Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has three tips for today's racing, including a NAP at Goodwood.
KING VEGA (NAP) (best price 7-2) was right up there with some of the highest rated maidens in training until finally delivering the goods here last time and although that success may have appeared a routine one at first glance, the numbers reveal he ran to a level that strongly suggests he’s likely to be a potent force back in pattern company.
Runner-up in a Group 3 as a two-year-old, Andrew Balding’s gelding began this season at a similar level and although he could only manage to finish fifth of the 10-strong field in the Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury, the time figure of the race suggested he’d run to a career high. Sent in search of easy pickings here last time out, the son of Lope De Vega duly made light work of opponents nowhere near his level of ability, but despite being heavily eased late on, he still produced the sort of speed figure which complimented his superiority. On that piece of evidence, clearly a strong-run race at 1m2f suits and with everything seemingly in his favour for him to put up a bold show, the chestnut deserves to be backed accordingly.
Irish trainer John McConnell sets punters a poser here sending both GO ANOTHER ONE (best price 5-2) and Roi De Dubai to post holding strong claims but on the basis that the former is 2-2 around today’s track and Sean Bowen, who rode the latter at Cartmel last time, has deserted him on this occasion, the son of Stowaway receives the nod.
A largely consistent performer over the years under both disciplines, the nine-year-old arrives here following several typically solid runs over hurdles, the best of which came at Cork two starts ago when easily accounted for the very useful Peregrine Run. Back over fences today, it’s worth remembering just how well he travelled in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham festival back in March only for his run to peter out as he faced the hill over the 3m2f journey. Returning to his optimum conditions today – three miles and a flat, right-handed track – Go Another One, who has form on a variety of surfaces, should give another solid account.
Since returning to the training ranks after his enforced absence, it’s be apparent right from the outset that Gordon Elliott has wanted to make a favourable impression and also get back to the thing he does best – sending out winners. The fact that the Co Meath handler has multiple participants in this year’s renewal of the Kerry National is nothing new but what is significant in many respects is that he’s prepared to throw two big darts at the board in the shape of CONFLATED (best price 9-2) and Farclas at this stage of the season and of the pair, the former makes the most appeal.
The son of Yeats has dined at the very highest table for pretty much most of his life and last season was no different on his first spell over fences. A winner of a Grade 3 at Navan was sandwiched in between two creditable efforts in Grade 1’s and considering he was up against the likes of Monkfish, Latest Exhibition, Asterion Forlonge and Janidil in those events tells you all you need to know about the standard of opponent he faced. Although he’s yet to prove he stays today’s three-mile trip, the only time he tried it he was racing at Grade 1 level and in any case, he’s always shaped like he will. Furthermore, his prominent style of racing will be well suited to how this race often plays out (hard to make ground from the rear) and with his fitness assured courtesy of a recent spin on the Flat, the seven-year-old looks to have a fine chance of capturing this prize on his first start in handicap company off what appears a fair mark of 145.