Pass The Vino started his career in Ireland for Darren Bunyan but after three starts in maidens he switched to Paul D’arcy for 20,000 guineas. On his first start for the yard, he bolted up at Wolverhampton over 6f, but was off the track for four months prior to his handicap debut off a mark of 85 at Newmarket over the same trip. He won again and that that form looks very solid with the second, Moss Gill, now rated 21 lbs higher and the third, Dazzling Dan, 5 lbs higher.
Pass The Vino was then touched off at Newmarket off a 5lb higher mark, being collared in the last strides by Kinks. Another second, this time at Ascot, followed off another 5lb higher mark before a run of poor form. None of his next four runs were over 6f on fast ground, but he gets his conditions today and has dropped to a mark of 94.
Paddy is paying 5 places too and he looks to have solid each-way claims.
Huboor was relatively progressive as a two year old having been beaten on debut at Yarmouth when third behind the now 106 rated Summer Romance & 88 rated Bredenbury. She progressed for that run to win her maiden back on better ground at Chepstow over 6f furlongs, beating Fleeting Prince (now rated 90) & Stone Circle (rated 94) and while beaten at Chester when trying to defy a penalty, she stepped up to 7f on her handicap debut off 78 in a competitive heat, she showed a good attitude to win nicely. The form since reads:
• 2nd Separate – touched off in a group 3 and now rated 98
• 3rd Last Surprise – 2nd on next start off 87 and won at Jebel Alil
• 5th Onassis – Won next start at Newcastle off 75, up to 81
• 6th Elegant Erin – 2nd next start off 75 at Newmarket
• 7th Hashtagmetoo – 3rd on next start at Newmarket off 71
• 8th Mild Illusion – 2nd in Sales race, before winning a Listed race, both at Newmarket. Now rated 96
• 9th Picture Frame – 2nd on next start in a Kempton handicap off a mark off 81
Throw in that Mark Johnston is 6-22 (27 per cent) since the resumption of racing and everything is in place for a decent run from Huboor. We have the comfort of an extra place (Paddy’s paying 4 places on this race) for those who want to back her each-way at the prices.
With the pre-race hot-favourite Sangarius now a non runner the race has opened up a bit. Century Dream was a Group 3 winner in 2018 at Epsom and was only just beaten less than a length in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. He finished that season with a third in the Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes on Champions Day, less than a length behind Roaring Lion.
He was a little disappointing last season after Dubai when not seen until October, so he must have had an issue. He has had a wind op since his last start & Simon & Ed Crisford’s runners have been running well without winning since the resumption. His 2018 form is top class and if he returns to that is very capable of being competitive at Group One level. This is a fair drop in class from what he was use to at his peak. If the wind op has done the trick, Century Dream could prove the value play each-way in the field.
English King, a half brother to group 3 winner Pacifique, was a €210,000 purchase as yearling. Not seen until a Newmarket maiden at the tail end of last season, he shaped as if the experience was needed when midfield, only beaten just under five lengths. English King looked to have a tough task on his hands at Newcastle when upped to 10f in what looked a really strong maiden for the track.
Held up off the sedate early pace, he gave the leaders a bit of rope entering the straight but quickened up really nicely to win impressively without getting anymore than a shake of the reins.
The form of that win has taken a few boosts since, with the second Waleydd winning a Wolverhampton maiden in January and the third Galsworthy bolting up at Kempton on Tuesday. English King is bred to stay further and the step up in trip for this Derby trial looks sure to suit. Anthony Van Dyck used this race as a stepping stone to Derby success last season. I’m hoping English King can follow suit and I have even had a small interest in him for the Derby itself at a wild price.
Roger Varian’s Look Closely is very interesting in his first handicap off a mark of 90, but Holy Kingdom looks an each-way play in a race where Paddy is paying the first 4 home. Second on his first two starts in handicaps off marks of 76 & 80 on the Rowley Mile and July Course, he eventually broke his maiden at Chelmsford in a novice race last September. He was then an excellent third in a Class 2 handicap at York, (where he may have found 1m 6f on soft ground a little too much of a stamina test) and then ran a cracker on his final start when beaten a head by First in Line over 1m 6f at Chelmsford.
Holy Kingdom has only gone up to 86 and that looks like a mark he can be competitive from. Definite each-way claims in a race that Paddy is paying 4 places.
A competitive 6f handicap where plenty of the field have dropped to marks that make them look appealing, none more so than Gunmetal. David Barron’s runner has winning form at the track and will really appreciate the decent ground. He’s rated 3lbs lower than his last win which came in Great St Wilfred in 2018, where he absolutely bolted up. He caught the eye twice last season at York and then in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot where he was badly drawn and was the first home on his side of the track.
That Wokingham run was off 103, so a mark of 94 looks appealing. Gunmetal looks a leading player to hit the frame at the very least.
*Prices correct at publishing but are subject to change except on our snazzy new bet widget which is bang up to date.
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