Good morning all,
What better way to spend your Friday afternoon than tackling two of the toughest handicaps of the year, eh? Well, that's what I've had a go at in the hope of finding the winner, and I'm trying a couple of small wager doubles on the two races too. Here goes….
Okay, let’s start with the Silver Cup, and first of all, where the pace is coming from.
And the answer is, there’s probably a fairly even spread of it, with a couple drawn low, a couple middle and a couple drawn high that look likely to be prominent. Does that mean we are getting two, or even three, groups here? I’m going to say that’s more than likely. Three groups is a distinct possibility.
Should we not be looking any further than favourite King’s Lynn here? After all, you are talking about a 3yo that’s only had the three starts so has all the potential going, has already won a big field race (albeit not a handicap) when taking the big 2yo sales race at Doncaster last year, and ran perfectly well on his comeback at Doncaster a month ago?
Winner of that, Starman has shown himself to be at least Listed company since then when beating Dakota Gold at York, and the form looks solid. He could simply be better class than these and you can argue 4-1 is a fair price.
With the exception of a below par run in the Stewards Cup, Atalanta’s Boy has improved all season and comes here after a ready win at Goodwood, and Bernardo O’Reilly sprang back to form when successful at Doncaster last week. His followers will be looking to the Bronze Cup and the likes of Call Me Ginger and Flying Pursuit to give that form a boost. They both have chances.
My two for the race are Aberama Gold, who will be coming out of stall 1, and Louie De Palma, who is a bit more speculative but isn’t without hope at 25s and bigger.
In the hope that low numbers aren’t disadvantaged to any great degree, I like the chances of Aberama Gold. He had a really good season at 2, winning a valuable nursery at this meeting last year and going on to land the Listed Rockingham Stakes at York in October. As a result he’s probably been a bit too high in the handicap for much of this year but there were definite positives at York on his latest start (when not best drawn in stall 1, first 4 home all from double-figure draws) in finishing sixth, and I think there’s another big race in him before the season is out. It might be this one. He and Arbalet (in stall 2) look the pace angles low and I’m half-tempted to try a small reverse forecast in case there’s a distinct draw advantage and the pair of them drag each other along.
Louie De Palma finished sixth in this last year and is 4lb lower this time around. His form this term has been mixed, to say the least, but there was nothing wrong with his fourth to Chiefofchiefs in the Silver Wokingham at Royal Ascot and he was far from disgraced in the Stewards Cup either. I’d forget all about his Goodwood run last time, the leaders (including him) went off too fast and the first three home all came from well off the pace. Stall 13 gives Hector Crouch options as to where he wants to go, and in the hope he can at least run as well as he did last year, he’s worth inclusion.
Whereas the pace for the Silver was reasonably evenly spread, it’s slightly more biased towards middle/high numbers here. Hey Jonesy in stall 8 looks sure to lead the low numbers but he could tack across to Air Raid and Staxton in 14/15 to form the arrowhead. Bungee Jump looks certain to blaze a trail down the near side from stall 24, and could conceivably take half a dozen others drawn high with her. Two groups, then?
Arecibo. What do we do with Arecibo here? I backed him ante-post for the Portland last week as I thought he was terrific value for the place part of the bet (which copped) and much the same applies here. But there’s no doubt that he dogged it once he got near the front last week, and he’s clearly very hard to win with. Another change of headgear here, the fact he’s drawn 25 of 25 and will have Bungee Jump in 24 to tow him in are arguably positives. As dreadfully hard to win with as he is, I’m finding him hard to discount as he’s about 6-4 to hit the first 7 here, and we’d be getting 14/5 for the place part alone. Maybe I’ll end up backing him place only. Let’s see how the draw pans out for the Bronze Cup later on (update – they all wanted to come middle/high).
If high does have an advantage, Bungee Jump herself would make some appeal on drying ground – that 5½l thrashing of Magic J et al at Newmarket back in June is still fresh in the mind, but for a second pick I’ll chance Young Fire, dropping back in trip after his 7f win at Haydock last time. The big worry is that he simply gets taken off his feet here and can’t get in a telling blow, but equally he was well on top at the finish at Haydock and the second, Tranchee, is an improving 4yo that won again at Doncaster last week, so the form is very solid. Despite that win without one, the visor is reapplied here, presumably to get him to go forward early, and if they go quick, expect to see him coming late on the scene. If he does run poorly here, put him in trackers and wait for him to go back to 7f, as I’m sure there’s another race in him this year.
I’m having 4 small e/w doubles Aberama Gold/Louis De Palma with Arecibo/Young Fire with Skybet, who are 6/7 places on those two races. For those just wanting the one, Aberama Gold is probably the best of them. Fingers crossed a low draw isn't a negative.
Good luck with all your bets this weekend,