Today’s horse racing preview comes from two meetings, with selections from Ascot & Haydock, with the main feature of the day coming in the Group 1 Haydock Sprint.
13.50 Haydock – 32Red Casino Ascendant Stakes (Listed) (8.1f)
There could be more to come from Arche Watson’s Yabass, his narrow success at Windsor four weeks ago is slowly working out well, with only the one runner to come out since in Regimented who won a Novice Stakes race ten days ago at Chepstow. The yard had a nice win on Thursday in Herecomesthesun who beat a good looking field. Edward Greatrex has teamed up with the yard and is flying at present, riding 8-19 (42%), so definitely a combination to keep on the right side of.
Chilean’s debut run at Newmarket has panned out well enough, with Old Persian winning recently and quite a few in that field running above their merits since. Chilean gave that Newmarket race a boost when winning on the all weather at Chelmsford nine days ago when beating Kind Act. Mick Channon’s Veejay has been handicapping and won his third race this year when taking a 0-85 contest at Ripon, but I have been questioning that form purely as Noble Manners was in the race and that’s not the best of yardsticks.
Learn By Heart finished a neck behind Another Bhatt who recently went to Turkey and landed a Group 3 contest, the front pair Red Mist and Hey Gaman were way ahead with the latter just holding on in the closing stages. On paper it is probably the best form, but for me he will be better when going handicapping. Marco Botti’s Dark Acclaim bounced off the soft ground at Doncaster when recording a three and three quarter length win over Qaroun. That form is rock solid with both the runner up and third winning next time out.
Mark Johnston’s Dee Ex Bee was disappointing in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes when finishing sixth, he drops back in class here to Listed level, but again I feel he will be better when going handicapping, however the man inform at present is Adam Kirby who has ridden 5-13 (38%) over the past week. The more rain the better for Charlie Appleby’s Dubhe who routed his rivals at Sandown Park last month. He would have to be feared though, with the forecasted rain next week at Haydock Park.
It’s a hard one to call here, with two proven soft ground horses in the race in Dark Acclaim and Charlie Appleby’s Dubhe. These two stand out the most, but i have swung towards Dubhe here purely on the fact he has already tackled the mile in heavy ground and won well doing it.
DUBHE : 2pt Win @ SP (BOG)
14.10 Ascot – Lavazza Fillies Novices Stakes (7.9f)
I suppose we should be making a tracker for next season with these back end juvenile fillies, especially with the 1000gns a possibility on the horizon next spring. This looks a really competitive Novices contest, with a few that have already had a run this is where I want to look at in the first instance. Charles Hills saddles Arthenia who is the daughter of Camelot, seventh of twelve on debut at Newmarket in what has looked a competitive Novices contest, the winner Purser disappointed in the recent running of the Solario Stakes, the Newmarket race is now looking slightly exposed for me and there could be a couple in here that have better chances.
Ceramist represents John Gosden, third on debut at Nottingham when behind Clive Cox’s Pure Clarity, but again I am not convinced she was in the best of races considering the runner up has started to expose her non ability to win a race. Another that has the experience of a run is Peter Chapple-Hyams Lubinka, she has some solid entries next month which includes the Fillies mile on Champions Day, she was very green on debut when finishing fourth to Simon Crisford’s Dark Rose Angel on the straight mile at Doncaster.
She looks the one to beat here and will relish the Ascot straight mile, Josephine Gordon takes the ride, with this being her first ever ride for the trainer, the stats are not in their favour, with the trainer being out of sorts and is not that renowned with juvenile winners these days. Charlie Appleby’s entry here Soliloquy ran a solid debut when runner up to Richard Hannon’s Vitamin, a useful yardstick going into that race considering she had finished in front of recent winners Clairette and Juliet Foxtrot on her debut, but its the Spencer factor that really puts me off backing her here despite the jockey riding well over the past month with 18 winners.
My final decision and it has not come lightly, Richard Hannon’s juveniles are back in form, as is the yard and Trump Alexander could on pedigree adapt better than some here. She is the daughter of Iffraajj who never ran over this afternoons index, however with only two runs as a juvenile and one at three, he thrived more with age, but he was lightly raced. So I am hoping she has collected some of her mother’s genes who won the Group 3 Design Stakes over 9f. Most of Hannon’s youngsters run well on debut and come on very quickly, she is bound to be a big price with what she is up against; proven experienced runners.
