Whilst the entire racing public will focus in on the jumps action at Chepstow, I’m still infatuated with the flat. Some of the top jumps trainers will head to the Rowley Mile this week to contest the Cesarewitch on Saturday, but there’s also top 2-Y-O action along in the Future Champions Festival. We also get to see some old friends sprinting up at York in their final meeting of the season. Here’s this week’s Four To Follow.
A Shuwed bet
Friday 4:10 – Fillies’ Mile (Group One) – Shuwari @ 2/1 (William Hill)
With a name like Sangster, a lot is expected of you. And it’s not often a first-year trainer gets a special one straight away. But Shuwari just looks like that. Bred by French Derby winner New Bay, and from a staying family, Shuwari may be one to challenge for the classics. Her run in the Rockfel came with plenty of positives. She stayed on past the line and could have been bang up there with Carla’s Way had she not dwelt the start. Stepping up to a mile won’t be a problem & she’s clearly the one to beat. Favoruites have a strong record in the race, with the last four winners all top of the shop.
Definitely not wooden
Saturday 2:00 – Dewhurst Stakes (Group One) – City Of Troy @ 1/2 (William Hill)
Sometimes form goes out the window and you go on with what you have seen. And City of Troy was probably the most impressive juvenile winner of the season. He blew the field away on the July course by six-and-a-half lengths and has been kept incredibly fresh for this contest. With plenty of black-type in his pedigree, he can certainly justify odds-on. Only one odds-on shot has been overturned in the last 17 runnings.
Meade for this
Saturday 2:40 – Cesarewitch (Heritage H’cap) – Jesse Evans @ 12/1 (Betfred)
The Cesarewtich is a notoriously tough handicap, but if there’s on trend to follow; back jump trainers. Only three have breached the dominance from the flat world in the last ten years. And whilst everyone is looking to Pied Piper, it’s worth noting that the former flat horse didn’t have much success at this level. Jesse Evans represents better value and has had a fantastic season this Summer. Two wins on the flat, narrowly beaten in the Galway Hurdle and almost landed the Irish version in a tight finish. There’s no doubt he will be up there again.
Another Meade runner makes appeal further down the market. Sheishybrid finished second in the Cesarewitch Trial two weeks ago and remains on the same mark. She has been on the upgrade in her past few runs, and with three pounds taken off there may be a slight advantage over rival Grand Providence. A wide draw may be a negative, but it shouldn’t make too much difference over two miles and two furlongs. Worth a go at 20/1 (General).
And it wouldn’t be a Cesarewitch without a Willie Mullins runner. And one at a price is Zenon. She returned off a break of nearly three years to dust the cobwebs off at Bellewstown. Zenon looks to have a preference for softer ground, so conditions may not be ideal. But with 33 rivals around, there’s chance to get a piece of luck somewhere. It’s a big call up for Saffie Osborne, but she’s had a stellar season and can top it off with a big win. 28/1 (William Hill).
No Wobbling about
Saturday 2:25 – Sprint Trophy (Heritage H’cap) – Wobwobwob @ 10/1 (Betfred)
Wobwobwob enjoyed success last time out at Ayr winning the Silver Cup. But I feel that the race was a stepping stone to bigger things. And this looks like the target. His past three runs have all been brilliant, from second on heavy Goodwood ground to two pleasing runs in this company. Adrian Paul Keatley will be following a very positive trend of Northern trained winners of the race. Wobwobwob looks primed and ready.
In behind, Kevin Ryan saddles four runners. This shows how seriously he takes this race, and I think a couple will be at their best today. Firstly, Bielsa who has had a spread out campaign. But he started the season off with a win over C&D and is only three pounds higher in the weights. It’s also the mark he won off in his Ayr Gold Cup victory in 2021. He looks more than an each-way shout at 14/1 (Betfred).
The second Kevin Ryan runner I’m suited by is Magical Spirit. Stable jockey Tom Eaves gets the leg up yet finds himself down in the market. He finished third behind Bielsa after a winning start at Doncaster. Now he’s a pound lower than that winning mark and can display a similar performance to that in May. Take a chance at 33/1 (Betfred).
The very best of luck!