There is significant rain forecast for Newmarket today on top of ground described as soft on Tuesday morning. Six of the seven races on the card are for juveniles.
I am a big fan of Impulsive One in the valuable nursery, but I am concerned about whether this American bred colt will be able to cope with underfoot conditions. His fluent win at Bath last time was gained on firm ground and it is the ground rather than the 8lbs hike in the weights that is the concern.
My two against the field are the joint top-weights Oman and Act Of Wisdom (2.45) with marginal preference going to the latter who is chasing a hat-trick having scored at Goodwood and Nottingham since having cheekpieces applied. A son of Galileo, out of a disqualified 1000 Guineas winner, the colt cost 1,100,000 guineas as a yearling and a 3lbs rise for his latest success seems fair although the runner up – Genuflex – reopposes on 2lbs better terms. The 3/1 at William Hill didnt last long and the selection is a best price 85/40 with BetVictor.
The beautifully bred Royal Touch (3.55) has valuable racecourse experience and can go one better than when second at Nottingham on debut behind a highly regarded colt of Hugo Palmer. The selection is a half-brother to several winners including the top class Farhh and connections will be disappointed if they cannot get a win under his belt before the end of the turf season. The Godolphin juvenile was put in at 8/11 on Tuesday afternoon but that was quickly snapped up and is 4/7 at the time of posting.
Of the newcomers John Gosden’s Otyrar and Roger Varian’s Movin Time make most appeal on breeding in what promises to be a most informative Novice event.
At Hereford El Presente has won two of his last three and will be hard to beat in the novices handicap chase over an extended three miles, but I do feel that both Aye Aye Charlie (1.50) and Manning Estate are potentially well treated over fences and I give the former the vote.
Fergal O’Brien’s eight-year-old has bits of chase form behind Pym – despite finishing last of three – and Wholestone that make him look attractively weighted from his current mark and connections gave the gelding a wind operation back in the summer. I appreciate he failed to give his running on his last couple of starts last term, but that was on soft/heavy ground although it should be noted that he disappointed on his sole previous start going right-handed. The opening 7/2 was too big and he is now 5/2 with Boylesports.
Manning Estate flopped on his chase debut but has the scope for the larger obstacles and ran well on his reappearance over hurdles. He is fitted with blinkers by Oliver Sherwood for the first time this afternoon.
Leading owner Trevor Hemmings had a dispersal sale at Doncaster last month – 56 horses went for £1,136,200 – but Oliver Sherwood has persuaded him to keep Norley (1.25) who makes his hurdles debut in the Fontwell opener.
The selection finished a staying on/eye-catching fifth in a Bumper at Warwick on debut and Aidan Coleman takes the ride. The additional half-mile will suit and he was nominated by the trainer as a horse to follow this season in a recent video for the excellent Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow. The opening 9/2 looked a cracking each way price but he is now into 3/1 across the board after early support.
The recent Bumper course winner Lord Accord heads the market and looks the main danger in what does not look the strongest race of its type.
Furius De Ciergues (4.55) jumped well and stayed on strongly when third at Doncaster on what was just his second chase start back in March. The handicapper has seen fit to drop him a couple of pounds which is a surprise and I feel he has a good each way chance in the stayers’ handicap chase. Trainer Ollie Greenall has his string in cracking form – two winners from their last four runners at the time of writing – and I like the booking of Robbie Dunne for the five-year-old who is open to significant improvement. The 6s with Boylesports looks fair.
At Kempton, this evening I am hoping that Noble Dynasty (6.30) will go one better than on debut when runner up at Newmarket behind a stablemate over six furlongs. The selection is a half-brother to Barney Roy and today’s additional furlong looks sure to suit. He was entered in two other races this week and holds an engagement in next year’s Irish 2000 Guineas.