A dry day is forecast at Newmarket where underfoot conditions were described as good to soft on Thursday morning. The ground is likely to be good for today’s outstanding card.
In the Group 2 7f Challenge Stakes I hope to see Al Suhail (3.00) reverse last month’s Newbury form with stablemate D’bai when he was a bit keen. His finishing effort was disappointing last time, but he should get a good tow into the race from Safe Voyage, and he can have too much pace for the three-year-olds Chindit and Horoscope who are both dropping down in trip from a mile. The recommendation is 4s with Boylesports.
Chindit has been well backed in the opening salvos but hinted that he would appreciate a step up in distance on more than one occasion this term, but connections must believe this stiff track will bring out the best in him.
Inspiral (3.35) has been my fancy for the Fillies’ Mile since she trounced Wild Beauty at Sandown over 7f back in July and I feel she will go into winter quarters with her unbeaten record intact and a short price for the 1000 Guineas.
That said I will not be supporting her at a best price of 5/6 with MansionBet but will back Wild Beauty in the market without the favourite at 11/2 each way with William Hill. The Godolphin filly put up a remarkable performance in Canada last time when she lost ground at the start when squeezed out, but came home clear of her field stepping up to a mile for the first time.
It is possible that she beat trees at Woodbine but if you get the opportunity to see the video it is a remarkable success. That was less than three weeks ago, and the travelling involved may have taken its toll, but Charlie Appleby must believe she is ready to do herself justice and I do not think there will be 3L between Inspiral and Wild Beauty today over a mile.
The selection was beaten by Majestic Glory – who reopposes today – over 7f on the July course earlier in the year, but I feel she can reverse the form with the step up in trip the key.
The Old Rowley Cup is one of the most competitive 12f handicaps in the calendar for the classic generation and the short-list is long. Trueshan won this a couple of years ago under 9st and no winner has carried more than 9st 2lbs in its seven-year history to date.
The each way vote goes to True Courage (4.10) who will certainly appreciate the drying ground and will feel he is let loose with just 8st on his back. Hayley Turner takes over in the saddle with regular pilot Dylan Hogan unable to do the weight and I hope she can get the each way recommendation to settle better than was the case at Ascot last time when he finished behind Candleford – subsequently disqualified – who is weighted to confirm the form.
Michael Bell’s charge failed to get home in the Melrose on his penultimate start – again too keen for his own good – but if he does drop his head, I do feel he is a danger to all near the foot of the weights. The selection is 20s with William Hill 5 places.
Good ground at Chepstow and I do hope there is sufficient give in the ground for their excellent two-day meeting, but I fear we may see a raft of nonrunners with little or no rain forecast for the near future.
I am looking forward to seeing the hurdle debut of Knappers Hill who won all three Bumper starts last season for Paul Nicholls including the Grade 2 at Aintree’s Grand National meeting. He is unlikely to be much of a betting proposition, however, and his stablemate Threeunderthrufive (1.35) makes more appeal in a fascinating four-runner novice chase.
The selection – 6/4 from 2s with 10Bet – won four of five over hurdles last term, his only defeat coming in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival when he was not disgraced having made a significant mistake at halfway. The Paul Nicholls trained 6-y-old would be receiving weight from the other three if this were a handicap but the Kim Bailey yard – Does He Know – have made a quiet start to the season and I feel Ask Dillon would prefer more cut in the ground.
Honest Vic is a bit of an unknown at present having finished last in a Jumpers’ Bumper when last seen back in February. Do note that Nicholls suggested the 6-y-old had not been a natural over fences in his schooling in a recent video, but he certainly has the scope for the larger obstacles.