CORAL CHARGE (Registered as The Sprint Stakes) (Group 3) 5f 6y
Three year olds have taken six of the past nine renewals with four year olds taking two and we do not have many to choose from here. BRANDO was probably unlucky not to land the Wokingham when powering home to just be denied by a head. He has been in superb form this year winning on seasons re-appearance at Newmarket and ran a blinder when finishing runner up when behind Dukes of Firenze, he was conceding 7lb to the winner that afternoon and should turn that around now off level weights. Tom Eaves gets back on board for his second attempt to land a valuable race, Brando is a very unexposed four year old, looks the part and should be hard to beat.
The only other four year old is Rae Guest’s Jane’s Memory who comes into this off the back of a win at Haydock over 6f when beating Ridge Runner in the Listed Cecil Frail Stakes , she was a winner over the optimum trip on soft ground on her debut at Leicester, but her record since has seen her defeated, and would probably prefer the six furlongs over today’s trip. It will be interesting to see what tactics they come with when Richard Hannon sends out Log Out Island. He looked much out of his depth when tailed off in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup.
He showed a prolific performance when ten lengths clear, to finally finish three and a half lengths clear at the line in the Listed Carnarvon Stakes, that was over six furlongs and it would be improbable if he got that kind of lead again he would be extremely hard to peg back, Spirit Quartz is an interesting participant here for Robert Cowell.
The soft ground performer won well last time out when landing the Listed Midsummer Sprint Stakes at Haydock three weeks ago. He has been a regular visitor in this race since 2012 with his best finish coming last year when finishing third when behind Waady of John Gosden’s, he was probably unlucky last year when bumped in the closing stages and did not recover and if good enough form what looks a good draw could be placed once more.
Personally I think this looks between Brando and Jane’s Memory on merit, with Spirit Quartz and Log Out Island will make it a good clip form end to end. Brando has the ability to win this after a good performance in the Wokingham.
BRANDO : 2pt Win @ 5/2 (BOG)
CORAL-ECLIPSE (British Champions Series) (Group 1) 1m 2f 7y
The Gurkha has been put in as a strong favourite to land this prize, John Gosden won this last year with a three year old in Golden Horn, but let’s not get too carried away as I personally do not feel The Gurkha is in the same category.
Fair enough he won the French Guineas in style, but was beaten convincingly on soft ground when behind Galileo Gold in the St James’s Palace Stakes. He looks a type that will relish the step up to this index, but on this ground I do have some reservations he can overhaul some useful types in this.
One that should not be out of his depth here is Godolphin’s Hawkbill, he is unbeaten in five now and the way he won the Tercentenary Stakes at the Royal meeting their still looked more to come from the three year old. With proven ability on soft ground and already a winner over this trip his 10/1 market looks generous.
John Gosden has the interesting Western Hymn in the field here, he has been the bridesmaid on three occasions this season. Third in this last year behind Golden Horn and stayed on stoutly in the closing stages, he does have plenty to find with the likes of Time Test and My Dream Boat who has beaten on both encounters.
Roger Charlton won this back in 2013 with Al Kazeem and is represented here with Time Test who was seen last time out when landing the Brigadier Gerard Stakes when beating Western Hymn by a neck. Giving 5lb to the runner up that afternoon, they meet off level weights this afternoon and its looks like that the form can be upheld, but the ground might not favour him this afternoon.
MY DREAM BOAT gave Clive Cox and Adam Kirby a dream win when they landed the Prince of Wales’s Stakes when beating Western Hymn by four lengths. He also had form when landing the Gordon Richard Stakes with Western Hymn who he beat that day by one and a quarter lengths.He acts on soft ground and is proven over the trip, he could be on the premises once more.
I just think The Gurkha is opposable this afternoon and unproven on soft ground and the index, both Hawkbill and My Dream Boat will relish the index and ground and the latter I do is still on the upgrade.
MY DREAM BOAT : 1pt each way @ 11/2 (BOG)