The better of today’s races are saved for the evening meetings at Yarmouth and Sandown, the former having a Class 2 handicap over the mile-and-a-quarter while a Class 3 one mile contest is run at the latter.
A few interesting maidens run at Yarmouth, notably Pretty Passe and Uae Queen in the 7.15 while €300,000 Frankel 2yo Baghdad takes on some other useful looking newcomers in the 6.15. Here are the highlights featuring the top contenders:
3.15 Catterick (1m4f Fillies’ Handicap)
Michael Bell’s only runner in the north on Wednesday with Louis Steward heading up to take what is also his only ride of the day. The last time he went north was on July 8th when he rode one each for Bell and Hugo Palmer, winning on both at Beverley.
On breeding you wouldn’t think she’d want this trip, however she stayed on really well at Yarmouth over 1m2f last time to win easily.
Just 2 wins in 24 including last time and we know what to expect by now with her. She’ll run again up to her mid-50’s mark but isn’t well-in.
Two poor runs since joining Micky Hammond’s yard though must be watched if suddenly being backed in the moments before the race.
Handled similar conditions last time at Redcar for a first win since joining Roger Fell in Yorkshire. The runner-up that day went on to fill the same position next time at Hamilton so the form looks good enough and there’s obviously more to come from her.
Not a great profile overall but does well here and that’s important. Stayed on for third place at Hamilton last time and back to where she does her best work, we can expect a run probably 5lbs better than her official rating which puts her in there with a reasonable chance.
With conditions ideal and the yard going well, Newmarket’s Michael Bell can take this with THREE DUCHESSES. Cool Music, Fillydelphia and Shambra can all fight it out for the places.
3.50 Catterick (6f Handicap)
Conditions could be ideal here for Bryan Smart’s Kyllachy gelding who has been going over the minimum distance recently and still showing up well. His best form though is over 6 on quick ground and he’ll have a few pounds in hand here today.
There’s plenty to come yet from a horse which has run just ten times and the Richard Fahey charge just failed in a similar contest at Haydock last time. There’s no doubt he could go well again here off a 4lb higher mark, my worry being that he rarely seems to run two similar races in a row.
Brian Ellison’s team are in great form and his yard are not averse to backing them heavily when they are expected to go close, so watch the market. Not beaten far back in June at Ripon over five furlongs when desperately short of room and should do much better now.
Already the 7yo’s 11th run of the year, consistently running around this mark and so is great for place purposes but may find one or two better handicapped.
An improving 3yo from the excellent Mark Johnston yard, Love Oasis is well bred and should love these conditions. She should have 3 or 4lbs in hand against the handicapper but that may not be enough to see her home in front this time.
Brian Ellison’s yard are in great form just now and so it’s easy to see Pea Shooter run close to his best form and get a place. The improving Love Oasis will be a danger too, but STRAIGHTOTHEPOINT is the one to concentrate on and prices of 4/1+ look terrific value for him.
4.20 Catterick (7f Maiden Auction Stakes)
Brian Ellison’s 3yo ran well enough at Thirsk last time when runner-up to earn favouritism here, the winner of that race having gone on to run a close second in a handicap off 81. Hugo Palmer’s Hydroxide ran just in behind on this horse’s maiden too (rated 78) which gives us a fair idea of where he’s at.
Ed Dunlop sends just this one north today with Sheikh Hamdan’s second jockey, Dane O’Neill, available to take the ride. This 3yo son of approve hasn’t had a chance to race over these quicker turf conditions since his debut back in May and will relish it. He perhaps has a little more pace than the favourite and can put that to good use on this surface.
This race looks a match frankly, though we can squeeze out a little bit of value by backing KHITAAMY to beat the favourite Dandys Denouement. Ed Dunlop’s horse is a little speedier and may be able to quicken away from from the Ellison horse when it counts.
3.25 Lingfield (1m3½f Handicap)
ZORBA THE GREEK
Very strange to see an Invincible Spirit going over this sort of trip, though he seems to need it. This one looks to be handicapped just about right either way now and should run his race but doesn’t really have anything in hand.
BAMAKO DU CHATELET
Richard Kingscote has travelled to Lingfield en route to riding at Sandown and this horse has won over the course and distance (turf) before. The grey should give his running again and is sure to go well for the excellent Ian Williams.
A 4yo filly with two all weather wins, she has more to give but has obviously not been showing enough at home and was sold to Brian Barr recently. She may do OK if her new surroundings bring about any improvement.
By excellent sire Teofilio, won on debut before not quite liking the undulations at Goodwood and will have improved a fair bit since that last run. She’ll be a few pounds ahead of the handicapper for sure but not as many as she should have been perhaps, definite chances though.
