At Meydan this afternoon there is a fascinating 9f+ Conditions event for 3-year-olds on turf and William Buick has chosen the polytrack winner Secret Protector (3.40) over the once-raced Newmarket winner Mystical Dawn who is the mount of Richard Mullen.
The selection finished third at Kempton on debut in September before easily landing the odds on the same track later in the month. That race has already thrown up a couple of winners and there is enough stamina on the dam’s side to suggest this extended 9f trip will suit. William Hill opened up 6/4 but the Charlie Appleby 3-y-old was 8/11 at the time of posting.
Mystical Dawn won on soft ground at Newmarket on debut – third a winner since for Aidan O’Brien – but is bred to be as least as effective on fast ground. There is plenty of stamina in his pedigree and the hope is that the selection has too much pace over this trip.
Lord Glitters was a fluent winner of the Group 2 Singspiel Stakes here last month, but he is penalised 3lbs for that run and he had the race run to suit given the front runners went off far too quickly and the pace collapsed in front of him.
Zakouski (4.50) has 3L to find with the winner but he is likely to have track position on David O’Meara’s veteran and I hope he can fend off the favourite on this occasion. The selection – 15/8 with 10bet – has yet to win over this distance and it is possible this trip taxes his stamina, but he is drawn in stall one and I hope to see William Buick get to the front and dictate his own gallop.
There is another Jumpers Bumper card at Kempton, and I hope to see Roque It (2.40) give Paul Nicholls another winner after his double here on Monday. The selection won a Bumper for Olly Murphy a couple of years ago and I thought he ran a terrific race behind the progressive Sizable Sam over hurdles at Wincanton on his latest start. There was 9/4 available on Wednesday afternoon but the recommendation is 13/8 with Boylesports.
Tomorrow Mystery (3.10) had a decent course record here on the level when trained by Jamie Osborne – rated 80 – and the mare looked well ahead of her mark when easily landing a Newbury handicap hurdle back in the autumn before disappointing at Taunton just a few days later.
It is possible that that run came too soon, but Paul Nicholls has had her wind operated on in the interim period and her course record over both codes stands at 6221. She returns to the track from a three-month break and has a good record fresh. The mare is 2/1 with Unibet.