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Harrogate and Glorious Rio have been in brilliant form of late for their respective yards and although both probably need career bests to land this big field Class 4 event, they cannot be dismissed off their new marks.
Both should continue in good form, but with veteran Muscika opting to run over 6 furlongs later on the card, the nod goes to the recent Beverley winner SAM’S CALL. The first time visor seemed to wake him up that day and is retained here. The four-year-old is taken to defy a 2lbs penalty with the promising William Pyle taking 5lbs off his back.
For some unknown reason Muscika has also been declared here as well, but in his absence, Jane Chapple-Hyam’s runner PRINCE OF ABINGDON has strong claims at an each-way price.
I really liked the way that this ultra-consistent three-year-old kept on in the closing stages up the final climb when a never-nearer length third of nine behind Secretinthepark at the backend of last month. This flatter 6 furlongs is just what he has been crying out for and he gets the vote over the very well handicapped Manigordo, as well as course and distance winner Macho Pride.
Last year’s heroine Search For A Song looks sure to be in the mix again after running way out of her class, and indeed over a trip massively too short, the last time we saw her in the Tattersalls Gold Cup way back in May. But, this looks a better strength in depth renewal with the O’Brien clan supplying no less than eight of the 14 entries, while Aidan has four himself.
I must admit to being intrigued by the big outsider of his team Carlisle Bay who only went off at 7/1 for the Lingfield Derby Trial, but has been absent since. He could be worth an each-way saver, but the nod goes to Jessie Harrington’s charge BARRINGTON COURT despite him having over four lengths to find with favourite Twilight Payment on trial form.
She wasn’t really suited by the stop-start gallop that day, but an end-to-end test should suit this stamina laden mare and she looks an interesting each-way play against the boys.
This is hardly a race to play in unless you ‘know’ something, furthermore none of these have any fancy entries for the big juvenile races in autumn. Sharesa could be one of the more likely types being my Mehmas out of a twice-raced Cadeaux Genereux mare, while Code Purple’s breeding also smacks of speed.
But, the Tom Clover charge AL BAREZ gets a tentative vote with the yard having a 10% strike rate on grass with their two-year-olds, and he is able to get his youngsters ready first time out.
I make the Iain Jardine youngster RAVENSCRAIG CASTLE one of the best bets of the day following his cracking half a length third of 22 behind Valley Forge at York last month. A 5lbs penalty looks a shade harsh for that run, taking him up to a mark of 83. But, the horses that run behind him that day haven’t let the form down.
His biggest rival here should be the top weight Vino Victrix following clear cut wins at Sandown and Kempton. With only six career runs under his belt he too should take another step forward here.
International Boy steps up to 7 furlongs for the first time and it may enable him to take another step forward tobreak his maiden tag at the ninth time of asking. But, with four runs under his belt, I reckon that MYSTERY FOX could be capable of better.
He totally missed the kick last time out when a never-nearer fifth of 14 at Beverley and was hardly given a hard time through the final three parts of a furlong. Of the remainder, Outgate takes a drop in grade and should be thereabouts along with interesting light weight Come To Pass, who showed plenty of promise last time out.
Old Saltonstall has finally been shown some mercy by the handicapper and even off top weight – less Sam Ewing’s 5lbs claim – he could still be vulnerable off a rating of 99 against less exposed rivals.
Best of the younger brigade could be Max Mayhem, headed right on the line by Collins Street last time out at Naas. However, the vote goes to the six-year-old STILL STANDING, back down to his last winning mark of 94. He showed that his turn was just around the corner when coming from a long way back last time out at Dundalk.
Plenty of these have already run well throughout the season and the joint top weight ARABIAN ROMANCE looks sure to run well following a credible effort over 7 furlongs at York at Class 2 level.
On that occasion she was just outpaced 2-and-a-half furlongs out before staying on well late on and this extra 220 yards should be of huge benefit. She gets the vote over Crown Princess and New Exceed.
This is hugely competitive for this Class 4 level with seven last time out winners and there looks sure to be a red-hot pace on from the start with four of the 17 runners having made the pace in the past and no less than a further six pressers in the line-up, of which Starfighter could be the pick.
That could well play into the hands of CIVIL LAW, if he is ridden in a similar fashion to his late rallying success over Howzer Black at York on June 11. He is now 3lbs better off with that rival and can be excused his run last time out as he raced way too freely and is 5lbs lower here.
A repeat of her staying on third to Speedo Boy in the Brown Jack Handicap at Ascot in July would make Single a prime player here. But, I cannot get away from the claims of Don McCain’s runner GOOBINATOR, who was so game when seeing off Ghadbbaan at York in July.
Only 4lbs higher in the weights here, the five-year-old remains relatively unexposed on the level and with the stable in such cracking form, he can make it two from five in this sphere with the hat-trick-seeking Teqany put up as the biggest danger.
16:10 Haydock – Sam’s Call
16:35 Haydock – Prince Of Abingdon
16:40 Curragh – Barrington Court
17:00 Haydock – Al Barez
17:20 Musselburgh – Ravenscraig Castle
17:30 Haydock – Mystery Fox
17:45 Curragh – Still Standing
18:00 Haydock – Arabian Romance
18:25 Haydock – Civil Law
18:55 Haydock – Goobinator
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