The ground was described as soft at Haydock on Friday morning with the possibility of light showers for today’s feature meeting which includes the Group 1 Sprint Cup.
Hello Youmzain won the corresponding race 12 months ago and landed the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot back in June before running a cracker in the Prix Maurice de Gheest behind Space Blues. Dream Of Dreams was very impressive in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last time, but I feel he needs a stiffer track over this trip although he looks sure to be finishing fast and late.
Ryan Moore had been in lockdown in Tipperary ahead of next week’s Irish Champions weekend, but the Irish authorities have relaxed the protocols surrounding sportspeople and he is now free to ride Lope Y Fernandes who has run some excellent races in defeat so far this term.
The three-year-old generation have won three of the last five renewals of this famous sprint and Art Power (3.15) can put behind a disappointing run at York last time to give Tim Easterby a third win in the race following the successes of Pipalong (2000) and Somnus (2003). The grey – 11/2 with bet365 – had won his last four starts prior to the Nunthorpe and the softer ground and additional furlong will, hopefully, see him in a better light this afternoon.
Favourite Moon is surely better than he showed at York in the Melrose last time given he won his previous start over today’s C&D on soft ground. He is fitted with a first-time tongue tie this afternoon, but preference is for stablemate Midrarr (2.15) who looked a filly of some potential when winning at Chester over 1m 4f last time. Hollie Doyle takes over in the saddle this afternoon and, while she is not guaranteed to appreciate the additional quarter of a mile on breeding, she was certainly not stopping last time. The selection is 9/2 with William Hill.
Enable is the star turn at Kempton and it is a shame that there will not be any spectators allowed to watch what is likely to be her last race in Britain. She has been a wonderful race mare and this contest should put her spot on for a crack at a third Arc at Longchamp next month.
Mystery Smiles (2.00) lost his unbeaten record in the Gimcrack at York last time but he is taken to return to winning ways in the Gp 3 Sirenia Stakes for Andrew Balding and Rob Hornby who takes over in the saddle with Silvestre De Sousa required at Haydock. The colt – 10/3 with bet365 – has a good draw in stall four and there should be plenty of pace which should allow him to pounce inside the final furlong.
Seddon (3.00) can follow up his Cartmel success in the two-and-a-half-mile novice chase at Stratford. The selection – 13/8 at Boylesports – raced wide and was tenderly handled over an extended two miles here on his chase debut but appreciated the step up in trip last time. He can give weight to his six rivals.
The novice El Borracho (4.45) has won his last couple of starts and the form of his recent Southwell success was given a boost when the runner up Leroy Leroy did us a favour when scoring at Southwell earlier in the week. Top-weight Highly Prized has been raised 10lbs for his recent win and St Gallen – one of three Olly Murphy trained runners in the field – is considered the main danger. The recommendation is 5/1 with Unibet.
At Fontwell on Sunday I hope to see Pagero (1.40) make it four on the spin back up in trip for Jonjo O’Neill. The selection got up close home at Newton Abbott over their extended 2m last time and today’s additional quarter of a mile will suit. A 4lbs rise for a shot head success seems harsh, but I think there is more to come from the five-year-old at this trip.