As you probably gathered from the results, I did not manage to get hold of Angelina for her input, (see raceweb passim), so it was not a great weekend on the tipping front. My physical condition was also hindered by a conference on Saturday night with the Madeira branch of the Confrerie des Buveurs de Bordeaux. As a result, on Sunday I needed two pints of Porter and a restorative and very spicy BM, before becoming capable of coordinated sitting. My racing confidence is thus at a low ebb, yet I cannot leave you all in the dark, so here are my brief thoughts. Please note that the week’s comments will be become even briefer, as I shall be parked in my caravan on Trundle Hill and unlikely to have access to a writing desk.
13:10 British E.B.F. EBF Fillies’ Handicap 12 Runners, Class 3, 1m
TOMORROW’S DREAM was a length second to Festive Star in Newbury’s Premier Fillies Handicap LTO. She had been raised 8lb for her Chepstow win and was up in class, and might have won, but she was forced to switch left and come right around the outside, a manoeuvre which surely cost her more than the margin of defeat. WASAAYEF from Gosden’s yard, was a neck 2nd to Queen Daenerys in a novice last September, who was then fourth in the Oaks. Inevitably the G1 has produced further winners and it is pretty good form for a handicap race. One is taking it on trust that 311 days away from the tack won’t hinder her. It would me!
TOMORROW’s DREAM e/w
13:45 Unibet You’re On Handicap 18 Runners, Class 2, 1m 1f 197y
5th in the John Smith’s at York LTO, TINANDALI was held up out back, and then started a run 2f out. He then got into trouble, switched left about a furlong out and then kept on, by which time the impetus was gone. BELL ROCK ran a decent 6th in the Royal Hunt Cup, which has turned out to be a strong handicap, producing 4 winners in the last month. The third-placed horse in the John Smiths was Roger Varian’s FIFTH POSITION who was also third at Newcastle to Sir Busker (who races here on Friday). The form of that race is eye-catching as the first four have all gone on to win again as well as Arcanada. He’s got a lot of weight but is capable of taking this. Crisfords Ltd, (I can’t keep writing Simon and Ed and I disapprove of this shared-licence scheme – it will result in tears.) , have the favourite CAPE CAVALLI who had a 4l win at York LTO and a good C&D last autumn. I think he is climbing too far up the greasy pole and he’s got a shocking draw. My selections have the option of going whichever side they think best, as they are drawn slap bang in the middle, (low numbers fractional advantage).
TINANDALI e/w – FIFTH POSITION e/w
14:15 Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes (Group 2) 10 Runners, Class 1, 7f
BATTLEGROUND won the Chesham Stakes after an unpromising debut ten days earlier in a Naas maiden. coming 5th. The first foal of the Arc and Breeders Cup Turf winner, Found, his improvement in that short time earned him a 20-1 quote for next year’s 2,000 Guineas from William Hill. If he wins this, that could well be his route. PAINLESS POTTER might well make the frame having stepped up in distance.
14:45 Qatar Lennox Stakes (Group 2) 13 Runners, Class 1, 7f
SIR DANCEALOT has won this for the last two years, and his prep races tend to look just that – (July Cup, 7th 2020, 4th 2018). He is 2/2 here and 13/2 looks about right. SAFE VOYAGE had two G1 podium finishes last year and started the season well with a strong second in the Spring Trophy at Haydock. Then he pitched up in the Surrey Stakes and was the highest-rated horse to have contested the listed race since Hooray in 2011. He broke the course record, (set in 1972!) and providing the ground is no firmer than Good must surely go close. If however, the ground is G/F anywhere on the straight, I think I’d have to swerve him
SAFE VOYAGE wins (subject to ground) – Alt: SIR DANCEALOT wins
15:15 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes (Group 1) 7 Runners, Class 1, 2m
While Stradivarius may well win a fourth Goodwood Cup, he cannot be backed at morning odds. If you fancy him, wait until 2:00pm you’ll get better than SP. However, remember that Santiago receives a considerable weight-for-age concession and gets 15lb from the defending champion. That makes him better off at the weights by a 1lb. (111 vs 125 OR). Crikey I hear you say – but remember in 2019 Stradivarius saw off Dashing Willoughby who had an even bigger advantage.
No, I think the value here lies with NAYEF ROAD and when he met Strad LTO he gave him a proper fright, whilst also running resolutely to the finish, despite having made all the running. He likes Goodwood (won the G3 Gordon Stakes last year). Moreover, he has already shown a liking for the undulating West Sussex course, having landed the Group 3 Gordon Stakes over 1m 4f at last year’s Glorious Goodwood meeting and 8s would be fair value.
NAYEF ROAD e/w
15:45 Qatar Handicap 11 Runners, Class 2, 5f
I started this with some pre-conceived notions about a pair of runners here. COUNT D’ORSAY who might have found the Wokingham’s 6f just too far – he’s never even been placed over the distance, but over 5f he is 4w and 3p from 14. I think he might also find the ground has dried too much. Nonetheless, he is very much in the mould of the five previous winners of this race and should be considered. CELSIUS won here last year in a 5f C3, indeed all his 5f handicap wins have been at this time of year. He didn’t get the breaks over 6f a couple of starts ago, and the race was not run to suit his hold-up style. If they get a strong end-to-end gallop here, he’ll be in with a chance. Preconceptions aside, however, and I’m going for two front runners, whose handicap mark suggests they are back in a winning zone, and with decent speed figures and they are ORNATE and A MOMENTOFMADNESS.
ORNATE e/w – A MOMENTOFMADNESS e/w
16:20 British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10) 9 Runners, Class 2, 6f
No bet… if forced Alkumait
16:55 British E.B.F. EBF Fillies’ Handicap 12 Runners, Class 3, 1m 3f 218y
Another race where the 3yos have a massive advantage thanks to an 11 lbs weight for age allowance. Six of the last seven winners were three years old which underlines my point. AU CLAIR DE LUNE and TULIP FIELDS make most appeal.
AU CLAIR DE LUNE – TULIP FIELDS dutched