By John Scanlon


The stable’s first winner of June was provided by Chasemore Farm’s Arisaig (pictured above), who landed a handicap in good style on turf at Lingfield on the first day of the month.

The winner of two of her three juvenile starts, at Chelmsford and at Kempton, the Harry Angel filly had had two runs at Newmarket in recent weeks before lining up at Lingfield.  Stepping up to a mile on her turf debut on April 16, she spoilt her chance by dwelling at the start, before keeping on in the closing stages to finish fourth. A month later, racing over a mile again, she took a keen hold, led three furlongs from home, but faded into third.

The Lingfield race, a handicap over an extended seven and a half furlongs, represented a drop in class as well as a slight drop in distance. Arisaig was one of seven horses who went to post for the race, racing off a mark of 83 and partnered for the first time by Franny Norton.

The filly broke a little slowly as Twirler set out to make the running. Franny Norton switched Arisaig right and raced in rear on the stands’ rail. Twirler continued to lead until approaching the final furlong, when she was headed by Piz Nair. As that gelding began to hang left, a gap opened up for Arisaig to exploit on the rails. The filly quickened up into the gap, and despite hanging left herself, she took the lead with half a furlong to travel, pulling clear of Piz Nair to score by one and a half lengths, with The Bitter Moose two and a half lengths away in third.

This was a third career success for Arisaig, who was a bargain buy for Johnston Racing as part of Book 3 at Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2022 at Just 6,000gns. A late April foal, Arisaig is out of the unraced Galileo mare, Magic Nymph, a full sister to the Listed winner, Galactic Star. In the paddocks she has produced four winners, the best of whom is Folkswood, by Exceed and Excel, a Group 3 winner at Meydan, who ran third to Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate in 2017.

Arisaig won in good style here and it will be interesting to see where she is aimed by connections in the near future.

There was much to like when Where’s Clare made her debut in a fillies’ novice event at Carlisle in May. Paul and Clare Rooney’s Mehmas filly raced prominently, took over in the lead from the odds-on favourite, River Seine, a furlong from home, and when overtaken by Englemere just 100 yards out, she battled on to hold down by just a head.

Turned out in a restricted maiden event at Wolverhampton on June 4, Where’s Clare was drawn on the inside rail in a restricted maiden race over five furlongs. As at Carlisle, Joe Fanning was in the saddle.

With such a good draw, Joe kept things admirably simple. Quickly away from the stalls, Where’s Clare went straight into the lead, with Mighty Real and Never Know in close attendance early on.

Turning for home, Bantz began a challenge on Where’s Clare’s inner but was well held, while Cyclonite finished fast and wide. At the post, Where’s Clare had prevailed by two and a quarter lengths from Bantz, who just held off Cyclonite for second by a short head.

This was an excellent win for Where’s Clare, who looks likely to be equally as effective over six furlongs. A February foal, she was bought for 45,000gns at Tattersalls Somerville Sales last September. She is the first foal out of the Charm Spirit mare, Jessely, a Listed-place winner at Deauville over six furlongs as a juvenile, and a half-sister to the Qatar Derby winner, Emperor Maximus, by Holy Roman Emperor.

Where’s Clare showed plenty of speed at Wolverhampton and looks a useful prospect for her owners.

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