SATURDAY – NEWMARKET
Al Mutathar (Jim Crowley)
It was a pleasant surprise to see him win on debut at the Rowley mile course as I thought he would definitely come on for the run but as it was he showed a great attitude and battled really well to win quite nicely and he’s improved physically since then. The form of that race has worked out well, with the third scoring at Thirsk, and if he handles the track he goes there with a big chance.
Ziggle Pops (Sean Levey)
He hated the ground in the Britannia and ran no sort of race so I am concerned about the rain for him going into this and I think he is very much in the handicapper’s grip at present.
Oh Purple Reign (Ryan Moore)
He’s been dropped a few pounds in the weights and ran okay last time at Windsor in first time blinkers, albeit racing a little bit keen early on. He’s tough and genuine and will be there to pick up the pieces.
Ventura Tormenta (Sean Levey)
We were forced to put him straight in at the deep end in the Norfolk on his debut and he ran an excellent race so I would’ve been surprised if he’d got beaten at Yarmouth on Saturday. He’s a colt we’ve always thought a great deal of and we have a good record in this race having won it six times, including last year with Mystery Power and I’d like to think this horse could end up slightly better than him. The step up to 7 furlongs won’t be a problem and he’s a serious contender.
Threat (Oisin Murphy)
We were originally going to run in the Prix Jean Prat over seven furlongs but the ground was a concern and it looks a very good race so we’ve switched to this and hoping for better ground. The forecast is for dry weather Friday and into Saturday so hopefully it’ll dry up nicely because I really think the drop back to six furlongs will help and after the St James’s Palace Stakes Oisin got off and said he felt like he’d retained all his ability but just didn’t get the trip on the ground. There’s not much between him and Golden Horde on their two-year-old form and as long as the rain stays away, I rate his chance very highly.
Motakhayyel (Jim Crowley)
I was delighted with his win at Ascot as that was his first run in almost a year and I thought he’d really need it but he showed a great attitude and is very tough. He’s now off 105 so has to step up again but he’s come out of Ascot in excellent form and is versatile ground wise.
Beat Le Bon (Pat Dobbs)
I absolutely adore this horse and he was only beaten about three lengths in the £5 million Golden Eagle Stakes at Randwick in Australia in November and managed to pick up £55k for finishing sixth, so it was definitely worth going! He has a blistering turn of foot and likes to be held up so Dobbsy will be hoping to employ similar tactics here and he has a great record fresh. We’ve given him a couple of away days so he’s ready to go and this looks an ideal opportunity to get his season started. He doesn’t want it soft, though.
Urban Icon (Jason Watson)
I thought he was a touch unlucky at Windsor last time but he showed he was coming back to himself and we’ve kept him nice and fresh at home since. He wouldn’t want the ground too soft but I’m happy with him and he could go well at decent odds.
Wedding Date (Thore Hammer Hansen)
She probably should have won last time but didn’t handle the dip that well and lugged slightly right for a stride or two which cost her dearly as she was only beaten a short head conceding 3lbs to the winner. She has a lot of speed and loves this track as her victory over c/d last June will testify and she is extremely genuine. This is a very competitive race but I fancy her to run a big race.
We’re mob handed in this so hopefully we’ve got it covered but Fountain Cross (Rossa Ryan) would appear to have the strongest chance of the quartet after winning at Haydock last month. That race may not have worked out particularly well, as a couple of those behind have been beaten since, but I think there is more to come from him over this new trip and he’s improving all the time.
Archibar pulled a shoe off on his debut at Wolverhampton so should run better but he was well beaten at the time and Dillydingdillydong and Headshot are both nice horses but I expect them to come on for their runs.
Cirrus (Rossa Ryan) will find this much easier than the Albany last time and the step up to seven furlongs is massively in her favour so I’ll be disappointed if she isn’t able to go extremely close while Little Rollright will improve for the experience.
Little Downs (Rossa Ryan)
We gave her a run last backend just to get some experience under her belt and she’s come back a much stronger horse. She’ll bounce off the ground and I fancy her to run well.
Thanielle (Rossa Ryan)
We pulled her out of Newbury earlier in the week because of the soft ground so she’ll love the good to firm here and her work has been excellent so she has a great chance having blown the cobwebs away at Newmarket last month.