Apologies for the sudden departure yesterday, but our time is not always our own. It was good racing on the second day, although quite why the Galtres isn’t televised is strange. I have mentioned the AP doldrums recently, and some commentators made the point that if the rest of the Coolmore string is underperforming, then surely Snowfall’s victory in the Yorkshire Oaks, is even better than it actually appeared. It is not an unreasonable view. It is perhaps cemented by Ryan Moore stating – and these are more words than he spoke in the whole of 2019, when there was no social distancing: “Today,” he said, “her performance was as good as anything I’ve felt.” Those ten words encapsulate the immense power the filly has, because when she engaged 2nd gear 2f out, she was still going faster than the others who were having to change down from 5th to 4th to find some acceleration. She’ll possibly go to the Prix Vermeille and if she wins that the current Arc quote of 5/2 will look like the gift of God himself. The Arc Trials weekend is almost worth getting jabbed for and going to watch. Adayer in the Prix Niel and Snowfall in the Prix Vermeille… Caramba Nelly, what a show.
Zain Claudette emerged as a 1000 Guineas contender when winning the G2 Lowther Stakes at York. She gave Ray Dawson his biggest ever career victory – with him standing in his irons and giving an audible roar as he crossed the line. Trained by Ismail Mohammed, the filly also gave Dawson his first Group winner in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot last month, with the jockey only losing his claim last week. The trainer confirmed she will head straight for the Cheveley Park Stakes and thinks she could be his first Classic runner.
Not the worst horseracing and tipping day I’ve ever had, and patently summer rainstorms changed a number of form lines that are being re-established over these four days of really enjoyable racing. Talking of not winning, but smiling, here are the racing tips for day 3
13:50 Sky Bet Hcap 3YO+, 18 Run, C2, 1m 3f 188y
UPDATE 10:13 am: STRAWBERRY ROCK is now a non-runner as the ground is now GF. The late afternoon showers has done nothing today for those needing some cut, and I am inclined to drop both MIDNIGHT LEGACY and DARK JEDI as well. Instead, I suggest…
MY FRANKEL e/w
A number of these ran in The Old Newton Cup, where Alan King’s MIDNIGHT LEGACY came 4th beaten a 1½l by MY FRANKEL. This afternoon’s showers will have hopefully taken the sting out of the ground which will help him because he looked vulnerable on fast ground at Ascot LTO. I think 14s about ML is a super price, and he’s great e/w value. Both of them meet my trends patterns as does STRAWBERRY ROCK from Hugo Palmer. In his Newmarket July 12f race LTO he’d been upped 4lbs for his Windsor success, (a race that produced some decent form and a number of subsequent scorers), and continued to show some style coming 2nd, 4¾l clear of the rest. Only up a pound, he should improve again. DARK JEDI has run well at York with a brace of places from three runs. He’s dropping back in trip and has a chance. STRAWBERRY ROCK e/w – Add MIDNIGHT LEGACY – MY FRANKEL – DARK JEDI for a 3pt 12 x ¼pt CFC
14:25 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes (G2) 3YO+, 5 Run, C1, 2m 56y
UPDATE: STRADIVARIUS will handle the ground – TRUESHAN won’t. SPANISH MISSION has winning ground form and might be the winner in waiting
STRADIVARIUS is back – or at least he’s back at the course, where he is 4/4. Of course, there is a chance that the sight of the Knavesmire will set him alight and he will make fools of us all. I sort of hope so. Alan King, (and this could be a double for him), runs TRUESHAN who runs best in small fields and his adjusted Timeform figures for this year are consistently better than STRADIVARIUS. The fly in the ointment is Andrew Balding’s SPANISH MISSION, the Yorkshire Cup winner. He might be able to take advantage of TRUESHAN’s 3lb penalty.
