Another fortnight passing by means another collection of unlucky losers and hard luck stories to delve
into…


Finally Mine (2nd)

Red, white and blue silks, (Keith Dalgleish)

Monday 12th October – 16.30 Musselburgh

The torrential downpour all over the UK over the past few weeks has made for some incredibly soft/heavy
ground, thus leading to numerous small fields and non-runners galore – however, it has also enabled
many to establish those who flourish on the softer underfoot.

One who particularly seemed to relish the ground was Keith Dalgleish’s Finally Mine. The filly lost by just a
neck over 1m1f early last week, but may well have won had she not been pinned in against the rail by the
eventual winner in the final few furlongs.

Finally Mine travelled well throughout and coming off the home bend jockey Callum Rodriguez took his
mount to the stand side rail in search of less boggy ground on the straight. However, as the rest of the field
followed suit, Finally Mine was caught in behind Paul Hanagan’s mount, Delph Crescent, and forced to wait
for the more experienced gelding to shift further towards the rail and open up a gap.

When the gap did emerge, the three-year-old took a moment to refocus before bolting through and gaining
on the leader with every stride; if the race was fifty yards longer then she certainly would’ve won. Therefore,
the few seconds that the filly spent caught in behind has actually proven costly and she was certainly an
unlucky loser.

With the form reading 622, it is hard to see Finally Mine being a double-figure price that she has been on her
previous runs (33/1, 25/1, 11/1) – however, if the theme of soft and heavy ground continues then she will
certainly be worth backing at most prices.

Finally Mine was a poor favourite on the 20th October (finishing 9th). The filly looked like she may have been
turned out too quickly and definitely didn’t handle the all-weather track.

 



Princess Midnight (3rd)

Navy and red checkered silks, (Colin Tizzard)

Thursday 15th October – 14.45 Wincanton

Colin Tizzard’s Princess Midnight was a mightily unlucky third on her second start since wind-surgery last
week, looking like the probable winner up until two out. The mare travelled superbly and had the rest of the
field off the bridle and backpedalling approaching two-from-home, however on landing she clipped the
fence and lost all momentum, throwing away her opportunity of winning her first ever race.

From the off, Cobden took the six-year-old to the front and let her lead by example, rarely needing any
encouragement to get over the fences and showing a good attitude to keep her head in front when
challengers emerged from the pack. The by Midnight Legend out of Setter’s Princess mare looked like she
had plenty more to give before her mistake and may well have won with more in hand on another day.

With an SP of 7/1, Princess Midnight was overpriced that day. Three weeks prior to the race, precisely the
20
th September, she returned from a 515 day break with a fair fourth over 2m4f at Plumpton, looking like
she would be involved in the finish before quickly emptying in the closing stages. Therefore, the drop in
trip to 2m, which proved ideal, and the conditions on the day, good-to-firm, were definitely favourable.

The most recent number three in Princess Midnight’s formbook certainly doesn’t tell the whole story and if
she remains at this two mile trip, soon enough there will be a number one in the book too.

 



 Giuseppe Cassioli (1st)

Black and red silks, (Charles Hills)

Thursday 15th October – 13.30 Lingfield

When a radio commentator begins to conclude their live race analysis with the classic lines of “the
favourite is doing enough in front” and “being driven out”, listeners can only assume that the horse
in the lead has got the race wrapped up. However, a late surge from Charles Hills’ Giuseppe Cassioli
meant that this simply wasn’t the case last Thursday at Lingfield, his late dash meant commentators
were forced to backtrack on their words as the unlikely winner emerged from the pack in the final few
strides to win on the nod.

The well-backed favourite, Ahdab, was sent for home very early by Jim Crowley but broke away well
and looked like the winner up until 50 yards out, that was until Giuseppe Cassioli suddenly unleashed
a ferocious turn of foot to win by a shorthead in a photo finish. But, the winning distance doesn’t do
the victory justice given how the three-year-old dwelt for the opening stages of the race and had to
pass every competitor to get his head in front.

The colt was drawn in stall 11 of 12 so instantly faced an uphill mission, which was made all the more
difficult given how he missed the break and was slowly away, with the onboard Kieran Shoemark having
to settle in the rear. Coming into the home bend, Giuseppe was off the bridle and needed maximum
encouragement from Shoemark to even stay in touch with the rest, who were largely still travelling
smoothly.

But the tables turned in the home straight, with the by Bated Breath colt slowly picking off his opposition
one-by-one and gradually moving into contention. Then, with a few powerful shrugs of the reigns from
Shoemark, his mount found yet more speed to charge through a small gap and win.

There was a lot to like about the young colt’s victory and he will have learnt plenty, and additionally
the nature of the win does suggest that 1m1f/1m2f is well within his reach. Giuseppe Cassioli is
certainly worth keeping onside of in his next few runs.

 

 

 Zagato (5th)

Black and orange silks, (John Gosden)

Saturday 17th October – 18.00 Wolverhampton

Preparing a young horse for their first ever race is an almighty and nerve-wrecking task for stables up
and down the country; therefore, John Gosden and his team will have been devastated when their
well-bred two-year-old, Zagato, was badly hampered when leaving the stalls last Saturday, losing
almost ten lengths on the field in a matter of seconds.

On paper, the task of winning was already a difficult one for jockey Nicky Mackay as his mount was
drawn widest of them all in stall 12. However, it was made impossible when the stall 11 horse, eventual
winner Noman, jumped right out of the stalls and carried Zagato with him. Mackay was forced to a
halt and had to essentially restart his race from a standing start against the stand side rail, with the rest
of the field already racing away from him.

Thankfully, the colt showed maturity beyond his years to settle well off the pace and coasted into
contention as the race unfolded. Although off the bridle early, which is understandable given that
he had heaps of ground to make up, Zagato responded well to pressure and found plenty. The by
Frankel out of Izzi Top debutant darted past tiring horses and finished fastest of all the runners,
hitting the line powerfully.

Having finished just four and three quarter lengths behind the winner, which is essentially half of the
head start he was forced to give the rest of the field, Zagato’s debut was incredibly impressive and
the margins show that with a clear run he would have won by lengths upon lengths. He showed
maturity, speed and a desire to race, which is why I can only see him winning races to come.

By Charlie Parker-Turner
@CParkerTurner

Thank you!