After last week’s disaster, let’s hope things improve. However, with ground conditions as they are, that’s far from a given!
Newbury 13.45 Cl 2 Hcap 467 (104) 10f gd/sf – 15 Run (14 at best)
3yo = 5lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 467 (108) gd – 19 ran
Brorocco 8/1 CoF 4-8-9 (89) Dr 13 by 1l from Fidaawy 8.1 Co F 4-9-9 (103) Dr 14
Pivoine 4-9-10 (103) Dr 8
25 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (440 u) 10.5f gd/fm York 6/1 2.5l 1/15 off 98
tracked leaders, led on bit over 2f out, clear over 1f out, stayed on strongly
Won on this ground last year when with Stoute, but transferred yards in early April; has taken a little time to get him back in form but showed a positive reaction to first-time blinkers lto when putting in a career best to take a decent hcap at York; has been raised 5lbs for that, plus has no rider allowance today, but stable took last year’s renewal so know what’s required; can likely ignore his 2 duck eggs here as both were on seasonal returns.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); form run lto (28 days); career best lto;
Minus: course; 5lbs penalty;
Verdict: (46) bit high in the weights, but a possible contender nonetheless.
Stylehunter 3-8-13 (97) Dr 13
25 Aug Cl 3 Hcap (100 d) 9f gd Good 8/11 F 4l 1/5 off 92
slowly into stride, tracked leader after 1f, led over 1f out, ridden clear, readily
Just the 2 starts as 2yo and got off the mark on his third start this time having no problems with switching from cheek-pieces to blinkers to win a novice over this trip at Lingfield in April; given a break before running with credit to finish 6/30 in the Britannia at Ascot in June and then had another break before landing the odds comfortably over 9f at Goodwood last month in another career best; has been raised 5lbs for that, but should have much more to give as this only his 8th start; only question is about the ground, as he’s never tried softer than gd.
Plus: class (F); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (28 days); career best lto;
Minus: going (?); course (?); 5lbs penalty; up in class; back up in trip;
Verdict: (41) improving sort who should be suited by the return to this trip if handling the softer ground, a contender.
Mountain Angel 4-8-13 (92) Dr 9
01 Sept Cl 2 Hcap (310 u) 10f gd/sf Sand 7/1 0.5l 2/13 off 92
dwelt, headway and in touch 7f out, ridden over 2f out, headway approaching final furlong, stayed on to go 2nd close home, not trouble winner
Appears at home on most ground and made a positive return when winning over 8f on sf at Ascot in early May; after finishing 3/13 at Sandown later in the month he was then given a break until last month when a beaten for finishing pace over 8f at Haydock; upped to this trip for the first time, he recorded a career best when runner-up at Sandown at the start of the month; runs off the same mark today and is proven over both trip and ground.
Plus: class (F); going (F); distance (F); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (21 days); career best lto;
Minus: course (?);
Verdict: (39) likely to improve for step back up in trip and a contender.
Beringer 3-8-11 (95) Dr 14
26 Aug Cl 2 3yo-Hcap (310 d) 10f sf Ascot 7/1 3.5l 2/8 off 95
behind, pushed along and switched right to centre 3f out, in 2nd place over 1f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong, no chance with winner
Won 1 of his 4 starts as a 2yo and was then gelded and underwent an win operation between seasons; following a start in early May to blow away the cobwebs, he has been a model of consistency, winning 2 of his 6 starts and making the frame in the remainder, albeit all 3yo hcaps; takes on older horses for the first time today but runs off the same mark as at Ascot last time where he equalled his career best but lacked the turn of foot on sf to reel in the winner in the final furlong.
Plus: class (F); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (27 days);
Minus: going; course (?); meets older horse for first time;
Verdict: (39) consistent sort, but faces new test in taking on older horses; nevertheless. a contender.
A race that has been dominated by 3yo and 4yo horses over the past 10 years with only the 5yo Air Pilot upsetting the party in 2014. Moreover, all but one had run within 4 weeks, with the majority finishing in the top 4. I’m thus passing on My Lord And Master who hasn’t run since being down the field in a French Group race at the end of May. My Passing on Global Giant has less to do with his form, but more with that of his trainer (1/24 in the past 14 days, and 1/66 at Newbury). I may be wrong, but those odds suggest not.
Pivoine comes from last year’s winning stable, but picks up a penalty for his good win at York lto and with no claimer aboard today is effectively up 8lbs. As only a single winner has carried more than 9-2 to victory, I’m inclined to pass. Of the remaining trio on my list, Beringer is taking on older horses for the first time and might actually prefer better ground, so again I’ll pass. That leaves me with Stylehunter and Mountain Angel, and while the former has not yet tackled ground softer than gd, I have to believe that it should prove no problem and thus go with Stylehunter from Mountain Angel with perhaps Pivoine holding off Beringer for the minor placing.
Ayr 14.00 Cl 2 Hcap 187 (99) 8d hv – 13 Run (12 at best)
3yo = 4lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 156 (101) gd/sf – 14 Run
Morando 3/1 F 3-9-3 (96) Dr 5 by 2.25l from Haley Bop 9/1 3-9-0 (93) Dr 1
Porth Swtan 3-8-11 (90) Dr 4
Plus: going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (21 days); career best lto;
Minus: going; course (?); raised 4lbs;
Verdict: (50) career best lto in better 3yo race, but has to prove he can improve against older horses in these conditions.
Borderforce 5-9-5 (94) Dr 9
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (26 days); career best lto;
Minus: course (?); up 2lbs;
Verdict: (48) French import who regained winning thread on third UK start and likely to go well again in conditions that suit; a strong contender.
