Despite his natural talent and ability, MY OBERON has not always produced it out on the track. The William Haggas team decide to reach for the blinkers and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him ridden fairly aggressively this time. He went very close in this contest last year and he can finally get an overdue success.
A very trappy handicap with a few of these runners nowhere near their ceiling rating at the moment. TYNWALD was slightly disappointing at Windsor last time, but he was harried up on the front end and never got into a smooth rhythm.
This track should play to his front-running strengths and with his rider George Rooke taking off another valuable 3lbs, it drags him down to an official rating of just 79. Let’s hope he can get loose on the front-end this time.
A drop back to 1m 4f for HUKUM who has the Breeders Cup over 1m 4f on the radar. There’s a chance he could go to the Irish St Leger next week also, but he looks to be gaining more speed with age and a return to this trip looks ideal. Hamish turns up here after missing the Ebor at York due to the ground and is a major danger considering his lightly-raced profile.
Heather Main’s runners have been in sparkling form and due to the odd finish not going their way, the yard have not been getting the results they deserve. ISLAND BRAVE is an old favourite of mine and we can expect him to be powering home late in the day off a very reasonable handicap mark of just 98. The likes of Indianapolis, Global Storm and Sextant are on recovery missions, but Island Brave looks a solid each-way option.
Sometimes throughout the season you land on a performer who is a potential Group horse floating around in handicap company. ALFAADHEL looks to be in that category and a mark of 98 seriously underestimate his true potential.
The step up in distance should show him in a much better light and he can progress to Group company towards the back end of the season and next year’s campaign. He’s only had five live-time starts and is nowhere near his full potential yet.
The eight-year-old has been operating at this level for some time and is equally effective over the long sprint of 7 furlongs or a mile. SANAADH has slotted down to a mark that finds him attractively handicapped for his very shrewd connections and although not ideally drawn in stall 9, he does have a quality pilot in Cahrlie Bennett aboard to negate that. He’s had a wind operation and returns off a three-month absence with a big pot to aim.
The feature race of the day is the Haydock Sprint Cup and let’s hope we finally see the true, sprinting sensation of the season emerge that we all want. Lots of these regularly take turns in beating each other, but trainer Ed Walker had his breakthrough Group One success with STARMAN in the July Cup at Newmarket.
If he is going to continue in that territory in the training ranks, he has to produce him to deliver at the highest level again. Starman is clear on ratings and has the fast ground in his favour. Let’s hope for something spectacular on the track.
He never quite lived up to his lofty reputation as a juvenile when getting up into triple digits very early on in his career. We only saw MAXI BOY very sparsely as a three-year-old and he has been slightly more competitive as an older performer this season.
A mark of 89 is nowhere near his true ability and the connections are having a fantastic run at the moment. The trip, track and ground all look ideal and we have the added bonus of last year‘s champion apprentice, Cieren Fallon, taking over in the saddle.
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