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Newmarket Open Day: The Michael Bell stable tour

Timeform's Matt Gardner headed to Michael Bell's yard on the Newmarket Open Day to get the lowdown on a number of his leading horses...

newmarket-open-dayWigmore Hall - Timeform rating 118
The five-year-old had been slightly below-par throughout 2012 prior to not being disgraced in the Arlington Million, keeping on from what was almost a hopeless position to finish seventh. He went on to confirm that positive impression as he landed the Northern Dancer Turf at Woodbine for the second successive year on his most recent start, beating the Bill Mott-trained Al Khali by a neck.

"Wigmore Hall will head back to Canada for the International, at Woodbine on October 14. If Sea Moon (Sir Michael Stoute) and Imperial Monarch (Aidan O'Brien) both turn up he may not win, but he takes his travelling well and likes the track, so hopefully he will be effective there again.

"Looking beyond that he will go back to Dubai for the Carnival, and we may target the Sheema Classic, over a mile and a half, rather than the Duty Free which he ran in last year (suffered trouble in-running before staying on to finish fourth) as it looks as though he is better over that sort of distance."

Sovereign Debt - Timeform rating 120
The three-year-old was generally progressive through his juvenile campaign and has continued that trait this season, gaining his first win of the year with an easy victory in an Ascot handicap in May. He shaped better than the bare result on his next start in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes, not enjoying a clear run before finishing strongly, and he improved once more when defeating current Cambridgeshire Handicap favourite Mukhadram in a minor event at Newmarket. Further improvement was forthcoming as he finished second to Tullius in the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury, looking sure to go well at that level once more.

"He has got entries coming up (in the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday) and seems to be effective with a bit of cut in the ground. It was a good run in the Sovereign Stakes, and I hope he can make up into an international performer.

"He probably wouldn't get much further than a mile, possibly nine furlongs in time, and the Dubai Duty Free is something that we may look at."

Hoyam - Timeform rating 103
A winner of two of her six starts to date, including a listed event at York, the two-year-old was fast-tracked to Group 2 company on just her second start, having finished runner-up in a Windsor maiden. She duly finished second to Ceiling Kitty in Queen Mary, worthy of extra credit for doing easily the best of those held-up, before getting off the mark, returned to Windsor, as she beat Dusty Storm by a length and a quarter. A below-par effort in the Princess Margaret, the success on the Knavesmire and a creditable effort in the Flying Childers, where she took a while to get going, are the other races on her CV.

"Hoyam will contest the Group 1 Cheveley Park at Newmarket on Saturday. She is training better and has become more settled in her work, which will hopefully give her a better chance of seeing out six furlongs.

"She ran over that trip in the Princess Margaret, where she ended up making the running, which wasn't the plan, and she was too keen. Hopefully, she'll settle in the Cheveley Park and be able to see out her race better. I expect her to be in the mix but, realistically, third or fourth would be a really good run."

Born To Surprise - Timeform rating 108
The Exceed And Excel colt had just the one start as a juvenile, running a race full of promise as he finished second to Famous Poet at Warwick. A taking reappearance win in a maiden at Doncaster in April marked him down as a useful prospect, but things didn't really go to plan in his next two starts in the Craven Stakes and the Britannia, missing the break on the first occasion and being left with plenty to do at Royal Ascot.

He resumed his progress Yarmouth handicap, leaving the impression he was the best horse at the weights, before pulling far too hard in a Group 3 at Goodwood. Returned to Doncaster on his most recent start he confirmed the impressions of his Yarmouth effort with a comfortable success, having something in hand at the line, and it is worth noting he has the physique to suggest he'll be an even better four-year-old.

"We were going to run him in a handicap at Newmarket on Saturday, but it is more likely that we will wait for the listed Guisborough Stakes at Redcar on October 6.

"He was going to Dubai but he will remain in my stewardship for next season, and I am hoping that he will make up into a listed or Group performer."

Ruby Night - Timeform rating 93
Owned by the Timeform Betfair Racing Club, the three-year-old got off the mark at the second time of asking last year with success in a Newcastle maiden. He returned this season with a most encouraging effort when second to Lady Loch at Leicester, beaten a length but finishing five lengths clear of the third. Two below-par efforts at Newmarket followed, both on extremes of ground (soft on the first occasion and firm on the latter), but his latest effort at Yarmouth, staying on to claim fourth having been left poorly placed, was more positive.

"I do think he gets a mile but he may be more effective over seven furlongs, and the only problem is that he does like good ground and probably a flat track. It was annoying that he went up 6 lb for his reappearance run.

"He is in the sales, but we may try him at Kempton on the polytrack, as I think the surface and the flat nature of the track could suit him. He is a potential all-weather horse."

Intent - Timeform rating 89
The three-year-old did not make her racecourse debut until July of this year, producing a promising effort amidst clear greenness as she was considerately handled to finish fourth. An easy win eight days later at Wolverhampton confirmed that promise, travelling well before making smooth headway to go clear over a furlong out. 12 days later Intent headed to Ripon to make her handicap debut, off what looked a fair mark, but ran well below expectations, finding little and being eased off.

"She is the unluckiest horse, if anything goes wrong it seems to go wrong to Intent. She trod on a nail recently and had to go to the vets to have it taken out and prevent against any infection, but she's fine. She's been in good form and working well, and she can run again soon.

"I don't know what happened at Ripon. I think it was my mistake running her, as it was her third run in three weeks."

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