Just the one race today as preparation time yesterday was taken up looking at the Chester Cup. Didn’t do too good a job on my final selections there, so hope I get things better sorted today.
Ascot 16.00 Cl 2 Hcap 654 (106) 7f gd/fm – 29 Run (27 at best)
Last year – 654 (108) gd/fm – 24 ran
Fastnet Tempest 5/1 F 4-8-5 (89) Dr 18 by 0.75l from George William 8/1 4-8-11 (95) Dr 23
Zhui Feng 25/1 4-9-0 (98) Dr 11 was 0.8l 3rd
Shady McCoy 33/1 7-8-5 (89) Dr 26 was 1.8l 4th
Charles Molson 16/1 6-8-3 (92) Dr 20 was 1.85l 5th
Spanish City 5-8-6 (88) Dr 20
04 May Cl 3 Hcap (97 u) 7f AW Nwcs (96) 5/4 F 1l 1/10 off 83
[i]Held up, smooth headway over 2f out, shaken up to lead approaching final furlong, driven out[/i]
Has obviously had his problems, but twice a winner as a 3yo over sprint distances; just the one start last season and was gelded thereafter; however, made a faultless return from a 10-month break to win in a career best at Newcastle last week; has been raised 5lbs for that and faces much stiffer opposition today, but could well have more to give.
Plus: going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (8 days); career best lto;
Minus: class (?); course (?); up 5lbs; up in class;
Verdict: (44) fit, in form and a potential improver, so a contender.
Louie De Palma 6-8-10 (92) Dr 6
Won first 2 starts as a 2yo before finishing runner-up in the Gr 2 Richmond Stks at Goodwood in the July; not seen again in the intervening 4 years, but interesting that the connections have persevered and he makes his return in such a prestigious hcap.
Plus: going (W); course (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C);
Minus: class (?); distance (?); 1381-day break;
Verdict: (43) interesting that he’s been backed for return from such a long break, but stable in fine form and not entirely ignored as a possible contender.
Raising Sand 6-9-4 (100) Dr 16
07 Oct Cl 2 Hcap (1121 u) 7f gd/sf Ascot (109) 16/1 1.25l 3/18 off 98
Led far side quartet 3f, led again 2f out and overall leader, soon clear, headed and no extra last 150yds
Added to his success here by taking the round mile at the Shergar meeting last August, and subsequently placed in a pair of valuable hcaps over 7f here, recording a career best on final start in October; starts this season off a 3lbs higher mark, but not without chances on best form, although usually needs a run and has never won before June before.
Plus: class (W); going (F); distance (F); course (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto; career nest lto;
Minus: up 2lbs; 217-day break;
Verdict: (40) a possible contender, but might need the run
Keyser Soze 4-9-0 (96) Dr 7
21 Apr Cl 2 Hcap (311 d) 8f gd/sf Newb (104) 25/1 0.35l 3/22 off 93
Went left start, soon switched right, behind, headway 2f out, strong run when switched left to squeeze through gap entering final furlong, soon led, headed and lost 2 places close home
Won first 2 starts last season, although not seen again after finishing way down the field in the Britannia at the Royal Meeting here last June; made a fine return from 10 months off in the Newbury Spring Cup though where having burst through to lead was only caught close home; has been raised 3lbs for that, but should be better suited by the drop back in trip.
Plus: class (F); going (W); distance (W); trainer (C); form run lto (21 days); career best lto;
Minus: course; up 3lbs;
Verdict: (37) fit and in form, so a contender.
Silent Attack 5-9-7 (103) Dr 19
14 Apr Cl 3 Hcap (72 d) 7f AW Ling (96) 13/8 F 2.25l 1/8 off 96
Held up in touch in midfield, pushed along and effort over 1f out, closing and switched right entering final furlong, ran on strongly to lead inside final furlong, soon in command and going away, readily
Showed promise in being twice as winner as a 3yo, but after failing to show in a trio of races in the Gulf, missed the whole of last season; obviously over whatever it was though, for he returned to be a dominant winner at Lingfield last month in a career best, easily pulling away from Sea Fox (-4); up 7lbs for that and this very different opposition, but the booking of De Sousa indicates stable intent.
Plus: class (F+); going (F); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (28 days); career best lto;
Minus: course (?); up 7lbs; up in class;
Verdict: (35) Lingfield win indicative of hopes he’ll fulfil earlier promise and a contender.
The faster ground has already seen Kynren withdrawn, while Pouvoir Magique did not eat up and also misses the race, which seeing as both were among the well-fancied horses I’ve had to redo my calculations. That brought a couple of older horses into consideration, Shady McCoy and Charles Molson, as well as Escobar who is making his debut for the O’Meara yard. With 4/5yos winning 10 of the last 12, renewals it was not hard to drop the two older horses, particularly as they didn’t match the criteria of the two aged winners. Escobar poses a different question as having finished runner-up in a listed stks last May his form went downhill and now he turns up with O’Meara off a 6lbs lower mark; he’s done it before with other stables’ cast offs, but it’s asking a lot today and I passed on him too. Like Shady McCoy and Charles Molsen, Zhui Feng ran well in last year’s renewal before going on to win the Royal Hunt Cup, but off an 8lbs higher mark and giving weight to the field he’s got it all to do today on his return.
Lots of facts to go on from past renewals, including a top 5 finish in a hcap lto, preferably of Cl 2 or better and within the past 40 days. While there have been a couple of winners in recent years carrying 9-6/9-8 off a triple digit OR, the rest have carried less than 9-0 off an OR i n the range 88 to 96. So applying that, plus the normal age criteria to my shortlist, I have to pass on Louie De Palma for as number of reasons, not least his time away from the track. Raising Sand too is a 6yo making his season return, which he normally needs, so he looks an unlikely winner too. So that leaves the interesting trio of Spanish City, Keyser Soze and Silent Attack. As higher draws have been to the fore on fast ground of late, I’m going for Spanish City from Silent Attack with Keyser Soze the best of those drawn in single digits.
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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