There is the prospect of further heavy showers at Ascot before and during today’s Shergar Cup. Because of COVID restrictions there are few jockeys riding who are unfamiliar to British racing fans, but Mille Mickaella Michel is making her Shergar Cup debut.
The French rider has an excellent chance in the stayers’ event courtesy of Call My Bluff, but preference is for Uber Cool (1.25) who looked one to follow when winning at Chester on his first start for 959 days for Jane Chapple-Hyam and a 5lbs rise looks fair. James Doyle takes the ride on the 7-y-old -10/3 with BetVictor – who would not be inconvenienced if the forecast rain arrives.
Sam Cooke settled much better at Chester last time than he had for much of the season, and he can reverse placings with Group One Power on the revised terms in the 12f handicap for 4-y-olds+. The each way vote, however, goes to Spanish Kiss (2.00) who drops back in trip having been racing over further in recent starts.
The selection was forced to cover ground around the home turn last time, and I hope Tadhg O’Shea is not too far away from the pace on this return to a mile-and-a-half. Rain would be a plus for William Knight’s 4-y-old who still holds an entry in the Ebor later in the month. The 15/2 available on Friday afternoon looked too big and the ew recommendation is 5s with MansionBet at the time of posting.
Star Caliber (3.10) and Skycutter will ensure a good gallop in the 3-y-o 12f handicap, and the vote goes to the former who was too free but ran a tremendous race in the circumstances when second over 2m here two weeks ago on fast ground. The ew selection – 8s with 10Bet – has run well on good to soft ground but would certainly not want conditions to turn soft or heavy.
The forecast at Haydock is for more persistent rain and Real World is a short price – circa 11/8 – for one unproven on the ground in the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes. It is possible that he will get away with conditions – or that the forecast rain doesn’t materialise – but I will be supporting both Foxes Tales and Fancy Man (4.10) against the market leader.
Foxes Tales – 9/2 with William Hill – was an impressive winner of a Royal Ascot handicap on soft ground back in June and improved again when runner up in a good Newmarket handicap on fast ground last month. He is clearly improving at a rate of knots and his ability to handle soft ground is a big plus.
I remember Fancy Man thrashing non other than Alenquer over a mile on soft ground last autumn and I thought he travelled like the best horse in the race when a non stayer in the Chester Vase over the extended 12f back in May. He disappointed at Newmarket subsequently but has been given the best part of three months to get over three quick runs in the spring and I think he could have a very good autumn campaign. The 18/1 with BetVictor is too big.
I’m sure there is more to come from Inveigle but not convinced the ground will be in his favour in the finale if the rain arrives. Il Bandito (5.10) is proven on the ground and will appreciate the return to 7f the distance of his C&D success here on good to soft ground back in May from a 5lbs lower mark. The Charles Hills yard had a disappointing Goodwood but their string continue to run well and Jim Crowley takes over in the saddle. The 5/2 with MansionBet looks fair.
There is less rain forecast at Newmarket, but I hope there is enough cut in the ground for Wild Beauty (2.50) to put her best foot forward in the Sweet Solara Stakes. The selection was no match for the exciting Inspiral at Sandown last time, but time may show she faced a near impossible task if that Gosden filly is as good as I think she is.
The Godolphin juvenile – 5/2 with MansionBet – had won her two previous starts on soft ground, and she gets a narrow vote ahead of Sunstrike who was just a neck behind the selection at Sandown.
Oisin Murphy takes over in the saddle on Dancing Harry (5.30) who gets the vote in the concluding 14f handicap. The selection – 6/4 with Boylesports – has been raised just 2lbs for scoring at Salisbury last time and the third and fourth horses have both won this week. He looks worthy of the weekend nap.