Sunday’s action on the track may be fairly low-key stuff, but, for Her Majesty The Queen, it provides some welcome respite, having been forced to spend several hours in the company of Donald Trump earlier this week. With ‘the Donald’ now safely ensconced back in the White House, Her Majesty has the opportunity to turn her attention to one of her main passions, with her famous purple and scarlet colours fancied to be amongst the winners at both Goodwood and Perth.
The bumper that concludes Perth’s seven-race card on Sunday (5.30pm) features one such contender, with Keen On making plenty of appeal ahead of his debut. By Kayf Tara and a half-brother to multiple winners under Rules, including the useful Close Touch, he has all the credentials that you would look for in a recruit to this discipline, with no finer man to help him realise his potential than Nicky Henderson. Given the busy week she has endured, Her Majesty can be forgiven for not making the long journey north, but Keen On is fancied to make the 860-mile round trip from Seven Barrows worthwhile, in receipt of 10 lb from the standard-setting Shanroe.
Earlier on the card, the track plays host to its richest race of the season, the Sam Morshead Perth Gold Cup Handicap Chase at 4.25pm. It would be interesting to know whether the owners of Red Giant took any inspiration from the US president when naming their charge – who got back on track with a comfortable victory over C&D last time – but the candidate who gets our vote here is Get Out The Gate. He made the most of a good opportunity when winning by 32 lengths at this venue last month, and with further improvement on the cards after only two starts over fences, it would be a surprise if an opening mark of 142 proved beyond him in this sphere.
The final two selections in our Lucky 15 come at Goodwood, with Mick Channon’s Helvetian lurking on a dangerous mark in the six-furlong handicap at 4.10pm. He shaped better than the bare result when sixth at Epsom last weekend, always on the backfoot after a stumble at the start and doing well under the circumstances to finish as close as he did, in a race where it paid to be handy. Now 4 lb lower than when recording his last win, he certainly showed enough to suggest that he is coming to the boil, and is likely to find this easier now dropping markedly in grade.
Finally, a second royal winner of the day could be on the cards in the fillies’ minor event at 4.45pm, with Shrewdness likely to take all the beating if building on her latest second at Lingfield. She left her debut form well behind to go down by just three quarters of a length that day, and the winner gave the form a boost when following up on her next start. Some people will say Norma holds more persuasive claims here, but that’s fake news – Shrewdness look a savvy investment.
Perth 5.30pm: Keen On @11/8
Perth 4.25pm: Get Out The Gate @ 5/1
Goodwood 4.10pm: Helvetian @ 6/1
Goodwood 4.45pm: Shrewdness @ 7/4