A bad, bad day yesterday but we move on in search of finding both winners and value.
1.50 – 5f Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-105): As ever there are a huge amount of contenders here but Tommy Taylor’s red hot speed in a first-time visor at Doncaster was really eyecatching and if his drop back in trip helps then he’s got every chance amongst the market leaders. It is a surprise to see Dark Shot, who was beaten a neck in this last year, such a big price. He ran a big race on his return at Epsom and 16/1 is generous.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Tommy Taylor (9/1 general), 1 pt each/way Dark Shot (16/1 general)
2.25 – 1m2½f (1m2f56y) Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (4yo+): There is no great urge to take on Lah Ti Dar here – mind you this is her first run of the season and she’s back at the minimum trip – and the battle for second is probably the most interesting angle. Rawdaa needs to improve on her return but is surely going to be happier at this trip whilst Nyaleti is probably the each/way bet here. Her group form – and she put in another good race when second in the Dahlia – is fairly standout and she should go nicely.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Nyaleti (9/1 general)
3.00 – 1m2½f (1m2f56y) Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo): There has been a lot of debate over Too Darn Hot’s long awaited reappearance but John Gosden’s charge is the class act of the field and rates as a strong selection here. It is slightly disconcerting that he missed the Greenham and the Guineas but John Gosden’s judgement is trusted and there’s a tremendous amount to recommend him.
The form of his four juvenile wins, three at Group level, outmatches the whole field and a rating of 126 as a juvenile was one of the best of recent times. In the Dewhurst, which he won going away, he gave a clear beating to previous Group 1 winner Advertise and Group 2 winner Anthony Van Dyck (since a winner of the Lingfield Derby trial) with listed winner Sangarius further behind.
Previously in the Champagne Stakes he’d run out a comprehensive winner over Phoenix of Spain, who would then go onto be beaten just a head in the Vertem Futurity by subsequent Guineas winner Magna Grecia, and in the Solario he beat a previous Listed winner by four lengths in style.
Some have slight worries about him staying the trip but he was never stronger than at the end of his races last year and a son of Dubawi (3rd in Derby, would have stayed 10f) who’s related to middle distance winners So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar, 10 furlongs on fast ground ought not to be an issue for him.
This is a very strong looking renewal, with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Line of Duty making his reappearance along with Beresford Stakes winner Japan. The latter, the only Ballydoyle contender here, is a fine prospect but he has missed more than a few steps at home and looks better assess after today, making Godolphin’s returning prospect the most appealing value alternative given how well he stayed at Churchill and he’s probabaly better than that bare form.
It’s impossible to know where wide margin novice stakes winners Telecaster and Surfman could end up but both are hugely respected along with maiden winner Almania. Nayef Road is a Group performer on his recent handicap win at Newmarket but this is another big step up and Turgenev, third in the Epsom Derby trial, might be a tad exposed.
Advice: 4 pts win Too Darn Hot (evs)
3.35 – 1m (7f192y) Matchbook Betting Podcast Hambleton Handicap (Class 2) (4yo+): Stall 16 is not easy for What’s The Story, but his Hunt Cup fourth is some of the best form in the race – if not the best – and things haven’t quite dropped right for him since, with a failure to just stay the trip in the John Smith’s Cup followed by the ground being too soft at Galway for him, and there’s no shame in him failing to show his best in the Cambrdigeshire. His return at Newcastle was really encouraging and if he builds on that he can go close.
Love Dreams did go close in this last season off a 5lbs higher mark, and he didn’t take to racing in Meydan. Since coming back to the UK he’s finished second in two good 7f handicaps and perhaps he’s a summer horse (he won at Goodwood after running here last year) who likes fast ground. If he gets off to a good start, he can take a good position and might take beating.
Advice: 1 pt each/way What’s The Story (15/2 Paddy Power), 1 pt each/way Love Dreams (8/1 general)
4.05 – British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (3yo): This should be a lot of fun to watch. Garrus broke the course record dropped to 5 furlongs at Nottingham and will take some catching whilst Semoum has plenty of pace based on his reappearance at Hamilton (stable and seasonal debut) but if Solider’s Call is as good this season as he was during the last campaign then he’ll take some catching. He took the Windsor Castle, Flying Childers and was third in the L’Abbye before the ground caught him out at the Breeders’ Cup. He might be good enough to give 5lbs away.
Advice: 1 pt win Solider’s Call (11/4 Bet365, Paddy Power)
4.35 – 6f Stratford Place Stud Breeds Group Winners ebfstallions.com Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)(Class 2) (2yo): A shame that the tremendously exciting Hong Kong doesn’t take his place here. When Comes Here sets a good standard on his Sailsbury second a forrntight ago but Story of Light, Repatree, Boma Green and Forbidden Land are all likely types and this is a watching brief.
Advice: No bet.
5.05 – 2m½f (2m56y) Investec Wealth Handicap (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-90): The Cashel Man wasn’t at his best when making a flat return at Newbury but that was a strong contest – second Coeur De Lion bolted up in the Chester Plate and third Who Dares Wins was second in the Chester Cup – and perhaps he’ll be happier on the faster ground. He’s got lots of good flat and jumping form on a sound surface and can take the beating.
Advice: 2 pts win The Cashel Man (9/2 general)