Fire Brigade 4-9-6 (95) Dr 13
Plus: class (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); recent outing (7 days); down 1lb;
Minus: going (?); course (?); not won this season; wide draw;
Verdict: (37) has won on sf and decent effort on penultimate start at Ascot, but not the overall strongest contender on this season’s form and wide draw won’t help.
Borodin 3-8-12 (91) Dr 1
Plus: distance (W); form run lto (14 days); career best lto;
Minus: class (?); going (?); course (?); up 4lbs; up in class; taking on older horses for first time;
Verdict: (34) career best when winning on sf at Thirsk a fortnight back; could well improve further and a contender.
Quick look at this and I’m swerving Dayking making his hcap debut on ground such as this. He may well win, but he’s not my favourite. I’m also not in Fire Brigade’s corner, and will concentrate on the other three. Porth Swtan has questions about the ground but might improve enough to get the better of Borderforce and Borodin.
Ayr 15.50 Cl 2 Hcap 1245 (108) hv – 25 Run
3yo = 2lbs wfa allowance
Last year – Run at Haydock
Son Of Rest 4-9-3 (101) Dr 17
16 Sep Gr 1 Stks (1860 u) 5f gd/yld Curr 22/1 0.5 2/9 off 101
mid-division, pushed along in 5th 2f out, soon ridden, 5th on outer 1f out, stayed on strongly final furlong, went 2nd close home, never nearer
Useful sprinter over both 5f and 6f and almost matched career best when chasing home Havana Grey (-1) in a valuable Group stakes at the Curragh last Sunday; won his mdn on hv and has also won on sf; looks well handicapped off this mark, but both wins have come over 5f and has never run in a field of more than 12 runners.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (F); trainer (14d); form run lto (6 days); down in class;
Minus: course (?); no 6f win; no run in field of more than 12 runners;
Verdict: (43) quick return, field size and no win over 6f mean he’s a contender with questions.
Flying Pursuit 5-9-2 (100) Dr 3
Beat Golden Apollo (0) by 0.25l over 6f on sf at York in July and by no means disgraced when 4.25l 6/20 to Gunmetal (+3) in the Great St. Wilfrid lto; only 1lb better off but might be better suited by the ground today; however, has a low draw and there hasn’t been a winner drawn lower than 9 in the past 10 renewals.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (C); recent outing (35 days);
Minus: low draw;
Verdict: (37) draw weighs heavy on his chances, but a contender on the other side.
Gunmetal 5-9-6 (104) Dr 15
18 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (470 d) 6f gd Rip 101/1 2.75l 1/20 off 97
made all on stands side rail and overall leader throughout, ridden clear entering final furlong, ran on strongly
Good strike rate, all on turf on gd/sf to gd/fm; just the single start on softer, but saddle slipped twice so inclined to ignore that; set a career best when making all to take the Great St. Wilfrid at Ripon last month, for which he has received a 7lbs rise in the weights; will find it hard to match that feat, especially as he’s been off 5 weeks.
Plus: class (W); distance (W); form run lto (35 days); career best lto;
Minus: going (?); course (?); up 7lbs
Verdict: (36) coming off great win, but now in nosebleed territory and a contender that will find it hard to repeat.
Growl 6-9-1 (99) Dr 13
01 Sep Cl 2 Hcap (120 d) 5.5f gd Chest 3/1 F 0.5l 3/10 off 99
tracked leaders, ridden inside final furlong, kept on towards finish
Hasn’t won since 2016 but continues to threaten and must surely land a ‘big sprint’ one day; has finished 3rd in the Stewards Cup, Great St Wilfrid and a Chester sprint on last 3 starts and now the cheek-pieces go back on; runs off a 2lbs lower mark than when runner-up in 2016 on gd/sf, plus is a winner on sf.
Plus: class (W); distance (W); course (F); form run lto (21 days);
Minus: not won since 2016;
Verdict: (36) conditions may give him a chance as others falter and a contender.
Major Jumbo 4-9-5 (103) Dr 9
05 Aug List Stks (210 d) 6f gd Chest 9/4 F 0.25l 2/8 off 103
led, driven over 2f out, edged right, ridden and hard pressed over 1f out, kept on when headed narrowly well inside final furlong, just held
Highly consistent sprinter this term having made the frame in each of his 6 starts since winning on his return at Newmarket in April; solid latest effort when only just denied by the veteran Kimberella (0) in a Chester listed event; will meet him on 2lbs better terms today, plus is the better drawn; has form on sf, but probably better over 5f and 6f in these conditions may stretch the stamina.
Plus: class (F); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto;
Minus: going (?); course (?); 48-day break; draw (?);
Verdict: (35) conditions harm his chances over this trip and not the strongest contender.
After recent sprint failures I thought of giving this a miss, but had a faster look than normal, as my amended past trends turned up Gunmetal, Baron Bolt, Muntadab, Growl, and Upstaging. Can’t say I like either of the Cole pair, while the trip looks wrong for Muntadab.
However, pleased to say the other pair made it to my regular shortlist. Taking the axe to that, Flying Pursuit looks to be drawn the wrong side and while Major Jumbo just about makes the draw stat (9 to 22), I fear for his chances over 6f on this ground, so he goes too. Son Of Rest could well make a mockery of this based on last Sunday’s run; he could also find problems with a quick return in the biggest field he’s ever faced and over a trip he’s yet to actually win over. Too many doubts to make him my favourite. So, backing up my trends I’m going for Growl from Gunmetal with perhaps Major Jumbo best of the rest.
Any comments on today's racing. Please don't just put in selections ... please add some reason why you think a runner will win
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