Kameko did us a huge favour in the 2000 Guineas on Saturday and Andrew Balding’s beautiful looking colt is 4/1 market leader for the Derby next month. If we saw the Derby winner at Newmarket on Saturday, I felt it was Military March who was keen to post and, in the circumstances, did well to finish fourth. I hope connections persevere with jockey Hector Crouch although it would not surprise me if Godolphin looked for a higher profile pilot at Epsom.
No classics at Haydock this afternoon but a competitive meeting on ground that was described as good to soft ahead of yesterday’s card.
Festival Day (2.45) was considered good enough to contest the Group 2 7f Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket back in September having made all to impressively break her maiden tag at Chepstow just ten days previously. It is possible that the Newmarket race came too soon after her win in south Wales and I feel her opening mark of 84 looks workable stepping up to a mile today.
Do note she was entered in a fillies’ handicap over 10f here tomorrow, but connections have decided to make her seasonal return over a mile. She represents the yard of Mark Johnston – who also saddles Queen Gamrah who was well supported on Sunday – whose string have made such an impressive start to the new campaign and is priced at 9/2 with Unibet. She gets the each way vote.
Her Majesty’s Dusty Dream looks sure to improve for the step up to 10f on her handicap debut for William Haggas and Cieren Fallon takes off a valuable 3lbs on this daughter of Dubawi. She must go close but the each way vote in the 10f handicap for three-year-olds goes to Win O’Clock (4.25) who is making not only his handicap but turf debut today.
The selection was slowly away on a couple of occasions last term but there was much to like about the way he finished his race when third at Kempton when last seen back in January. Jason Watson takes over in the plate for the first time today and he is bred to be better than his opening handicap mark. The ew recommendation is 15/2 with bet365.
There is a competitive card at Lingfield this evening and I hope that this evening’s trip of 1m 5f will be a sufficient test of stamina for Celtic Classic (6.50) who won here on turf back in July but has also won on the all-weather at Kempton back in August. Jockey Rossa Ryan has ridden the gelding in his last three starts and he keeps the ride for Paul Cole and his son Oli who have a joint licence this season. At 4/1 with bet365 I will be disappointed if he doesn’t trouble the judge.
Knowing (7.20) finished last season on a high winning a 10f handicap at Epsom from a 4lbs lower mark back in September. The each way selection – 15/2 with Unibet – has yet to win on an artificial surface, but he ran well over a mile here on his racecourse debut and the step back up in trip this evening is considered a plus.
Red Secret (7.50) has been gelded since his last start and this lightly-raced stayer is taken to reward each way support for Ed Dunlop who, at the time of writing, is yet to saddle a winner since the restart. The selection was a winner over an additional quarter of a mile at Wolverhampton back in October, but he was clear at the two-furlong pole and I expect to see James Doyle make plenty of use of his mount who is 11/2 with bet365..
At Chelmsford Maria Rosa (2.30) can reverse Newcastle form with her conqueror Foorat on 7lbs better terms than was the case back in October. John Gosden fits his filly with cheek-pieces this afternoon and connections will be keen to get a win next to her name given she cost $1.75m as a yearling. She was slowly away at Gosforth Park on debut and turned right at the start and I expect her to be much more professional today.
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