Ten Sovereigns was a tremendous winner of the July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday when he landed a gamble for connections. The colt had not been at his best when carrying my cash in the Commonwealth Cup, but he had improved by leaps and bounds in the interim period and the return to fast ground was pivotal. At York Escobar put up a visually very impressive performance to land the Mile Handicap for David O’Meara and he was cut from 25s to 16s with BetVictor for the Golden Mile at Goodwood next month.
There is a terrific card at Ayr this afternoon and Walk In Marrakesh (1.35) is taken to follow up her all the way win at Beverly last time for Mark Johnston with Joe Fanning taking over in the saddle. The colt Alix James and filly Woke both ran with considerable promise on debut, but I was quite taken with the Johnston filly last time and the yard were in tremendous form on the July course last week.
Colour Contrast is talented enough to defy top-weight in the first division of the 7f handicap, but I am keen on the chance of Cliff Bay (2.40) who was drawn wide and ran a cracker at Musselburgh last time when he ran into a well-handicapped sort from crack Irish handler Gavin Cromwell. The selection has been raised 3lbs for today but has won from higher marks in the past and trainer Keith Dalgleish remains in cracking form.
It would be wrong to describe Esprit De Corps (3.40) as a serial winner but he may have made his bid for glory too soon when runner up over C&D here last weekend with the third well held. He can race from the same mark this afternoon and the hope is that Astrologer will make it a true test for David Baron’s five-year-old to chase and, hopefully, run down.
Club Wexford has won all three starts over a mile here – did lose back at 7f – but I hope he help sets the race up for Nicholas T (4.10) who returned to something like his best when scoring over C&D last week and carries just a 4lbs penalty for that success. The selection has finished second and third in the last couple of renewals of this valuable handicap and he can make it third time lucky for trainer Jim Goldie.
Four Kingdoms steps back up in trip in the 1m 5f Apprentice Handicap and a market move would be worth noting. Preference, however, is for Donnachies Girl (5.10) who finished a well beaten third to a couple of very well-handicapped Irish challengers over C&D a week ago. The mare has won off higher marks in the past and she is unlikely to bump into two horses so far ahead of the handicapper as was the case seven days ago.
At Ripon and the form of Alright Sunshine’s (4.20) second to Match Maker – giving him 5lbs – at Ayr over 1m 1f was given a boost when the winner followed up at Newbury from a mark of 80 last week. The hope is that the selection is well treated from a mark of 84 and this step back up in trip should suit.
Fleeting Prince (6.00) is taken to go one better than when runner up at Chepstow on debut for Charlie Hills. The colt was slowly away on his first start and looks sure to have benefitted from the experience – note he holds an entry on the Gimcrack at York next month.
Sash (7.00) drops back to a mile – the distance of his Lingfield maiden win – for Amanda Perrett and the three-year-old son of Oasis Dream should appreciate stepping back down in trip. The Perrett yard were under a bit of a cloud for the first half of the season, but they have returned to their best of late and Sash remains open to significant improvement.
Sir Mark Prescott’s yard is beginning to fire with three winners last week and at Wolverhampton Percy’s Prince (5.40) is taken to improve on his fourth here last week in what looked a stronger race than today’s. Do note a market move for Harry Dunlop’s unexposed Lady Elysia.
One of the horses I am most looking forward to today runs in the last at Killarney where the exciting mare Robin De Carlow (8.50) runs in the BetVictor Novice Chase. Willie Mullins’ 6-year-old made a good chase debut when scoring at Kilbeggan although her jumping was novicey on occasions. She receives 12lbs from Gordon Elliot’s Dinons and that might prove crucial in a cracking finale.
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