Posted Saturday 10.00am So much racing today just had to tell you about these four!
Lucky 15 MKII (6 stars)
Goodwood 2.45 ULTIMATE AVENUE 11/2 general One star* win
Newmarket 3.50 THEYDON GREY 4/1 general One star* win
Newmarket 4.25 GIFTED MASTER 4/1 general Two star** win
Chester 4.45 GALACTIC PRINCE 10/3 general Two star** win
and here’s why
Goodwood 2.45 ULTIMATE AVENUE The notebook says “Ultimate Avenue, stealthily ridden by Jamie Spencer, seems to have a future in these valuable sprint pots for the next few seasons. Raised three pounds for this effort from OR97 to OR100 will guarantee an invite to all the best parties but may need the assistance of Spencer to be seen at his best.” Well Spencer is at Goodwood then Windsor and not York and looking through his rides I reckon this is his best chance of a winner. Steps back up to 7F and this lightly raced 3yo has already dipped his toes into Group company and this £60K+ pot looks well within his compass.
Spencer in his 32Red blog “He has been pulled out a couple of times recently because the ground has gone against him, so hopefully the rain stays away and he can take his chance on a decent surface. If he does, then I would like to think he will go close, even though the handicapper put him up 3lb for his third over 6f at Newmarket. I was quite taken with him there and he was probably a little unfortunate not to win, all things considered, as he travelled really well throughout the race and I had to switch him to get a clear run late on, and he was only beaten a head and ½ length in third. The form looks very strong too, as the fourth, fifth and sixth have all won since. That was over 6f but the step up to 7f won’t be any issue at all – you only have to look at his earlier runs over this trip to see that – and I think he will be pretty competitive here if I can get a good early pitch from stall five.”
Newmarket 3.50 THEYDON GREY No surprise here as I really fancied him for York but the rain put paid to that plan. Just hope it isn’t going to be quick at Newmarket! “Good, Good to Firm in places (GoingStick: 7.7 on Friday at 06:30) WEATHER Dry since Tuesday. Friday looks set to remain settled with sunny spells. A little more cloud early Saturday, with a small chance of a passing shower. Otherwise bright spells and temperatures of around 23C.”
Here’s what I said for Wednesday “Last four runs at York, won last three, 12F 14F & 16F. Goes well for Georgia Cox.” Would have preferred York but I know he’s fit, ground, trip and grade are fine and Ms Cox is still in the saddle. I saw a tweet yesterday that suggested all was not well in the Haggas yard but a 1-2 in the last at York and a winner at HQ yesterday seem to knock that on the head.
Newmarket 4.25 GIFTED MASTER Plenty of emotion involved with this horse. As a 2yo he developed Guineas aspirations but he was a headcase, disappointed as a 3yo, then they almost lost him through a bout of colic but now is reinvented as a sprinter. Attractive here because Gifted Master is best at Newmarket, Pat smullen has been booked and for a prominent racer has the rail in stall 1. Nothing trainer Hugo Palmer says on his Betfair blog puts me off.
“I could have run Gifted Master in the City of York Stakes over further, but I really want him to have more opportunity to prove himself as a sprinter, and although it was only a four-runner race he won at Doncaster last time, I thought he looked back to something close to his best, and William Buick was very complimentary about him.
It’s great to have him back as he was very sick earlier in the year, and while he would have to right up to his peak rating to win what looks a really competitive race, there’s no reason to think he’s not at his best, and he’s well drawn to go forward from the inside stall.”
Chester 4.45 GALACTIC PRINCE An excellent third at Ascot to Bin Battuta and I put in my Notebook “Back in third behind Bin Battuta was a staying on Galactic Prince. For a 3yo gelding by Dubawi out of Opera Gal (OR105) a Galileo mare, surely Andrew Balding can place him to win another staying handicap 12/14F off OR80.” Andrew Balding does well at Chester and stable jockey David Probert rides. Trip, grade and the Good ground are spot on.
One that got away!!!!
Chester 4.15 PENWORTHAM Many of you may not be aware that it is not only Pricewise (Tom Segal) who can move the market but Hugh Taylor, ATR’s top tipster has the equivalent effect. I had Penwortham in the MkII Lucky 15 but Hugh Taylor putting him up has seen the price shrink from 12/1 to a top priced 6/1 with Ladbrokes. I can’t put Penwortham in the Lucky 15 at that price when I’m on at double figures. My logic is exactly the same as Hugh Taylors!
“PENWORTHAM has two ways of running on the face of it, but he has run an excellent race on all three outings at Chester and after shaping as if back in form last time, he looks to have plenty in his favour in the extended 7f handicap (4.15).
