Posted Friday 6th October 6.45pm
After Last Saturday’s heady success seven days on I’ve gone for singles in the totescoopp6 Challenge Cup at Ascot and the totepool 2yo Trophy at Redcar with a Lucky 15 elsewhere and a little each way single.
Ascot 3.35 totescoop6 Challenge Cup C2 7F Handicap
Right let’s get stuck into this tasty puzzle. First glance says we are dealing with a bunch of old friends! Plenty with “chances” but who can actually win it? Second thought was I want a high draw as they are only using half the straight course and the quickest way home will be up the stands rail. BUT using only half of the straight course (stands side) only applies to 2.5F from home and then it is full width and watching today they raced down the middle then could challenge anywhere but shied away from the stands rail.
Top of the market are two horses who could easily be Group horses masquerading in a handicap. Makzeem won comfortably last week but is up 6lbs, Shoemark replaces Moore and it was only seven days ago. Mojito is definitely a Group horse and this is his first go against his elders but if you are happy with 5/1 don’t let me put you off.
Birchwood has Mosse not Spencer but doesn’t look a winner, Arcanada’s best form is on a flat track like York and I’m no fan of Paddy Pilley even claiming 5lbs, Mjjack will be thereabouts but has gone up without winning, it’s not wet enough for Mitchum Swagger nor far enough for Withernsea so I have come up with a short list of three.
It has to include Mojito, then secondly Firmament. He has run well all season over C&D coming late for somewhere around fifth BUT he remains on a high mark of OR109 whereas those around him have risen up the weights. Just wish it was Tudhope not Makin but if the cards fall right and he gets going a little earlier?? However the selection is STRAIGHT RIGHT. A relative new kid to these events he represents the Leicester FC chairman (Beat the Bell, Donjuan Triumphant etc.) and an in form Andrew Balding. His running on third to Johnny Barnes at Goodwood on only his second start for the yard since transferring from France, where he had run Al Wukair to less than four lengths in a G3, really caught my eye. Oisin Murphy has ridden him in both his UK starts and will know what he has got and Ascots stiff 7F on Good to soft ground is ideal.
Straight Right Two Stars** each way @ 12/1 general BF 5 places
Redcar 3.20 totepool 2yo Trophy 6F
Big field, big prize, few contenders!
According to the official handicapper this should be all about Richard Fahey’s Darkanna but she has just looked to be crying out for 7F and even on Good to Soft the race could be over before she hits top stride. Musley Bank also has Crownthorpe but is another stepping back in trip. I don’t think De Bruyne Horse has improved but a case could be made for Never Back Down and Red Roman but both have to give twelve pounds to the filly FLYING SPARKLE and I think that is a big ask.
On yesterday’s blog I tacked on profiles of two 2yo contests run at Yarmouth’s three day Festival that I thought would throw up some winners. Well here is the first opportunity to test the fillies form Flying Sparkle was beaten a length by Beauty Filly who trainer William Haggas rates highly and I think could be an OR90+ filly. She will race prominently, she will go on the ground, she will get 6Fand the icing on the cake is a recharged Hayley Turner in the saddle, as she was for the filly’s winning debut. Why isn’t she working for ITV on a Saturday?
Flying Sparkle Two Stars** each way @ 12/1 general PP 5 places WH 4 places
Saturdays Lucky 15
Newmarket 2.40 PERSUASIVE @ 11/4 BF 5/2 general
Redcar 3.55 LAHORE @ 15/8 BF+PP
Redcar 4.30 RASHFORD’S DOUBLE @ 7/1 general
Newmarket 5.35 EBBESBOURNE @ 7/2 PP 3/1 general
Saturday Star* Selections ( 17 stars* Out)
Newmarket 2.40 PERSUASIVE Three Star*** win @ 11/4 BF 5/2 general
Redcar 3.55 LAHORE Two Star** win @ 15/8 BF+PP
Redcar 4.30 RASHFORD’S DOUBLE One Star* win @ 7/1 general
Newmarket 5.35 EBBESBOURNE One Star* win @ 7/2 PP 3/1 general
Redcar 3.20 FLYING SPARKLE Two stars** each way @ 12/1 general PP 12345 WH 1234
Ascot 3.35 STRAIGHT RIGHT Two Stars** each way @ 12/1 general BF 5 places
Newmarket 4.25 SOUL SILVER One Star* each way @ 16/1 PP 14/1 general
and here is why
Fridays Lucky 15
Newmarket 2.40 PERSUASIVE I think this is a Group 1 filly, she was hugely progressive as a 3yo and I think she has improved each run this season, especially using Roly Poly as a guide and it seems they won’t be leaving anything out on the track if this is to be her last hoorah. 8F and Good ground are ideal and no reason Newmarket shouldn’t suit.
Chris Richardson (owner Cheveley Park managing director), Persuasive: “It’s been a little bit frustrating with her, but she goes there in great form and we’ll roll the dice. We felt she was a bit unlucky because of the draw and the slow pace in Ireland last time. This race gives her one last opportunity to get that Group One win on the board. Mr and Mrs Thompson (Cheveley Park owners) will make the final decision on whether this will be her final run, but I suspect it will be and it would be great if she can go out in a blaze of glory.”
