Andy Holding has six tips for today's racing, including a 2pt NAP at Newtown Abbot
GET KNOTTED (best price 20-1) is getting to the stage of his career now when the pipe and slippers are lying in wait, but just before we all start signing him off to old folks’ home, there may be one last hurrah from Michael Dodds’ veteran.
The eight-year-old clearly doesn’t have the sexy profile of a Kings Lynn, but what he does possess is a welter of experience in races of this nature and that nous is likely to count for plenty in the final analysis. Runner-up in the Silver Cup back in 2016, the son of Windsor Knot went on to finish a creditable fourth in the main event two years later and to complete the set, he was also third in this very race last year. Warming up for another bid in trying to land the big pot, he caught the eye with the way he finished off his race over seven-furlongs under a tender ride at York last time out and that performance screamed his season is very much geared around arriving here over his favourite C&D in tip-top shape. Whether his position in stall 20 ends up being on the right side of the draw is anyone’s guess, but either way, this likeable and durable character will no doubt give it his best shot come what may.
UMM KULTHUM (best price 15-8) came out of her latest encounter in the Lowther Stakes with an immense amount of credit and she looks the likeliest winner of this competitive but much weaker affair.
Hugely impressive on the figures when scoring first time out at Thirsk, Richard Fahey’s filly was well-backed to make the smooth transition to pattern company and although she managed to gain valuable black-type with a creditable third place finish in what looked an above-average renewal of the Group 2 on the Knavesmire, her wide draw in stall 14 of 14 ultimately proved her undoing. Despite her poor track position throughout, the daughter of Kodiac kept on valiantly to the task at hand to finish just behind the main players and with the time figure of the race 30 days ago once again pointing heavily in the direction of another big effort on the numbers, she has all the right components in place to take a race of this nature over a likely suitable extra furlong.
Of those at a big price, QUIET ASSASSIN (best price 40-1) should not be totally underestimated and is worth a small each-way interest just in case the wheels come off the main selection.
A game winner on debut at Beverley when well found in the market, Adrian Keatley’s filly was pitched into the white-hot heat of the Flying Scotsman listed race at Doncaster last time out and although she failed to trouble the judge, she ran a good deal better than the bare result suggests. Held up in last place at halfway, the daughter of Tamayuz was brough with her a challenge as the pace increased markedly between the three and the two pole, but as it turned out, her effort was a forlorn one as she ended up being positioned on the wrong side of the track. Keeping on well of those towards the nearside, however, she came home to good effect to finish on the fringes of the main action, but as the numbers of those involved in the heat of battle was off the charts, it wasn’t a bad performance in context of today’s race. Although only rated 78, she clearly is much better than the assessor’s current assessments based on her run on Town Moor and if the middle to far side ends up being the place to be, she can easily outstrip her morning odds.
An intriguing contest in store for this Group 2 juvenile prize, but it’s a race well within the compass of RHYTHM MASTER (best price 11-4) based on his speed figures so far to date and this scopey individual rates a confident choice to prove how unlucky he was at Deauville last time out and what a fine prospect he remains.
Sent off a 16-1 outsider on debut at Haydock, either those closely associated in the yard were caught totally unawares by his winning performance or they executed the biggest cover up since OJ Simpson got put in the dock many years ago. Held up towards the rear of the field at the Merseyside venue, the son of Dark Angel ended up totally blowing his opposition away in the final half a mile, so much so, that he clocked a tremendous time figure in securing a four-length victory. Pitched into the white-hot heat of the Group 1 Prix Morny last time, the imposing colt was soon on the back foot after getting completely shafted coming out of the gates, but to his ultimate credit, he never once shirked the issue as he kept on bravely to finish a never-nearer third behind Campenelle, herself one of the leading juveniles of the season. Although he shaped as though he probably wants a bit further in time, he’s certainly not short of boot by any means and providing he’s able to seek some cover in behind the early pace, he’s likely to have too many guns for his seven opponents.
Yesterday’s results didn’t really tell us much about where the quickest ground on the straight track is situated, so without getting bogged down too much in the whys and wherefores of the draw, BARBILL (best price 25-1) is offered forward as one of the likeliest candidates for this season’s renewal of the Ayr Gold Cup.
In good shape already this tern with two wins next to his name, Mick Channon’s gelding was quietly-fancied to run a big race in the Portland Handicap at Doncaster a week ago and although he ended up finishing just outside the money, he did more than enough to suggest he would have gone a little closer to justifying the confidence in his direction with a smoother passage. The meat in the sandwich between Han Solo Berger and Danzino coming out of the stalls, as a result, the son of Zebedee found himself with plenty of work to be done to make up the lost leeway by halfway and although he made a brave attempt to claw back some of the deficit in the final two furlongs, he was always fighting a losing battle. To finish a close-up sixth under circumstances, however, has to go down as a massive effort by the in-form four-year-old and providing his draw right smack bang in the middle of the track end up being favourable, he has more than enough qualities to make some sort of impact.
16:45 Newton Abbot
COOLE CODY (NAP) (best price 11-4) made a magnificent start to life in his new barn with a display of total authority over today’s course a month ago and he’s thoroughly expected to dish out a similar beating to his opponents on his return visit with conditions very much in his favour.
Having his first outing for Evan Williams following a 202-day break, the nine-year-old was understandably fresh and well but that still didn’t stop him seeing his race out in tremendous fashion as he powered right away from his opponents in the later stages of a well-run affair. The feature of that performance 29 days ago was the way he jumped and travelled throughout the entire contest and even though the race in question was over 2m5f, he looked like he could have gone around again. With that in mind, today’s step up in trip shouldn’t pose too many concerns (stayed three miles well over hurdles) and with similar good ground conditions set in place, the son of Dubai Destination makes plenty of appeal at his morning odds.
2021 2000 GuineasSee All Odds
Getting involved in the first Classic of next season at this stage is always fraught with danger, so you need to backing something at a juicy enough price to warrant the risks and in the shape of MITHRAS (best price 50-1), his current 50-1 quotes look worth taking.
Seemingly not overly fancied for his debut at Sandown several weeks ago, hence the 11-1 starting price, John Gosden’s colt proceeded to fluff the start which immediately put him on the back foot and he was still miles off the pace as the field turned for home. Making up a tremendous amount of ground in the latter stages, the son of Dubawi whistled by most of his rivals in the final three furlongs and in hitting the line full of running, he gave out the sort of signals that suggested we were witnessing a special talent in the making. In running the final four furlongs almost two seconds quicker than eventual winner, One Ruler, he finished just behind subsequent winners Maximal and Latest Generation and in front of Tawaareq and My Swallow who have both gone on to score readily since, so as far as a piece of juvenile form goes, the race at the Esher track was about as good as it gets regards a maiden contest. Entered in the Dewhurst next month, today’s performance will obviously determine whether Mithras ends up going down the Group-race route this season, but either way, hopefully he will prove good enough to mix it against pattern opposition in the long term and now looks as good as any to invest in this highly-promising colt.