14:50 Newton Abbott
A tricky little handicap to get us underway at Newton Abbott and a couple of the entrants could well turn out to be a decent price. Rum And Butter runs for J.P. McManus, Jonjo O’Neill and Barry Gerraghty. The horse can be a bit of a monkey but the potential is certainly there as shown by a good ground hat-trick at Market Rasen last year can testify. The horse may be good value at 6.8 over-night on the exchanges.
Aidan Coleman is picking up all of the rides left by McCoy for John Ferguson and next year he could well be value for the national hunt jockey’s championship. He takes the ride on Zip Top and any ease in the ground may be very welcome as the horse hasn’t really liked it on summer going.
Archie Rice is a horse seeking a hat-trick and retains the partnership of amateur Bryony Frost, the trainer’s daughter. This may be a bit of an ambitious bid but the trainer has reported that the horse is very well and they are very hopeful of at least getting a share of the prize money today.
Archie Rice (Each Way if 9/2+)
There is definite Group 1 class in this Group 3 contest and you would have to think that Gordon Lord Byron would be a strong selection in todays field. The horse will want as fast ground as possible and if he gets that then you would expect he would have enough to beat its rivals. His recent form is good, having won a listed race last time out and was runner up in this contest in 2013. Wayne Lordan is up top again and is riding well at present.
Ansagar, who won this race last year, is also a strong contender under the stewardship of the Irish Oaks’ winning jockey Pat Smullen and has to be a big positive. The worry is the horse’s form coming into this race. He was well beaten at Ascot and Haydock the last two times and an improvement is needed despite the welcome return to this course.
Home Of The Brave could also be a contender and is the pick of the 3 year olds on show. James Doyle will be doing the steering and the horse is racing off 8lb lower than the two named above. He may just be an improver and could run a big race as a lively danger.
Gordon Lord Byron (WIN)
Brooch may well go off a strong favourite in this Group 2 contest over a 1m1f but the price might be a bit short from a betting perspective. Like all favourites, if the horse blasts in then it’s a value price but she is being penalised with the weights here and with the three year olds getting an allowance it could just be too much.
Raydera didn’t run a good race in the Irish 1000 Guineas but this is a weaker contest and there wasn’t a huge amount in her defeat despite the 11th placed finish. She was in season though and you would think there could be some improvement. On the bare form of 2014 she could be do well having already beaten Lucida (who admittedly has flattened out the last day at Newmarket and at Royal Ascot).
Mutatis Mutandis is the one that really takes the eye having beaten Brooch the last day and, after being slowly away you would think there is more to come. George Baker takes the ride and he has really come into his own this season, with his ride in the Northumberland Plate and at Royal Ascot particularly catching the eye. The horse could be the value in a race that should see a decent gallop.
Mutatis Mutandis (Each Way if 9/2+)