John Gosden reported it was all systems go for his wonderful mare Enable to bid for an unprecedented third successive Prix de l’ Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday after the five-year-old did her last serious piece of work on the Newmarket gallops yesterday. The mare is 8/11 at BetVictor for the hat-trick in what looks likely to be her last ever race although connections have not ruled out the Breeders’ Cup.
Battash is 4/5 at BetVictor to win the Prix de l’ Abbeye for the second time in three years and there will be thousands of British racing enthusiasts in Paris on Sunday with many, I would imagine, hoping the short-priced double will pay for the trip.
In the opener at Ayr this afternoon The Stalking Moon carries a 5lbs penalty for winning at Leicester on fast ground last week, but Adrian Nicholls’ five-year-old is, arguably, better with plenty of cut in the ground and he must go close to following up.
Preference, however, is for Abushamah (1.50) who will enjoy the forecast soft ground and is 1lb lower in the weights than when scoring at York on heavy ground back in June. The Ruth Carr stable are not exactly firing in the winners which is a slight cause for concern, but this inmate ran well at Beverley last week and, at the time of writing, apprentice Gavin Ashton has won with two of his last seven rides.
Fannie By Gaslight (4.50) is drawn out wide in stall 12, but she did us a favour when scoring at Chester on Saturday for Mick Channon and is taken to follow up under a 5lbs penalty. A market move for Mark Johnston’s three-year-old filly Kilbarchan would be worth noting on her belated seasonal reappearance.
House Call (5.20) came good on just her second start for Gordon Elliot at Hamilton over a mile last week and she is taken to defy a 5lbs penalty with the step back up to 10f of no concern. Sean Davis – who has done us a couple of favours in recent weeks – keeps the ride.
Len Brennan was withdrawn on account of the prevailing fast ground at Warwick last week, but he had attracted early support. It will be worth noting whether he is the subject of further support at Southwell today. Big Nasty (3.10) ran a promising race when second at Wetherby over 3m on his hurdles debut and he is taken to go one better for Martin Keighley with Leighton Aspell keeping the ride.
The 6-y-old will jump a fence sooner rather than later but he can take this in receipt of 7lbs from the previous winner – Dan Skelton’s Diomede Des Mottes who has had a wind operation since scoring at Warwick back in the spring. On good ground he would be a big threat although further rain is forecast.
At Kempton this evening I Had A Dream (6.40) is only rated 67 but she has shown plenty of promise in her last couple of starts and is taken to go one better than when runner up at Haydock last time. The penalised Overpriced Mixer won over a mile at Thirsk last time and should continue to give a good account of himself.
I hope to see the step up to a mile bring about improvement in Dubrava (7.10) who put behind a frustrating run of seconds when getting up close home here over 7f from a 5lbs lower mark. Angus Villiers was in the plate when Crystal Casque scored at Sandown from a 3lbs lower mark last time and she is another who ought to be suited by the step up to a mile.
Total Commitment (7.40) has won two of his five career starts and did score over C&D here back in December. The selection is only 3lbs higher than when scoring at Newmarket back in August and he remains open to further improvement.
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