It wasn't to be for Enable but she went down fighting in yesterday's Arc.
You can read my thoughts on the weekend's big race action. Plus find out why I think Monday's tip can bounce back to form at Windsor today.
Fabre Plots Enable's Downfall
Andre Fabre, plotted Waldgeist to win this years Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe to give him an 8th win in the race.
Enable carried the hopes of the English racegoers. Once Frankie Dettori sent her for home a furlong and half from home it looked like history would be made.
The mare had managed to see off the 3-year-old colts Sottsass and Japan, but she had no answer to the power packed finish produced by Waldgeist on the outside.
I couldn’t really have the winner on soft ground. However, he had finished just 2 lengths behind Enable in the King George VI at Ascot and as I wrote after that race:
“Given some of his best form has come at Longchamp he has to be taken very seriously in the Arc, as long as the ground isn’t as soft as it was on Saturday”.
Japan runs a cracker
The first four home pulled well clear of the rest.
Sottsass just held off Japan for third but Japan is the one to take out of the race. He would have preferred a sounder surface and also come very wide on the home turn. In the circumstances it was a top-notch performance from the colt.
I'm sure Japan will remain in training as a 4-year-old with the Arc as his target.
Taking nothing away from Waldgeist, who was a brave and worthy winner of the Arc, but I think unless you were on him you really wanted Enable to go down in history.
Sadly the testing ground just found the great mare out and she was just done by a stronger stayer on the day.
It’s Kynren’s Day
Kynren finally ended a two-year losing run to register a well-deserved win in the Challenge Cup Handicap at Ascot on Saturday.
As I told my subscribers, “Soft ground and a stiff 7f, in a big field are his optimum conditions” and so it proved.
I also told them that I might regret leaving him out of my bets for the race. Sadly that's what I did.
Jockey Ben Curtis always had the horse in a good position. Once, he took the lead a furlong out it was just a case of whether anything would come from behind to deny him again but nothing did.
No Fairytale For Laurens in Sun Chariot
There was no fairy tale ending for Laurens in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes. On her final start, she led the field up until the final furlong mark but found nothing when tackled and faded, to finish 7th.
The filly who won six Group 1 races during her career, always wore her heart on her sleeve and probably too many hard races have just taken their toll.
Levey’s well deserved success
Billesdon Brook last years 1,000 Guineas winner, appreciated the strong gallop to run down Veracious in the final 100yds. Veracious had cantered into the lead just inside the final furlong and looked the most likely winner but she had no answer to the winners strong finish.
It was a well deserved big race success for underrated jockey Sean Levey, who's more than capable at the highest level when he has the right horse as he did on Saturday.
A Tale Of Two Tracks
It was a tale of two racecourses last week.
The curtain finally fell on National Hunt racing at Towcester. The viability of racing ever taking place at the track again was always in doubt. Back in 2014 the course owners had sold seven fixtures to Arc to finance the tracks venture into greyhound racing. So it was really just a matter of time before horse racing ended at Towcester.
It’s sad to see horse racing end at Towcester. It’s a track I really liked, but the financial pressures it faced were always likely to prove tough to overcome. Especially as the racecourse only held the rights to run ten fixtures.
No doubt within the next ten years some of the former racecourse will be covered by housing.
Towcester may not be the last track to disappear in the next few years as the economic climate for running a racecourse becomes even tougher.
Better news for Musselburgh
On a more positive note. Chester Race Company, who run both Chester and Bangor racecourses, last week won a ten-year contract to run Musselburgh racecourse for the local council.
It’s good news for horse racing and the future of the sport has been secured at the Scottish track at least for the medium term.
On Saturday, It’s the Cesarewitch Handicap the second leg of the ‘Autumn Double'. Run over a marathon 2m 2f, stamina to see out the distance is essential, with nine of the last ten winners having won over at least 2m either on Flat or over hurdles.
Looking at the ten-year trends:
It’s been hard to win from a higher draw than stall 24 with just 1 winner from 106 runners.
Good recent form is a positive. The last ten winners of the race had all finished in the first six on their last start with those that didn’t being 0 winners from 105 runners 5 placed.
Horse’s carrying 8-12 or more are 2 winners from 137 runners in the past ten years.
Mullins mare a worthy favourite
Given the significance of the draw and doubts about the going I haven't had a bet in the race yet. However, I have to say the two that head the ante post betting for the race Buildmeupbuttercup and Timoshenko look solid contenders.
I also like the claims of the 3-year-old Themaxwecan and Buildmeupbuttercup’s stablemate Nessun Dorma who will be all the better for his recent seasonal reappearance.
If you want my Cesarewitch and other selections from next weekend’s Newmarket’s Future Champions Festival, you can get them here
3:40 – The going is likely to be testing at Windsor today so an ability to handle underfoot conditions will be important.
One who will handle the ground is Dragon’s Voice. The 5-year-old also goes well here with 3 wins from 5 runs.
A soft ground C&D winner back in June off 5lb lower. He was found out by drying ground when runner-up at Thirsk on his next start, off today’s mark.
He's got two disappointing runs to put behind him. Probably didn’t stay 1m 6f at Musselburgh two starts back and found Class 2 company too strong at Haydock last month.
I'm expecting a much better run from Dragon's Voice today.
Dragon's Voice – each way
Until next week
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk