Despite a 6/1 winner on Tuesday, we finished August tamely although we ended the month +£40.62 in profit to a £1 level stake. September didn’t start too well either given Croupier – who I napped on his reappearance at Newmarket last time – dotted up at Windsor in the Racing League at 11/1!
There is rain due at Haydock today but, at the time of writing, it is unlikely to change the official going description. Conditions were certainly fast at the track on Thursday with a dry day on Friday.
The unbeaten Naval Power is penalised 3lbs for a facile win in the listed 7f Winkfield Stakes at Ascot last time, but he is clear on official ratings and holds a number of Group entries later this month and in the autumn. As a son of Teofilo Charlie Appleby’s colt should relish the step up to a mile but he is long odds on, and I am keen on one in the market without the short-priced favourite.
SEEKING GOLD was beaten less than a length at Newbury on debut by Chaldean and that form was franked when the winner landed the G3 Acomb Stakes at York last month. The selection has subsequently gone one better when scoring narrowly but decisively at Yarmouth where he had a penalised Appleby inmate back in second.
He is another stepping up to a mile for the first time and this mile should be about his optimum on breeding although he is a half-brother to winners ranging from 5-12 furlongs!
Recommendation: Seeking Gold WITHOUT Naval Power at 13/8 with Bet365
No horse has won the 100k handicap for 3-y-olds over 1m 6f drawn in double figures in the last decade and market leader Tamilla was my fancy for the race before the draw. The filly has won her last two for William Haggas and the stable have been farming the valuable staying 3-y-old handicaps this summer including the Melrose with Soulcombe last month.
Tamilla has to prove her stamina for the trip, but she is related to a winner at the distance, and she would be suited if the rain did arrive.
My two against the field, however, are both drawn low with preference for AUSTRALIAN ANGEL over Pons Aelius. The filly has not finished out of the first two in five starts since being stepped up in distance behind 10f on good or faster ground and, as long as the rain stays away, she looks overpriced at 18/1. Note Andrew Balding who saddles the selection landed the corresponding prize in 2016 and 19.
Mark Johnston saddled the winner 12 months ago, as well as 2012, and Pons Aelius is another who might be a shade too big – 16s with Boylesports 5 places – given he has not been out the first two in his last six starts and may have not quite got home when runner up at Nottingham over 2m last time.
Recommendation: Australian Angel EW 18/1 with William Hill or Betfred 5 places
Soulcombe did us a big favour in the Melrose last month but meets his elders for the first time this afternoon and is 2/1 favourite for the Betfair Exchange sponsored Old Borough Cup having been raised a stone in the weights. I’m not concerned about his wide draw as he is invariably slowly away, and they are likely to come up the centre of the track as they did at York.
Cieren Fallon returns to the plate with Tom Marquand at Kempton and Hollie Doyle – who took over off his low weight at York – retained for Amtiyaz. He could easily win this with his head in his chest, but I must give ISLAND BRAVE the nod to follow up last year’s win in the corresponding race from a 3lbs lower mark.
Heather Main’s 8-y-old was given a moderate ride in the Shergar Cup last time and the outstanding Gina Mangan takes off a valuable 5lbs today. The gelding was drawn in three 12 months ago and comes out of five this afternoon. Yes, he is vulnerable to younger less exposed rivals, but there is plenty of pace in the race which will suit, and I don’t think he deserves to be the outsider of the whole field at 20/1.
Recommendation: Island Brave EW 20/1 at Bet365 4 places
ALLIGATOR ALLEY is not certain to confirm Thirsk running with bottom weight Muker on the revised terms but, as long as the rain does not get into the ground, David O’Meara’s 5-y-old can follow up despite being 7lbs higher in the handicap.
The selection would have won a minute on week one of the Racing League at Doncaster had he not met trouble in running and Jason Watson, who was in the plate in south Yorkshire, is back in the plate today.
Korker was slowly away in the Beverley Bullet last weekend and met trouble in running before finishing the race with plenty more to give. If he breaks on terms, he is the one to beat, but that is a big if.
Recommendation: Alligator Alley EW at 5/1 with William Hill 4 places
A market move for Oasis Power would be significant in the 7f nursery at Kempton although he will have to settle better than was the case over C&D last time when he pulled too hard and failed to get home. Tom Marquand is a significant jockey booking for James Tate.
The vote, however, goes to top-weight NEW ENDEAVOUR who was intimidated out of it at Newcastle last time when carried across the track by Animate and he is closely matched with Oasis Power on a line through the winner.
The selection was too free himself and failed to get home on soft ground at Haydock on his penultimate start, but he settled beautifully at Gosforth Park and gets the vote despite the steadier of 9st 9lbs. Jack Mitchell takes over in the saddle for the first time.
Recommendation: New Endeavour at