Keith Dalgleish’s Soldier’s Minute has had 28 lifetime starts but drops down to the minimum 5f trip for only the fourth time in Wednesday’s opening race of this year’s Festival. He’s shown some good this season, most recently when third to Muscika over 6f at this track last month. One at a price to hit the frame.
The Group 3 Acomb Stakes for three-year-olds has a couple of first-time out winners in the field and despite not being the quickest away at Chester last time. Praise of Shadows quickly recovered to sit handy before he powered away at the finish. Marco Botti’s runners always improve for a run so further improvement should see him being equally as competitive in this long sprint.
The Ballydoyle runner was a bit of a talking horse all season but disappointed at Royal Ascot and in the Epsom Derby, but Mogul finally got his career back on track last time when a convincing winner in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. He steps up to Group 2 class this time and is undoubtedly getting better and fitter with his racing. I expect another improved display from Aidan O’Brien’s colt.
A small but select field for the Group 1 Juddmote International Stakes, where Kameko can make up for his Goodwood disappointment on his first try over this 10f trip. The 2,000 Guineas winner never saw any daylight at Goodwood and would surely have given the winner Mohaather a little bit to think about if getting a clear run. The step up in trip looks absolutely ideal and he will have the front running Ghaiyyath to aim at all the way up the straight.
A 2m staying handicap follows the feature race of the day and a wind operation seemed to do the trick for Blakeney Point when winning comfortably in a novice hurdle a novice hurdle at Bangor last time. He now switches back to the Flat, is definitely well handicapped and can go well and a juicy each-way price.
Did this column a favour at Goodwood (9/1) over 5f, when backing up her Windsor week that was also over the minimum trip. Glamorous Anna is quirky, but talented and continue her climb up the rating ladder by bringing up the hat-trick.
A 6f Nursery rounds off the opening day card where Mark Johnston’s Toussarok looked very good when beating experienced rivals on his racecourse debut at Newcastle. He bumped into a good one last time when second to Darvel (runs in the the 14:15) and that should be a good guide to our chances on Wednesday.
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