Good morning all,
Lovely to get the main bet home yesterday, and Golden Horde looks like a sprinter to follow for the rest of the year. It's clear Adam Kirby thought he was on the best horse, pretty much dominating the race from start to finish, and he had plenty left in the tank at the end.
For one moment I thought we might get a bit back with Show Me Show Me as well, but sadly he faded to eighth. There might be a decent handicap in him too.
On to today then, and some big handicaps to have a crack at….
12.40 – Silver Wokingham
Personally I think there ought to be a Bronze and a Copper Wokingham. In fact, a whole day of Wokinghams, finishing off with the Tin Wokingham at half five instead of the Queen Alex, full of 0-60 horses that normally struggle to win Class 6s at Kempton. I’m up for that.
I’m keen on one here though, and although not a massive price, I do think Blue Mist ought to be a bit shorter than the 8-1 around as I type this (update, around 6s now). A really strong traveller in these big field handicaps, such as when a 3l 6th to Cape Byron in the Victoria or when third to Raising Sand in the Moet & Chandon here, this drop back to 6f might just be the ticket. Once again, at Newbury last weekend, he travelled like the best horse by some way yet didn’t quite see the job through, and I really think that a return to sprinting could be the key. Stall 20 is fine, there’s some pace among the high numbers to give him a tow, and to my eyes he must go close.
Aplomb is a massive danger if he reporoduces his head second to Tinto in a 0-105 here last October (a tougher race than this, it must be said) and he wasn’t suited by the way the race unfolded at Newmarket on his reappearance. There’s surely a big handicap in him this year, if not this one.
3.00 – St James Palace Stakes
What to make of Pinatubo this year, then? The racing fraternity was seemingly split into two groups before his 2000 Guineas run – those that said he wouldn’t train on and be stuffed out of sight, and those that said he was the real deal and would win easily. In the end, he did something in the middle – ran perfectly well to finish third – which left everyone scratching their heads.
What was evident from the pictures we saw was that others have clearly caught up, and indeed passed him, physically. He hasn’t grown that much, and it may simply be that, although he will be capable of form to a very high level again this year, others have now caught him up.
Let’s be in no doubt, he has the best form in the race by some way, but whether he is now capable of pulling that out of the bag is open to some question.
Wichita was expected to run well in the 2000 Guineas, with the morning market flipping himself and stablemate Arizona around in the betting, and he duly did, running Kameko to a neck. That represented a career best and I have a feeling Ascot may suit him even better, so I would have him slight favourite for this. Arizona was a bitter disappointment and the way he was one of the first cooked at Newmarket, you’d have to have big reservations about him here.
Threat is, in a fair few quarters, assumed to be a non-stayer here but he wasn’t stopping at the end of Doncaster’s Champagne Stakes (7f) and really looked like 7f was going to be the minimum he needed when a running-on fourth in the Middle Park. There is stamina in the family and it would be foolish to write him off on those grounds alone. What might be more of a worry is the fact he’s not had a warm-up run for this, although overall the yard are going better than they were for the first two weeks.
Palace Pier, on the other hand, looks very much like he’ll want further than a mile in time. I love the size of him, just the type of big, rangy horse I like. Once he hits top gear he really looks some machine, but getting to that top gear takes him a bit of time. I’ll not go so far as to say he’s lazy, as he’s only had the three runs and is still learning, but the worry with him is that Ascot’s round course may not suit him, and he’ll be a bit too far back before he hits top stride. Long term, I think he might be the best horse in the race, but maybe not today.
I’m half-tempted by Royal Dornoch at 66s, to be honest. After all, he beat Kameko fair and square in the Royal Lodge and although that 2000 Guineas effort needs forgiving, he was never in it after a slow start and it clearly wasn’t his form. It may be that he’s simply not trained on and I do have ground worries but at 66s, you don’t have to pay a lot to find out, do you?
3.35 – Diamond Jubilee (6f)
Absolutely wide open and there’s any number you can give a chance to, but at a big price I’m chancing a bit e/w on Speak In Colours now the ground has eased a bit. I think that's what he needs – certainly he didn’t seem to want to let himself down on quick ground at the Curragh last weekend, that after travelling like the best horse for much of the contest. He’s got ground to make up with One Master on form, but in the hope that last week’s run has brought him on a bit, I can see him running through the beaten ones into the places, at worst.
4.10 – Wokingham (6f)
Goes without saying there’s any number in with chances, but top of my list is Tinto.
Quite simply, he’s an improving handicapper that is going to get this run to suit, conditions look ideal, he has winning C&D form and Marco Ghiani takes off the 5lb the handicapper gave him for his Newmarket win, which seems to have been dismissed as a fluke simply because he went off 40-1. In hindsight, that looks an insult of a price given his basic ability and it may just be that at the age of 4, they have now found the key to him. He should go well.
My old friend Dazzling Dan has now seen Tinto’s back end in his last two starts and in truth, it is hard to see how he reverses form. You could argue he needed that first run at Newmarket and will come on for that, and his form when beating Oxted last year looks very good now too. I have thought from a very early stage he would be a Wokingham type, and I’ll simply have to have a saver because if he did win and I wasn’t on, I’d be fuming with myself!!
With Golden Horde winning yesterday, it gives me a little more confidence that Clive Cox could yet get Konchek back to his 2yo form. If ever a horse looked like he needed the tackle off it was Konchek for much of last year, you felt the ability was still there but my, he was hard work at times. The ground drying up a bit will help him and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him bounce back to form now he’s had the unkindest cut of all.
My bets today –
12.45 Blue Mist (e/w 6 places)
3.00 – Royal Dornoch (small win and 3 places Betfair Exchange is the way I'm playing him)
3.35 – Speak In Colours (small e/w 4 places Skybet)
4.10 – Tinto (e/w), Konchek and Dazzling Dan (small e/w, all 6 places)
Good luck with all your bets today,