TREASURY Notes has an excellent chance in the Sandy Struthers Handicap at Hamilton.
The three-year-old son of Lope De Vega had shown patches of form in maidens, but it was at Beverley last week where he really stepped up.
David O’Meara had only had the colt in his care a short while, having previously been trained by Daniel Mark Loughnane, but the North Yorkshire handler must have been chuffed by what he saw on the Westwood.
Treasury Notes was making his turf debut in a reasonably competitive handicap over eight and a half furlongs, and nearly won, too.
Given a stealthy ride by Daniel Tudhope, O’Meara’s inmate seized the initiative late on but was bustled out of it at the death by Dual Mac and Fazza. He was, though, only beaten half a length into third place, which was no mean effort as it was his first run since July.
That Beverley spin should have shaken off any ring-rustiness ahead of this one-mile affair, which looks anything but a classic, and a mark of 75 can be exploited by his wise connections.
Dark Emerald looks well treated in the EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes. Brendan Powell’s five-year-old is the highest-rated horse in the line-up but he races on level terms with many of his rivals at the Scottish track.
The gelded son of Dark Angel has not won since earning a packet out in Dubai in March, but recent efforts, including a short-head defeat to Richard Pankhurst at Haydock, inspire confidence.
Dark Emerald warmed up for this assignment in the Listed Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury a week and a half ago, when he was not beaten far at all on ground what was probably softer than ideal.
Meanwhile, Danzeno is heading for Ascot on Champions Day after landing one of the feature races at Musselburgh yesterday, with locally born Andrew Mullen in the saddle.
The 4-9 favourite warmed to the task after a sluggish start to beat Red Baron by two and a half lengths in the 5f Breeders Backing Racing EBF Sprint Conditions Stakes.
Winning trainer Mick Appleby said: “He got the job done and, hopefully, this will given him a bit of confidence. He half-missed the break but he did it well in the end. Unless if turns really soft he’ll go for the sprint on Champions Day now and that will be him for the year after that.”
Danzeno is owned and bred by Max and Clive Wragg and the latter said: “We won the big sprint here last year with his half-sister Demora and there is another half-sister that has still to be named.”
Lil Sophella gained a neck success from Breakable under Danny Tudhope when coming from last to first to take the EBF Stallions Scottish Premier Fillies’ Handicap which saw the first six home only separated by a length.
Trainer Patrick Holmes said: “She’s a fantastic mare and if she’d another gear she would have been a Classic filly. She’s got the temperament and sound and is a dream to have. She’s improved every season – she won in 2013 off 52 and this is a career best from 76 in 71-90 handicap. She always misses the break but then when she starts to pass horses she really picks up.”
Saxonette won for the fourth time over course and distance in the first division of the apprentice handicap for Linda Perratt and Jordan Vaughan. Perratt said: “I thought she ran OK at Hamilton last week considering she doesn’t like the track. She loves it here and we have her in at Ayr over 6f on Tuesday when she won’t have a penalty.”
On Saturday, Shalaa confirmed himself the king of this year’s juvenile crop with victory in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
It is remarkable to think the son of Invincible Spirit finished last of eight on his Newbury debut in mid-May, as he has proved an irresistible force ever since. Since proving his introductory effort all wrong with a first victory a fortnight later, the youngster has landed Newmarket’s July Stakes, the Richmond at Goodwood and the Prix Morny at Deauville, so he had earned his place as the 1-2 favourite to round off a fantastic year on a high on the Rowley Mile.
Frankie Dettori kept things simple, allowing the market leader to stride on at the head of affairs. Buratino did his best to throw down a challenge late on, but came up half a length short.
Shalaa was left unchanged as 4-1 favourite for next year’s Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. Trainer John Gosden said: “He’s gone very fast, Ryan Moore came in [after riding Rouleau] and said he’d never been so fast over the first four furlongs over the Rowley Mile as he had in this race.
“This was the last race this year for him. He was clocking 41mph and that is very quick for a horse. He’s incredibly fast and we’re lucky to have him. I’m not sure about trying to stretch out to a mile next year, I see him more as an out-and-out sprinter.”
The fillies took centre stage in the Cheveley Park Stakes, with the Mark Johnston-trained Lumiere dominating from start to finish under William Buick. So impressive on her debut at Headquarters before finding Besharah too strong in the Lowther at York, Lumiere turned the form around fairly emphatically to clinch Group One glory.
Lumiere was cut to 8-1 by both Paddy Power and William Hill to give Johnston a first Guineas winner since Attraction in 2004.
Johnston said: “Coming here today, I hadn’t been as nervous before a race for a long time, because I thought she’s the best horse I’ve had for a long time.
“I’m very hopeful she’ll get a mile next year. I told someone three weeks ago I didn’t know about the Cheveley Park, but I’m sure she’ll win the Guineas. I just hope I’m right.”