JUST HISS (best price 11-1) proved to be a big hit in the first-time cheekpieces over today’s C&D last time out and he looks poised to go well again if ridden in a similar positive vein. Always on the sharp end 14 days ago, Tim Easterby’s inmate maintained a relentless gallop throughout and even though he looked vulnerable with a furlong to go, he found enough in the closing stages to suggest he could take to an even higher level in future.
KING’S GIFT (best price 11-1) ran a good deal better than his final finishing position suggests in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out and he, too, is worth consideration at his double-figure quotes. Held up to get the trip on his first start over 1m 2f at the Berkshire track, Michael Dods’ inmate got no run whatsoever in the home straight when seemingly going well, but he did finish off his race well enough once out in the clear to suggest he may have been involved in the outcome with a clearer passage. Prior to that unlucky episode, don’t forget the son of Casamento only got beaten six lengths by Barney Roy in a strongly-run Greenham Stakes earlier in the campaign and a repeat of that run alone would surely give him a chance of being competitive here against this sort of company.
LARAAIB (best price 5-2) looked a horse of some potential when winning on his debut and just as impressive on his next outing at Haydock, he arrives here still looking a very tempting proposition off his revised mark. In accounting for subsequent winners Atty Persse and Weekender at the Lancashire venue, he not only clocked very favourable overall speed figure, his final three furlongs split of 34.2 was quicker than the two 6f sprint races on the card – which always a sign we are dealing with a horse of some class. A gorgeous, rangy son of Pivotal, hopefully he can manufacture a smooth passage around the inside before being unleashed in the home straight.
The race won by Afaak at Doncaster a month ago has worked out as well as the very fast speed suggested it would and although MOUNTAIN ANGEL (NAP) (best price 9-2) has to turn around the form with Charlie Hills’ charge, racing back on a decent surface might just tip the balance of power back in his direction. Going into that race on Town Moor off the back of an impressive breakthrough victory at Beverley, the son of Dark Angel looked for a large portions like he was going to add to his tally, but he just succumbed to the persistent challenge of the eventual winner in the dying strides and he had to settle for an honourable second. Not high enough in the ratings to qualify for the Britannia at the Royal meeting several weeks ago, he now arrives here a fresh horse off a favourable mark in the context of this race and he makes plenty of appeal knowing that he should track the pace towards the favourable stands side rail.
In-keeping with many first-time-out juveniles from the stable, GUSTAV KLIMT (best price 7-4) ran as though badly in need of the run/experience on debut at the Curragh, but in time-honoured tradition he was a totally different proposition second time around when he returned to the Co Kildare venue. Heavily backed to leave that first outing well behind (raced in first-time tongue tie), Aidan O’Brien’s inmate justified his position in the market with a victory of total authority and the way he strode clear in the closing stages once hitting top gear, he marked himself down as a colt of some potential. Not only that, his overall time and sectionals that day stacked up nicely against some proper Group horses on the same card and with the likelihood of more to come, the son of Galileo is strongly fancied to follow in the same hoof prints of stable mate Clemmie, who continued on her upward trajectory here yesterday.
If he had the chance to ride the race again, I’m sure Adam Kirby wouldn’t have gone so crazy mad in the early stages of the Commonwealth Cup on HARRY ANGEL (best price 6-1), and as such, Clive Cox’s star sprinter is given a sporting chance to turn the tables on Caravaggio. Impressive when making all in a fast time the run before at Haydock, connections were obviously keen to make plenty use of the son of Dark Angel and try and draw the sting out of the favourite, but in setting off at such rapid fractions at the Berkshire venue, it was asking too much even of a horse of his class to maintain the level of pace he showed from the outset. He did, however, to his ultimate credit, keep on battling away to finish a brave second, and providing that punishing run hasn’t left too deep a scar, the three-year-old should put up another bold display if his pilot judges the tempo better this time around.
KRYPTOS (best price 12-1) ran way behind market expectation against two very smart colts at Newmarket last time out and he looks fairly treated on handicap debut based on that useful effort at HQ. Having his first outing for 259 days for new connections, John Berry’s charge impressed by the way he went through that decent maiden run at a sound tempo and although he couldn’t quite match the finishing kick of the big two in the betting that day, he still kept on well enough to pull well clear of the rest. Likely to be all the better for that initial outing since his gelding operation, the son of Cacique has showed enough ability to suggest an opening handicap mark of 78 isn’t too severe.
STRATEGIC (best price 15-2) was far too green to do himself justice on his debut at Windsor, but he did enough in the closing stages without being unduly knocked about to suggest he will leave that initial outing well behind in the future. After totally fluffing the start at the Berkshire track, Richard Hannon’s inmate found himself in hopeless position after a furlong, and although Ryan Moore was doing his best to get his mount to engage with the job at hand, it wasn’t until he administered a couple of sharp backhanders that the Kodiac colt decided to pick up the bridle. Finishing his race off with plenty left in the tank, in-keeping with many of the stable’s juveniles who run in that fashion first time out, he will hopefully prove a totally different proposition this time around.