Sadly, no ante-post winner to report this week. However, if you followed my each-way suggestions for Saturday’s Cesarewitch; Cleonte and Theglasgowwarrior, you made a tidy profit on the race. As they finished 3rd and 5th respectively.
Plenty to cover this week. As I take a look back at Future Champions Weekend at Newmarket on Friday. Before taking an early peek at Champions Day. You can find all this and my Monday tip inside..
Joseph's Surprise In Fillies Mile!
Lets begin with a few reflections on Future Champions Weekend.
Iridessa, caused a bit of a shock when landing the Fillies Mile on Friday at 16/1. The Joseph O’Brien trained filly beat Hermosa trained by father Aidan. There was a very strong headwind and the winner got plenty of cover during the race. The runner-up was ridden more prominently and in the circumstances did well.
Pretty Pollyanna ran much better than she had done in the Cheveley Park, in finishing 3rd. The filly had been ante-post favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas prior to her Cheveley Park run. She has now been pushed out to as big as 33/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral which looks a bit of an overreaction, given she wasn’t totally disgraced.
Norway Could Be Classic Contender?
The Zetland Stakes was won by Norway. Not the country. The horse.
Trainer Aiden O’Brien had won last years race with Kew Gardens and he has another future middle distance horse on his hands. Norway showed he already has excellent reserves of stamina to win this 1m 2f contest. Given his full brother Ruler Of The World, won the Derby you couldn’t rule him out for the Epsom Classic but he already has the look of a St Leger horse.
Persian Takes Centre Stage!
I suggested a couple of weeks ago that you grab the 25/1 available about the Andre Fabre trained Persian King for next years 2000 Guineas. He’s now as low as 10/1 for next year’s first colt’s classic after his win the Group 3 Autumn Stakes.
The son of Kingman looked really well in the paddock before the race and took the preliminaries in his stride. He has plenty in his favour and I really like him. He’s a good stamp of a horse and looks open to even more improvement as a 3-year-old. I was impressed with his attitude in the finish. His jockey had a hard time pulling him up after the race which suggests there was plenty in the tank.
Hot Winner Of Dewhurst!
I don’t have much to say about Too Darn Hot’s performance in winning the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes. Apart from the fact he put in a fantastic one. He’s clearly the best 2-year-old around and looks an exceptional horse.
The further they went the better he looked. You can see why he’s now a best priced 7/4 for the 2000 Guineas. The juvenile colts look a very strong bunch this year, so let's hope they all train on. As it looks like we could have a vintage crop.
This weeks tracker horse is the first of the 2018-19 jumps season.
Carole’s Destrier, trained by Neil Mulholland, has dropped down the weights since finishing a ½ length second to Native River in the 2016 Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury off 12lb higher.
The 10-year-old ran well for a long way in the Veterans Chase at Chepstow yesterday.This was his first start for 169 days and he was outpaced three out. Not surprisingly he tired but at least his jockey didn’t subject him to hard race after the last.
The 2m 7f would also have been a bare minimum for the horse who has won over 3m 5f. There are races in him if he can build on this performance, which is by no mean certain.
For reference. The gelding is 5 wins from 12 runs +16.63 7 places when going right handed, 1 win from 15 runs 5 places going the other way. He’s also 6 wins from 13 runs +17.25 when racing 21 to 45 days since his last run.
He could well head for the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton next month.
It’s Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday. The end of season finale is the richest days racing held in Britain with £4.35 million on offer.
The highlight could be the Champion Stakes if Cracksmen, possibly in first time headgear, takes on stablemate Roaring Lion and Crystal Ocean.
My only bet so far is Hydrangea to win the Fillies & Mares race for the second year running. Hydrangea hasn’t run since finishing last of seven in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She showed improved form when winning last years renewal and it looks like Aiden O’Brien has trained her for the race.
Granted her three runs this season haven’t reached that level but she is almost three times the price of Bateel, the second favourite behind Lah Ti Dar. Hydrangea beat Bateel by a fairly comfortable 2 lengths in the race last year. The 16/1 available with Paddy Power looks great each way value to me.
The final race on Champions Day is the Balmoral Handicap over the Hunt Cup mile.
I like Flaming Spear (11/1). He will be suited by any ease in the ground and mile now looks his trip. Hopefully the trainer's horses will have returned to form by the weekend.
Fire Brigade (16/1) has run well on Ascot’s straight track in the past and he should get the easy surface that suits. He ran really well at Ayr on his last start and this race could well have been a target for trainer Michael Bell.
The Ralph Beckett trained Mitchum Swagger (20/1) likes some ease in the ground. He ran disappointingly at Haydock last month but that was his first start since finishing 3rd in the Lincoln back in March. Just behind Addeybb and Lord Glitters that day.
The 6-year-old clearly hasn’t been the easiest to keep sound but if produces his best he looks on a competitive mark. He ran well over C&D when 3rd in the Hunt Cup back in 2016, for his previous trainer and now races off a 4lb lower mark.
Mr Reckless provided the column with a much-needed winner last Monday at 4/1.
Today’s selection is Art Of Security who goes in the 5:30 at Gowran Park. The winning hurdler remains lightly raced on the flat. This is his first start since finishing 6th of 20 to Low Sun over hurdles at the Galway Festival. The rain softened ground is in his favour and if he’s ready to roll after his short break looks on a competitive mark here.
5:30 – Art Of Security – 11/1 or bigger
Until next week