13:50 Coral Chesterfield Cup – 1m2f
Just Fine won by a wide margin at Sandown this time last year (1m2f, good to firm) but the handicapper took his measure. He’s has run creditably in some good 1m4f events this year and was luckless at York 17 days ago (extended 1m2f, good to firm). A repeat of that or better, of which he is probably capable, suggests he could be a big player.
Caradoc tends to produce his best on a sound or fast surface. He was second in this (heavy) last year, which given the conditions was a good effort. He’s better off at the weights with Moktasaab than when the latter beat him over C&D in April (good to firm) and ran with some credit at York last time.
Given all of that, he’s entitled to plenty of respect here but it is hard to get away from MOKTASAAB, who impressed with how he drew clear that day. He looked as though he didn’t handle Epsom last month and then perhaps Royal Ascot last time came a bit too soon for him. He is not one to down tools on just because of those last couple of runs and back at this venue and over this trip, he can run a huge race.
Others of interest include Just Fine and Brilliant Night, who both ran well at York last time, while Arqoob was a good winner at Sandown Park last time and is far from discounted in what looks to be a fascinating handicap.
15:00 – World Pool Lennox Stakes (Group 2) – 7f
The return to 7f can prove beneficial to SACRED, who is taken score for the third time in Group company over this trip.
The William Haggas-trained daughter of Exceed And Excel ran a cracker to be fifth (beaten 1l) in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, over a stiff 6f and given how few races she has run, there is still scope for improvement.
Her main danger could prove to be Ever Given, whom followers may recall I tipped when he scored at Chester’s May meeting. He’s not had all his own way since then but did win the Listed Surrey Stakes over today’s trip at Epsom’d Derby meeting. Hxe is unexposed over this distance and looks to be value at around 20/1 for each-way players.
Lusail has been keeping elite company of late, being placed against his own age in Group 1 races on her last two outings (he was narrowly beaten in the St James’s Palace Stakes last time) and, having twice won Group 2 races as a juvenile, he could have a huge say back at this level.
Of the remainder, Kinross (who won this last year on soft) can’t be ruled out after a decent effort in the Platinum Jubilee and his form with Pogo, who has made all in Group 3s on his last two starts, suggests that he too has to be much respected.
16:10 – Nicholson Gin Handicap – 5f
The favourite Dusky Lord remains of interest and he met with some traffic when beaten by CELSIUS at Newmarket last time. The former now sports first-time cheekpieces, which may be that extra little boost that he requires to get his nose in front.
However, the Tom Clover-trained Celsius made his own luck under Jack Mitchell at the July meeting, racing up in the vanguard in his group throughout and once asked the question, he ran on well and was always in control. That was back up close to a personal best effort and this lightly-raced C&D winner looks capable of defying a 5lb rise and winning again.
It’s easy to see why Dusky Lord’s Newmarket followers might stick with him this time, given his 5lb pull with the winner that day and the fitting of that new headgear. He is two years the junior of Celsius and, after just eight starts, is open to more improvement. He is much respected.
Last year’s winner Lord Riddiford is back for a second attempt. He hasn’t scored since that success 12-months ago, when 1lb higher. Although it was soft that day, he is versatile with regard to conditions and as a dual winner at the meeting, I wouldn’t worry about what has gone on in-between. Trainer John Quinn will have him cherry ripe for this.
Stone Of Destiny and Embour are others who could get involved if bringing their ‘A’ games.
CELTIC CHAMPION is a half-brother to the top sprinter Dragon Symbol and after blowing the start at Windsor on debut, there was plenty to like about how he recovered to finish third. A line through the winner Bluelight Bay suggests that he likely favourite here, Mischief Magic has a similar chance but the latter is over a point shorter in the pre-race markets and the value surely has to be with the Andrew Balding-trained runner.
Supreme King was sent off as the favourite on debut at Haydock recently and looked a decent sort, despite being beaten. He is from a prolific family and could come on plenty for that effort, so can’t be ruled out.
Chartwell House ran well when going close last time behind Eminency, who has entries in both Listed and valuable sales company. That suggests that the William Knight-trained colt is also potentially smart and he could again be heavily involved.
Of the newcomers, Atomic Impact, a brother to 1m winner Dandy Maestro and half-brother to five winners, out of Group 1 Coronation Stakes winner Maids Causeway, makes a fair bit of appeal on pedigree.
17:20 – Coral Beaten-By-A-Length Free Bet Fillies’ Handicap – 1m
This looks a good piece of placement by Sir Michael Stoute, who saddles CRYSTAL CAPRICE for her handicap debut.
The daughter of Frankel was very impressive in dotting up against a field of maidens at Yarmouth last time (1m) and on that evidence she may have got in lightly here off a mark of 87.
Breaking Light returned from wind surgery to win on her handicap debut (7f) at Haydock recently, when she drew clear and suggested she’d have even more to offer over this trip. She is up 5lb for that but is feared.
Wilderness Girl was a maiden winner here last year and put up a good effort at Haydock last time. That was an improved performance and she’s only seen the racecourse on five occasions, so there looks sure to be more to come from her, especially now back up to a mile.