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Admittedly you have to go back a little while to see SHOW ME SHOW ME at his absolute best, but he was all the way up in triple digits for a decent period of time. He now finds himself on a lowly mark of 78 – some 23lb below his peak rating.
Show Me Show Me has no problem with the conditions, but admittedly could’ve been drawn closer to some of the pace – which looks to be in the higher stall positions. However, he gets a big jockey upgrade with Joe Fanning taking over in the saddle and he can get a slice – and maybe the whole pie – at a price.
The form of those who have races is not particularly high for a race of this quality. For that reason, the debutant from the Mark Johnston camp, JILLY COOPER, rates a decent punt from a handy inside position. They won this particular contest with the superstar Attraction back in 2003 and as trainers are creatures of habit, they like to aim their good ones at the same races. Let’s take the hint.
TARBOOSH is a very solid performer and strictly on the ratings, has a very strong case. He needed his return 56 days ago and should strip fitter for that. This contest is also his second start after a wind operation. There is loads of pace in here with Glamorous Anna and last year’s winner El Astronaute likely to zip along on the front-end and Tarboosh can pick up the pieces late in the day.
VIA SERENDIPITY has shown a lot of his best form on the straight track at Ascot, but this venue could suit his hold-up tactics, provided they go a strong gallop in the early stages. Jamie Spencer takes over in the saddle for the first time and he is absolutely tailor-made for Via Serendipity, who will be dropped in early and will be looking for a room down on the fence late on. It may well be a helter-skelter ride, but it’s going to be fun to watch. He can fly home late in the day.
It looks like ORIENTAL MYSTIQUE has been handed a penalty kick. She has a strong, staying profile, and won’t mind the conditions. Oriental Mystique looks to have most of fear from the one-paced Cabaletta, who was readily put in her place at York last time. She will be short odds, but should win.
THE GATEKEEPER looked destined for good things when winning on his racecourse debut, but has come up short on a couple of occasions since. He will need to leave his run at Newbury well behind him to get back to the winner’s enclosure now. The Mark Johnston yard do not often make the journey down south unless they feel they have a talented runner. The drop down in trip to 5 furlongs can rubberstamp his high home reputation.
Frankie Dettori will make the trip north for just two rides on the card at Haydock and KINROSS has been gelded since we last saw him. He had a very tough introduction to racing jumping from winning early on and then being thrown into Group One level. The trip, track and ground are all in his favour now, and we also get the maestro in the saddle. There’s a lot going for him.
Derek Shaw is the latest trainer to try his hand at HERCULEAN, who has been moved yards regularly. There is no doubting he is very well handicapped on a mark of just 84 and he’s obviously had quite a few training problems in his time, but it may well prove he has taken a very long time to grow and strengthen into his massive frame. He must be one of the biggest horses in training and if his latest yard have him sound and fit, he is dangerously well treated at a big price in this 7-furlong handicap.
13:45 Haydock – Show Me Show Me
14:00 Beverly – Jilly Cooper
14:20 Haydock – Tarboosh
14:40 Chester – Via Serendipity
14:55 Haydock – Oriental Mystique
15:10 Beverly – The Gatekeeper
15:30 Haydock – Kinross
15:45 Beverly – Herculean
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