June was a profitable month from the selections, hopefully, we can get off to good start for July.
MAGICAL LAND has shown ability in his first five starts, but has looked quite awkward, so it's not a surprise to see they've opted for the gelding operation. Hopefully, he should be able to settle much better throughout his races, and be able to show his true ability.
This well bred son of Frankel is a half-brother to recent Belmont Park Grade 1 winner, Althiqa. You'd expect that off a mark of 85, he'd be able to progress a good 10+ lbs before he potentially reaches his ceiling based on his pedigree. This is his first time that he has raced away from Newmarket, and that could also bring out improvement, as he may appreciate a flatter track, rather than the dips and stiff finish that Newmarket possesses.
The form of his most recent run has worked out well, with the runner-up winning a Group 2 at Royal Ascot, which left a positive impression that he is going to be a quality horse over the staying trips in the future. The winner of that race was 5th in a race at Royal Ascot, and even though that was quite disappointing when you take the fact he was well fancied, I think there is plenty more to come from Movin Time, and he will win a nice race in the near future (Atzeni did get a lot of criticism for the ride as well).
With all that's been said, this race is definitely a much easier assignment that what he contested last time, so hopefully a combination of a drop back in grade and the gelding op should give him a good chance of breaking his maiden.
Fergal O'Brien likes sending runners up to Perth, and he has a good strike rate when doing so (25% SR in the last five years), I think he has found GOLDEN TAIPAN a nice race to get his first win over fences.
He has run two nice races over fences this season, but has bumped into a couple of nice horses in Adjali and Captain Tom Cat. The latter of the two names I've stated has won again since, where he beat three rivals, including Adjali who was tailed off into 3rd, and he won by 29 lengths. That performance recorded an RPR of 152, but you'd have to say Adjali didn't run his race. Either way, the fact that Golden Taipan was beaten by Captain Tom Cat by 11 lengths, isn't embarrassing, as he is clearly a progressive horse who will contest some of the big handicaps later on this year.
Golden Taipan has won 3 races over hurdles, winning off marks of 129 and 127, which is encouraging that his current mark of 126 over fences is winnable. Today's trip and ground is fine, and he should hopefully find today's opposition easier than what he's recently faced. Presentandcounting will probably be the main danger, and unlike Golden Taipan, he has previously won a race over fences, despite only having the two starts.