Enable’s Arc victory at Chantilly on Sunday was quite spectacular and marked her down as one of the great fillies of this or any other generation. Comparisons with the recent dual Arc winning filly Treve are inevitable and let’s hope the John Gosden-trained filly has the opportunity to follow up at Longchamp on the first Sunday in October in 2018.
The decision by connections to swerve the Arc with Cracksman now looks an inspired one and that colt is 3/1 favourite for the Champion Stakes with BetVictor in three weeks’ time. Third home in the Arc Ulysses fairly tanked through the race on ground softer than ideal and he will surely be hard to beat in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar if in the same form – he is 3/1 with BetVictor.
If we have an equine star on show this afternoon, it is likely to be in Tipperary which sees Death Duty (3.50) make his eagerly-awaited chase debut for Gordon Elliot. The six-year-old was considered a Festival banker by many in the Albert Bartlett back in March, but he was well beaten when coming down at the last flight having been a tad keen on ground which may have been faster than ideal. He was also beaten subsequently at Punchestown when dropped back to 2m 4f at the end of April, but he had previously shown himself to be top class over timber when landing a Grade 1 Hurdle at Naas back in January.
Soft ground looks ideal for his chase debut and it is possible that he will be as effective over two-and-a-half-miles as three when the mud is flying – he is a very exciting novice.
There is a terrific Novices’ Chase at Sedgefield with the near top-class staying hurdler Jacks Last Hope making his chase debut for Chris Grant. The eight-year-old needs good ground to be seen at his best and underfoot conditions should be perfect although he has been winning over further of late.
The same sentiment could apply to another chase debutant Bordeaux Bill (3.35) who won a couple of novice hurdles last season at Sedgefield although both over an additional half mile. This winning pointer looks sure to give a good account in a hot race, which, perhaps significantly, is sponsored by Brian Ellison trainer of both Bordeaux Bill and Eyes Of The Tiger.
The concluding Bumper is a cracker with three point-to-point winners making their rules debuts for leading yards including Djarkevi (5.10) who has his first start for Charlie Longsdon. It is hard to compare what he achieved when winning at Grennan between the flags to both Knight In Dubai and Manitowoc County and the betting should provide valuable clues to stable expectations.
At Southwell Deadly Move (3.15) has only been raised 3lbs for his Bangor success over 2m 4f last month and todays step back up in trip should not be a concern for the father and son combination of James and Peter Bowen. Johnny Burke takes the ride on Indy Island who has her first start for Charlie Longsdon and this winning pointer/hurdler may have more to offer – note if the market speaks in his favour.
The 3m Novices Hurdle looks a match between the promising Ring Moylan and The Real Snoopy (4.20) with marginal preference for the latter who won a point in his native Ireland back in February before running with great credit behind a 140+ rated horse getting just 7lbs at Worcester.
There should be races to be won by Frankie Rapper over timber but the hope is that this is the day everything falls into place for Banditry (4.50) who finished second at Worcester last time for Ian Williams. The 5-y-old is rated 96 on the flat and came there to win his race at Worcester last time only not to find as much as his supporters hoped.
Ay Ayr Vindicator (4.00) has won two of his last three starts for Michael Dods and Callum Rodriquez, who is very good value for his 5lbs claim, and the three-year-old can maintain that progression in a cracking contest over 1m 5f.
At Kempton this evening City Gent ran his best race yet when runner up over 6f at Lingfield (turf) last time and the return to the minimum trip should suit. The vote, however, goes to Lady Dancealot (6.10) who ran well at Ascot on her last start when ridden by Silvestre De Sousa who keeps the ride this evening.