Win O’Clock ensured our good run continued when he landed a gamble (15/2 into 4/1) at Haydock on Monday although I am kicking myself for not recommending the Michael Dods’ trained Arch Moon earlier in the card. I didn’t put him up because I felt he might need 10f to be seen at his best this term and I still believe that may be the case. He will need to improve to defy the obvious rise in the weights but I think an additional quarter mile will bring about said improvement.
There is a significant Derby trial at Leopardstown on Tuesday and Aidan O’Brien saddles three of the six runners who go to post for today’s Gp 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial. Iberia beat Russian Emperor (2.00) when the pair made their racecourse debuts at the Curragh over 7f back in July, but I hope to see the latter reverse the form this afternoon. The selection – 6/4 with Boylesports– was a winner of a Naas Maiden over a mile on the opening day of the flat season back in March, his first start since his racecourse debut when it was reported he was struck into during the race.
Iberia finished a close third in the Royal Lodge Stakes back in the autumn at Newmarket when he was just over a length behind a certain Kameko. That is obviously the best form on offer, but he lacks a recent run and is blinkered for the first time today. Russian Emperor looks sure to appreciate the faster ground and the step up to 10f looks sure to suit. Seamie Heffernan keeps the ride on the son of Galileo.
In the opener I hope to see Brinjal (1.00) make it third time lucky in the 10f Fillies’ Maiden for Ger Lyons. The selection shaped with considerable promise on debut and was backed into a shade of odds on when failing to build on that when fourth at Dundalk back in December. As a daughter of Kingman, the hope is that today’s fast ground will suit.
Sir Mark Prescott had his first winner of the campaign at Newcastle last week and his Glen Force (2.15) makes his turf debut today at Haydock having shaped promisingly in a couple of 6f events at Gosforth Park last autumn. He looked ready for a step up in trip on his second start and the hope is that today’s 7f trip sees him in a better light on his handicap debut. At 5/1 with William Hill I will be disappointed if he doesnt run a big race.
I am fascinated to see if there is any confidence behind Cap Francais on his reappearance as he drops back in trip to a mile for Ed Walker. The 4-y-old was campaigned over 12f+ last term but I remember vividly how well he was travelling behind Anthony Van Dyck in the Lingfield Derby Trial last season. The selection won over today’s trip as a juvenile and Andrea Atzeni is a positive jockey booking. Do note he was trimmed from 22s to 16s with William Hill on Monday afternoon.
The vote, however, goes to Andrew Balding’s Be More (3.45) who is only 3lbs higher than when scoring at Newmarket back in the autumn. Her record on good to soft or softer ground reads 2111 and the runner up at HQ – Lady Bowthorpe – made a winning return at Lingfield on Saturday. The filly is 9/4 at William Hill although I wouldn’t want the ground to dry out too much.
At Wolverhampton this evening I’m worried about the draw out on the wing in stall 12 for Caravan Of Hope (7.00) but Hugo Palmer’s four-year-old won his last couple of starts last season and ran very well on his sole all-weather start here back in August. He remains open to significant improvement this term. The selection was backed from 3s into 9/4 with bet365 on Monday.
At Chelmsford I would be disappointed if Sacred Dance (6.45) ends the season off a mark still in the high 70s as she is bred to be smart and showed enough in two starts as a two-year-old to suggest she might be well treated for her handicap debut. She only went down by a length on debut having fly-jumped the start and lost many lengths. The winner of that contest is now rated 93 having finished a close third in a listed race at Sandown in July when she had the 1000 Guineas fifth Romsey behind.
The selection has been off the track for the best part of 12 months, but Charlie Appleby looks sure to have her ready for her comeback. Ralph Beckett has had three winners in the last couple of days and his Declared Interest looks sure to run a big race on her handicap debut in what looks a most informative little race.
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