Notebook Horse Takes Ascot Handicap
It’s always good when a plan comes together. In last weeks column I highlighted Raising Sand as a horse to note after his run in the Cambridgeshire. This is what I wrote:
“There are a couple of big handicaps coming up at Ascot, a track he runs well, over 7f or 1m in the next couple of weeks. He would be of interest if turning up for one of those races, especially if there is some ease in the going which he hasn’t had since finishing 3rd of 18 in a valuable 7f handicap at Ascot 12 months ago”.
Well the 6-year-old got his optimum conditions on Saturday when winning the Challenge Cup Handicap at Ascot. Hopefully, you were on the horse at the morning prices of 9/1 or even bigger earlier in the week.
I have another notebook horse for you inside…
Frankie’s Six of the Best
Enable joined an elite group of horses, including the likes Ribot, Alleged and Treve, to win two Arc’s. It was also Frankie Dettori’s sixth win in the big race.
What a race it was, as Enable held off the fast finishing Sea Of Class by a short neck. Two fantastic fillies giving their all, flat racing at its very best. Given her wide draw the runner-up comes out of the race really well. That said the gaps opened up when her jockey needed them too.
Let’s take nothing away from the winner. She always held a good position in the race. From my eye she may have gone for home a shade to soon, as she seemed to tire in the final few yds, in what looked a strongly run race. Given her interrupted season and just one previous race it was a fine training performance by John Gosden.
Who was the lucky or unlucky horse? We should find out when the sectionals for the race come out. Until then lets just celebrate a thrilling finish to a great race.
Raising Sand wasn’t the only recent notebook horse to win. Norway (7/2) was the easy winner of a Naas maiden on Tuesday.
This week’s notebook horse is Holmeswood, trained by Michael Dods. The 4-year-old has been knocking on the door this season and ran another good race in defeat when runner-up at Ascot on Saturday. The gelding is on a winnable mark and has an entry at York on Friday. He would be interesting if taking up that engagement.
It’s the 2m 2f, Dubai £500,000 Cesarewitch on Saturday at Newmarket. A maximum field of 34 look set to go to post for one of my favourite flat handicaps.
Willie Mullins has seven possible entries. Stratum unlucky in the Ebor heads the market at 7/1. Recent Leopardstown winner Limini (12/1) carries just 4lb more for that victory and the 7-year-old won’t be far away.
Aiden O’Brien could run St Leger 3rd, Southern France (16/1) who could be on a very good mark off 107. He also has recent Group 3 winner Cypress Creek (25/1) and carries a 4lb penalty for his Naas success. Given both O’Brien horses could be Gold Cup contenders it's likely they are well handicapped off their present marks.
Jim Goldie looks set to run Theglasgowwarrior (33/1). He’s 37 on the list of entries but should sneak in at the bottom of the weights. The 4-year-old was finishing best of all when 3rd in the Mallard Handicap at Doncaster. If he stays this far he won't be far away.
The 5-year-old Cleonte (16/1) looks likely to represent Andrew Balding. The 5-year-old hasn't run since the Shergar Cup back in August but he's just 3lb higher now and this has been the target since Ascot.
If all the above do stand their ground it looks like it will be a top-class renewal of this historic race. Which isn’t really surprising really given the amount of prize money on offer.
At this early stage the Aiden O’Brien pair would be of interest should they come over for the race. Whilst Theglasgowwarrior and Cleonte are on the shortlist, indeed I have already had a small ante post bet on the former at 50s.
Monday Racing & Selection
Today’s action is a mixed bag. We have flat meetings at Pontefract and Windsor in the afternoon and National Hunt racing at Plumpton. Later in afternoon Kempton joins the action with a twilight meeting on the all-weather.
Sadly, no joy for last weeks Monday selection. This week I have a couple of selections from Kempton and Windsor.
7:15 – Cosmogyral – The 3-year-old was only beaten a neck at Wolverhampton last month. That was her second decent run since the fitting of the cheekpieces. Up a 1lb for her last run, if she can transfer that tapeta form to the polytrack, then she won't be far away at the finish.
Cosmogyral – 11/2 or bigger
3:30 – Jamie Osborne had 3 winners at Ascot on Friday and Saturday so has his horses in good form. He runs Mr Reckless here. The 3-year-old is probably flattered by his 3rd placed effort behind Cambridgeshire winner Wissahickon, two starts back and wasn’t suited by the way the race was run on his last start at Wolverhampton.
A winner at Wetherby on good to soft back in May. He then tried to give 5lb to Danceteria at Newmarket and was only beaten by ¾ length. Looks capable of a bold show if he handles the soft ground.
Mr Reckless – 7/1 or bigger
Until next week.