His form figures here not only read 212, but they stand up to close scrutiny. On his first run here last season over the bare 7f he pulled clear with Arcanada, who was running off a mark of 93 but was last seen finishing second at York off a mark of 105. He won on his second course outing, also over 7f, again pulling clear with a progressive rival, this time Viscount Barfield, who has won three of his five Chester starts, including a Listed race her in July (now rated 105). On his third and most recent start here, which came over today’s distance, he had to make his challenge a little wide round the final bend, but still found enough to pull clear again with winner and odds-on favourite Fastnet Tempest, who hugged the inside throughout. The winner didn’t have much luck in the Hunt Cup next time and is another who is likely to be rated well above 100 in time. After three runs elsewhere, Penwortham returns to Chester on a 2lb lower mark, and he shaped as if in form at Galway last time, much better than the result in fact, having endured a wide passage. He is well positioned in stall 2, and granted luck in running, a reproduction of his previous course form would make him very hard to beat here.”
Indeed his RPR’s are 88, 94 & 95. He has struggled to beat 90 anywhere else. Definitely horses for courses!
Plenty of others I’m watching carefully.
2.10 Verandah Strong 7F 2yo fillies G3 and she is a well-developed young lady who was special on debut on the AW sweeping from last to first. Notebook “This Cheveley Park homebred daughter of Medician and a full-sister to one of his chief money-spinners in Dimension, showed an impressive turn of foot, second last to first from the cut away, to comfortably win this 7F C4 fillies maiden on the AW at Kempton. She’s a good size and should have no trouble stepping up in trip.” Jamie Spencer thinks a lot of Noseda’s Quivery.
2.45 Johnny Barnes My idea of the Ayr Gold Cup winner running over 7F here. Raucous has looked like his name was down for one of these all season. However its Ultimate Avenue in the Lucky 15.
3.20 I’m all over Hathal but this looks a Soft G2 and Lightning Spear is a genuine G1 performer and no Ribchester!
3.55 This could be a serious St. Leger trial with Call to Mind and Count Octave possible contenders. UAE King could have run at York in the Lonsdale Cup or todays Melrose and is a Cup horse for next year whilst Godolphin are about to blow an excellent handicap mark on the gi-normous Warner Street.
Newmarket (Good to Firm)
2.05 Betty F. Expensive Frankel 2yo filly.
3.05 Powerallied Can he get going quickly enough. Will win at Chester.
Windsor (GF, G in places)
6.30 11F Listed with Across the Stars back on course and Spencer is keen on Second Step (see below).
6.40. G3 10F Competitive event where Best of Days needs to show his true colours. Hugo Palmer on Betfair “Best of Days has been slow to come to hand this year, but the signs were much more encouraging at Newbury last time despite the really soft ground not helping. Oisin Murphy rode him there and said it was only his guts and class which allowed him to go as close as he did. The ground won’t be anything like as bad at Windsor, and I expect him to put up an improved performance as a result. He’s a horse who has given us cause to dream about the big days, and is working well again; it would be wonderful to get him back in the winners’ enclosure, but this is a deep race and there will be no hiding place.”
Not sure what they are doing with Ayrad. Sneaking suspicion might be top weight in a handicap?
On line quotes
A confident Spencer in his 32Red blog! 6.10pm Windsor Second Step This is arguably his easiest task of the season, for all that he carries a 3lb penalty for his Goodwood win and meets a higher-rated horse in Across The Stars. But whereas that horse has questions to answer now in that he has been gelded and is tried in a first-time hood, my horse looks very solid and bumped into a very smart and progressive horse in Poet’s Word at Goodwood last time. Hopefully, they all have me to beat.
A not so confident Josephine Gordon in her 32Red blog! 3.35pm York Dubka “I am thrilled to have picked up such a good ride for Sir Michael. She looks to have run as well as she has ever done when just beaten on the line in the Lillie Langtry at Goodwood last time and returns to handicap company on a fair mark of 102. We know that she stays well, and has form on all ground – though she would definitely prefer it if it doesn’t dry up too much, as she does look best with give – so I think she deserves to be among the favourites. Her draw in 19 will hopefully be okay, and fingers crossed for the ground, too. Any more rain would suit her.”
Jim Crowley Coral blog at York
1.55 – Strensall Stakes I’m looking forward to Mustashry in the first. He was returning from a long time off when he ran at Goodwood, and we then went to Chelmsford where I thought he was a bit special to be honest. It’s very hard to come from behind there and he passed the whole field in two furlongs. He should come on again for that run, so I’m very hopeful of a big run.
3.00 – Gimcrack Stakes Nebo has run very well in Group races last two times, he went very close in the Superlative Stakes and then finished second again behind Barraquero at Goodwood. We meet Cardsharp again, who we beat at Goodwood, and although it’s a competitive race as you’d expect, I think we have a good chance, he’ll certainly be on the scene, and he deserves to get his head in front in one of these nice races.
4.40 – Jack Berry House Handicap I end Ebor week on top-weight Khairaat in the ten furlong handicap. Things have not quite gone his way last couple of times, at Royal Ascot he was a little bit keen and didn’t quite finish his race, and at Goodwood we didn’t have the best draw but still ran well for third. He started the season with a very good win at Chester, and although this is a very different track, I think it will suit him and he’s a nice horse who I think will run a big race.