Down through the years the authorities at Longchamp seem to have had terrible trouble estimating the state of the going which is why it is imperative that you watch the racing on Saturday to determine the ground before departing with your hard earned.
This year the situation has been compounded even further by a wet spring and a very dry summer and a significant part of the track having to be re-sewn by hand which is more or less unheard of.
But because of the executive being scared silly of anything quicker than good ground, I am almost certain they will play on the conservative side and over water the track. I’m predicting a going description of good to soft for Saturday and Sunday.
It’s such a shame Cracksman misses the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and goes straight to the Champion Stakes at Ascot. I saw him gallop at Newmarket last week and he looked in outstanding condition, striding out majestically.
— PA Racing (@PAracing) October 4, 2018
That means that Enable will have her preferred going in the Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and has a lovely draw in box six.
She’s obviously a class act but the pundits went massively overboard about Enable’s success in the September Stakes at Kempton, which she had every right to win at the weights in the manner she did.
The bounce factor could yet play a part in her performance on Sunday and while she could be the best horse in the race, the 10/1 bar her, Sea of Class and Waldgeist is ridiculous, particularly in a renewal of such great strength in depth. I’ll be waiting closer the time to see where the value lies.
There’s plenty of domestic action on Saturday to get stuck into and Ascot’s 7f Challenge Handicap 15.35 sees some old rivals go into battle again. Amazingly, the king of that course and distance RIPP ORF (winner of the Victoria Cup and Cunard Handicap) is not favourite.
This will be his 15th run of 2018, but he is still on an upward curve and seemingly taking his racing well. He’s a 100-plus rated horse in the making to my eyes and off a mark of 97, he remains fairly well treated and looks a play at around 7/1. The biggest dangers are the very well handicapped Mubtasim and outsider Zap.
If the weather forecast is to be believed, there could be a real downpour at the Berkshire track on Saturday and that has put me off both Limato and Dutch Connection in the Group 3 6f Bengough Stakes 15.00.
Such conditions could aid Commonwealth Cup fifth HEY JONSEY set to have only his sixth start of the campaign.
The Kevin Ryan runner ran way too freely in the Haydock Park Sprint Cup and granted a more conservative ride and a drop of rain looks massively massively overpriced at 25/1.
ANODOR conqueror of my ante-post pick for next year’s 2,000 Guineas (Persian King, still available at 16/1), is taken to land Sunday’s Jean-Luc Lagadere at 13.45 and burst the bubble of the Aidan O’Brien trained Anthony Van Dyck.
However, my best bet of the weekend is currently available at a whopping 33/1. SPOOF has side-stepped an easier task in a Class 2 handicap on Friday for Ascot’s 13.50. That is a huge clue to his claims here from the in-form Charlie Hills’ team.
He remains a relatively unexposed three-year-old, acts on all types of ground and has very little to find with the majority of his rivals here. Quite frankly his Thursday quote of 33/1 could be a huge mistake.
*Prices correct when published