Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has six tips for today's action.
ZAIN CLAUDETTE (best price 11-1) may not have the sexy profiles of some of the more established names, but that doesn’t mean to say she doesn’t deserve a crack at this level, certainly not if take into account the numbers she posted when scoring at Newmarket last time out.
An encouraging runner-up to the subsequent Group 2-placed Hellomydarlin’ at Goodwood on debut, the daughter of No Nay Never was well-supported to go place better two weeks later and as it turned out, the money in her direction proved spot on. Settling nicely just in behind the pace set by Sacred Jewel, Ismail Mohammed’s inmate travelled up going best approaching two out and then when the front runner faded, she picked up the baton before quickening smartly meeting the rising ground to the line. Clocking a fairly useful time figure for a juvenile, her last three furlong split of 33.8 handsomely complemented the overall above-average feel of the race and with the only unknown about her prospects being the underfoot terrain if it rains in any significant quantities, a chance is taken she can overcome that slightly negative.
DANYAH (best price 7-1) has to go down as one of the unluckiest horses in training so far this season – certainly when it comes to these kind of events – and following another top-class effort in the Buckingham Palace Stakes over today’s C&D last time out, Owen Burrows’ gelding is afforded another chance to finally gain his due rewards.
An honourable fourth in the Lincoln on his first start of the campaign despite racing freely, the son of Invincible Spirit was a major fancy for the next big straight mile race in the calendar at Newbury, and once again his acquitted himself with huge credit by chasing home the very smart Nugget. Considering the high standard of those two performances, connections must have thought long and hard as to whether to stick to the mile trip and go for the Hunt Cup or drop down a furlong and tackle the equally competitive seven-furlong handicap on day three of the Royal meeting and even though the final decision didn’t prove to be a winning one, finishing runner-up to the all-the-way heroine Highfield Princess could hardly be described as a disaster. Just as affective on an easy surface, any rain that falls pre-race won’t harm his cause, it’s just a case of whether he ends up being drawn on the right side of the course, as we know he has all the qualities to land a race of this nature with a fair rub of the green.
Finally, a line-up which befits the long and illustrious role of honour for this traditional mid-season 1m4f Group 1 event and with the weather likely to have a huge say in the eventual outcome more than just pure form, ADAYAR (best price 5-2) and WONDERFUL TONIGHT (best price 7-1) are the two to concentrate on should the rain arrive in the quantities forecast.
Derby winners used to have a stranglehold in this clash of generations but we have to go back a fair way to find a horse who doubled-up following Epsom glory. However, in this son of Frankel, we have a big, scopey three-year-old who should improve as time progresses, so there’s a decent chance he
won’t leave his excellent form from his glorious triumph of 49 days ago behind. Just as significant, is the fact the likes of stable mate, Hurricane Lane, and the well-beaten favourite on the day, Bolshoi Ballet, have both advertised the form in no uncertain terms since and considering Charlie Appleby’s colt left them for dead at the Surrey venue a month ago strongly suggests he’s a three-year-old right out of the top drawer. Although he’s handled decent ground well enough in the past, a little ease underfoot appears to be when he’s at his very best, so the more rain that falls prior to kick-off at 3.35, the better his chance becomes.
Similar comments also apply to the latter as she proved in devastating fashion in the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting. Despite not being fully tuned up accord to her trainer and racing keenly through the first half a mile, David Menuisier’s filly still had the class to beat a hugely-competitive field that contained the likes of subsequent winners Hukum and Japan. Additionally, the time figure of her victory also suggested it was a success of the highest class and with the distinct prospect of her improving significantly for the run, the daughter of Le Havre rates a massive challenger to the so-called big guns over a C&D where she’s unbeaten in two starts.
GHADBBAAN (NAP) (best price 3-1) got badly hampered at the most crucial part of the race over today’s C&D last time out, so it makes perfect sense to consider him a winner without a penalty and stay loyal to Brian Ellison’s gelding on his return visit.
An easy winner of a modest Class 6 contest at Thirsk earlier in the season, the five-year-old chestnut arrived on the Knavesmire two weeks ago another well-backed favourite after a string of placed efforts and, seemingly well suited by a strongly two miles, he ended up posting a career-high performance despite the latter part of the race not going his way. Slightly short of room over three out, the son of Intello had to sit and suffer for another furlong or so before finally getting out in the clear, but by the time he’d extracted himself from the wreckage, the eventual winner Goobinator had set sail over the horizon. Whether he would have won will absolute certainty could be debated all day long, but either way, he clearly got on famously with today’s gallop track and that important knowledge can be used to maximum effect in this similar class race.
Similar to many Peter Charalambous-trained horses on the July Course down the years, APOLLO ONE (best price 3-1) seems to really appreciate the joys of home comforts and arriving here following a career-high effort in the big six-furlong three-year-old handicap at the previous meeting, the bang-in-form chestnut looks booked for another positive result under his ideal conditions.
A shock 22-1 winner on his first visit to HQ on debut last season, the Equiano colt has twice been successful on ‘away day’ trips since, but based on his last two efforts back at his old stomping ground, it’s clear he saves his best form for the undulations of the straight mile. Pitched into a hot Group 3 contest here a month ago, he led until the point where his stamina gave way over seven furlongs and he then followed that effort up by leading all the way before being nabbed close home by the fast-finishing Backrod over a furlong shorter at the last meeting just over two weeks ago. Although he’s perfectly capable of making all the running if nothing else wanted to go forward, the
fact Fools Rush In is in today’s line-up gives James Doyle the luxury of taking a lead today if he so choses, but whichever way the race does pan out, this useful three-year-old has all the necessary attributes to cope and put in another sizeable display at a track that clearly plays into his strengths.