism as the rain poured down, and under man-of-the-moment Oisin Murphy Here Comes When was driven out for an authoritative length success.
It should come as no shock for racegoers that he has a performance like this in store. Little over a year ago, he struck at the highest level in similarly disgusting conditions in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. So as the weather now begins to turn, be wary of Here Comes When, who will power through when others will struggle.
Ascot specialist strikes again
Some horses may be a specialist in particular conditions, others are specialists at particular courses. Ripp Orf falls into the latter bracket, and he registered yet another major handicap success at the Berkshire venue.
Winner of the Victoria Cup in May and third in the Gigaset International handicap in July, the four year-old gelding continued his and David Elsworth’s fine form when surging through the field in the final furlong to get up in the Cunard Handicap.
Whatever the weather and whatever the field, Ripp Orf clearly has a love for Ascot, and with the Challenge Cup and Balmoral Handicap to come at this venue, Ripp Orf should be feared if he participates in either race.
Winner Massagot to begin resurgence?
It’s not a hiding matter that Winner Massagot had endured a disappointing career to date. But the recent change to Dan Skelton’s yard may finally pay dividends after he got off the mark for his new trainer with an easy 26-length success at Fontwell. The seven-year-old was once so highly regarded he was sent off favourite for the prestigious handicap hurdle at Ascot in December, but he has had what can only be described as a severe fall from grace ever since.
The switch to a new yard seemingly didn’t work for a start either, with four awful displays throughout the summer. Yet with absolutely no explanation at all, he defied topweight to win an open Handicap Chase and looked every inch the high-class prospect he was touted to be.
While there does need to be reservations about the quality of the race, Winner Massagot ultimately pulverised the opposition, and with a valuable chase coming up at Market Rasen and even the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham, Winner Massagot could be targeted at those races and come into them as a dark horse.