When the powers that be asked me to preview the mass of eight races on ITV this Saturday, my main port of call was to first consult as many weather internet sites as possible to determine the probable state of the ground.
In my view to be a successful punter/pundit you also have to be a part-time meteorologist especially when the forecasts from York through Haydock to Goodwood suggest we could get unsettled weather at each racing venue.
So, alongside my views on each of the select eight are my informed and educated weather notices so you can ‘guess’ as much as I have on the possible ramifications of the confused British ‘summer’!
Goodwood – (currently good to soft) with a possibility of up to further 5mm of rain through Saturday – Conclusion – fast ground horses need not apply
Haydock Park – (good to firm) up to 6mm of rain on Friday, Saturday drier but overcast possible light shower.
Conclusion – good ground likely to prevail
York – (soft to softer) looks like heavy rain on Friday and odd shower on Saturday.
Conclusion – looking soft, bloody British weather!
14:15 – Off a mark of 97, Vent de Force is lurking in the background and could outrun his price, but Euchen Glen finished ahead of the top weight in the Chester Cup despite not getting the best of runs and will be so much better suited by this more galloping track.
14:50 – The draw, tactics and by how much some of these unexposed three-year-olds are hiding their talent under a bushel will all decide which horse lands the valuable mile contest. Adjutant is two from two this season and could still be fairly handicapped, but is drawn out in the car park in stall 15, while the underrated Finniston Farm is next door in 14. That leads me to Go On Go On (box 6) a dominant winner from a wide draw at Lingfield Park last time out and with much more left in his locker.
15:25 – Invincible Army continued where he left off from last season by taking another step forward at Ascot three weeks ago and is a huge danger to James Garfield. The selection steps back down to six furlongs here after being outclassed in the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas and has the high cruising speed to take this in his stride.
16:00 – Battaash is an absolute speed machine and quite obviously the most likely winner, but first time out may well be the time to catch him and in receipt of weight for age, three-year-old Havana Grey looks the each-way value in a fascinating race. Karl Burke’s runner is highly regarded by the yard and may reverse Palace House Stakes form with Mabs Cross.
13:55 – His second in last year’s Brigadier Gerard Stakes stands out a mile and although he hasn’t run since July 2017, Algometer has an outstanding record when fresh, he won’t mind any rain and hails (excuse the pun) from a stable in good form. If the ground softens again the underrated What About Carlo is a huge danger.
14:30 – Society Power has been hiked up to a mark of 99 following his narrow Ascot success and is hugely respected as he almost certainly hasn’t reached the limit of his powers. However, giving a wholesome 10lbs away to the filly Neola could prove beyond him. A one-time 1,000 Guineas hope, the daughter of Foxwedge has been crying out for 7f and looks a spot of each-way value unless the ground turns very soft, in which case Statuario would be the replacement play.
15:05 – Sixth of nine to Enable in the 2017 Epsom Oaks, Isabel de Urbina has taken a few strides forward again this term, but all of her best form has come with give in the ground – a remark that also applies to the more exposed French raider Do Re Mi Fa Sol, so the nod goes to the William Haggas trained Mam’selle. She has nearly three lengths to make up on ‘Isabel’ on Goodwood form, but looked in need of the run that day and may get the end to end gallop she quite obviously needs here to bring her stamina into play.
15:40 – Even though he runs off a career high mark Duke of Firenze has to be respected with his superb Knavesmire record, but if the rain takes the sting out of the ground then Edward Lewis must go well. He just found his rivals going a stride too quickly for him on fast ground over course and distance nine days ago. He could be the each-way call ahead of the top weight and well handicapped outsider Fendale.