Liam Heard and Peterbrown can team up again to win the staying handicap chase at Worcester for Philip Hobbs. Less than three weeks ago Heard guided the son of Shantou, out of a Moscow Society mare, to a solid victory against joint favourite Strumble Head. Peter Bowen’s charge may not be the world’s greatest racehorse but Strumble Head remains a useful yardstick and Peterbrown, despite jumping left throughout, did it well and his time spent pointing seems to have done him the world of good. Decent jumping ground will serve him well too. The gelding has been raised seven pounds for that win but, ultimately, this is fairly poor company today and a similar showing should see him get his head in front once more.
It is not so much Peterbrown’s form that stands out, more that it is extremely difficult to find one that can beat him. However, Lawless Island is very much the eachway bet of the race and Richard Johnson, stable jockey to Philip Hobbs but teaming up with Tim Vaughan, will inevitably raise eyebrows. On his day Lawless Island is a decent horse, but his record is so utterly in and out one finds themselves a hostage to fortune when backing him. The race is basically full of inconsistent sorts; Mission Complete is talented but unreliable, Mrsrobin is decent but still a maiden after ten races, Grand Gigolo is not unlike Lawless Island in that he goes well, but is more likely not to finish at all! It’s a trappy race, and it isn’t the greatest race, but we might just be looking at the results tomorrow evening wondering why we didn’t back Peterbrown at a good price. The eight-year-old is strangely the most progressive of them all, albeit in weak company. Get stuck in.
Thank heavens for Royal Windsor! We may be in political turmoil, and our weather disastrous, but if there is one thing we can rely on this summer it is Racing in Berkshire on a Monday evening. Racing first took place at Windsor exactly 110 years after the declaration of independence and this evening the racecourse will be hoping for a good turnout at their ‘US Independence Race Night’ – featuring a Bruce Springsteen tribute act live after Racing.
Racing on ground that is currently described as Good (Good to soft in places) this is undoubtedly a tricky card. Tonight we have a couple of ultra-competitive maidens, a claimer and four fiendish handicaps. Nevertheless, there is value to be found and Charles Hills, whose yard have suffered somewhat for the desperate ground thus far in 2016, saddles Lucky Beggar who opens at 11/2 and stands a big chance. This son of Verglas hasn’t won since holding off Jimmy Styles in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap at Newbury in April 2014. Rated 102 back then, Lucky Beggar goes off a mark of 84 tonight which is far more realistic. In truth, Lucky Beggar’s form had been mediocre until a very decent 2nd behind Green Door at Newmarket 11 days ago, albeit well held. His wins to date have varied drastically on ground ranging from Good to Firm to Heavy (the latter over course and distance here at Windsor) and he will not be inconvenienced by any adverse conditions today. As long as jockey Richard Kingscote safely negotiates the draw from stall four, he’ll go close. Suffice to say there are many dangers, not least Robert Cowell’s Marmalady and William Muir’s course and distance winner Equally Fast, who are both available at big prices.
Lucky Beggar (E/W if 9/2+)
This evening Roscommon plays host to the Lenebane Stakes, a very decent Listed contest worth €45,000 and won by the useful Panama Hat last year. Whilst this may not be the most original selection, Chemical Charge looks a bet at the tissue price of 9/4. Ger Lyons continues to go well this season and this lightly raced son of Sea The Stars, out of a Kingmambo mare, should be up to the task. The ground is soft, there is no further rain due and on pedigree Chemical Charge’s stamina should be no issue (the dam Jakonda picked up black type when 2nd in a Listed race on Good to Soft ground at Longchamp when in the care of Alain de Royer-Dupré). Chemical Charge was beaten less than a length behind Royal Ascot winner Sir Isaac Newton at the Curragh eight days ago, and that form looks rock solid, so it is noticeable that Lyons runs him again so soon. On the last day the pair were a good four lengths clear of the 103 rated In My Pocket and a reproduction of that run should reap rewards today.
Whilst Ballydoyle always have a strong hand to play, it is worth noting that no less than five horses were originally entered for this contest: Claudio Monteverdi, Housesofparliament, Landofhopeandglory, Lieutenant General and Earring. Ultimately, Aiden O’Brien will saddle two: Claudio Monteverdi and Lieutenant General. Providing all eight runners go to post, the latter is of interest as an eachway bet at 6/1. As a son of Fastnet Rock, out of a High Chaparral mare, Lieutenant General will certainly be staying on at the finish. Whilst not quite up to the task in the Ulster Derby, (a high quality renewal, with the winner Stellar Mass subsequently finishing in the places in the Irish Derby), he is certainly worth a second look. Stablemate Claudio Monteverdi was a distance behind Stellar Mass at the Curragh and significant improvement is required from him. It goes without saying that Dermot Weld’s filly Simannka is hugely respected in receipt of significant allowances for both age and sex.
Chemical Charge (WIN)
by Philip Sale