A 3yo Sir Percy gelding of Michael Bell’s who will love the conditions here. Still a maiden after five starts, though improving all the time and almost certain to be 5-6lbs ahead of the assessor here. This isn’t the strongest of races and it would be no surprise to see him break his duck.
Another Sir Percy offspring, this time a twice raced filly, Bermondsey Belle showed good improvement here last time over 1m2f when beaten in a maiden. Pondering, who beat her comfortably here last time, did nothing to frank the form and there is little else to advertise her claims.
THEGLASGOWWARRIOR has been presented with an excellent chance to get off the mark and can do it for the stellar combination of Michael Bell and William Buick, who may have a great day with rides for Sir Michael Stoute as well as his Godolphin retainer. Mam’Selle is next best.
4.00 Lingfield (2m½f Handicap)
AYR OF ELEGANCE
Still a maiden on turf and you could argue he’s gone backwards this season on this surface. Despite his lofty position in the betting it’s difficult to see him doing any better than his current mark of 73, if even reaching that.
A shortish priced favourite here, despite five runs this term without success. The trip and the ground hold no real concerns, though much like Ayr Of Ellegance it’s hard to see him outrunning his mark.
SEE AND BE SEEN
A proper two-mile specialist who doesn’t mind the going, he’ll give his running again but is on a 20 race losing streak now and is generally regressing.
He won’t be reaching the heights of his near namesake, but is lightly raced and has more to give yet. He knows this place, albeit having run in the AW course, is just starting out on his journey through the staying ranks and can get better but was well beaten on his handicap debut last time. His current mark of 71 looks a little harsh to me, though his time will come eventually.
Potentially a typically improving Sir Mark Prescott 3yo and the money came for him last night. Like so many from this yard he has done most of his running on the sand, though his first turf run for almost a year last time out was encouraging. He’s the only one in the field capable of outrunning his handicap mark, with a spin in at least in the mid-60’s well within his compass.
A race of little quality and one in which the 3yo OXFORD BLU can improve past the likes of Fitzwilly and Ayr Of Elegance.
6.45 Yarmouth (1m2f Handicap)
The former Godolphin horse made a decent stable debut for Heather Main at Newmarket last time when beaten only a length by Kapstadt. That was very close to his best form and a repeat of that may see him have just a couple of pounds in hand on official ratings.
Mick Quinn’s 7yo retains a decent amount of his ability and can go well once more, though you’d have to think one or two others will have his beating at these weights.
LAW AND ORDER
Crucially, and unsurprisingly for a 3yo, his best form has been recently and there may be more to come from him. He seems to like quick ground and there will be more races for him in the future but for now, he seems high enough in the weights.
Andrew Balding is among the absolute top rank of British trainers for my money and his team are doing well right now. Well beaten last time over 1m4f at Haydock, the return to 1m2f is in his favour and he’s won at Yarmouth over nine furlongs in the past.
He should have 5lbs+ in hand on official ratings which is typically needed when attempting to land a handicap, huge chance.
It’s hard to get a grip on what sort of ground this 3yo finds more to his liking. His two turf wins though have come on softened ground and plenty of Holy Roman Emperor’s progeny like those conditions too, so he may not find this race too comfortable.
David Simcock also runs Good Omen, which Jamie Spencer has opted for, though this Brighton maiden winner will prefer this ground. On faster going I think this horse has tons in hand, maybe as much as 10lbs on official ratings and would be a worthy favourite if it was at the head of the betting.
Brorocco is sure to go well and is a solid enough overnight favourite, but I’d say there’s plenty more to come from ANOTHER ECLIPSE on this ground and David Egan, among the winners in recent days, takes off a further 5lbs.
7.40 Sandown (1m Handicap)</h2
A good stable debut for Jo Hughes last time can be built upon in this small and select field, with the 10yo as good as ever and possibly holding a few pounds in hand on the handicapper.
The improving Canford Cliffs 4yo won really well when travelling north to Haydock under track specialist Richard Kingscote last time who keeps the ride here. He’s gone up 5lbs for that but that’s a rise I think he can perhaps cope with.
Only a third run for this 3yo having been highly tried in a Group 3 last time out. Before that he won his maiden easily but that was on soft ground and he may have been flattered by that and thus harshly treated by the handicapper.
Given the owner/trainer/jockey combo here he’s bound to go off a short price. It’s easy to envisage the 4yo running to a mark of around 90 now though which puts him a good 7lbs ahead of the handicapper and that would make him hard to peg back in all fairness.
James Tate’s 3yo is improving plenty but has been paying the price of late for running third in a Listed race at the start of the season. He’s eventually dropped to a mark of 91 now and which more accurately reflects where he’s at, though he still won’t have very much in hand.
As boring as it is, SELECTION seems to have most in hand and will take plenty of stopping under champion jockey elect Silvestre De Sousa. If handling the ground OK, Make Time can run into the places.