The Tattersalls Gold Cup is the highlight of Sunday’s card. The Group 1 status of the race seems perennially endangered.
Perhaps were it downgraded we would have seen Magical take on Enable in Ascot’s King George. Not to be. Aidan O’Brien is like the WWF, every year he manages to pull enough rabbits out of the hat to keep the European Pattern Committee at bay.
He fields three highly rated horses this year and Magical is the clear standout performer here. The race has some tactical nuance, but it’s very hard to see her beaten whatever the circumstances. I’m conscious that this isn’t news.
The rest of the card looks trappy out and there is rain about on Saturday. My working theory is that racing will take place on yielding ground. Here are four selections that can hopefully perform well.
BASHIYR goes on a retrieval mission in this premier handicap. This horse was well fancied for the Irish Lincoln last month and he finished last.
Granted, he suffered interference, but looked beaten at the time. He also disappointed when made favourite for his handicap debut at the back end of last season. Clearly, we need to be forgiving and he looked a horse going places when winning a conditions race in Galway last September.
Charcor, fourth that day, has advertised the form since. Given Bashiyr’s market strength before the Irish Lincoln, it seems reasonable to infer that connections feel he’s well handicapped.
This step up in trip is likely to suit and this will be just his sixth career start. There are enough positives to take a chance win only.
This contest looks uber competitive and it’s not an obvious race for a horse to break his maiden but perhaps CASTLETOWNSHEND can do just that.
This consistent sort looks reasonably treated off a mark of 75 and he ran a huge race in a premier handicap at this course last September. That was from an 8lbs higher mark, against a much higher calibre of opposition than he will face on Sunday.
He wasn’t beaten far on his seasonal comeback a couple of weeks ago and again, that race was in higher grade. He’s entitled to come on a bit.
Obviously, it’s a concern that he has never won a race. But, this ground versatile horse must have a right chance of getting off the mark here all the same.
This is a premier handicap over the minimum trip and there’s not many of those in the calendar.
BIG GOSSEY rates the selection and this horse made a winning handicap debut over 6 furlongs last month. He blew that race apart with a big mid race move.
It was to the credit of an inexperienced horse that he was able to hold on until the line and the second has run well in the Scurry Handicap since.
Big Gossey has bundles of pace and dropping back to 5 furlongs looks a positive. An 8lbs hike for a narrow win appears harsh, but I thought he was value for more than the winning distance.
Off the back of just five career starts, he has obvious upside and I envisage him going pillar to post here.
The best bet on the card comes in the last and Tide Of Time (nap) was a snug winner in Navan last time out. He took a notable scalp in the shape of the highly progressive Strong Johnson there and Master Matt, fifth that day, has run very well since.
A 6lbs rise doesn’t look unreasonable in the circumstances. It does mean that Tide Of Time races off a career high mark but, despite his age, he’s not fully exposed.
The forecast rain should help too and Eddie Lynam has proven a dab hand with sprinters. Hopefully, this horse will further advertise his skills.
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