15:00 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes (G2) 2YO only, 11 Run, C1, 6f
UPDATE: Dutch LUSAIL and BERKSHIRE SHADOW. VINTAGE CLARETS e/w. Drop GIS A SUB and AMERICAN STAR
When LUSAIL won the July Stakes he went into a number of Dewhurst notebooks with a possible crack at this. BERKSHIRE SHADOW also has a G2 6f race to his name – The Coventry Stakes – and it is hard to split them. At Goodwood in the G3 Molecomb, FEARBY ran pretty well LTO, but only in line with his previous Listed victory and it’s hard to see him progress to this level unless the step up in distance is going to be the key that unlocks him. . My man in the pub suggested I keep an eye on AMERICAN STAR after his Salisbury Maiden victory LTO produced a couple of decent horses and at 33/1 he seems like a possible 4th place. VINTAGE CLARETS is priced to be considered, but Richard Fahey is I suspect two months behind where he might normally be at this time of year. Kevin Ryan has had 12 runners in this over the last decade producing three winners and a place. If there is a surprise here it might well come from GIS A SUB who was 6th in the Richmond Stakes on G/S ground and beaten less than 3l in a really badly-run race, which started as a canter became a dawdle and turned into a 2f dash. LUSAIL Win – GIS A SUB e/w – AMERICAN STAR 33/1 e/w (4 places with WillHill)
I am happy’ish with the rest of the selections and the faster ground has improved the chances of the Bollin girls in the 4:40pm
15:35 Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) 2YO+, 15 Run, C1, 5f
I always think that Wes Ward looks like a man in whose company a quiet night at the pub, could very well take in Doner Kebabs at 4:00 am, several counties away from your starting point, having been taking snuff and drinking Plymouth Naval Strength at Rudi’s Jig-a-Jig Latvian Piano Bar after you had been thrown out of… well, you get the drift. He sends GOLDEN PAL who last year won the Juvenile Breeders Cup Turf Sprint and was second in the Norfolk Stakes. Described by WW as potentially the best he has ever trained, he has also picked up two other victories including a G3 at Saratoga. But cast your mind back and you’ll remember that Wes has failed to win this twice before and sadly, I think he’s going to have another “Close, but No Cigar” moment. My shortlist includes two you have to consider DRAGON SYMBOL and SUESA. The latter won the King George at Goodwood beating Battash who hated the ground and with DRAGON SYMBOL 3l back in second. ARECIBO was 6½l back in 4th. My concern with DRAGON SYMBOL is that he is overly familiar with the second spot, a place he has occupied the last four races. However, he has improved ratings on each of those races, but by any measure, he is behind SUESA on ratings. Tim Easterby is in great form and he has been planning this for some time for WINTER POWER. She had a very busy 2yo campaign and has improved as a 3yo. Two C&D victories from off the front show her enjoyment of the course, but I don’t see it myself. In the event of rain, a surprise may be sprung by ROHAAN who is a Group horse that only works on Going with the word soft or heavy in the description.
SUESA Win – GOLDEN PAL for the forecast
You might consider perming Winter Power and Dragon Symbol to fill 3rd spot in a Trifecta with the first two permed for the First and Second spot.
16:10 British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes 2YO only, 17 Run, C2, 7f
BROADSPEAR showed promise on his Salisbury debut, but he is in a field with a huge number of possibilities. Two to think about might be Richard Hannon’s SHARVARA who is related to Canford Cliffs and is ridden by Ryan Moore and Willie Haggas turns up with VINTAGE CHOICE who holds an entry in the Middle Park Stakes but nothing over 7f. Mark Johnston’s CAPITAL THEORY would be no surprise following his Goodwood 3rd. BRAZILIAN BEACH has shown progress and looks willing, HOO YA MAL is a ½-brother to four winners including the very useful Greatest Journey, and ran green but with promise on his debut – this on the day the racing was abandoned after his race! Given a drier track (by 8bn %) he may well improve. HERBERTANDFLORENCE I hope wins because he only cost £5k, and is actually very well-bred. His debut was far from easy as he was switched 3f out at Musselburgh after meeting trouble in running. The manoeuvre showed confidence.
HOO YA MAL Win – HERBERTANDFLORENCE e/w
16:40 Assured Data Protection EBF Fillies’ Hcap 3YO+, 12 Run, C2, 1m 2f 56y
Dermot Weld likes a York winner and UMNEYAAT won her maiden at Ballinrobe by the skin of her teeth at the eighth time of asking. She looks like a door-knocker, and however much I admire the great man,m 7/2 is too skinny for me to find out if cheekpieces back on again and the distance etc etc etc is all part of some scheme. A really crazy bet might be to back ANANYA from the marvellous Sir Mark Prescott. Of course, he might just be on a weight-loss plan – or not. Finally, don’t get confused by the BOLLIN girls (Henry VIII joke) by following my simple plan. Back both
BOLLIN JOAN e/w – BOLLIN MARGARET e/w
17:10 Sky Bet Mile Hcap 3YO only, 16 Run, C2, 7f 192y
WISHAAH – Win