Today I’m sharing with you my notebook of last week’s racing. It includes a couple of eyecatchers from Sandown and Haydock and a horse that looks good value at 14/1 for the Goodwood Cup.
Daily Punt Weekly Notebook
Haydock – Thursday
The Queen might not have had a runner in this year’s Platinum Jubilee Derby. But she may have a contender for next year’s race in Desert Hero. The son of Sea The Stars out of a Dubawi mare is bred for middle distances. But that didn’t stop him from making a winning racecourse debut over 7f at Haydock on Thursday. They went a decent gallop and the two who finished second & third had the benefit of a run. Making good headway 3f out. He took it up inside the final furlong and forged clear of his rivals in the final 110yds. The further he went the better he looked and a step up to mile should unlock further improvement. He’s an exciting prospect.
Get All of John's Selections
When you Trial his Victor Value service
Just £7 for 14 Days
Sandown – Friday
Coltrane won the first of the three Listed races on Friday’s Sandown card. The 5-year-old had previously improved to win the 2m 4f Ascot Stakes (Handicap) and he improved again in taking the Coral Marathon (2m) by ten lengths. The margin of victory could have been more, but he was eased up close to home. He showed again what a strong stayer he is and the time was good too. There was talk after this win that he could go down under for the Melbourne Cup. However, for now you would think connections will send him to Goodwood to take on Kyprios & Stradivarius & co in the Goodwood Cup. He’s a best priced 14/1 for that race and those odds make plenty of appeal given his present vein of form, albeit the Goodwood undulations will ask another question of him.
Goodwood Cup – Coltrane – 14/1 @ Paddy Power & William Hill.
Passion And Glory returned from a 3-month layoff to win the Listed Gala Stakes. Taking it up 3f out he got first run on his rivals and it proved to be decisive, and he held on from Regal Reality and 11/8 favourite Addeybb back in third. The second finished his race off well but was slowly way which didn’t help his cause.
Addeybb probably isn’t the horse he was but to be fair to the 8-year-old the ground would have plenty quick enough for him. His present level of ability is better judged when he gets back on soft ground.
The winner won the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood last season. A bid for back-to-back wins in that race now seems likely for the 6-year-old.
The first of the week’s two eyecatchers also ran at Sandown on Friday.
Cabinet Of Clowns – Eve Johnson-Houghton
Cabinet Of Clowns, a winner at Salisbury on his previous start, improved on his handicap debut when a 1 ½ length 2nd of 7 to the progressive Golden Voice in the 7f handicap. He had no answer to the change of gear produced by the winner 1f out. But he did stay on all the way to the line. Stronger gallop would have suited him better and the way he finished off his race makes him one to note when stepping up to a mile.
Sandown – Saturday
Raasel continues to move up the sprinting ranks and made a winning start in Group company in the Group 3 Coral Charge (5f). The 5-year-old is clearly thriving with racing and who knows maybe he can go onto further success when upped in class again.
The winner got a lovely clear run down the outside but the same can’t be said of runner-up Mitbaahy and the 6th home Equilateral. The runner-up finished a neck behind the winner, but he didn’t get a clear run when he needed it. He was arguably travelling better than the winner at the time. However, by the time he squeezed through, the winner was gone. Equilateral had an even worse passage than the runner-up. He was travelling powerfully on the rail but got absolutely no sort of run. He finished with plenty left in the tank to get within 2 lengths of the winner without having a hard race. All three horses could clash again in the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood. If they do, we’ll find out how unlucky Mitbaahy and Equilateral were.
Recent Royal Ascot eyecatcher Sinjaari (7/2) returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since July 2020 when successful in the Coral Challenge (Handicap). Sinjaari’s win came hot on the heels of Snash’s (15/2) win at Thirsk on Wednesday and continued the winning run of the weekly eyecatcher’s.
Ouzo bounced back from a poor run at Royal Ascot to finish 1 length back in third. He didn’t get a clear run between the final two furlongs and was perhaps a bit unlucky not to win. Checkandchallenge who had run better than his 10-length 14th of 15 in the 2,000 Guineas suggests was back on track with a cracking ¾ length second. The 3-year-old had a stiff mark (108) to overcome against older rivals, but he ran with great credit. Considering he fluffed the start he did well to finish as close as he did. Staying on strongly on the wide outside although he never looked like he would catch the winner. Proving his effectiveness for the grass. This was Group level performance by him, and he can win more races.
Haydock – Saturday
There was a disagreement as to what the going was at Haydock on Saturday. The official going description was soft, but Timeform had it as good. I’m more inclined to go with the latter.
There was a very short-priced favourite in the Old Newton Cup in the shape of the William Haggas trained Gaassee. In a big field handicap on the round course, you need bit of luck in the run in the straight. Well, the favourite didn’t get any in his bid for a five timer. He wasn’t the best away and then didn’t get a run 3f out. Doing his best work at the finish he eventually finished 1 ¾ length 3rd behind another improver in Get Shirty.
Get Shirty was bidding for a hat trick after his recent success in the 1m 6f Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot. The drop back in trip wasn’t an inconvenience for the 6-year-old. He was better placed than the favourite and got the gap when he needed it 2f out. He will now head for the Ebor Handicap and although he will 110+ after this you couldn’t rule out another big performance from this likeable gelding.
Gaassee shaped here like he will be suited by a step up to 1m 6f. So the Ebor Handicap seems a good target for the 4-year-old who remains one to be interested in going forward. He’s already won at York, so the track suits him which is a plus. Lightly raced, the colt holds an entry in the Irish St Leger so he’s clearly highly regarded by connections. He would be a leading contender should he go for the Ebor.
Vince Lombardi – Grant Tuer
Vince Lombardi was well backed, in the concluding 7f handicap, to build on his seasonal reappearance effort for new connections. His backers failed to collect on this occasion but can see why he was well supported. Held up, he wasn’t suited by the slow early pace of Saturday’s race and didn’t get the best of runs 2f out. However, once in the clear he ran on to finish a 1 ¾ length 5th of 8 to Zero Carbon who had the run of the race out in front. A winner of a soft ground 6f nursery handicap as a juvenile. He stayed the 7f and will no doubt win again, especially when he gets a better run race.