It’s day two of the Craven meeting …
Charlie Hills’ runner took a massive step forward when bolting up at Newbury from some very decent types on his second lifetime start after running very green on his introduction at Salisbury. His final start last season at Doncaster wasn’t a bad effort, when he was travelling ominously well but weakened in the closing stages. Judged on his two-year-old form, he could’ve been let in very lightly here off a mark of 93.
John Gosden’s runner had a very tough introduction to life after winning his first three races. He was thrown in at the deep end but still ran an absolute cracker to finish second in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot and then was sixth in the the Group 1 July Cup. I’m going to forgive him his last effort when last to Limato at HQ as it came on the back of those two top-class runs. Starting this season off in Group 3 company is perfect and the sprint division is wide open, with the exception of Charlie Appleby’s Blue Point.
The three-year-old won his maiden very well and stepped up in Group One company on Arc weekend at Longchamp beating Broome and Anodor. Broome has subsequently won well in the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown, so Saaed bin Suroor’s runner clearly sets the level they are all aiming for. Forget his last run in Dubai as he quite clearly didn’t handle the dirt surface.
There are lots of potential improvers in the field but Royal Marine has already shown top-level form.
Richard Hannon’s runner got better with each race last term, as you would expect from one with such a decent pedigree. This looks a perfect starting opportunity for this £140,000 purchase and you would imagine he will step up to 1m 2f later on. He was always in control when winning at Kempton in October and they don’t lack for fitness from this firm on return.
*Prices correct at time of publishing