The Newmarket trainer with the Italian name Marco Botti, is one to look out for as the Flat season gets into full swing.
He has already had all-weather maiden winners in Carioca, Bohemian Melody and Faited To Pretend and all of them should be worth following on turf in the coming months.
But Botti will have his sights on some of the more prestigious prizes with his talented middle-distance performer Gitano Hernando who was very unlucky in last Saturday’s Dubai World Cup at Meydan when never getting a clear run and finishing back in sixth under Kieren Fallon.
The four-year-old was sent off favourite and was only beaten a couple of lengths. He will be campaigned now for summer programme which is likely to include Royal Ascot, the Eclipse Stakes and possibly the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October.
“He was a bit unlucky in Dubai and his low draw turned out to be a disadvantage, “ said Botti.
“He was stuck on the rail and the pace was slow and when they quickened in the straight, he didn't have the turn of foot to go with them straight away and couldn't get out.
“When he did get going he stayed on well but Kieren (Fallon) only gave him one back hander and tried to switch outside and there wasn't anywhere to go.
“It's disappointing, but at least he proved he is capable of competing at the top level.
“We have a few options for him now with races like the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, the Juddmonte International and the Eclipse Stakes to look at in the summer.
“The Arc is also something I mentioned to the owners but we need to sit down and make a plan.
“On a flat track like the Longchamp I don't think the extra two furlongs would be a problem for him as he's bred to stay a mile and a half and settles well.
“If we decide to go to Royal Ascot he will probably go straight there now as I want to freshen him up first.”
A top class race certainly looks to be within Gitano Hernando’s grasp and he could reward at tasty odds.
It does not take too much imagination to stick with the tried and trusted big stables, such as Sir Michael Stoute, Richard Hannon and Mark Johnston for regular winners but of course many of their horses will go off very short favourites.
And as all hardened punters know the majority of favourites do not win. The general stats show that it is about one in three. Racing is not an exact science and no-hopers do surprise.
All too often, punters fall on the wrong horses in the wrong races at the wrong time because the can’t be bothered spending more than a few minutes studying the form that is there for all to see.
The more study and time you put in, the more you will get out in terms of profit.
But that studious nature should not be based totally on form as all horses, no matter how good, reaches a peak.
Other factors can come into play, such as trainer habits and jockey bookings.
Horses that run up a sequence are generally better class but it pays to pay attention to a horse’s history. Often it might be stepping up in class or finds itself in the grip of the handicapper which will make it more difficult to win again.
Also that peak in terms of fitness will most likely, last no more than a month, so beware of those coming back after a lengthy absence as it is an indication of training problems, unless it is well known that the animal benefits from long intervals between races. There are always exceptions to the norm, but you must learn how to spot them.
Finally, the Flat unearths a mushrooming of conmen promising all sort of ways to get rich quick. The best tip is to bin all circulars and refrain from costly online temptations.
All the information you need to help make a judgement call, can be found in most daily or specialist newspapers that provide an up to date and relevant racing service. Along with your own eyes, what more do you need?
Church bells will be ringing out throughout Ireland if St. Nicholas Abbey lives up to his growing reputation by taking racing’s greatest three-year-old prize.
No one gets a second chance at the ‘Blue Riband’ and there is no better man at preparing one for this number one Classic, than the Coolmore maestro Aidan O’Brien. He has one here who can add to his two previous wins with Galileo (2001), followed by High Chaparral (2002).
The colt is set to go to the very top and there will have to be something amiss for him not to land one Classic.
Betting: 2-1 St Nicholas Abbey, 12-1 Jan Vermeer, 16-1 Passion For Gold, Elusive Pimpernel; 20-1 Al Zir; 25-1 Cape Blanco, Chabal, Fencing Master.
Last year, Kieren Fallon before his return to racing after a period of suspension, gave a strong pointer to Seta as one to follow.
Trainer Luca Cumani was very much down in the dumps when she failed to win the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.
Seta hit the front two furlongs out but was outgunned by Pollenator in the last half furlong.
But don’t let that put you off. Cumani knows the time of day as does Fallon and they would not be talking up this filly if she did not have what it takes.
Twelve furlongs, however has to be taken on trust and she has yet to be supplemented.
Betting: 4-1 You’ll Be Mine, 16-1 Timepiece, Seta; 20-1 Pollenator, Rosanara, Principal role, 25-1 Kithonia, Sagacious.
French fillies are always a treat to watch whether on two legs or four.
And there is no lady more adept at taking this classic than leading French trainer Criquetter Head-Maarek.
She rarely makes the journey across the Channel unless she has one that can do the business as she showed with Ma Biche (1987) and Ravinella (1988). She makes the trip again next month with Special Duty who is indeed, very special as shown when she took the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket last autumn.
She is a class act and has worked well since her winter break and should win on her season debut next week.
Betting: 5-2 Special Duty; 16-1 Seta, Roscanara; 20-1 Tabassum, Lady of the Desert. 25-1 bar.
The first leg of an exclusive Classic double can be attained by St Nicholas Abbey.
He has the pace for this one-mile race before heading to Epsom in a bid to follow in the hoofprints of Sea The Stars who completed the feat last year.
The vibes have been growing for Richard Hannon’s Canford Cliffs but the latter looks to all intents and purposes an out-and-out sprinter, judging on his Coventry Stakes success at Royal Ascot last June.
There are some very good colts in this, but St Nicholas can make Christmas come early.
Betting: 2-1 St Nicholas Abbey; 7-1 Canford Cliffs; 10-1 Arcano, Awzaan; 16-1 Workforce, Elusive Pimpernel, Cape Blanco, Fencing Master, Inler; 25-1 Hearts Of Fire, Xtension, Al Zir.