Slowly getting my memory back on this, plus adding some new twists. Just the one race at York today - always a difficult place to find winners - and as often happens, not a firm selection to be found. However, the information might give some smarter person a hint!
York 13.50 Cl 2 Hcap 311 (105) 12f gd – 18 Run
Last year – 311 (104) gd/fm – 7 ran
Hamada 5/2 F 4-8-12 (92) Dr 7 by 0.1l from Crowned Eagle 15/2 4-9-5 (99) Dr 1
First Eleven 4-9-9 (104) Dr 5
9/2* Cons 9* AB 345* Lto 340* SF 106* Rat 117*
Lto: 06 Oct Gr 3 Stks (340) 12f sf Asc 11/10F 8-10 6.5l 3/5 off 104 – 104
tracked leaders, ridden and unable to quicken 2f out, kept on one pace
CB/ 2nd Last: 08 Sept Cl 2 3yo-Hcap (620) 12f gd/fm Asc 5/2 Jt 9-6 2l 1/10 off 97 – 112*
soon tracking leaders on outside, effort on outer over 2f out, went 2nd well over 1f out, led entering final furlong, soon clear
Ran three times as 2yo, finishing runner-up over 8f at Newbury on final start in the October; off the mark on second start as 3yo winning a 70 hcap over 11f on fast ground at Newbury before going on to finish 3/18 to Baghdad in the King George V at Royal Ascot in a first-time tongue tie, just back of Corgi (-3); didn’t appear to stay 13f in Gr 3 at Newmarket in July and given a break before coming back to take a valuable 3yo-hcap over 12f at Ascot on fast ground in September; despite his liking for Ascot, disappointed there on his final start when favourite for a Gr 3 on sf ground but showed nothing from 2f out; back to hcap class for his return today, but is carrying 3lbs more and off a 7lbs higher mark than for his best at Ascot in September; consistent in the forecast and one of the highest ability group, though from a less valuable race lto; worries about weight, season return and disappointing final run mean he’s not my strongest contender.
Corgi 4-9-3 (98) Dr 7
9/1* Cons 10* AB 93 Lto 780* SF 106* Rat 113
Lto: 25 Aug Cl 2 3yo-Hcap (780) 14f gd/fm York 6/1 9-3 2.5l 6/16 off 96 – 102
held up towards rear, headway on inside chasing leaders over 2f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong
Ran twice at 2yo, finishing runner-up over 8.5f at Nottingham on his second start in the October; consistent enough as 3yo, getting off the mark in a 90 hcap over 10f on gd at Sandown in June before just edging out First Eleven (+3) for the runner-up spot in the King George V at Royal Ascot; subsequently finished runner-up over 12f at Goodwood and then a close 6/16 to Ghostwatch (-4) in the Melrose here in August on his final start with Proschema (+4) 1l ahead in 3rd; Ghostwatch, incidentally subsequently went down by 2l to First Eleven (-1) over 12f at Ascot; since then Corgi has undergone a wind operation as well as been gelded, so improvement would come as no surprise on his return; fitness to be taken in trust, but certainly a contender in conditions that suit.
Fujaira Prince 5-9-0 (95) Dr 2
3/1* Cons 3* AB 56 Lto 80 SF 93 Rat 115
Lto/CB: 27 Apr Cl 3 Hcap (80) 10f gd Donc 11/8 F 9-1 3l 1/14 off 88 – 101*
tracked leaders, headway to lead 2f out, ran on, comfortable
Late starter as after finishing runner-up in a Windsor mdn in July 2017 as a 3yo, he was off the course until easily winning novices at Wetherby and Carlisle in May and June last year; then off the course again until returning at Doncaster last month to run out a comfortable of an 80 hcap over 10f; obviously has scope for improvement but does face tougher opposition today as he steps up in class and distance; one would not put it beyond his capabilities, but it’s not something he’s proved as yet, so a contender with questions.
Crystal King 4-8-10 (91) Dr 11
6/1* Cons 12# AB 55 Lto 70 SF 91 Rat 65
Lto/ CB: 27 Apr Cl 3 Hcap (70) 12f AW Wolv 15/8 9-0 1.75l 1/8 off 83 – 94*
held up in last trio, good headway on outside and edged left over 1f out, challenged inside final furlong, hung left and stayed on to lead final 100 yards
2nd Last: 10 Oct Cl 5 Hcap (40) 10f gd/sf Leic 7/2 F 9-7 2.75l 1/10 off 76 – 89
held up in touch, switched left over 2f out, headway 2f out, led approaching final furlong, pushed out, readily
Made his debut as a 3yo, but showed nothing in his first 4 starts; gelded in last July, however, he returned to get off the mark in a Cl 5 hcap at Leicester on his final start of the season; returned at Wolverhampton last month and pushed up in both class and distance he showed determination to forge ahead in the final furlong; up in class today, but despite his higher mark is down in the physical weight; given the stable, improvement likely returned to turf and another to be considered a contender.
Stealth Fighter 4-8-9 (90) Dr 6
8/1* cons 10* AB 54 Lto 60 SF 84 Rat 113
Lto/ CB: 23 Apr Cl 4 Hcap (60) 10f gd Yarm 5/1 9-1 6l 1/5 off 79 – 94
tracked leader, led over 2f out, ran on
Won on his debut in a 7.5f mdn at Beverley last September, followed by a placed effort at Kempton in two AW starts; modest return in a Cl 4 hcap at Leicester early last month, but looked far more at home when upped to 10f at Yarmouth; his mark is up 11lbs for that and he is up two classes, but more improvement likely as he goes up in trip again; however, while a win is not entirely out of the question, he looks the least likely of my contender list.
For those wondering, the following were left off the list for these reasons:
Red Galileo – weight
Byron Flyer – class
Collide – going, as he looks to need softer ground
Twin Star – class
Perfect City - distance
It’s a race that usually, though not always, goes to a horse with a recent run, so there are question marks against the both First Eleven and Corgi. As I have worries about First Eleven I’ll pass, especially as Corgi could well be a different animal this time round. I’m not sure Fujaira Prince has all the attributes to be favourite, as while he has won the last 3 of his 4 starts, he’s not actually beaten a whole lot to date and steps up in both class and distance. Similar charges could be laid against Crystal King, although his career has taken off since being gelded and he has won at the distance. That is something Stealth Fighter can’t claim, plus he has faces a whole lot tougher opposition today. While so many contenders means that as is often the case, this is a race to leave, my personal choices would be Corgi from Crystal King and Fujaira Prince.
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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