Redcar 3.55 LAHORE Anyone who saw Lahore win at Doncaster will know that this horse is no handicapper! Held up in rear with the handbrake firmly on, when de Sousa offered him some daylight he scythed through the 3yo field, led at the furlong pole and was gone! Won by four lengths eased down. Trainer Roger Varian makes a solid case for sticking with his charge “Lahore was most impressive when winning at Doncaster last month and while this requires another step forward, he is lightly-raced with a progressive profile. These conditions – a flat, straight 7f with some ease in the ground – are virtually identical to those under which he won at the St Leger Meeting and I would expect him to put up a bold show on his first run at this level.”
However he has some interesting rivals today. Don’t Touch hasn’t followed up his stellar 3yo season and trainer Richard Fahey sounds disappointed, “….we know he’d be competitive here if back on song. We’ve put the blinkers on to see if they spark a revival.” If #FantasticMrFahey is disappointed with Don’t Touch it is frustration with Stamp Hill, “We’ve kept him back for the big handicaps but he keeps getting balloted out despite being rated 99. It’s amazing.” Godolphin’s Yattwee is a talented horse yet to truly deliver. This looks like a shot to nothing, if he wins happy days, if not down a couple of pounds and off OR100 he looks well handicapped! He is actually in the 8F Balmoral handicap (20/1) at Ascot on Champions Day and this race may be to just take the fizz out of him.
There are two 3yo fillies at the bottom trying to steal cheap Black Type. One of them, Caridade, is on my radar after the York Ebor Festival, but both are surely out of their depth here.
Redcar 4.30 RASHFORD’S DOUBLE I think the clue may be in the race title here, “RACING UK STRAIGHT-MILE SERIES FINAL HANDICAP”. More than once against Rashfords Double’s name I have written “straight course” and I think OR81 is a winning mark, SDS has been booked and he could just boss this horse into action and I share the views of trainer #FantasticMrFahey, “seems to be running himself back into form. His best efforts have been on the all-weather but he does handle cut in the ground on turf and the Racing UK Straight-Mile Series Final Handicap isn’t as competitive as it could have been for a £20,000 pot.”
Newmarket 5.35 EBBESBOURNE Sir Michael Stoute trains this lightly raced, home bred daughter of Teofilio out of an Oasis Dream mare who has won two of her four starts and as a 2yo who won on debut for this yard makes her of particular interest. Not the biggest but a talented filly who sits off the pace and finishes strongly. Won well at York in a C3 10F fillies handicap in a first time hood and was a tad unlucky when she had her run checked when second to Newbury in a fillies listed race over 10F. The ground went against her and she was taken out at a not so “Glorious” Goodwood. It wasn’t quick enough either on her latest run when she struggled to 7th in a Listed race over C&D behind To Eternity. She goes back into handicap company for an all aged C2 fillies handicap having another go at 12F with Ryan Moore riding and they come from widest stall, although that should allow her to be tucked in. That’s an awful lot to like.
Saturday Star* Selections
Newmarket 2.40 PERSUASIVE Three Star*** win @
Redcar 3.55 LAHORE One Star win @
Redcar 4.30 RASHFORD’S DOUBLE One Star win @
Newmarket 5.35 EBBESBOURNE One Star win @ 1
Newmarket 4.25 SOUL SILVER One Star* each way @
Went into my notebook after what I thought was a promising run at Goodwood. “Barged as she came to make her challenge. Kept on hands and heels. C2 8F fillies handicap. No higher.” She has a little to find on with Shenanigans on her last run but there was no pace in that five horse affair and the winner stole it off the front. Hopefully stronger run race here. Jamie Spencer is a real bonus.
Fridays Lucky 15
Ascot 2.00 SHADY MCCOY 1st 13/2 @ 5/1 general
Comfortable victory. Despite being drawn one off the stands rail Ryan Moore ended up challenging in the middle of the track, he just picked the one to follow who would take him deepest into the race. Genius.
Ascot 2.35 ZWAYYAN 1st 11/4F @ 7/2 general
No nonsense Dettori ride. Prominent, trailed pace, took it up after the 2F pole, saw it out despite idling close home. If you watch the replay keep an eye on Victory Angel and Taurean Star. More in next weeks report.
Ascot 3.45 MOUNT MARIAH 5th 9/4F @ 9/4 general
Not sure he was good enough, not sure it was Harry Bentley’s finest hour (again). Horse stays in my tracker, hopefully to run in UK next season. Good ride from Spencer, Weekender could be some 4yo.
Ascot 4.20 GRAPHITE STORM 6th 3/1 F
Friday Star* Selections (5 stars* Out 12 stars* in)
Ascot 2.00 SHADY MCCOY 1st 13/2 One Star win @ 5/1 general
Ascot 2.35 ZWAYYAN 1st 11/4F One Star win @ 7/2 general
Ascot 3.45 MOUNT MARIAH 5th 9/4F Two Star win @ 9/4 general
Ascot 4.20 GRAPHITE STORM 6th 3/1 F One Star win @ 10/3 Ladbrokes 3/1 general