The first selection sees us take a trip to Doncaster to take in the Listed Scarbrough Stakes over the sprint distance of five furlongs.
Monsieur Joe comes here on the back of winning a Listed race at Tipperary where he was able to make all racing against the rail, a luxury he is unlikely to have here. He also ran a good race staying on in the closing stages at York to finish second to Out Do in the City Wall Stakes. Paul Midgley’s sprinters have been in excellent form and that is also highlighted by stablemate Desert Law, who was fourth in the opening race of the Ebor Meeting at York. He’ll need to step up on what he has shown to win a Listed race but with conditions drying out the quicker ground is something he’ll prefer.
Cotai Glory was behind Monsieur Joe in the City Wall Stakes finishing third but for me he is being underestimated slightly considering he was the moral winner in the Group 2 Childers Stakes here last September. He was leading and inside the last 100 yards the saddle slipped causing him to swerve badly and unship George Baker. His race before that saw him win the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, so he has a good pedigree. His recent runs have seen him taking part in some high-class sprints. Last time out he ran in the Nunthorpe only finishing eleventh of 19. Back at Doncaster and George Baker is back on board, so lets hope for no mishaps. Charlie Hills’ sprinters are also in the top bracket. He has the obvious one in Muhaarar plus he saddled the second Strath Burn and third Magical Memory in the Haydock Sprint Cup on Saturday.
The two older horses in the line-up cannot be discounted too easily. Nine-year-old Medicean Man ran some quick times over in Meydan and if able to replicate any of those runs he is bound to hit the frame. His last win on British soil came in the Listed Achilles Stakes at Haydock two years ago and running here is at his level. Harry Bentley has proved himself as a very able jockey this year and takes the ride, as he did over in Meydan too. He was a just headed when finishing second to Goldream in the Group 1 King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, so there are races in this horse. The other veteran is Kingsgate Native, who won this year’s Achilles Stakes and since has ran in two group races and has been beaten by far. Back at this sort of level you would think he can run one final big race for connections. He has had a break of 40-days to freshen him up.
Cotai Glory (E/W)
Our next race is a seven-furlong handicap at Carlisle where 11 are set to go to post.
Ifwecan’s last win came here in the Carlisle Bell in June and he runs off a 5lb higher mark here, but he’s disappointed in his last couple of starts. Also in the race is Ralphy Boy, who has won two of his last three. These two are both drawn low and are both likely to want to use front running tactics. With that in mind it could be set up for a closer to come off the pace and claim success.
Jacob Black is interesting running in a weaker contest to what he has been racing in. In June he was second to Basem at Sandown and that winner is now rated 110 and he wasn’t beaten by far off a 4lb lower mark. He can also go forward at a blistering gallop adding to the intrigue about the possibility of a quickly ran race. It’s worth pointing out that Keith Dalgleish’s charge holds the track record over this distance, breaking the previous record last July.
With plenty of pace up front that could suit Extremity. Hugo Palmer’s four-year-old doesn’t have the most attractive of form figures but he has been running in some competitive handicaps. Two of his four career wins have come in the month of September, so this is when he does his winning. On top of that his last win came off a mark of 94 and today he runs of a mark of 93. There are plenty of ticks in boxes and if Ben Curtis, who has a 20 per cent strike rate here, can settle him in a good position then expect him to pounce late.
The final selection runs on the polytrack at Kempton in a seven-furlong contest.
It looks a wide open contest on paper and quite a few of these are thoroughly exposed. Royal Rettie makes her handicap debut of a mark of 60, if taking off Ashley Morgan’s claim. Chris Wall’s horses are going well at the moment and he has a 21 per cent strike rate when he sends runner here. This daughter of Royal Applause wasn’t beaten by too far when coming up against Godolphin’s Balliol at Windsor where she still looked rather green. Royal Applause progeny act equally effectively on the all-weather to as they do on turf, so there isn’t much concern about her handling the surface. The slight negative would be the wide draw in stall 12 however you’d expect there to be plenty more of improvement to come.
Mulhaam was a long time leader at Lingfield on their turf track seven days ago and this grey was headed close home for second. The ground conditions probably didn’t suit him that day but it was his best effort of his four starts. This is his handicap debut and William Buick is a good judge of pace, so if they want to go forward early then the draw looks a plus. Despite being one of the exposed runners Showtime Blues best form comes over course and distance. He won his maiden here last December and last month he was second to Classical Rose off a 2lb higher mark. The only concern is that he is an in-out performer and it depends if he is on a going day to when you want to catch him.
New Rich is a four-time course winner but his last win came nine starts ago last December. He went down narrowly finishing second to Half Way at Leicester in June, which is his best effort since before again finishing second to the in-form Port Lairge at Brighton. Those two runs over this trip would see him go fairly close but he does need to bounce back from a lacklustre effort 49 days ago at Lingfield. Depth Charge is another one that is lightly-raced and comes here in the first time visor after the tongue-tie was added for his last run. He was fourth here to Classical Rose, for which the handicapper has dropped him by 2lb, In that race he was sat in the rear before making an effort, which petered out in the closing stages, If Jimmy Fortune sits him closer to the pace from the start he could be an interesting runner.
Royal Rettie (E/W)