Charlie McCann looks forward to some Shenanigans at Kempton on Wednesday night
News yesterday that John Gosden’s So Mi Dar will miss Royal Ascot due to a muscle problem but the hope is that the Andrew Lloyd Webber-owned filly will be back in time for Glorious Goodwood with the Group 1 Nassau Stakes the obvious target. In her absence stablemate Jack Hobbs has shortened from 3s to 5/2 at BetVictor for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes with Ulysses 3s (from 7/2) and 6/1 Bar.
They race again at Haydock Park this afternoon – their fourth meeting in seven days – and in the opener Ottonian is likely to be a warm order in the opening 1m 6f handicap having won his sole start at Thirsk last month. The Godolphin inmate is open to considerable improvement but I am going to take a chance on Lethal Impact (2.00) on his handicap debut for David Simcock.
The selection wasn’t at his best when disappointing at Lingfield last time but had showed enough on his previous two starts to suggest he could be well treated from this mark on his handicap debut. Jamie Spencer takes over in the saddle and the hope is that the step up in trip will see him in an even better light this afternoon.
There are showers forecast which will suit Fire Brigade (3.00) who ran a cracking race in the circumstances when sixth in a valuable handicap over C&D last month. Connections were not overly impressed with the ride given to the Michael Bell-trained three-year-old on that occasion and he can race from a 2lbs lower mark this afternoon. The obvious danger is the David Simcock-trained Hugin who is held in high esteem by connections having raced just once for David Wachman in Ireland as a juvenile.
Mutarabby (3.30) can make it third time lucky having looked an unlucky loser when slowly away and checked in the run when third at Newmarket last time. Saeed Bin Suroor applies first-time cheek-pieces this afternoon although he is unlikely to have things all his own way given newcomers Naaeebb and Sharja Bridge are bred to be useful.
I like the chances of First Voyage (4.30) in the valuable 12f handicap for Charlie Appleby. The selection has only raced three times so far and improved when stepped up to 10f when scoring at Nottingham back in October. His subsequent absence from the track is not a concern and any further rain is likely to suit this Dubawi gelding out of a Pivotal mare. It might be worth noting that the selection holds two engagements on Friday and is entered in next month’s John Smith’s Cup at York.
At Yarmouth Beyond Recall (3.10) steps up in trip for her handicap debut and with the Cumani yard in good form she can take advantage of the 4lbs she receives from Roger Varian’s well-bred Daira Prince who is another who is bred to appreciate today’s step up in distance.
At Worcester I am going to give another chance to Beneficial Joe (2.50) who had jumped well enough until making a novicey mistake at Uttoxeter last week. His previous run when second at Market Rasen was decent form for the time of year and today’s good ground will suit.
At Kempton this evening Tribute Act has to break better than she has done in both starts to date but she returns to the scene of her C&D success back in October. Her turf run at Newmarket last month was over a mile, however and I’m not sure this drop in trip is ideal.
The vote goes to Roger Varian’s Shenanigans (8.10) who finished third on her Doncaster comeback having won a Newcastle maiden back in November. The selection had previously run well in two-mile maidens here last autumn and her Doncaster run suggested she has the pace for tonight’s seven furlongs.
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