Posted Thursday 27th July 6.30pm
Let’s roll with these four.
Lucky 15 Friday 28th July
Ascot 2.45 Uae King 11/8 general
Thirsk 5.05 Liberatum 6/1 general
York 7.30 Aim to Please 6/1 Coral 11/2 general
York 8.00 Home Cummins 8/1 general
and here’s why
Ascot 2.45 Fascinating two mile handicap. The top weight Cosmelli is a five time winner in Italy and ran a creditable sixth in the Northumberland Plate at 100/1. Next on the card is Desert God who is a multiple Group 1 winner in India including their Derby and St.Leger! Nothing in Meydan and nothing to shout about so far in the UK. Isharah and Gavlar both last won on the AW, Wolfcatcher has been running over hurdles, poorly! The handicapper has Mark Hopkins even with the admirable David Egan taking five pounds off and that takes us to the 3yo’s who get a whopping fifteen pounds. Mister Manduro was a commendable if one paced seventh in the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot when only four and a half lengths off the winner, Stradivarius. His eased off last of ten at Haydock last time takes some forgiving but he will enjoy this much stiffer test. The selection has to be Uae King who was in the previous blog, “Handicappers 2017”.
“He is a son of Frankel and a half-brother to Dubawi bred by Darley. Wow. However he is built like a three mile chaser! No gears but as Gosden has observed these Frankels have a real stride on them and Uae King looks a real galloper. Backward as a 2yo, midfield in a maiden. Took him three attempts to get off the mark as a 3yo but won a 12F C5 maiden here at Haydock and the third has already won in a class above at HQ and the second, the US bred Festival of Ages from Godolphin, didn’t look too shabby on debut. Races prominently and will be suited by the course (Sandown) and the extra distance and goes handicapping off OR84 with Andrea Atzeni in the saddle. Ran on the Friday over 14F in a C4 and ground it out to win. Up to OR90 and the trainer thinks he’ll stay two miles.”
Two concerns. Firstly the trainer said on his website, “He certainly has the pedigree and looks to develop into a nice horse in time and so long as Sheikh Mohammed Obaid is in agreement, I would like to keep things low key with him at this stage.” Pretty sure Obaid is in the country as he has a boat load of runners at the moment and I’m not sure this is low key? Secondly the price.
Thirsk 5.05 I can here you all screaming “it’s a C6 5F apprentice handicap!! Boys losing it”! I think shrewd trainer Ruth Carr has spotted an opportunity on three levels. Firstly she picked up, Liberatum, a Hugo Palmer cast off for £5K and had it gelded. Secondly since then the horse has every chance on form alone having finished placed in both his last two races. Thirdly and the reason he’s in here is she has booked the red hot Seamus Cronin whose figures in the last fourteen days are 211101251 (5 from 9). Ridiculous. He is a 22yo from Cork and attached to Kevin Ryan’s yard hence the quiet start to the season. Stalls for this sprint are in the centre and I will be interested to see on Good to Soft ground, drawn 11 of 13 whether he heads for the stands rail. Boy seems to do his homework or he’s being well mentored!
York 7.30 A 10F+ Listed Fillies stakes and the first two I wrote down were Playful Sound for Sir Michael Stoute and Rsental for Luca Cumani. However on closer inspection Playful Sound, who is supposedly “coming to hand” according to the gallop reports, has won three of her five races but the other two were at Listed level and she has only beaten three horses home! Rosental ran in this race last year and was last of seven! She seems to save her best for France. So is it Ajman Princess coming down in trip or Aim to Please going up in distance? John Dance paid £340K for Aim to Please at the Royal Ascot boutique sales out of the Doumen yard and I think it’s time she started earning it back! She was an excellent fifth in the 8F Duke of Cambridge stakes and if she can lay handier at 10F pace on this softer ground I think she wins if she stays. Winning a G3 last season at Maisons Lafitte over 9F gives you every hope.
York 8.00 I am going for Home Cummins to go out in a blaze of glory. She is in foal to Mayson and it will be off to the paddocks after this. What would you like for her finale? 8F at York, C3, Good ground, single figure draw and Hanagan in the saddle. She’s got the lot! I trust stable mate Innocent Touch is on message!
Others on Friday I considered were Thirsk 1.20 Rumshak (price), York 6.30 Kibaar (out of form), Newmarket 8.10 Petitioner (Ground and topweight Pouvoir Magique).