BetVictor’s Charlie McCann looks at Wednesday’s cards
Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas will have its smallest field for at least 22 years following Monday’s announcement that there were only twelve entries at the five-day stage and it looks odds on that there will be a single-figure field for the first classic of the season – the first time since 1988.
Churchill was cut to 6/4 with BetVictor with French raider Al Wukair 7/2, Barney Roy 4s and Eminent 5s. The winner should come from this high-quality quartet.
Talking of quality and Ascot stage a couple of Group 3’s and a listed contest this afternoon but we begin our preview with a look at the Fillies’ Conditions Stakes over the round mile.
Glitter Girl is the highest rated filly of the 10-strong field but she concedes 3lbs to her nine rivals and was not at her best when well held in the Fred Darling at Newbury on her reappearance. This step up to a mile will help but marginal preference is for the Godolphin trained Kazimiera (2.35) who will get further than today’s mile this term and was too keen on her reappearance to do herself justice.
The only unbeaten filly in the field is John Gosden’s daughter of Frankel Icespire who won a Salisbury maiden on debut – a race that has already thrown up a couple of winners. Like so many of her father’s progeny, she can be a bit keen and is again fitted with a hood to help her relax.
The Sagaro Stakes sees the reappearance of last year’s St Leger winner Harbour Law who is 11/2 at BetVictor to make a winning reappearance. He must go close but I am interested to see Battersea (3.10) step up to two miles for the first time for Roger Varian on a course where he has a perfect 2 from 2 record. The gelding finished fourth under a big weight in the Ebor last year and at 7/21 he might be able to take the measure of Sir Mark Prescott’s Pallasator (11/4 at BetVictor) who won the BetVictor Henry VII Stakes first time out last season at Sandown.
The 6f Pavilion Stakes looks a mini Commonwealth Cup and I am pleased that Sir Dancealot (3.45) drops back to this trip having looked a non-stayer in both the Racing Post Trophy (Mile) and Free Handicap (7f) on his last couple of starts. The selection is 8/1 at BetVictor and that looks a fair each way price in what is a top class event.
Mill Reef winner Harry Angel (4/1) and Gimcrack winner Blue Point (2/1) head the market and the latter is a big danger but I hope Shane Kelly gets a nice tune out of Sir Dancealot who is 10/1 for next month’s Commonwealth Cup with BetVictor.
Ennaadd lost his unbeaten record at Lingfield on Good Friday when he was far too keen to do himself justice. This is his first start on turf since his debut defeat at Windsor (soft ground) and his ability to act on fast ground has to be taken on trust.
Mondialiste has only beaten two horses home in his last couple of starts and may need further these days and preference is for his stablemate Firmament (4.20) despite the fact that stable jockey Danny Tudhope stays loyal to Mondialiste.
The selection was improving at a rate of knots towards the end of last season and his unlucky third in the valuable Balmoral Handicap over today’s C&D carrying 9st 8lbs was a cracking run – he has a decent record fresh and the hope is that he can improve again as a five-year-old.
For the first time in a long-time Gambit (3.25) took a step forward at Nottingham last time and Tom Dascombe fits a tongue tie and a hood on the gelding for the first-time at Pontefract. If the aids work the oracle he must go close as I am convinced the ability is there and the yard are in very good form.
The classic generation have only beaten the elders once in the last seven renewals of the fillies’ handicap over 10f but I hope to see Mittens (4.0) make a winning handicap debut for Sir Michael Stoute having won a 7f polytrack maiden at Lingfield on her second start. The filly is certainly bred to appreciate today’s step up in trip and Richard Kingscote gets a rare ride for the Newmarket handler.
At Yarmouth this evening, I will be disappointed if Lethal Impact (5.20) can’t shed his maiden tag at the third time of asking for David Simcock and Jamie Spencer. Many of the top Newmarket yards have runners given the £15,000 purse but the selection holds entries in the Dante and Derby and looks as if he could be useful in time.
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