Good ground forecast at Newbury for their Classic Trials card. Charlie Appleby has his string in excellent form and I was a big fan of WILD BEAUTY (2.25) despite the fact that she was beaten fair and square by Majestic Glory in the Sweet Solera Stakes on the July course last summer. Of more concern is the fact that she is dropping back in trip from the distance of her visually very impressive win in the Gp 1 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine where she had the Breeders’ Cup juvenile fillies turf winner Pizza Bianca over two lengths back in second.
She was slightly disappointing in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on her final start but she may not have been over those Canadian exertions and the stable could hardly be in better form.
Recommendation: Wild Beauty 2.25 Newbury at 11/4 with William Hill
Four-year-olds have won five of the last ten renewals of the Spring Cup and if you look back at the Lincoln – especially the start – it is hard not to come to the conclusion that ROGUE BEAR (3.35) was an unlucky loser.
The selection has only had six career starts – won half of those – and the first four home at Doncaster were drawn 4, 19, 1 and 5 with the selection the only one drawn high. He was hampered and switched left at the start last time and was, arguably, an unlucky loser.
The selection is drawn next door to the confirmed front-runner Isla Kai and jockey David Egan has ridden the horse in his last three runs. He is short enough in the betting for a 17-runner handicap
Recommendation: Rogue Bear 3.35 Newbury at 4/1 with Boylesports
There are some informative maidens on the card and the suggestion is that a number of future winners will come out of the two divisions of the mile maiden and the 11f maiden. Almuhit caught my eye on debut and was put into my own notebook, but he is fitted with blinkers for the first-time this afternoon and he faces a number of well bred three-year-olds and is a race best watched.
Over to Haydock and the ground is given as good to soft yet watered. Clerks of the course face a difficult task but in the spring I believe they should water to avoid firm ground but not on top of good to soft ground surely.
My two against the field in the 2m 4f handicap chase are CORRAN CROSS (2.44) and Mahler’s Promise (2.44) with the former getting the vote for Richard Bandey.
The each way recommendation is one of a number in the field who like to race prominently but he jumped and travelled well when just touched off at Stratford last time. A 3lbs rise is fair and he deserves a change of luck having ran well for his new yard since moving from Ireland.
Mahler’s Promise has dropped down to the same mark as when last successful at Newton Abbot last summer. He ran a terrific race despite nearly taking the fifth last with him at Ascot last time and the step back up in trip should suit. He can shift right at a couple of his fences and that might prove crucial in such a tight handicap.
Recommendation: Corran Cross EW 2.44 Haydock at 13/2 with William Hill
At Carlisle and after Corran Cross I hope to see the real COOPER’S CROSS (4.04) return to the track after being pulled up at Sedgefield last time when he seemed to take a false step at the top of the hill.
He has been given three months to get over that effort and I hope Stuart Coltherd’s patience is rewarded. Sean Quinlan takes over in the saddle with regular pilot Sam Coltherd out injured at present.
Recommendation: Cooper’s Cross 4.04 Carlisle at 9/2