26th July 2016
MATCHBOOK BETTING EXCHANGE STAKES (Handicap) 1m 1f 192y
I feel Luca Cumani’s lightly raced son of High Chaparral ‘SHAKOPEE‘ can go very close in the opener and get us off to a flyer. With only two runs as a juvenile, and one run as a three year old he has probably been placed wisely by Luca to take a hand here off his current mark of 92.
Most of his career runs have come on good to firm ground and he really impressed me under Jamie Spencer when pulling away from his field at Doncaster eight days ago. The rise of 7lb for his win was probably generous enough, but I feel there is more to come from him at this course.
SHAKOPEE: 1pt win @ 7/1
27th July 2016
QATAR SUSSEX STAKES (British Champions Series) (Group 1) 1m
Over the past eight renewals we have not seen too many outsiders land this and we would have to go back to 2003 when Reel Buddy sprang a shock win at 20/1, since then we have seen a succession of short price winners and I cannot see things changing much here. The favourite for this is Hugo Palmers ‘Galileo Gold‘ and at 7/4 it is probably a tad short, it might be worth waiting to see if 2/1 or above is available, as is possible if Ballydoyle’s The Gurkha holds his ground.
Despite losing to Awtaad in the Irish 2000 Guineas he has shown that was an off day and bounced back to land the St James’s Palace at Ascot when firmly putting The Gurkha in his place by one and a quarter lengths. Awtaad was a further half a length back in third that afternoon but looks tough enough to reverse the form. The Gurkha is at present second in the market at 9/4 and his defeat behind Hawkbill last time out cannot be over looked as he was possibly running on unfavourable ground.
Ballydoyle always crave a champion miler in their ranks each crop and THE GURKHA could still provide a serious challenge to Galileo Gold’s superiority this season. He is very capable dropping back to a mile and looks the one to beat the favourite.
THE GURKHA : 2pt Win @ 9/4 (BOG)
The Gurkha prior to his St. James’s Palace run