Good morning all,
One of the lower-key Saturdays of the summer but there's still a bit to get stuck into.
Newmarket will be the port of call for me today, say hello if you see me lurking around…
2.25 Goodwood – 7f tote Quadpot Starts Here Handicap
Aratus is the one on an upward curve, winning both his starts this season, but it’s hardly form that sets the world alight (for me, anyway) and he’s going to find this a whole new experience. At around the 9-4 mark, I’d want to try and take him on.
Oh This Is Us can’t be discounted with Luke Catton taking a useful 7lb off his back, and down the bottom Tintoretto might appreciate a return to quicker ground after disappointing on soft last time, but it’s two of the older brigade that look sure to give a good account.
I was very keen on Kimifive for the Stewards Consolation a few weeks ago, but the rain came and he was taken out on the day. Since then, there’s been a change of trainer, moving from Joseph Tuite to David Bridgwater, but not a change of ownership. The owner moved Captain Tommy to David (from Harry Whittington) earlier in the year and that paid dividends straight away, with a ready win in a valuable event at Uttoxeter, and he has to be on interest once again.
You can generally set your watch by Escobar in these events, and he again ran well at York last week, but there might not be a whole bundle of pace on here and to see him at his very best, he needs that. He’ll give it his best shot and if Bravado, who looks the likely pacesetter, does go quickly enough for him then he’ll have his chance. Kimifive for me though, in the hope I’m not banging my head against a brick wall.
3.35 Goodwood – 1m Celebration Mile
Plenty of questions about a few of the contenders here, too.
Not least the classy Benbatl, who probably has the beating of these on his best form, but you have to question where he’s been since last September. It may be that he’s being lined up for another winter campaign in Meydan but all the same, he’s missed some big engagements. Even more interestingly (for me, anyway) the handicapper has taken a look at his form whilst he’s been away and decided it wasn’t as good as it looked at the time anyway, dropping him 7lb. Not that that matters here, it isn’t a handicap, but still….
Chindit is going to find this a lot easier than taking on Palace Pier and Poetic Flare, but he has yet to fully convince me a mile is what he wants, and I’ll be having a small win bet on Perotto. He’s strong at a mile, as he showed when winning the Brittania at Ascot, and after a respectable fourth to Baaeed at the Glorious meeting, he ran as well as he has done this year when rallying well for third behind two higher-rated rivals at Salisbury last time. With pace almost guaranteed, that should set it up nicely for this hold-up merchant, and I can see him running a big race.
2.45 Newmarket – 6f Hopeful Stakes (Listed)
Newmarket will be my port of call today, and I’m really glad this has held up well from entries. It’s a fascinating contest, and you can make cases for many of them.
One thing looks certain, it looks sure to be run at a good gallop from the off, with Gellhorn, Extraordinair and the 3yo Adaay To Remember all wanting a show of the front. With the stalls on the far side, all three might try and make a beeline over towards that far rail, and some early scrimmaging as they do so isn’t out of the question.
So some luck may be required if you’re backing the likes of hold-up performer Chiefofchiefs, who keeps running well in big-field handicaps and could find this to his liking. The booking of Hayley Turner (replacing Jamie Spencer) is no bad thing, and if the gaps open for him he’ll have his chance. Much the same can be said for Summerghand, a neck second in this last year and will surely find this easier after facing some very stiff tasks this year. He beat Oxted earlier in the season, lest we forget, and a return to that sort of form makes him tough to beat.
It’ll be about what price he is, but Khaadem, equipped in first-time blinkers, is the most interesting of all. He looked like making up into a top-class sprinter after his 2020 Stewards Cup win but it has never really happened for him. However, if you’re the forgiving type, you don’t have to look too hard to find excuses for a few of his poor runs this year (including last time at Chester when held out wide for much of the contest) and if – and it is if – the blinkers get him to concentrate and break a bit better, I could see him bouncing back under conditions that suit.
3.15 Beverley – 5f Beverley Bullet
A quick word on the Bullet too. I’m basically finding this too difficult to work out. Dakota Gold is showing signs that he’ll be winning again soon, but stall 10 might be asking a lot of this front-runner. Show Yourself has pulled the plum draw in stall 1 but it’s only been Class 5s and 6s she’s been winning and this just looks too much for her. She’ll add to the pace, as will Significantly in stall 3, and if you forced me into having a fiver on something it would be Tarboosh. They can’t go quick enough up front for him, he’s got some real cruising speed, and turned in his best effort this season at Nottingham last time, one that suggests he’ll be winning this autumn too. Stall 9 means he’ll have work to do, but as a finisher, I’d rather him out wide than trapped behind a wall of horses up the inside late on.
Today's selection – Kimifive (e/w) 2.25 Goodwood
Good luck with all your selections today,