The Gp 3 Dick Poole Stakes is the feature race this afternoon at Salisbury, where the ground is currently described as ‘good-to-soft, good in places’ however, there is little rain forecast and the ground is expected to dry out well before racing. That is unfortunately bad news for Dean Ivory’s Eirene; who relished soft ground when bolting-up in the Listed St Hugh’s Stakes last time out at Newbury and would want further rain to aid her chances.
Therefore, preference lies instead with Special Purpose (3.50) for William Haggas and Oisin Murphy. The selection looked smart when making a winning debut at Lingfield, and followed-up under a penalty three weeks later at Beverley. The Scat Daddy filly was inconvenienced by the soft ground last time out at York, finishing an excellent fifth in the Gp 2 Lowther Stakes, and must go close on her return to a sounder surface.
The drying ground will similarly aid the chances of Comrade Conrad (4.50) who ran a blinder to finish second behind John Gosden’s Great Sound last month at Newbury, and is a confident selection to go one better under regular partner Kieran Shoemark. The selection went into plenty of notebooks after making a winning debut at Windsor, and was unlucky in subsequent handicaps over a mile and a quarter thereafter. He stayed every inch of the mile and a half trip last time out and, after just bumping into one on the day, can go one better in first-time cheek-pieces.
Haydock’s three-day Sprint Cup meeting kicks-off with a seven-race card, and ground described as good-to-soft but only likely to worsen in the build-up to Saturday’s Group 1 contest. Both Dubawi colts in the Mile Maiden should have no problems with the ground, and marginal preference lies with Ghostwatch (3.00) for James Doyle and Charlie Appleby. The colt costs connections 2.1m guineas at last year’s sales and after a promising debut last month at Newmarket can shed the maiden tat at the second time of asking.
Doyle can double-up aboard Mark Johnston’s Galapiat (4.35) in the feature handicap over a mile and a half. The colt is gradually coming down in the weights, and has been dropped 2lb for a lacklustre effort at Ascot’s King George meeting. The selection never travelled that day but is well-treated on his handicap wins at Leicester and Epsom earlier in the campaign.
There’s all-weather action from Chelmsford where I’m keen to give David O’Meara’s Sunglider (7.40) another chance feature under Martin Harley. The gelding is just 4lb higher in the weights since scoring at Wolverhampton last November, and has been the model of consistency thereafter. He has held his form well subsequently, winning twice on turf, and is well drawn to give another solid account.
Trainer Rae Guest has always thought a lot of the lightly raced Going Up (8.10) and after failing to stay two miles at Kempton is a confident selection to reward each-way support dropping back in trip. Martin Harley replaces David Probert in the plate and must go well from a career-low mark of 81 and the application of a first-time hood.
The ground went against Godolphin’s Ennjaaz (9.10) last time out at Windsor, finishing second behind a nice horse for trainer Henry Candy, and he can go one better in the finale under Jimmy Quinn, The well-bred colt was well-supported in the market prior to an excellent second on debut and, with the benefit of experience, should get his head in front en-route to bigger and better things later on in the autumn.