5.6.17

Royal Ascot runner-up Bletchley makes winning return

Bletchley, a short-head second in the Gr. 3 Albany Stakes last year, made a successful return to the track at Leicester on Monday.

The Ralph Beckett-trained Bletchley was entitled to go well at the weights in this conditions race, BHA-rated 103 after her fantastic performance - when flying late and unlucky not to win - behind the susequent Gr. 1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Brave Anna at Royal Ascot 2016, but she ultimately won in smooth style.

The tactical nature of this contest, with ex-South African mare Same Jurisdiction setting steady fractions under Ryan Moore, probably didn't suit the hooded Bletchley ideally, but she showed her class in the final furlong, streaking away under Oisin Murphy. As she showed at Royal Ascot, the daughter of Makfi would be better suited by a strong gallop.

This was Bletchley's first start over seven furlongs, which opens up our options for her going forward, and hopefully she'll be able to gain the stakes victory she deserves in the coming months.

Qatar Racing - for whom Bletchley was a fourth winner in three days - had two others runners on Monday, though the German-trained Promise of Peace can be completely forgiven finishing well held in a Listed Trial for the Deutsches Derby as he was hampered by a faller at halfway. Cannonball showed plenty of promise making his debut in the opening maiden at Gowran, showing signs of greenness before running on strongly under testing conditions. He should have no trouble winning a similar race in the near future.