TRUMP ALEXANDER : 1pt each way @ SP (BOG)
14.25 Haydock – 32Red Sprint Cup Stakes (Group 1) (6f)
With a few of these already gone head to head this season, there are not many in this race that hold a Group 1 success, in fact just a few, firstly and the likely favourite for the race in Harry’s Angel. I stated last week I thought he was the best sprinter I have seen since Lochsong and stand by that with integrity. His Sandy Lane Stakes win over course and distance back in May was very impressive when landing the race by four and a half lengths.
Should he have beaten Carravaggio in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, personally no, the ground was all wrong, far to quick for him and suffered inside the final half a furlong. Blue Point was back in third that day and he is another that cannot be discounted here and I will get to him in due course. His July Cup win saw him land his first Group 1 when beating Limato, Brando, Growl, The Tin Man, Tasleet and reversing the form with Carravaggio.
Now here’s the thing, do I feel Harry’s Angel will have that kick on softer surface? He won the Mill Reef on good to soft, however from 2-3 he has needed good to firm ground to show his true form to date. This is my concern, along with the fact that there has been no back to back winning favourites of this race, been a few that have tried, but failed.
Now my selection, I believe if you keep on going success will come, and Blue Point deserves to win a big pot. Gimcrack winner as a juvenile, he has been lightly raced this year, taking the Pavilion Stakes on seasons re-appearance and running third behind Harry’s Angel in the Commonwealth Cup.
Question is that he has not won a Group 1 yet, he has had a good go though, runner up in the Middle Park Stakes, third in the Dewhurst as a juvenile. The potential is there, however he just falls short. James Doyle has ridden him just the once when runner up in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes, the thing about him is I feel he can improve, not every top sprinter is unbeatable, we saw that recently in Lady Aurelia who was beaten by a horse that had been consistent.
Now is it worth to dutch in the race? Brando was conceding 6lb when beaten by Harry’s Angel in the July Cup and the weight told the story, this time around Brando only concedes 4lb and deserves to be on the premises. He is a Group 1 winner when landing the Maurice De Gheest and had both Magical Memory and Carravaggio well cooked that day.
Was beaten by The Tin Man in last years Champion Sprint at Newmarket to just over a length and has been kept away from all of the head to heads. Has won on soft ground in the past, but looks a solid good ground performer, should go well again despite the weight. Overall though there is no getting away from the fact that the younger generation has landed the past three renewals of this race in recent years, and this brings in Harry’s Angel & Blue Point. Even though I should be loyal to Harry’s Angel, I just have a gut feeling Blue Point is going to have a dream run.
BLUE POINT : 2pts each way @ 10/1 (BOG)
14.45 Ascot – Cunard Handicap (7f)
Considering claimers have won the past three renewals of this race, looking at their rides this year I am confident enough to suggest this will once more go to a claiming jockey. There is only five in the race that are claiming, so we start at the bottom and work our way up. Hollie Doyle has shown this season that her 3lb claim is worth a lot, here she will be carrying under 8st when she rides Michael Appleby’s Qeyaadah. The consistent four year old is probably finding things tough since landing a 0-90 handicap at Redcar back in June, however after three unplaced runs around 0-85 categories he was stepped up into better company when competing in a 0-105 class at Doncaster when just denied by a neck to David Barron’s Bertiewhittle.
Qeyaadah was in receipt of 1lb that day for a neck defeat, this time around he gets 5lb and should be reversing that form with Bertiewhittle who by the way has a claimer on board. Next there is Ian Williams Shady McCoy, the ex David Barron in-mate has not won since last July when winning a 0-95 handicap at Goodwood. He ran creditable when finishing fourth in this years Victoria Cup here at Ascot back in May, when off a 2lb higher mark, he could be feared on that form, but he is seven years of age now and taking on younger and better handicapped horses here.
So this brings me down to two entries that could land this prize, first one is Kevin Ryan’s Lualiwa who has only been out of the first two once this season. I was at York when she was beaten by the appropriately named Battered, but he went on to Chester and won a 0-100 handicap in good style probably having a bit more left in the tank. He returned to York and won well again when claiming a 0-95 handicap. His last run over course and distance saw him get run down in the closing stages by Tim Easterby’s Golden Apollo who was heavily punted to land the race, but that was the Shergar Cup, and my opinion on that meeting will stay silent.
The handicapper seems to be still assessing him, as he has only been raised 2lb for this, however he is coming close to probably hitting a brick wall, so the selection, Willie Haggas’ Squats, who finished fourth in this last year. He will run off a 2lb lower mark this time around, and gets a very good claimer on board in young Georgia Cox. He has already won on this ground two runs back when landing a 0-95 handicap at Newbury, and for me the one to beat this year.
SQUATS : 2pts each way @ 7/1 (BOG)
Best of Luck, Bet Responsibly
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