Yesterday the five selections produced a winner, three seconds and a fourth. So very nearly a good day and I was particularly peeved that Paul Mulrennan, on Gale Force Maya, appeared to be caught unaware by Oisin Murphy sneaking up the rails riding Chil Chil – but it was another reminder as to why Murphy will be Champion Jockey this year.
Some great racing today with some difficult choices to make but I have carved out a few that I fancy.
Clon Coulis 1pt e/w
The only thing stopping me getting very excited about this filly winning the opener is that David Barron has been in poor form. However, there have been signs of improvement recently and if Clon Coulis can repeat the form she showed when narrowly beaten in the Royal Hunt Cup she will win this. That is, I accept, a big if. The most likely winner is the worthy favourite, Maqsad and the progressive Chaleur a good e/w shot.
However, it looks like the race will be run at a good pace and I can see Jamie Spencer delivering Clon Coulis late in the day with good effect. Accordingly, at 10-1 with bookies paying ¼ for four places, my view is that Clon Coulis represents the best e/w value available – those wary of the trainer’s form could consider taking the 13/2 available for five places.
King Of Comedy 2pts win
The highest rated horse in this race is Benbatll and he looks great value at 4/1. He has won FTO before, Saeed Bin Suroor is in great form and the all-conquering Oisin Murphy is riding. So why isn’t he favourite and why am I backing King Of Comedy?
For me this is all about the Juddmonte International at York. King of Comedy looked a little lit up early on and was fighting for his head. It seemed to me that by the time Frankie got him settled he suddenly had too much to do – the principals had already kicked for the finish and King Of Comedy was a bit hemmed in and had to come from the rails around to the outside of the other horses. He actually made up quite a bit of ground but maybe just ran out of petrol. There is also an argument that a stiff 1m 2f is a bit much for him.
Ultimately, he wasn’t far behind Japan or Crystal Ocean and had some decent horses following him home. Temperament remains the challenge but I think this colt is a great athlete and, back at a mile, is capable of an exceptional performance today.
Rhythmic Intent 1pt e/w
Stuart Williams’ Lope de Vega colt has had eight career runs. winning once and placing on four other occasions. LTO he stepped up in class but ran a solid race to be beaten three lengths by Apparate and Persian Moon on good to firm ground at Ascot, which may not have suited him.
Given his wily trainer clearly considered him good enough to step up to that Class 2 race he looks very capable of taking this. He has proven form in soft ground so the key concern is the unknown factor of the stamina requirement. However, his sire has had progeny win at this distance and he was staying on at Ascot so I strongly fancy Rhythmic Intent to be suited by today’s conditions.