Good morning all,
Not the most exciting of Saturdays, perhaps trainers are keeping some good ones back for Doncaster next week?
The Sprint Cup at Haydock and London Mile Final at Kempton look puntable contests, but I’m struggling to find a lot else, and that includes at Stratford which is my port of call later on. Here’s my thoughts on what might be winning today.
3.15 Kempton – London Mile Series Handicap Final 1m
Hieronymus will give this a good go from the front, and stall 3 is a good starting position to work from on the face of it, but I was surprised to see, looking at the recent history of the race, that stall 14, despite seemingly being a negative, has provided three of the last five winners! That’s good, because Hold Fast from 14 this year was on my shortlist, and that stat has just about tipped me towards her, especially with Oisin taking over in the saddle.
She won her qualifier back in way back in February and has been raced fairly sparingly since, although as if to hammer home the point that this C&D suits her very well, she scored again here in April. After disappointing on soft ground at Ascot the month after, she was put away for this and comes into it a fresh horse. The 119-day break isn’t a worry, given she won her maiden after a 284-day break last year. She’s got a lot going for her chances.
2.55 Haydock – Old Borough Cup Handicap 1m6f
Ian Williams has twice won this in recent times with Reshoun in 2018 and Time To Study in 2019, and he attacks this two-handed with the in-form Autumn War and the less-in-form but well-handicapped Indianapolis, who seems to have been tipped up for every staying handicap going this season but has yet to collect.
The chance of Autumn War is obvious, having finished runner-up three times on his last three starts but the change of headgear for Indianapolis might just spark him back into life. He’s got a similar profile to Reshoun too, in that he’d lost for but was well handicapped, and he’s now a whopping 12lb lower than when beaten under a length over C&D around a year ago. Conditions look ideal for him and at a double-figure price, I’d rather take my chances with him.
Hochfeld, like so many Mark Johnston horses, is very in-and-out but he looked a picture at Newmarket last week, and I’m struggling to see why he should be twice the price of Rajinsky, given there’s very little between them on their York form of last month. It isn't beyond the realms of possibility he gets an easy lead here either, and that could make him hard to pass. At 14s and bigger, I’ll be having a saver on him too.
3.30 Haydock – Sprint Cup Stakes 6f
Not the strongest of Group 1s, and if Starman brings his A-game then he’s more than likely going to win this. So impressive when winning the July Cup, he was slightly below that form on soft ground at Deauville last time but conditions here are much more to his liking, and the opposition less taxing. However, he’s odds-on, and we don’t go for odds-on shots on the Punt, so with four places going begging with Skybet and Paddy Power and Betfair, there looks sure to be some value among the places.
Creative Force has two lengths to find with Starman on their July Cup running, and a repeat of that will see him hit the frame, but again he’s second favourite and not much in the way of value. I think, on consideration, I’ll chance Chil Chil taking another step forward. She travelled as well as anything in the July Cup but wasn’t best placed, and was left with plenty to do. Coming up the middle, she found a little bit of trouble and was away from the main action, but still ran with credit. Completely taken off her feet early in the Nunthorpe, she did all her best work late to finish fourth, and this step back up to 6f can only be in her favour.
She’s drawn out on the wing in 11 today, but has Starman next to her to give her the tow in, and I think she’ll finish in the frame, at worst.
Today's selection – Chil Chil (e/w 4 places) 3.30 Haydock
Good luck with all your bets today,