DESERT ENCOUNTER (NAP) (best price 11-4) ran his face off to finish third in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock when last seen out and this looks the ideal race to get his autumn campaign up and running. Winner of his previous four starts, David Simcock’s inmate unsurprisingly found himself well backed to capture that feature handicap at the Lancashire venue, but given his run-style, he was always likely to come unstuck in a big field. Hi did, however, finish off his race in the style of a horse that could easily compete to a decent standard beyond handicap company and he gets the chance to put that theory to the test against several for which the jury is most definitely out at present.
Although BRETON ROCK (best price 9-1) loves to get his toe in, the combination of heavy ground and the mile trip just proved a bridge too far for David Simcock’s charge at Haydock last week, but he should turn out to be more competitive this time around under his ideal conditions. 2-2 at today’s track and form figures of 21113121333241 over 7f when the word soft has been in the going description, the son of Bahamian Bounty has every chance of bettering his third place finish behind Limato in this race last season.
Competitive stuff as you’d imagine with so many of these having been laid out for this decent pot, but the percentage call has to go with RUM SWIZZLE (best price 6-1) who has yet to finish out of the first two in four starts over today’s course (2212). A narrow margin winner over the C&D three starts ago, Harry Dunlop’s filly just failed to peg back Rosie Royale in a similar contest last time out, but with a much stronger pace likely this afternoon, there’s a fair chance she can turn around the form with her old advisory.
Runner-up to the mighty Golden Horn in this race last year, FOUND (best price 12-1) has the perfect conditions to run another huge race in what looks an outstanding renewal of this Group 1 prize. Although not quite good enough to cope with last year’s Derby winner on the day, she did gain her revenge when they pair clashed again in the Breeders Cup and it was only just rewards for Aidan O’Brien’s filly’s consistency. Once again this campaign the daughter of Galileo has been as reliable as a Swiss clock against top class company and although two of those performances have been over 1m 4f, she keeps leaving the impression that hasn’t quite been getting home when the pace has been strong over that trip. A strong-run race over 1m 2f, however, is absolutely perfect for this durable four-year-old filly and she rates a cracking each-way bet at her double-figure quotes.